IT’S NO SURPRISE that people are attracted to the self-contained nature of a motorhome holiday – the fact that the accommodation is yours and not shared with anyone else, makes it easier to maintain social distancing.
Whatever your reasons for wanting to try a motorhome holiday, you’ve made a fantastic choice. A motorcaravanning adventure is a great way of travelling the country and reconnecting with nature and there are some amazing sites to enjoy in fantastic locations.
Motorhome holidays are also proving hugely popular with all generations, families, couples and solo travellers, and are especially good for those who like to travel with their pets.
And don’t think you have to rough it. Yes, some sites are basic, but others are packed with facilities – from luxury washrooms (although some of you might prefer to use your own in-motorhome facilities) to multi-functional gyms and leisure centres. Whatever you’re looking for, there truly is a site that is perfect for you.
No doubt you have a lot of questions: What’s the motorhome for me? Can I drive a motorhome? Where are the best motorhome sites? Here, we aim to answer them all and provide some top tips for your first time out on the roads
We hope you enjoy your return to or first time motorcaravanning and recommend you use the many useful links and resources available on this website. Be sure to check out our Forum where you can chat with likeminded people, ask advice and share top tips and insights. And check out our excellent feature 20 top tips – how to get into motorcaravanning which is packed full of expert advice. Happy motorcaravanning!
Join a motorhome club
One way in which you can find out a lot more about caravanning and become part of the community is to join one of the many caravanning clubs – the two largest national clubs being the Camping and Caravanning Club and the Caravan and Motorhome Club (formerly the Caravan Club). Both of these organisations will provide you with access to several member benefits including access to sites and membership discounts on site stays, insurance and breakdown cover and access to driver training.
The Camping and Caravanning Club was formed in 1901 and now has more than 700,000 members – membership costs £41-£47 a year. Benefits include:
• Club shop with exclusive discounts for members
• Free car and caravan matching service
• Manoeuvring and B+E training courses
• StaNav campsites points of interest file
• Club publications
The Caravan and Motorhome Club was formed in 1907 and membership costs £54 a year. Benefits include:
• The largest network of over 2,700 sites and locations in the UK and Europe
• Members save £140 on average per year on site pitch fees when staying at Club sites
• Great savings on over 1,000 UK attractions, whether you’re touring or at home
• Save up to 50% on Club site pitch fees for each night’s stay
Driving a motorhome
Big shows are a great place to try your hand at motorhome manoeuvring if you’re not feeling particularly confident about what you’re doing.
If you fancy giving it a go this autumn, why not get in touch with one of these organisations? They can give you expert tuition, whether you’re a newbie or simply want to refresh your skills.
A motorhome manoeuvring course is available from the Camping and Caravanning Club. You’ll be instructed on how to reverse and drive a large vehicle safely, as well as being given advice on loading and securing your kit before you hit the road.
The Caravan and Motorhome Club motorhome manoeuvring course teaches you the principles of driving a larger vehicle, including moving backwards and forwards, safety checks, and much more.
One thing to note is that if you passed your driving test after 1997, your total outfit weight is limited to 3500kg. If you want a heavier ‘van, you’ll have to take a test to get your ‘E’ entitlement, which will allow you to drive an outfit of up to 7500kg.
Types of motorhomes and brands
If you’re looking to buy a motorhome, it pays to do your research. A new motorhome is a significant purchase. Fortunately, there is plenty of choice and many excellent motorhome brands out there, so have a look in Hall 1 for British-built motorhomes and Hall 2 for Continental manufacturers here at the Van Live! Practical Caravan & Motorhome Virtual Show.
Also here in Hall 6, our experts will be running through round-ups of the best performers in certain categories, such as the best motorhomes for families, or check out our full selection of Buying Guides, where you can see the best models based on number of berths, price and other factors in many different categories..
Take the time to familiarise yourself with what’s out there and what would best suit you. It’s also well worth reading our individual reviews of the very latest models; we add new reviews regularly.
Whether you’re looking to buy new or used there are plenty of options with large network software dealers across the country. Exhibitions like Van Live! are also a great way of seeing lots of different models and meeting dealers and manufacturers. Head to Hall 3 to see dealerships exhibiting at Van Live!
Or you could consider hiring a van – try out a couple of different models before deciding on a big purchase.
Motorhome campsites and motorhome parks
When you’ve got a whole country worth of sites to choose from it’s difficult to know where to start, but your first stop should be travel section where you can see all our night stop listings. Keep an eye out for the new Top 100 Sites Guide, published annually and distributed free with Practical Motorhome. Choose from the best 100 sites as voted for by the public across 12 regions.
You’re in Hall 6 Advice Lounge & Event Theatre at Van Live! Spring 2021. See what else is happening on stage, or take me to the Show Guide.
A motorcaravanning adventure is a great way of travelling the country and reconnecting with nature and there are some amazing sites to enjoy in fantastic locations.