What should I know before owning a motorhome? As always, we are here to help you!

We have hired these out before, on a try before you buy basis to help us make our mind up on layouts and whether it is better than a caravan. We ended up purchasing a caravan as that suited us better at the time, however we are looking at bringing one onto our fleet in 2025

Any advice given below are our own personal views and experience and we can not be held responsible for any decisions you make. Everyone rightly has an opinion and may agree/disagree with us. We just want to help people understand what we have experienced and we are still learning everyday!

  • PRO'S

    • Lots of variety with setups, customisation and vehicle sizes
    • You can park these anywhere and camp for the night
    • Decent sized kitchen counters, fridge/freezer, oven, hob, microwave for meal times
    • Toilet and shower when some sites facilities were not as nice as you'd like them to be!
    • Easy to convert from daytime to night time and vice versa
    • Adding an awning makes it so much roomier
  • CON'S

    • Some of the larger campervans require a different licence to drive (C1)
    • These are longer and wider than you think, so need to pay attention, especially on narrow roads
    • Not all sites can take a motorhome, especially the big ones!
    • These can be very expensive to purchase and run

Motorhomes come in various shapes and sizes!

- Larger van conversions: These are the larger vans you see (similar to Amazon/DPD delivery vans). They offer the narrower width of a normal van, but in a longer body and are designed for up to 4 people. They allow you to put a decent sized kitchen, shower, toilet in as well as a bed or 2, which makes it more practical than a campervan. You can easily stand-up inside of these and it can offer a double bed, although it may seem short for the taller people! Some are fitted with pop-tops to add a secondary small double bed like a campervan

- Low profile motorhomes: These are usually a normal style van up front, with the chassis having the habitat part built onto it and are designed for up to 4 persons. They offer more room than the large van conversions and include a kitchen, over, hob, microwave, toilet, shower.

- Conventional motorhome with an over-cab bed: This is the same as the low-profile motorhome, but is bigger and more spacious and can accommodate up to 7 persons. The main difference is, one of the beds is over the cab.

- 'A' class motorhomes: These large motorhomes basically look like small buses/coaches. These are very luxurious and will often come with slide-out's which increase the interior space when on site. Most ‘A’ class motorhomes are imported from abroad.

This is all about personal preference and finances. Always get what you can afford and maintain and of course if your licence covers you to drive it. The courses to get these additional categories can be expensive!

Think about whether the financial outlay is worth it versus hiring it and where you will store it!

We are looking at a Roller Team Zafiro 675 which seats and sleeps up to 6 people. For us this has an amazing layout and the added bonus of a huge "garage" which a motorbike can fit in and it comes with solar panels and a 4 bike carrier as standard!


This is where it get interesting. Weights are hugely important as you have 2 weights to think about and what your vehicle is capable of carrying:

MIRO: Mass in running order - this is in effect the dry weight with nothing added apart form a gas bottle and an electric hookup cable

MTPLM: Maximum Technically Permissible Laden Mass - this is what the maximum weight the caravan can weigh when being towed.

The MIRO vs MTPLM will be reduced when you add items such as bikes, equipment etc. So if you're MIRO was 3000kg and MTPLM was 3500kg, you have 500kg available to add . However, if a motorbike weights 200kg, then you only have 300kg left including people to carry!


This is immensely important. Before driving a motorhome, you need to remember you have a long and/or wider vehicle, which is heavy and your current Category B licence may not cover you to drive one and you'll need a C1 category.

To get a C1 category, it's around £65 an hour plus the test fee, up to £115

We were all novices once and it comes down to your personal confidence and driving abilities.

You just need to be aware of your surroundings, take it slowly and easily, use your mirrors and remember that you may need to take a wider line through corners and bends!

If you're new to motorhomes or haven't driven one before, we recommend go see one first before you hire or purchase one.


How many people do you need to carry in a motorhome and who will be sleeping in it? This is what it comes down to!

Motorhomes are like caravans and typically come in 2-6 berths. You can get 7-8 berth versions, however these usually are longer than what you are allowed to tow with.

Once you decide, then you need to figure out about which layout works best for you.

We have tried a Roller Team Zefiro 675, a 6 berth motorhome and it was amazing. Loads of room and can be driven on your standard category B licence.

The kids loved it, although the 2 rear double bunk beds are ideal for 4 small children or it's a very cosy night for 4 adults there. The overcab bed is huge and can easily accommodate taller people!


Layouts are so important depending on how many people you want to travel with.

Most motorhomes are designed to accommodate up to 4 people, but you can get 5 and 6 berth motorhomes and bigger if custom!

You need to think about:

- What type of campervan you want and are comfortable driving

- Do you want an end bedroom or bathroom or dinette?

- How big do you want your kitchen to be?

- How much storage do you want?

- Do you need a garage/large locker to carry larger items?

- What licence categories do you have and can you drive it?

This is always the most challenging part, finding a layout which works for you. Depending on your budget, you may need to make compromises.

Think about do you want a fixed bed, bunk beds, bathroom or bed at the end etc.


These are great for increasing the space you have!

There are 2 types of awnings for a motohome:

- Built in wind out awning: These are connected directly to the van and either manually or electronically wind-out. It's great for a quick setup, but every time you want to drive the campervan, it will have to be wound in again. You can buy additional accessories such as sides to make it weatherproof and give you more space. Some of these, like the Fiamma range have rails built in to add another awning

- Reimo rail: where you attach an external driveaway awning which allows you to easily detach/attach your motorhome to.

Awning's come in various sizes and can be blown up (air awnings) or use poles. They offer versatility and additional storage space if you have a lot of stuff with you. the downside is that this would limit you into having a central base to come back to everyday instead of travelling and pitching up wherever you are.

Awnings slide into the awning rail and pull through, then you blow them up or use the poles. You can get many add-on's for awnings, such as annexes for storage or others to sleep in, carpets, hanging rails, hanging shoe storage, wheel skirt, storm straps etc. just to keep things dry and wind proof.


New is always better as you have peace of mind with a warranty and everything works.

However, in reality, not all of us can afford a brand spanking new motorhome! There are used motorhomes to suit every budget and you may need to make compromises on age, mileage etc. to find one in your budget.

Also, work out if it's cheaper to rent/hire a motorhome each year over the next x years you will have it for as this can be a large financial outlay.

Don't forget to budget in vehicle servicing, habitat servicing, insurance, storage etc.

We have been looking at 2-3 year old vehicles with very low mileage. The savings are substantial here and make more sense to buy used in this scenario.


Motorhomes should be serviced every year to keep them in working and road worthy conditions. You will need 2 services each year:

- Manufacturer/vehicle service: this is for your oil change etc.

- Habitat service: This is to ensure that the gas, water, heating etc. is serviced and working as it should be and should be carried out be a qualified person/business. Usually caravan service centres will also service campervans.

Don't forget, that vehicles 3 years and older will require an annual MOT!

The last thing you want is something to break or not work when you're on holiday! Many of us have experienced a vehicle breakdown of some sort and it's not fun, so we strongly recommend to service your motorhome annually. This will give you peace of mind.

We recommend to get your motorhome habitat serviced at a caravan dealer annually and will vary depending on the size of your motorhome.

We also recommend to follow the vehicles manufacturers service schedule.


Motorhomes if weighing less than 3.05 tonnes aren't subject to any speed restrictions like caravans and motorhomes. Always adhere to the speed limit indicated on the road.

Also please note that there are updated speed limits in Wales for built-up areas of 20mph for all vehicle types!

Always refer to the government website:

A lot of us have been caught speeding before, including ourselves, and whether you have received points or a speed awareness course, stick to the speed limits.

To be honest, motorhomes you don't drive quick or hustle along. We have found that you're quite happy to drive slower in the motorhomes and enjoy the journey and company!


Motorhomes are sought after by thieves and you will notice that insurance premiums are higher than you expect!

You should always ensure your motorhome is as secure as it can be and this will help with your insurance. There are so many security devices available to deter thieves such as:

- Wheel clamps

- External steering wheel lock

- Alarms

- Trackers

We suggest getting something visible, like a bright yellow wheel clamp or steering lock to deter thieves.

You'll have hidden security such as alarms, immobilisers, trackers which should be advertised on the windows.


You basically have 2 choices here. Keep it at home or at a caravan storage facility!

If at home, make sure it is secure as it can be from thieves.

If you haven't got the room, a caravan storage facility is the next choice and they are quite cheap. You always want to make sure the caravan storage facility meets your insurers requirements and is registered as such. Some storage facilities offer indoor storage, which will help keep your motorhome dry and away from all the elements for a premium. Otherwise, it will be outside in a secure compound with other caravans and motorhomes.

We are fortunate enough to have a large garden and driveway to store vehicles like this. We even have power available, so we could keep the heating on low over the colder months (12 degrees), which helped with keeping the motorhome damp free.


There are 2 types of heating:

- Wet: This essentially is ALDE heating which heats hidden elements (think radiators) around the motorhome to keep it warm.

- Blow air is as it sounds and is a small unit built into the motorhome units at the floor level and blows hot air out

On some (think expensive), you can even get heated floors!

We have used both!

The wet heating system is best as it can warm everywhere round the motorhome evenly, but you forget how warm it can actually be!

A blow air system is fine, but as these are usually in the middle of the motorhome, the middle warms up quickest with the ends catching up after a while. We had the unfortunate experience where the heating element failed and it ended up blowing cold air around the motorhome which made it worse!

At the end of the day, they both do a job of heating a motorhome when it's cold and that's what you want. As discussed before, it will come down to your budget and particular motorhome you like, which heating system comes with it.


This is where motorhomes will differ, but they all excel over campervans. They have been cleverly built to maximise space and storage.

You'll find storage under seats, in overhead cupboards, drawers etc.

Think about what you need to take with you, such as camp chairs, tables, bedding etc. and the weight you add to the caravan so you don't exceed it's MTPLM!

Don't forget, you can always go shopping for food etc. when you arrive!

Pack what you need. We all overpack and that's fine as we know the British weather can be unpredictable!

We always went fully loaded, but kept within thr MTPLM weight. We packed all the clothes into the wardrobe, overhead lockers and drawers, with shows in a cabinet on the floor. We also had a few days worth of food and ensured the fridge/freezer was on before we left to store food/drink in there.


If you want to take bikes with you, there are a few ways of doing this, but please remember, this adds weight:

- Rear bike rack: you can add a permanent bike rack to back of your motorhome (check before you buy a bike rack).

- Tow bar mounted: Easy to add 2-4 bikes on a carrier

- Put them inside your motorhome: you risk damaging the inside of your motorhome as things move about when you're driving and this may alter the weight distribution when towing.

- Large lockers/garage: some motorhomes have these and are purposely designed to carry bikes, mopes, motorbikes

We never brought bikes with us as the kids preferred their hoverboards and scooters! We also often brought our 4 legged friends with us, so having bikes was impractical!

We have seen plenty of caravanners that have and it's all down to your personal preference!


When taking pets with you, make sure they have enough room as well!

Make sure the site you are at allows dogs. When you are out during the day, where will your pet go if you can't take it with you and will the conditions inside the motorhome or awning, be suitable for a pet?

You can add fans, open windows slightly and sky lights can open if warm/hot and always leave a good supply of water they can get to! On the really expensive one's. you can have air conditioning running whilst you're out!

We have large dogs and they have always come with us. In the evenings, they sleep in the awning as the caravan is just too narrow for them to be in as well.

If we know it's not going to be fair on them and we are leaving them in the caravan all the time, we wouldn't take them with us.