Get up and go! It's the freedom which has made John McMahon and family fall in love with touring – and motorhome hire was the perfect starting point

We’re not a camping family.

We just didn’t do tents and self-catering, preferring the luxury of a hotel room.

But we do like to be able to head off at short notice.

And we were touring the Champagne region of France by car, and taking hotel city breaks, when we decided we wanted to try a motorhome.

The best-laid plans…

We were tired of being overcharged for food and drinks, and the girls weren’t enjoying the car journeys.

Motorhome hire was also cheaper than a hotel.

As it was our first tour and peak season, we decided to prebook campsites.

Then we collected the ’van, loaded up and headed for Dover.

Getting in the groove

The space and lofty driving position were great, while cold drinks on tap and a stocked larder appeased the girls.

The first day was very hot and, sticking to our itinerary, we eventually made it to our campsite.

It wasn’t as nice as it looked online. We decided to scrap the itinerary and leave things to chance.

We discovered France Passion vineyards, found great campsites and learned about aires.

We barbecued every night, rode our bikes and drank champagne.

We were free to do as we pleased.

Never looked back!

The next year, we rented a classic Hymer to tour the Loire Valley.

This time we had France Passion membership cards, and guidebooks on aires and campsites.

We almost chopped the top off the Hymer in a low tunnel in Rouen, after following car sat-nav instructions – we held up traffic while attempting a 20-point turn.

But we explored vineyards and chateaux, and wild camped for the first time.

Since then, we have hired a motorhome every summer.

We love the freedom of a motorhome holiday – it’s just so easy. Hopefully some day soon we’ll be able to buy our own ’van!