There is a huge choice of touring parks throughout the UK where you can stay for a night, a week or more. See our Find a Park section. Some popular tourist areas have dedicated motorhome bays, although the time you can spend in them may be limited. Council car parks may allow parking of motorhomes overnight, but usually prohibit sleeping within the vehicle. Motorway service station parking may also have time restrictions. Watch out for height restrictions, particularly in multi-storey car parks. For more information, visit www.motorhomeparking.co.uk. It is important to note that â€˜Wildâ€™ camping is not permitted in England.
Motorhomes offer excellent performance for their size and weight. Diesel power, which is used for the majority of vehicles today, offers good fuel efficiency.
The supplying dealer may arrange this for you. If not, the manufacturerâ€™s appointed dealer for the vehicle on which the motorhome is based will be able to look after the mechanical side. For the â€˜living areaâ€™ we would recommend you visit the www.approvedworkshops.co.uk web site where you can search by postcode for your nearest centre and be sure that the work will be undertaken by trained and experienced professionals. The Approved Workshop Scheme is run by the NCC and supported by The Caravan Club and The Camping and Caravanning Club.
An MOT is required on a motorhome after three years, just like a car. Many MOT testing stations will be able to do this for you, although in some cases you may need to go to a commercial vehicle testing station where they have the capacity and equipment for larger vehicles.
Most motorhomes have leisure batteries which can service most needs overnight and are recharged when on the move. Your motorhome will also be equipped with a mains connector and the majority of parks now allow for these. The use of an electrical hook-up will facilitate re-charging the on-board battery and allow the use of low current mains powered appliances.
All but the smallest parks will now offer electrical hook up points, though not necessarily on all pitches. You are advised to contact a park in advance of your visit to ensure availability.
Either ask your dealer or request a free copy of "The Caravan Towing Guide"™ published by the National Caravan Council via the contact form. It contains an explanation of terminology used for caravans and motorhomes.
Payload is the weight allowed for items you add to the motorhome for personal use and must not be exceeded. This generally covers clothes, food, awning and bicycle rack etc. The allowed payload is the difference between the Maximum Technically Permissible Laden Mass (MTPLM) and the Mass in Running Order (MRO). Your dealer will be able to advise about the payload of a particular vehicle. There is also a useful leaflet explaining about payloads on the NCC website.
Correct loading technique is extremely important to ensure that your motorhome is safe and stable on the road. The manufacturer's handbook will advise on how to use your motorhome - keep it light, keep it low and keep it even is always good advice. If you are in any doubt, consult your dealer.
The recommended size and type of cylinder you should use will be in the motorhome manufacturer's handbook. In most cases, the gas cylinder compartment will have been sized to suit a particular cylinder and you must follow the maker's guidelines. If you are able to carry a bigger (and consequently heavier) cylinder, the additional weight will need to be subtracted from your payload. Ensure that you have a compatible gas connection hose to connect to the regulator inlet. Flammable liquids must not be stored in the gas cylinder locker.
Your dealer will advise on the range of optional extras that are applicable to the motorhome of your choice. Again, the additional weight of any optional extras will need to be subtracted from the available payload for your personal belongings.
It is important to ensure that the motorhome has been thoroughly serviced to avoid risk of breakdown and that all the necessary paperwork, such as insurance documentation and overseas medical cover is up to date and covers all the aspects of your planned holiday. For advice on LEZ throughout Europe see the LEZ FAQ below. You may also wish to arrange overseas breakdown and vehicle repatriation cover in advance of your trip, enabling you to travel with peace of mind.
Other countries may have different restrictions on driving motorhomes - you should investigate these thoroughly before travelling. You will need to have the appropriate headlight conversions, warning triangle etc, as required by the country you are visiting. Both the consumer Clubs assist their members with advice on driving abroad - see The Caravan Club and The Camping and Caravanning Club websites. For advice on LEZ in Europe see the LEZ FAQ below. Don't forget to carry a breathalyser in France.
If you are travelling through a town where a congestion charge applies, you will need to pay it beforehand, on the day of travel or the following charging day. For more information visit the Transport for London website.
The third phase of the LEZ came into effect from10 October 2010. If your motorhome is between 2.5 and 3.5 tonnes gross vehicle weight you will have to pay the daily charge, visit www.tfl.gov.uk for more information. For advice on LEZ if you are travelling in mainland Europe go to www.lowemissionzones.eu Don't forget to carry a breathalyser in France.
Manufacturers order base vehicles specific to their build. These come with "camping" tyres, specifically designed for the application conditions encountered by leisure vehicles, including standing for long periods. They are different from tyres used on normal commercial vans. These types of tyre are not usually available from tyre dealers "off the shelf" and may need to be ordered in. They must be fitted with bolt-in valves in view of the higher pressures.