Motor home Travel - help needed to a newbie!!

Travel Forums Europe Motor home Travel - help needed to a newbie!!

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1. Posted by Nicwillroam (Budding Member 10 posts) 2w Star this if you like it!

Hello

I'm brand new on here, so please forgive my unfinished profile etc..... I'll keep on updating it as I get a minute.

I'm hoping to go travelling later on this year around Europe for approx 6 months. Has anyone on here done that before? If so, I'm very open to suggestions on ideas of specific places that you've been to, that have been enjoyable. Also Motor home life is completely new to me, I'll need a vehicle no bigger than 3.5 tonne because of my license......and if truth be known, driving a massive vehicle certainly isn't something I'd choose to do in a hurry !! So if you can offer any wisdom on that as well it would be great !! (pushing my luck, I know) !! haha x:):)

2. Posted by BeateR (Full Member 180 posts) 2w Star this if you like it!

Motorhome and cities doesn't mix well. So avoid all cities. stay outside and go in via public transport.
And: you are not allowed staying anywhere in the wild, all is private ground. So you have to stay on a campground or a rest station (Rastplatz) on the Autobahn.

Do you have experience with driving on the "wrong" side of the road? And what means "later in the year"? Hopefully not in winter, because in winter most of the campsites are closed and driving snowy road with black ice is not fun.

3. Posted by Nicwillroam (Budding Member 10 posts) 2w Star this if you like it!

Although I plan on visiting a fair few of the different cities on my travels, like you say I will definitely be getting public transport into them :)

From my understanding, and from the research I've done so far you can wild camp in a lot of the countries as long as you are considerate?!?!

I don't have any experience of driving on the opposite side of the road..... but the way i see that it is that we all start somewhere, and had our 'first' experience of it at some point. I can't let that stop me. :-)

By later on in the year- I'm hoping August / Sept time.

[ Edit: Edited on 02-Jan-2020, 14:59 GMT by Nicwillroam ]

4. Posted by road to roam (Travel Guru 401 posts) 2w Star this if you like it!

I suggest you get familiar with ioverlander.com. I found this community very helpful for 2 years driving around doing the whole #vanlife caper. In fact, some fellow ioverlander members from the UK stayed with us here in Mexico over Christmas for 5 days so they could do some repairs on their vehicle.

This community is specialized for folks already doing and also planning the type of travel you are interested in.

You'll find information on everything from where to get repairs on the road, where to camp for free, where to camp for a fee, where to get supplies for your rig, etc. The community reviews many of these places/services and you can reach out to members to ask them specific questions or to offer advice.

5. Posted by leics2 (Travel Guru 1060 posts) 2w Star this if you like it!

Some things to think about:

Your profile says that you are from the UK. Have you investigated the cost of insuring a motorhome for a 6-month European trip? It certainly won't be cheap, whether you intend to hire a motorhome or drive your own.

It's very difficult to find a UK motorhome rental company (there aren't that many) which will allow you to take the vehicle on a ferry.

If you're thinking of hiring a vehicle abroad I suspect you'll have difficulty in finding companies which will allow you to travel outside the Schengen Zone....and if you hire from a non-Schengen country you'll have difficulty finding companies which will allow you to travel extensively.

If you're thinking of buying a vehicle when abroad, also think of the substantial difficulty...and potentially impossibility...of you, as a non-resident, registering and insuring it.

>I don't have any experience of driving on the opposite side of the road

if you buy or hire a vehicle in the UK it's likely to be left-hand drive (i.e. you sit on the right). That will make driving on the right even more challenging and, depending on blind spots, your own driving experience etc, more dangerous.

>you can wild camp in a lot of the countries as long as you are considerate?!?!

'Wild camping' generally refers to tents, not motorhomes. Parking a motorhome requires firm ground (you don't want to get stuck).

Beate is correct that all land is owned. Whether you will legally be able to park up overnight other than on official sites depends on the individual country. If you're parked off-site for more than one night you might expect a knock from the police (even in the UK)

Having looked at your profile it seems you're planning on France, Belgium and the Netherlands (hardly 'Europe')? It also seems that you're planning to go in August, which is the height of the high season, when ratea are at their highest, roads will be very busy and camp sites are likely to fill up quickly.

6. Posted by BeateR (Full Member 180 posts) 2w Star this if you like it!

I have to add: if you start your trip in August and want do drive for 6 month then you definitely will come in wintertime. And that's not a good idea.

7. Posted by Nicwillroam (Budding Member 10 posts) 2w Star this if you like it!

Thanks for your response, I’ll reply in full shortly as I’m tight on time.

I’ve only just started to create my trip which is why it doesn’t cover the whole of Europe yet ...... not sure why the negativity??

8. Posted by BeateR (Full Member 180 posts) 2w Star this if you like it!

There is no negativity here. We only want to show you the problems.

9. Posted by leics2 (Travel Guru 1060 posts) 2w Star this if you like it!

>not sure why the negativity??

Absolutely no negativity at all.

This is a forum where thoughtful, helpful answers are given seriously by experienced travellers. It would be irresponsible of us to metaphorically pat you on the shoulder, ignore all the potential/probable pitfalls and just suggest places you might visit.

Your plan needs serious research and considerably more thought if it's to work out well for you. So that's why we're guiding you about the things we (from experience) know you need to research and think about.

The fact that you're a 'newbie' is irrelevant. We'd say exactly the same to anyone who asked the same question....as would any responsible, experienced member of any other travel-focused forum.

[ Edit: Edited on 02-Jan-2020, 18:39 GMT by leics2 ]

10. Posted by Nicwillroam (Budding Member 10 posts) 2w Star this if you like it!

Hi, my comment about negativity was simply made because of the comment - “hardly Europe” that’s all. Certainly not aimed at the constructive feedback at all. That is more than welcomed - as you say, that’s why we’re on this forum together.

Anyway ..... hopefully moving forward in good spirit as originally intended.

Wild camping in the uk commonly covers camping in a motor home so I’m presuming that’s a difference in our locations. I have looked at Germany specifically following on from the comments of it being illegal. There does seem to be an element of confusion on line about it from my research. From my findings I looks like ‘overnight parking’ is ok as long as it’s just for one night. So that should be fine :-)

I’ve received a fair bit of advice from experienced motor home people and they’ve mainly suggested a right hand drive vehicle due to familiarity ..... but thank you for your caution. I think I’ll be more comfortable that way, I’ll just have to take it steady.