First Time Buyers
Over the last ten years motorhomes have made significant strides in many areas, such as construction, insulation, heating and interior design. All of these combined mean that it really can be your home from home with all mod cons, giving you warmth and comfort wherever you are. Many modern motorhomes even come with handy charging points so you can keep your mobile devices charged during your stay away.
The kitchen in a modern motorhome is well-engineered to make the best possible use of space available. First time buyers will be very impressed with the amount of cupboard space available. Most motorhomes come with a built in microwave, cooker with hob and oven, fridge, and a sink with mixer tap. Modern washrooms contain quality sanitaryware and a good shower.
Before you decide on your dream motorhome you’ll want to know which type is a good match for your family and lifestyle. Here we cover some key questions to help you get on the road.
Types of motorhomes:
Panel van conversions are built inside the shell of a standard panel van.
Coachbuilt motorhomes are built on a van chassis and offer good internal space for couples or a larger families.
Low-line as the name suggested these have a streamlined front overcab pod which usually houses a storage locker
High-line these have a raised overcab pod, sometimes known as a luton, that houses an overcab double bed
Integrated these have a slightly elevated overcab pod that usually allows for a clever drop down bed at the front
If you passed your driving test before 1 January 1997 (and you’re not 70 yet) you generally automatically have a category C1 licence entitling you to drive a vehicle up to 7,500Kg maximum authorised mass (MAM) – the MTPLM of the motorhome.
If you passed your driving test after 1 January 1997 and have an ordinary category B licence, you can drive a vehicle up to 3,500kg MAM towing a trailer of up to 750kg MAM
If you want to drive a heavier motorhome (up to 7,500kg) you will need to take an additional test to add the C1 category to your licence
If you are over 70, at this point you need to renew your driving licence and if you use the standard renewal procedure you will lose your C1 entitlement allowing you to drive a motorhome between 3,500kg and 7,500kg. To avoid this you will need to ask your GP to fill in a medical report form D4, for which you may incur a charge.
Will your motorhome be your only vehicle and be used as a car replacement?
If your answer is yes, then a van conversion is probably best suited for you
Where will you store your motorhome?
Consider the height and width and any restrictions you may have at your home
Will you do full-timing, weekends only, wild camping, campsites only, lots of rural driving, lots of static camping?
If you plan to stay mainly on dedicated camping site, you can get away with a basic motorhome as most sites have excellent onsite facilities. However if you plan to roam and stay in more remote place, you will want a greater degree of comfort and facilities on board
Will you travel all year round?
If you plan to travel all-year round you will want to make sure your motorhome has excellent insulation.
Does your driving licence cover you to drive a motorhome?
Depending on when you passed your driving test and the size and weight of the vehicle you may need to take a separate licence – see the Driving licence section
How many people will you usually take on holiday with you?
Consider if you need rear seats with travelling belts
How many berths (sleeping accommodation) will be required?
What are the number of adults and children staying in the motorhome?
Think about the travelling, seating and sleeping configurations you need:
Do you need a double bed or two single beds?
Do you need the bed to be fixed or pull-out?
Do you require bunk beds for children?
How many people will be seated around the table? Do you need two separate areas or one main area?
Will you prefer an end or side kitchen?
Will you want a layout with an ensuite washroom or a centre washroom easily accessible to all?
Storing your motorhome
Another key factor to consider is storage, for when your motorhome is not in use.
If you have space and want to store your motorhome at home things to consider are:
Check that there are no obvious height problems
Check your local bylaws because there may be restrictions
Think about the security of your motorhome if it is parked on a driveway
If you are not fortunate enough to have space at home things to consider are:
Cost-effective options, such as finding a local storage centre. It would be worth having a look in your local area to identify who offers a motorhome storage service. We recommend that you check where it will be stored and check that the area is secure and what security measure they have in place. Find out what their policies and procedures are, for example can you access your motorhome at any time or are there closing hours, or do you need to contact them in advance to access your motorhome. You would also want to know about insurance and costs.
*Photo Credit- Burtoncaravansales