Motorhome Advice & Guidance
Looking to buy your first motorhome? It can be a daunting prospect! Here are ten pieces of advice we give to every first-time buyer.
1: Driving licence
Firstly, the most important thing to know is what type of motorhome you can drive. You will need to look at your driving licence:
If you passed the test before 1st January 1997:
You can drive up to 7,500 kg but after 70 years old, you must submit a medical form in order to renew your licence.
If you passed the test after 1st January 1997:
you can drive a motorhome up to 3,500kg, if you want to drive a larger and heavier one, you need to pass a C1 test.
2: How big can you go?
Consider what the largest van you could comfortably drive would be. How long is your drive is and, if you plan to store your motorhome under cover, how high is your garage or carport? If you live near country lanes, consider a narrower panel van conversion.
3: Where can you park?
Check whether your home deeds or lease has a covenant preventing you from keeping your motorhome there. Ensure there are no parking bylaws before you leave it on the road. Also consider storage at a site. Look online for some motorhome friendly places to stop while on tour.
4: Choose the right layout for you
Look at different floor plans and consider how many belted travel seats and sleeping berths you need, whether you need a shower and a toilet, a fixed-bed or one you make up. Consider how your circumstances may change in the next few years.
5: ‘Likes’ and ‘must-haves’
Draw up a shortlist of preferences – any motorhome ‘must-haves’ (belted seats, beds over 6ft) and ‘would-be-nices’ (microwave, reversing camera). Be prepared to compromise on the ‘would-be-nices’, but not the must-haves.
6: Motorhome insurance
Having motorhome insurance is essential and it constitutes a legal requirement. There are many insurance providers on the market, and a large range of policies. In order to chose the best one for you, better think about all your needs: the level of cover you want, the number of drivers, the type of motorhome your have, how often are you planning to use your motorhome, how far are you planning to go.
7: Motorhome weight
Knowing your motorhome’s weight limits is vital before leaving for a trip. You must know the maximum Authorized Mass (MAM) of your motorhome and not exceed it. It is the maximum your motorhome is authorized to carry, including passengers and items.
While travelling one rule to remember: heavy items must be stored as close as possible to the floor.
8: Speed limits
Motorhomes are restricted to the following speed in UK:
- Build-up areas: 30 mph
- Single carriageways: 50 mph
- Dual carriageways: 60 mph
- Motorways: 70 mph
9: Seat belts
Laws mandating the wearing of seat belts in the rear of motorhomes can seem confusing. Motorhomes first registered on or after 20 October 2007 must have belts for front- and rear-facing travel berths. If a belt is fitted, it must be worn.
At the very least you should take toilet chemicals, grip mats, levelling ramps, a CO detector, a fire extinguisher, a torch, camping chairs and a basic tool kit for simple repairs and maintenance. Oh and don’t forget the wine!