A Beginner’s Guide to Renting a Motorhome

Thinking about hiring a motorhome for the first time? Read on to learn what to expect and the pitfalls to avoid.

Is the Motorhome Life for me?

Let’s be candid – like most things in life it depends on what excites you and what isn’t your cup of tea!

The mistake is to think that motorhoming is a straight alternative to the typical hotel and beach holiday. Motorhomes are not hotels on wheels – there is no front reception, maid service or room service! Typically, motorhome life appeals to those that have a spirit of adventure, who embrace a sense of freedom, who like to explore, who seek to escape daily hectic life. Those that value quality time with friends and family appreciating the great outdoors!

Unlike camping or glamping, you are free to travel and discover new and fascinating places. Perhaps a coastal location for a couple of nights enjoying the views and the surrounding nature, then perhaps a historic town for another couple, soaking in some local history complete with a visit to a traditional English pub for a meal and a drink before heading home! Or you could even stay in a campsite with public transport links and in 20 minutes see the sites, shops and restaurants of London – and return to your peaceful home surrounded by nature – without the cost of city hotels!

And no posh tent gives you the comforts of a warm, dry insulated motorhome. With a comfy lounge to relax and watch TV or read a book, a decent kitchen with a fridge to keep your beers chilled and your salad (or sausages) fresh. Storage space for your clothes, a bathroom with hot water on tap, a private toilet and most importantly a good night’s sleep!

Planning your trip

Travelling by motorhome is becoming an increasingly popular way to have new exciting adventures – now more than ever with the uncertainty around travel abroad. Europe is only a hop over the Channel, but more and more Brits are realising we have a wealth of amazing untapped adventures on our doorstep! Whether you’re considering a weekend away, a road trip, or a fortnight’s family holiday, motorhome hire is an ideal way to keep everyone happy and avoid the stress of airports, tourist traps and the ability to switch plans on the fly.

Imagine now; an open road, leading to new adventures with the flexibility to explore places off the beaten track at your own pace with all the comfort and convenience of your own home on wheels. Sound good?

What do you want out of your holiday and your motorhome?

Motorhomes are a very popular hire option in the UK and win hands-down on space, practicality and comfort compared to the kindred relative – the campervan. Campervans are typically converted vans – therefore are smaller, lack headroom and don’t have the same levels of insulation and onboard features.

Motorhomes come in a range of internal habitation configurations – more on that later – but choose the configuration that matches your needs.

Having a home on wheels does have an obvious downside. You’ll certainly be conscious of driving a larger vehicle, navigating smaller roads and parking up may be a concern for some. If you are a first-timer, we recommend planning your trip using routes more biased to the motorway and main roads and avoiding as much as possible old narrow roads where there is the chance of being met with low bridges and tight turns.

You will be amazed how easy driving on motorways and other main roads – it’s not much different to being in a car – except the seats are even more comfortable! We don’t see the point of unnecessary stress. It’s your holiday! That is why we have purposely equipped all our motorhomes with specialist motorhome Sat Navs that will provide routes that avoid non-motorhome friendly hazards.

What facilities to expect

The cooking facilities in our luxury motorhomes are second to none; they include a fridge-freezer, an electric oven and grill and three-burner gas hob, a microwave, hot water, and a decent-sized sink, a veritable home from home! Basic kitchen equipment is provided so all you need to bring is the food and drinks.

The two main habitation layouts in our fleet offer a choice of –

Electric drop-down beds – which provide the benefit of extra living space during the daytime. We recommend this layout for renters that comprise of more than a holidaying couple. The extra space during the daytime makes for more living space for those with children or indeed travelling with other couples or individuals.

Or a fixed separate double bedroom  – for those who prefer not to reconfigure the living area night and morning. This is an especially attractive option for renters that are just a couple travelling together.

Although our motorhomes have fixed toilets and showers it’s worth remembering that most campsites have toilets and shower blocks. This not only reduces your water consumption onboard but also the frequency to change the toilet cartridge.

Motorhomes are the most inventive of vehicles with tardis-like proportions. Their multi-functional design means that electrically operated fold-out tables, swivelling front seats and ingenious storage solutions enable you to set up camp quickly and easily. You’ll be pitched up and sipping your chardonnay in no time!

When you pick up a hired motorhome you pretty much only need to take your clothes, towels and wash bag, food (best bought en-route and unpacked straight into the storage cupboards) and other personal effects such as games, sports equipment and bedding. Avanti provides the basics including cooking equipment (cutlery, utensils, crockery). Pets can be accommodated at an additional charge. (Only certain vehicles are pet friendly, so make sure that you book the right vehicle if you are intending to bring along your furball!)

Whilst you’ll be well equipped, it can look a daunting experience for newbies. That’s why we focus so much on giving you all the support to get the best out of your adventure. It’s what we are passionate about and what sets us apart. None of it is rocket science – it’s all part of the adventure!! But as with any new experience, the rewards come with the right guidance, information and preparation.

We provide a unique Digital Guidebook (see demo) – your personal concierge filled with lots of advice and tips on how to prepare for your Motorhome Adventure and guidance on what to do whilst you are on your travels. As soon as you are booked, you will access this amazing resource on your phone, tablet, or computer with tips on where to stay, what to bring, what to do when you arrive at a campsite and what to do before you leave. Not only that –every motorhome is furnished with a digital tablet loaded with the digital guide book, unlimited wi-fi, so you can browse links to campsite directories, other useful apps and recommended links at your fingertips!

Planning your route

It’s a good idea to plan your route and pre-book all campsites along the way. There’s nothing worse than driving all day only to discover your chosen site is full. Please be considerate when parking the motorhome and remember that parking overnight at the side of the road is not permitted in England.

When you rent a motorhome from Avanti, based in Kent, you have the huge advantage of all the privileges of The Camping and Motorhome Club membership included in your rental! These membership benefits normally cost over £50 to access – you get all the benefits for free. This includes discounts at over 800 campsites around the UK, access to Certified Locations and new for 2021 unique pop-up sites in unique sites such as in the grounds of historic palaces and gardens – exclusive to members. Plus huge discounts and offers to hundreds of UK attractions.

In conclusion, hiring a motorhome offers good flexibility and is a great option for singles, couples, groups, or families.

Written by Mark Kirby • 28/01/2021
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