Monday 14 March 2022

UK travel in a motorhome: Five suggestions for a smooth trip

This is a collaborative post

If you plan to travel parts of the UK in a motorhome, you might be pleased to know that it is not dissimilar to owning a campervan. A motorhome is usually a little larger and slightly less manoeuvrable, but otherwise, it is a fairly comparable travel experience. However, a little preparation is called for to avoid unwanted surprises.  

Here are our five suggestions on how to have a smooth trip. 

Plan Your Itinerary

When you travel by car, arriving in a new city and then sorting out a hotel booking is usually quite a simple process. However, motorhome owners need to be better prepared than this. First of all, you will require more time to reach your destination. Tight roads and sharp turn-offs will be harder to manage if you’re a new motorhome driver. Because of this, it’s beneficial to check the route beforehand so you don’t get stuck. 

Stick to Tried and True Routes If You’re New to Motorhome Driving

If you are new to travelling with a motorhome, it’s a good idea to stick to tried and true places. These have been used by motorhome owners before. They will present fewer obstacles or at least they’ll be noted. Well-trodden routes might also include recommended campgrounds, eateries, and touristic places to visit locally. You can branch out with newfound confidence once you’re a week or more into your trip. Then you’ll feel encouraged to get off the beaten path (and you’ll be better prepared to do so). 

Motorhome driving along a scenic mountain road
Photo credit Alan Billyeald via Unsplash

Check All Systems Before You Leave

If your motorhome has been under a cover for a few months, don’t assume it’ll be all fine and dandy when you’re ready to leave. You’ll need to check the oil and run the engine to ensure it starts up. Also, you might want to verify that the starter battery is charged sufficiently, and if it isn’t, you can add a trickle charger overnight. Furthermore, if you have leisure domestic batteries inside to run any 12-volt appliances, check that these haven’t been depleted. If so, it could have damaged the battery cells. Lastly, check the tyre pressures, the heating, any fans, the generator, and the cooker. Once everything checks out, you’ll be all set. 

Use Campgrounds and Pub Overnighters

When you are travelling in a motorhome, you’ll want to make use of campgrounds that support larger vehicles. So, you want to make sure you can get in through the gate with enough clearance on either side and above. This is an often-overlooked aspect for access that’s you’re better off checking to avoid disappointment. 

Many campgrounds across the UK support motorhomes. They will have plenty of hardstanding pitches; some with electrical hook-ups and other facilities, others not. Many have playground areas for the kids to let off some steam and to give the parents a break. 

For travellers who plan to travel the UK for several weeks, campgrounds will also have dump stations to empty the waste tank as per regulations. Washroom facilities, a clubhouse or bar, and more are often provided. Many campgrounds are dog-friendly, whereas others might ask that you use a separate, fenced-off dog walking area.  

An alternative for self-sufficient travellers is to stop off at a pub car park. The car park is usually empty overnight, so these represent a nice additional revenue source for pubs. Don’t expect electrical hook-ups or other facilities typically found in a campground. Pubs may charge a nominal amount such as £5-20 per night to stay. Most will expect you to pop into the pub for a bite to eat or a pint when their prices are near the lower end. Some pubs now have official pub campgrounds providing more facilities that fit somewhere between a pub car park and an official campground. With self-contained living in a motorhome, these may allow you to extend your trip.   

Motorhomes in a caravan park at sunset
Photo credit Alan Billyeald via Unsplash

Avoid Wild Camping

Wild camping where the motorhome is parked overnight at a random spot is illegal in many parts of the UK. While some people still try to do it because it bypasses the cost of a campground or pub stopover, it risks falling foul of the law. A knock on the door at 3 AM isn’t fun for holidaymakers either. Manoeuvrability is always a bit tricky in a motorhome. The uneven or muddy ground at a park-up is not your friend and getting out of tight parking spots isn’t either. We’d recommend avoiding wild camping altogether.  

Get Affordable Motorhome Insurance

Getting the right type of cover with motorhome insurance is important. Otherwise, you may find that you’re less insured than believed. If you plan on taking turns to drive, don’t forget to include both of you on the policy. Also, be aware that with many motorhome insurance policies, contents insurance for valuables inside the motorhome isn’t included. Compare NI can source a reliable policy with this option included, so any damage or loss of valuables is covered too.

Planning ahead for a UK motorhome journey reduces the chances of unexpected problems arising. Then the holiday will be far more enjoyable.

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