If you’re new to the motorhome as a recreational pastime, you might find the following FAQs and answers useful.
What’s the difference between a motorhome and a caravan?
A motorhome is usually a vehicle on a single chassis. It contains both all the traditional road vehicle technology but also accommodation on the same chassis too.
A caravan is usually an entirely separate framework sitting on its own chassis. It is towed behind a vehicle.
There are some relatively unusual hybrids which are a motorhome that tows a caravan-type unit behind it as an extension. Even there, legally speaking, they are two separate entities.
Can I import a motorhome from the USA?
Yes and no.
In principle you can and some people do but the vehicle must conform to UK compliance standards and be legally registered here. Note that some larger motorhomes in the USA would be illegal in the UK and could not be used here.
Is it cheaper to buy second-hand?
Typically yes but perhaps less so than you might think – excluding very old motorhomes that is.
By and large, motorhomes hold their values far better than the typical motorcar. So, a 2-3 year old one might not be vastly cheaper than a brand new one of the same make and model etc. (assuming it was in good condition).
This is another reason why motorhomes are so attractive.
Will I need a new driving licence?
Possibly – this can be a little complicated.
Basically, if you’re contemplating a motorhome over 7.5tonnes then yes, you will need a category C3 licence.
If you passed your test before 1st January 1997, you may be able to drive a motorhome up to 7.5tonnes. If you passed after that date, you can only drive up 3.5tonnes before needing a category C1 licence.
There is a government onsite look-up where you can check what you’re allowed to drive based on your actual licence.
Where should I buy a second-hand motorhome from?
Your choice broadly breaks down into two at the highest level:
- buying privately from an existing owner;
- sourcing one from an established expert in motorhome sales(i.e. a dealer).
No motorhome faqs could possibly make specific recommendations to you. A lot will depend upon where you live and your own attitudes to life.
One of the main obvious differences is that if you’re using a recognised dealer, you should expect a quality pre-inspected motorhome and possibly certain guarantees and post-sales support. You also have perhaps rather better protection under law than if you’re buying privately.
If you are buying privately, remember to conduct all the proof of ownership and right to sell checks. Buying a motorhome that the seller doesn’t legally own, could be a catastrophically expensive mistake.
Can I take a motorhome abroad?
Yes. This is absolutely not a problem but you should make sure that you have adequate motorhome insurance cover.
Remember many policies state “EU cover”, so if you’re planning to drive outside of the EU (e.g. into Ukraine) then your cover may be at risk.
It’s also a smart idea to brush-up on the road rules of the country or countries you’re visiting.
What are the sites and pitches like?
In the UK, just as abroad, the quality varies.
The majority of sites in the UK today have very good or excellent facilities though some can still be a little more basic or if you prefer, natural.
There are plenty of good reference sites online to check objective reviews of any site before you book in.