Marcus Leach and his family are embarking on a motorhome trip of Europe, with the plan being to visit 25 countries across three continents. In part two of the series, he talks us through the crucial steps to carry out when you’re preparing for your European motorhome tour…
With European travel very much back on the cards this year, many of us are planning to head across the Channel, ready to broaden our horizons as we go in search of new experiences. For a large number of newer motorhome owners, the very thought of heading overseas for the first time might seem a little daunting, but it needn’t be, so long as you are prepared.
The secret to a successful European motorhome tour, or any trip for that matter, lies in properly preparing, and there’s nothing like a comprehensive ‘to do’ list to ensure that you are prepped and ready to hit the road. Never has that been more relevant for ourselves than right now as the departure date for our Big European Odyssey draws ever closer, and as it does the number of packing and to do lists seems to grow by the day.
We might be heading off for a new life in our motorhome, but regardless of the duration of your trip the following checklists will help ensure that you set yourselves up for a brilliant and (hopefully) worry-free time away.
Preparing for a European motorhome tour – what to take:
Let’s start with the mandatory items that you will be needing, some required by law, for European travel.
- Hi-vis jackets: one for each member of your party, including children
- Headlight beam convertors: fitted in advance of travel
- Warning triangle: in case of breakdown
- UK sticker: newer vehicles will have this on their number plate, but older ones will require a sticker and it must be UK now that we have left the EU.
- First aid kit
Like it or not if you are heading to Europe you will need a certain amount of paperwork, including the following…
- A valid and up-to-date passport
- A valid and up-to-date driver’s licence
- International Driving Licence (easily obtained at your local Post Office for less than £5)*
- Motorhome insurance documents
- Proof of breakdown cover (such as Red Pennant)
- Personal travel insurance
- Motorhome V5 log book
*not essential in all European countries, but given how cheap and easy it is to acquire, it’s better to have it and not need it than be found wanting.
Essential items checklist
We all differ when it comes to packing our motorhomes, but we believe these are essential items to take with you to ensure that you have a great time away.
- Caravan and Motorhome Club membership card: There is a large network of sites in Europe that CAMC members can get discounted prices for, so remember to take your membership card with you.
- Portable power pack: We all travel with various devices these days, often relying on them for navigation, so don’t run the risk of losing power when you need it most.
- LPG gas convertors: Depending where in Europe you’re going, and how reliant on your gas you are, you will need a convertor in order to refill your bottles. Or you can always have a GasLow system fitted.
- A pack of cards: Never underestimate the usefulness of a pack of cards to help entertain children and adults alike with a variety of games.
- Motorhome specific sat-nav: Not all roads are suitable for motorhomes, as we have learnt the hard way in Cornwall, so it pays to have a sat nav, such as Garmin Camper 1090, that is motorhome specific. If you’re on the hunt for a new one, be sure to take a look at our best motorhome sat-nav round-up.
Pre-tour vehicle maintenance
The easiest way to ensure a smooth, worry-free trip away is to do a quick but thorough check of your motorhome before departure, including things such as tyre pressure, oil levels, brake fluid and seeing that all your external lights are in working order. This is especially important if you haven’t driven your motorhome in a while, during which time something might have happened that is far easier to fix before setting off than when on the road.
In addition to following the Big European Odyssey through Practical Motorhome you can keep an eye on Marcus and Kim’s motorhome tour of Europe through their own social media channels @marcusleachglobal and @our.roaming.odyssey on Instagram, @MarcusGLeach on Twitter and @OurRoamingOdyssey on YouTube.
- If you’re planning a UK tour instead, be sure to take a look at our guide to the best motorhome sites, where we reveal the top locations to stay at.
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