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Hiring a Campervan or Motorhome

What you need to know about campervan and motorhome hire. Campervans and motorhomes offer the chance to embark on a unique holiday experience.

Unlike a caravan or camping trip, you’re free to move around to different locations. This easy mobility means that you can visit multiple locations in a single holiday. If you take your vehicle onto mainland Europe, you can quite easily visit multiple countries within a week or two!

The freedom to travel to numerous destinations so quickly and easily means you can save a small fortune. What would normally take up 3 or 4 trips can be done in one!

To make the most of your motorhome experience, it’s worth learning a few things about the process beforehand. Whilst a mobile holiday is an amazing experience, it pays to do your homework beforehand to maximise your enjoyment.

What's the difference between a campervan and a motorhome

If you weren’t aware, a caravan and a motorhome aren’t the same thing. Although they share similarities, there are important differences between the two that you need to understand – if you book the wrong one it can ruin your holiday.

A campervan is a smaller vehicle, usually a converted van. They typically have a much smaller, more basic kitchen, bathroom and living space, with a lot less storage and room for guests.

They’re best suited for smaller groups of 2-3 people. They’re also far more fuel efficient and easier to drive. They’re much better down country roads where vehicle size can be a problem.

A motorhome is usually much bigger and contains a lot more mod cons. In a good motorhome there’ll be a working kitchen, hot shower, flushable toilet and a living room. Depending on the set up, you could also expect to have a TV, DVD player and in some cases, satellite TV. It’s better suited to a family.

The downside of a motorhome is it costs more to run because of the fuel consumption. It’s also a much more challenging vehicle to drive for those not used to driving something so large.

How far off track can you go in them both?

This is a case of ‘it depends’. In a motorhome you’ll be able to store enough water to cook, drink, shower etc. for 2-5 days depending on your consumption. In a campervan, it’s a lot less than that. You’d be best off with drinking water only.

The campervan is more suited to going off-piste than the motorhome because it’s more like a car than the campervan.

Be aware of rules and regulations in different countries

If you plan to take your rented vehicle to the continent, it’s worth doing a little bit of research around what you need to do legally. These vary from country to country, but a little time spent doing your research can save you a lot of problems later!

Oh, and remember – on the continent they drive on the right-hand side of the road. Obvious to many, but if it’s your first time abroad you don’t want to find out the hard way!

Cost considerations

There are a few other costs you must factor in when you hire a campervan or motorhome. These will vary depending on how long you are going to be away for and how you intend to use the vehicle.


It goes without saying that the more you drive, the more it’ll cost you in fuel. Remember as well that these aren’t exactly light weight, 60+ mpg vehicles – driving a large motorhome around town, you’ll be getting closer to 20 mpg, so factor fuel in.

Site fees

The next up is site fees. If you are moving from site to site, you’ll be paying for every night you’re there. In most cases, sites will give you a cheaper price for multiple night’s stay, so chopping and changing frequently might cost you slightly more.

Toll roads

Not a big issue in the UK, but if you travel overseas, toll roads are far more common. They’re typically not a huge expense, but the costs can add up if you are covering a lot of miles in a country such as France.


You’re best checking the pet policy with both the company you’re hiring from and the places you intend to stay, because everywhere is different. Some places are pet-friendly, some motorhome rental companies are too. You just have to check first and save yourself potential hassle.

Campervan and Motorhome Hire - final thoughts

Hiring a vehicle is a perfect hybrid holiday – you have the freedom to travel where you like, experience the outdoors but also sleep in a bed every night. You’ve got TV, but also the fresh air and the great outdoors.

It’s an opportunity to enjoy fun-filled adventures and visit multiple places at a fraction of the usual cost.

There’s no other holiday quite like it.