So, you’ve decided to buy a motorhome…great decision! You’ve joined a growing family of people who love the freedom of motorhoming. The ability to get away spontaneously and change your mind half way there to go somewhere else is priceless.
But you probably already know that! Being a first time motorhomer is daunting, so we’re sharing our top motorhome tips for beginners…we all had to start somewhere!
Motorhome tips and hints for beginners is a huge subject and we’ve so much information to share about hot to motorhome that you might want to pin this post and save for later. Or, head back to the general Motorhome Advice page for information about other aspects of motorhome life.
Choosing & Buying a Motorhome
There are hundreds of different models of motorhome available and thousands on the market at any given time. If you are buying new, or nearly new, head to the shows organised by Out & About Live, where you will be able to check out new models and the design and build quality of the various brands.
Consider renting a motorhome to test out how you like the lifestyle. A week or two is ideal to really get a feel for what its like living in a motorhome. You can find out all you need to know about hiring a motorhome in our step-by-step guide.
Look for information about particular models in motorhome magazines, on Facebook, where there are a number of motorhome groups, including ours where you will find motorhome advice and campervan tips for beginners. Understand the pros and cons of owning a motorhome in the uk and read our posts about reasons for choosing a motorhome and buying a motorhome. This will help you understand how to get the right motorhome for your needs.
If you’re buying a motorhome for the first time and just don’t know where to start, then why not check out our motorhome finding service?
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.
Top motorhome tip for beginners – if you’re buying second hand from eBay (a good place to look for used motorhomes) or any other method, be sure that you understand how scams work before parting with any cash. We have safely bought two motorhomes via eBay and it’s a great place to search, just be aware that not every advert on this type of platform will be legit. Make sure you get a habitation and damp check done independently, this will assure you that everything in the habitation area of the motorhome works and that you won’t have to pay what can be huge sums of money to have damp repaired. It’s important you have this done independently, as checks can be falsified. A motorhome damp and habitation check will cost somewhere in the region of £150 depending on where you are in the country; it will be the best money you spend in your search for the perfect second-hand motorhome.
If you’re buying a used motorhome from a dealer, be aware that not all motorhome dealers are created equal! Some have dreadful reputations; again Facebook is a great source of information so check out your dealer on some of the forums. Make sure you get a warranty included in the deal if at all possible. This will give you some comeback if anything goes wrong.
If you’re buying a new or used motorhome from a dealer, use a credit card to pay for the deposit or part of the deposit. This will ensure you are covered under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act in case of the dealer going bankrupt or there being a problem with your motorhome. This does not apply to used motorhomes bought via Ebay because any credit card payment you make would have to be made through Paypal, which invalidates the Section 75 protection.
If you are buying your motorhome privately, make sure you are happy that the seller is genuine, particularly if you are using eBay or another auction type site. If it’s too good to be true, it probably is! Get an HPI check done on the motorhome to make sure it’s finance free and hasn’t been written off. If possible, get someone with some motorhome knowledge to go with you to view; you may want to check all the systems, such as heating, solar charge, hot water etc etc do actually work (although a ham check will also assess this). You should also arrange for the engine part of the motorhome to be inspected or checked over by a mechanic if there is no or only limited service history.
Top motorhome tip for beginners – never, ever pay for a motorhome or place a deposit until you have viewed and are 100% happy. It sounds obvious, but people get caught out all the time.
Use our buying a used motorhome checklist to help you on the day you view. It’s got a comprehensive list of everything you should be looking at, and a handy reminder of the important points above.
Also, think about where you will store your motorhome when you’re not using it. What are its dimensions? Will it fit on your drive? You may also want to consider secure motorhome storage, which is an added cost, but means your motorhome is extremely unlikely to be stolen. Wherever you store it when not in use, you should consider security options including alarms, trackers, immobilisers and physical security. This is a good article from the Camping & Caravanning Club about motorhome security.
When you collect your new motorhome, make sure you get a thorough handover from the dealer or private seller. Understand how the systems work, what switch does what, where the spare wheel and locking wheel nut are and where to locate the fuses.
Top motorhome tip for beginners – this is probably the second most expensive purchase you will make after buying a house, so be patient and take your time to get it right.
Check out the links below to find out more about different types of motorhomes and the equipment and options available. It is worth considering sat nav’s and TV’s at this stage, as they can be expensive to retro-fit or replace.
Choosing a motorhome or campervan is one of the biggest buying decisions you’ll ever make and high on lots of people’s bucket list. Read our buyers guide to make sure that when you choose a motorhome or van, it’s the perfect motorhome for you!
The motorhome equipment & options available to you when you buy a new or second-hand motorhome can be bewildering. Just like choosing your motorhome, what equipment you need/choose will be determined by how you’re going to use your motorhome. Full-timers will probably want heating and a full bathroom set-up…if you’re spending 2 – 4 weeks a year on holiday, you may want to spend the money on something else!
Whether you holiday or full-time, tv in your motorhome is probably a necessity. You may not watch much, but when it’s raining or you fancy a duvet day, being able to curl up with a great film is one of life’s pleasures. Our guide has all the information you need on how to get tv in a motorhome.
Wifi and internet in our motorhome is essential. Researching, blogging, social media and keeping in touch means connectivity to wifi and internet is critical for us. Whether you’re a motorhome beginner, a full-time motorhomer looking to work from your camper or somewhere in between, this easy guide to motorhome wifi and internet on the road is for you.
Are you confused about motorhome electrics? How do motorhomes work? What is the difference between mains electricity and batteries? What does a solar panel and inverter do and do I need a generator? And how do I get power without EHU? Don’t be confused, this easy guide to your motorhome electrical systems explains it all.
What Motorhome Accessories Do You Need?
Motorhome purchased and sitting happily on your drive (or in secure storage!), now what? Well, you need to kit it out; some of that will be what you already use at home but you will need some specialist motorhome accessories too.
Clever storage will give you more bang for your buck, if you can be organised about where things are this will also help. This helpful post has loads of tips for clothes storage and organisation in your motorhome.
Read about motorhome weights to understand the importance of careful packing!
Top motorhome tip for beginners – once packed, and before your first trip, head off to the weighbridge with a half tank full of water and fuel, your gas bottles full and make sure you’re within your vans weight allowance. If not, head home and re-think your packing strategy!
Our essential motorhome kit list will give you an idea of what you need and our gadgets post and cooking post will help make motorhome life a little easier. These are our motorhome must haves in the UK and abroad..all have been tried and tested by us.
Deciding what to take on your motorhome road trip is hard; it can make or break a holiday. This essential motorhome packing list has all of the top things you need for a motorhome along with a packing list for you to print. Go on, get packing!
If you love motorhoming then you’ll know that having the right kit makes all the difference. Check out our pick of the best and most useful motorhome gadgets tried and tested by us over 18 months of full-time motorhome life.
Living in a Motorhome
If you are driving a motorhome or campervan for the first time, both the Camping and Caravanning Club and the Caravan Club offer courses on manoeuvring with confidence. You should also consider comfort and your back when driving a motorhome, check out this post on tips to avoid back pain from driving by The Road Trip Expert.
Top motorhome tip for beginners – have a bit of a ‘shake out’ before heading off on your first campervan trip. Whether this means a weekend on a site somewhere, a proper motorhome holiday or a few nights on your drive in the motorhome, you will be thankful you did!
Motorhomes are complex bits of kit, especially if you have newer technology. It can take a bit of time and trial and error to understand how everything in your vehicle works together. What do you need battery power for (and which battery!)? How do you keep the fridge cold? When do you need EHU? If you’re wondering why your solar is not charging at 11pm, then you’ve got some work to do! Our easy guide to motorhome electrics will help.
Take time to work through the motorhome manual. If you don’t have one look online, or contact the motorhome manufacturer or the dealer. Failing that, see who else has your make and model on Facebook and make contact. That quirky little red switch under the fridge might suddenly make sense!
Top motorhome tip for beginners – make sure to take your manual with you so that you have something to refer to if you have a problem when away; this is honestly one of the best tips for a first time motorhome trip!
This great You Tube video from Thetford shows you how to empty your toilet cassette; your’s may look slightly different but all motorhome loo’s fundamentally work in the same way. There’s also information below about managing your water and waste, how to stop smells and condensation in your motorhome and how to stay safe, particularly important if you’re heading to a foreign country.
Top motorhome tip for beginners – always fully uncoil your electrical hook up lead. Leaving them coiled can lead to overheating a potentially cause a fire.
Spend the time now and you will head off on your first motorhome trip knowing your van, and with everything you need to kick back, relax and have an amazing time.
In a motorhome, there’s no plumbing to take everything away, or fill everything up again. Your motorhome toilet, waste and water has to be managed on an almost daily basis. This easy guide to motorhome toilets, waste and water systems will explain how it all works.
How to Plan a Motorhome Road Trip
Your motorhome is bought and kitted out, you’ve spent a weekend working out how to boil the kettle and empty the toilet cassette; you’re ready for the off!
Where are you going? Well that depends really on how long you have, how many miles you want to drive and what you want to spend. You could be planning a six month tour of the warmer parts of Europe, a two week roadtrip in Scotland or Christmas in Norway…that is totally the beauty of motorhoming!
We’ve got loads of information about motorhomes destinations and how to tour Europe in a motorhome to inspire you. We’ve also got a lot of information on how to plan a motorhome road trip and motorhome camping tips; wild camping is our personal favourite way to stay anywhere in our motorhome. Check out these resources and get planning!
Who’s ready for a motorhome trip? Researching and planning motorhome trips can take a lot of research, or none at all depending on how you want to travel. Find out how to plan an epic motorhome road trip in our ultimate guide complete with step by step road trip planner.
Do you want to wild camp in your motorhome? Already wild camping in your motorhome? Then read on for top tips and advice about how to wild camp in a motorhome and get off the beaten track like an expert!
Want to tour Europe in your motorhome? Why wouldn’t you? There is enough culture, nature and diversity in Europe to last a lifetime; touring round in a motorhome seems like an awesome idea! We’re here to help you research your motorhome tour of Europe with practical motorhome information, destination specific advice tailored to motorhomes, tips and hacks about motorhome life on the road and loads of other useful stuff!
That’s it folks, that’s all our top motorhome tips and tricks for the UK and abroad! Enjoy your motorhome or campervan; for us it is by far the best way to travel and see the incredible world we live in. We hope you feel the same way too!
We love answering questions! If you need more information or something is not clear, please drop us an email and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can!
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