Is motorhome ownership for me? Should I buy a campervan? We’ll take an honest look at the pros and cons of owning a motorhome in UK and Europe, so you can decide whether motorhome or campervan ownership is right for you.
Motorhome Ownership - Is it Right for Me?
If you’re thinking of taking the leap into motorhome ownership, then you’re in the right place to work out whether to go ahead or not. After your house, your own motorhome is perhaps the biggest purchase you’ll make in your lifetime, so it’s really important that you get it right.
Motorhome and campervan ownership isn’t right for everyone. We know people who’ve bought a motorhome and within a month have decided to sell it again because they hated the lifestyle and hadn’t thought about the pros and cons of campervan life. If you haven’t already, we would highly recommend renting a motorhome for a couple of weeks to see how you feel about the space and lifestyle. This will also help you work out what’s important for you when it comes to actually choosing a motorhome. Check out our complete guide to hiring a motorhome before you take this initial step.
The Pros & Cons of Having a Camper
The Advantages of Owning a Motorhome
- Motorhome travel means you can go wherever you like, whenever you like.
- You’ll never have to pay for another holiday again!
- Your motorhome is your home from home, familiar and with all your home comforts around you.
- You can wild or free camp meaning you don’t even have to pay for sites and can see some amazing and remote places right from your doorstep. Waste facilities and fresh water are readily available at garages and supermarkets in Europe for a few euros.
- You’ll meet loads of likeminded people on your travels, motorhoming has a large and genuinely friendly community, always ready to help or lend a hand.
- You can take holidays spontaneously or head off for the weekend, after deciding on Friday afternoon you fancy a break.
- Packing is much easier, you can carry more stuff and leave things you use regularly on holiday in the motorhome.
- You can live in a motorhome (and yes, you can live in a motorhome full-time in the UK). Full-time motorhome life may not be for you, but your motorhome can be a spare room for visitors or used as temporary accommodation if you’re having work done to your house.
- Your motorhome fridge is mighty handy at Christmas or for summer parties when you need lots of cold beers!
- Your vehicle is self-contained so you can go for off-grid wild camping holidays and road trips and have a shower!
- You can work in your motorhome. Become a digital nomad or turn it into an office on your drive.
- You will be more active as a family….holidaying or living in a motorhome brings you into contact with the great outdoors.
- You’ll sit down to meals together with your family without distractions.
- You can take your pet on holiday.
- You will naturally live with less stuff, simply because you don’t have the room to do otherwise.
- You lifestyle will become more sustainable as you realise the amount of water you use. Water conservation becomes a habit when you have to find fresh H2O every time you drain the tank.
- You can slow travel, absorbing cultures and countries as you go.
- You’ll make friends for life.
- Owning a campervan means you can go to festivals and not have to share the portaloos!
- You’ll be making your dream come true and very probably changing your life!
The Disadvantages of Owning a Motorhome
- Motorhomes (RV’s or recreational vehicles in the USA) are expensive to buy.
- Motorhome insurance, tax and annual MOT’s, as well as regular servicing, damp and habitation checks can make owning a motorhome costly on an ongoing basis. But think what you’ll save on holidays!
- Small motorhomes can feel cramped and you may have to sacrifice a fixed bed for living space, or vice versa. Your kitchen area will be small. If you’re a gourmet chef, you’ll struggle and might not even have an oven, one of the disadvantages of campervan life. We say cook outside!
- Wild camping in the UK can be very difficult and is not embraced as it is in Europe, with lots of motorhome rules in UK to prevent free camping and a lack of services, other than at campsites. Often you will find height restrictions or signage forbidding parking and overnight camping. Be clever, use an app like Park4Night and follow these wild camping guidelines for easy free camping in UK, or head to Europe!
- You may need to have your motorhome in storage if you do not have space at your home. Depending on where you live, your insurance company may insist on this. But, this does mean your pride and joy is safe and your insurance premium will be less.
- You can’t nip to the shops or go to work everyday in your motorhome (not easily anyway); it may spend a lot of time sitting idle. But thats good for its longevity!
- If you’re heading off on holiday for a couple of weeks, you’ll have no easy means of getting around if you stay on a campsite. You’ll need bikes, a tow car or access to public transport. Maybe owning a caravan is a better option, you’ll still gain a lot of the benefits of motorhome ownership.
- Motorhomes are quite complex with electrical and water systems that are expensive to fix if they go wrong. New motorhomes can be prone to snagging, buying a used motorhome means most of the issues will be sorted (but have it throughly checked before you commit).
- Some one has to empty the loo every two or three days. The good news is that you do get used to the smell!
- Take off the rose coloured specs! Driving off into the sunset in a motorhome together for anything longer than a couple of weeks won’t cure your relationship….it will probably exacerbate any issues you may have.
- There won’t be a dishwasher, well not a mechanical one you load up at least!
- Owning a motorhome won’t turn you into a beach blond surfer with abs to die for and a cute bum. Sorry.
So, Is Owning a Motorhome Worth It?
Absolutely! The freedom of the open road, being able to chase the sun and take off whenever you like makes motorhome ownership one of the best things we have ever done and it’s fair to say it has completely changed our lives for the better, in so many ways.
If you are decided that a motorhome is right for you and understand the pros and cons of having a camper, you may find these resources helpful. If you’ve got any questions at all, please email us, we’re happy to share all our motorhome tips for beginners with you.
If you’re wondering when is the best month to buy a used motorhome, whether its cheaper to buy a motorhome in Europe or you want more information about the best motorhomes to buy used, then we can help! Before going off and buying a motorhome on eBay, check out our unique motorhome finding service, designed to help people buying a motorhome for the first time.
We’ve been travelling and living in a motorhome for two years across Europe and in the UK. You can find out more about us and our life in our motorhome blog, where we share motorhome tips, destination information and road trip ideas.