Advice for Beginners

Motorhomes are easier than you think

Without requiring a special driving permit (outside of a normal license), a motorhome is basically a house on wheels which adjusts to your inclinations. A family or group of friends can hit the road in complete comfort, surrounded by nature.

Who Should Consider a Motorhome?

  • Outdoor Enthusiasts: Whether your sport is surfing, kitesurfing, skiing, biking, or rafting, traveling by motorhome puts you right at the source. Change locations at any time and get yourself closer to the action. For hikers, golfers, and cyclists, the motorhome offers a perfect place to store you gear and bikes.
  • Small families or the entire clan: A motorhome trip provides the most memorable vacation for kids…and adults!
  • Sightseers, Photographers, and Antique Hunters: Experience the freedom your motorhome gives you to explore and discover new landscapes.

Driving a motorhome

All motorhomes offered by Campingcar-Online can be driven with a normal driving permit. Even so, there are still many precautions you will need to take. On average, the minimum age for renting a motorhome is 21. Certain countries require that you obtain an international permit along with your national permit.

Depending on which destination you are heading to, the transmission can be automatic (North America), manual (most of Europe), or a mix (Australia, New Zealand). Adjusting to driving a motorhome with an automatic transmission is very easy. If you have the choice, why not give it a shot?

Due to the speed limitations on motorhomes, you will be best served to drive with caution. You’ll find that keeping a moderate pace will provide you a very pleasant driving experience, and keep down the fatigue level on both the driver and the passengers.

Keep in mind these three principles for a pleasant drive:

  • Wide Turns: Motorhomes take about 20 to 25 feet to turn at an intersection, much more than a normal car. In the United States and Australia, the roads and intersections are quite spacious, but you will need to take more caution in European countries.
  • Watch Your Head: Keep in mind there is about 10 feet of vehicle above your head. This should minimize being surprised by low hanging branches, service station canopies, or oncoming tunnels.
  • Teamwork: When reversing or pulling into a campsite or parking space, always have one of your passengers on the ground to guide you.

Let the motorhome become and asset of your trip

The motorhome will become the most precious asset of your trip: total mobility in the heart of nature.

It allows you to enjoy stunning views, national parks, and magical sunsets in complete tranquility. Only the sounds of birds and the sunrise will wake you before enjoying a day of exploring.

Accommodating up to seven people and only requiring a standard driver’s license, motorhomes are easier to drive than they may appear by their size. They are completely self-sustaining with a water supply, electricity, corner kitchen with refrigerator and stove, and a bathroom with toilette, shower and sink. The large windows allow everyone to enjoy the landscape, and can be covered at night for privacy. The ample closets, storage compartments and drawers allow you to fully unpack and feel at home. Heating and air condition round out the comforts of home.

Most newer models are outfitted with slide-out compartments, wifi connectivity, TVs, and improved fuel economy. With the driver’s cabin open to the main cabin, passengers and drivers can communicate easily. Some models are equipped with a separate back room as well.

A powerful engine and power steering ease the experience of driving a motorhome. After just a few minutes you will adjust to the size and feel at ease.

Before you depart for you trip, we will provide you with an instruction booklet for the equipment in your motorhome. On your first trip, the rental center will even provide a training class to help you get used to the vehicle.

The motorhome will become a loyal friend on you trip with family or friends. We have carefully selected our vehicles for their durability and age, up to date maintenance, and security.

More freedom!

You call the shots on your trip and set your own course. Our team is always here to assist you and give your our travel advice.

Just one quick glance at the weather and you can adjust your plans on the go. If you find yourself enjoying one stop, stay longer and don’t worry about normal time constraints. Enjoy each day without the hassle of looking for hotels and repacking your suitcase each morning. Each day brings new inspiration to discover new regions and culture, to be surprised and meet new people.

Most of all, the motorhome allows you to experience and discover all of these things along with your family and friends. Each journey in a motorhome is unique.

For a more rugged motorhome experience, we offer a range of adapted 4wd vehicles and for a trip combining city-life and nature, we offer several campervans as well.

Maximize your time on vacation and comfort of everyone on your trip !

Traveling by motorhome combines the comforts of home with the freedom of the open road. Unlike traveling in a car, you have fridge to keep cold drinks and a toilette to keep the trip going, and a kitchen to make home cooked meals.

When you aren’t changing hotels every night, you only have to unpack one time for the whole trip! Store your bikes, golf clubs, fishing poles, and other equipment in the storage areas and we provide the dishes, linens and camping chairs without forgetting the safety elements of the Australian Outback.

For children a motorhome is like a mini house where they can feel at home. With babies, it allows for you to respect the rhythm of their day and find a quiet place for them to relax while on the road. Motorhomes make it easy to travel with children, as they are safely buckled into their car seat, ready to hit the road with you.

Explore the world in harmony with nature

Exploring another country and culture is a dream of every generation. Benefit from meeting the locals of the country you visit, an increasingly precious part of any vacation. In the evenings around the barbecue, in an American National Park, or in the Australian Outback, meet like-minded travelers with a passion for nature and the outdoors.

While traveling by motorhome, get advice from other travelers you meet along the way. It’s the best way to enjoy a vacation off the beaten trail. In our young travelers, it also helps instill an idea of conservation of precious water and electricity, decreasing our amount of waste, and leaving nature the way we found it for others to enjoy.

How do I chose the right motorhome for my trip?

The length of trip, the number of travellers and ages, and the choise of what types of beds you would like will influence your choice of motorhome. Taking into account the season and the climate of your destination is also important. We’re here to help you make the right choice.

Always think big. Changing the dining area into a bed every night can affect the enjoyment of passengers both young and old, and not needing to will save you the daily hassle. Pay attention to the size of the beds in your model, rarely can 6 adults fit comfortably in one motorhome.

Keep in mind that each company chooses its motorhomes to coincide with the size of roads and type of camping available. Of course you will find larger vehicles in the United States than you will in Ireland, but just because it is larger, by no means is it more difficult to drive!

Also know that our vehicles are selected for their durability and reliability. Check with us to see what other travelers like yourself thought of each model.

Water systems

Your motorhome will be fitted with storage tanks for fresh and waste water. If you camp in locations where a water hook-up is not available, be sure to use your water wisely. Refill your water tank every 2-3 days at campgrounds, RV terminals, or service stations, and make sure to empty your waste tank as well.

You can check the level of each of your reservoirs on the dash panel, but keep in mind they are not always 100% accurate.

Many campsites along your trip will offer refilling and dumping stations. You will also find other facilities, such as service stations and RV terminals in certain countries. In the USA, there are dumping stations for getting rid of your waste water. You can find one almost anywhere.

Depending on which country you are heading to, we have more specific advice on each country’s page.

Electrical systems

There are many devices in your motorhome that are powered by electricity. When you are conntected to an electric hook-up at a campsite or a service station, it’s as simple as the electricity in your house. Go to each country’s page to get specifics on how the electricity works in that country. While you’re on the road, these devices will be powered by the auxiliary battery, which is charged by the running engine.

When you are stopped and not hooked up to electricity, you will use the onboard generator (available on all USA motorhomes, and large motorhomes in Canada) to create electricity for the motorhome. Even the most demanding appliances like micro-waves and air conditioning can be run off the generator. Most campsites have time limits of when you can use the generator, due to noise, and there will usually be a small fee per hour of usage when you return the motorhome. Because of the services provided at most campsites, it is not inconvenient at all to have a motorhome without a generator.

Gas systems

For European motorhomes, the folliwing appliances are powered by the onboard propane supply (one or two 13 Kg bottles): stove, heater, water heater, and fridge. These are powered by 3-way, and depending on the country, you can get the bottles refilled.

New Zealand and Australia also use propane to power the stove, water heater, and heater (just for New Zealand). In Canada and the United States, the LP gas reservoir can be refilled at most service stations and campgrounds, and powers the stove, water heater, and fridge (2-way).

Why chose to stay in campgrounds?

1) Full comfort to use all of the devices in your motorhome

For most campsites, you can use the water and electrical hook-ups without limitation. You can also look for campsites that have a waste water hookup, to empty your waste-water tank. In Canada, this is called “three services” and in the USA it is called “full hook-ups”.

2) Household and recreational amenities

Many campsites, except for those in national parks, state parks or monument parks, offer such amenities as laundry, supermarkets, bike rentals and excursion planning. The storage capacity of motorhomes can be limited, especially when traveling with a large family, so it is always handy to find stops where you can get a little laundry done.

You can also find campsites with such amenities as swimming pools, tennis courts, hand ball courts, or even golf courses. Some even offer Wifi as well. For campgrounds that are close to cities, there is often a shuttle to take you in to the city center.

3) Safety

In certain countries it is mandatory to spend each night in a designated campsite. This is true in South Africa, Italy (during busy season), and around large cities in the United States.

4) The beauty of camping

The campsites in the certain countries, like Canada and the USA, are the best sites you will find to be in the heart of nature and protected nature areas. When you stay in a hotel, you will always be close to busy roads and outside of the parks.

What are the different types of campgrounds?

Depending on your destination, you will find several different categories of campsites, and within these, campgrounds that are reserved strictly for either motorhomes or tents, or both.

In the USA, where there are roughly 12,000 campgrounds, there are two categories: private and public. For private campgrounds, you will find many independent companies, as well as many well known chains such as KOA or Good Sam. Many campgrounds will accept tents as well as motorhomes, however trailer parks are reserved strictly for motorhomes.

In private campgrounds you will normally find electrical and water hook-ups. Your chosen site will be easily accessible and will offer you plenty of room, a picnic table, benches, a barbecue, and a fire pit. Private campgrounds accept reservations by phone or online.

The public campgrounds in the USA are in or near the national parks. They are magnificent campgrounds, but do not offer the same amenities as private ones. You will normally have a fire pit, a public restroom which will be clean but rustic, and that’s about it. Thus, they are very affordable. The vast majority of these are not available to reserve and operate on a first come first served basis.

Contrary to what you may read in guidebooks and online forums, there is no problem with finding space in the USA, with the exception of Yosemite, where you will need to book a while in advance to ensure a reserved camping site. In some public campgrounds, there will not be someone looking over the grounds. The price for each night is low and you will need to drop your nightly fee into a drop box.

Our team is here to help you decide what type will be best for you and your trip based on your itinerary.

In Australia, there are several categories, ranging from simple to sophisticated. In remote areas you will find no-service bush camping. These sites are free and very rustic. Very often, along the most touristic routes, you will find rest areas with running water, fire pits, and public toilettes. Camping is permitted for one night. The fees are very modest, around $10, but not much is offered in the way of facilities. You can also find this type of camping in the national parks.

On the other hand, the caravan parks offer electric hook-ups. Some have facilities such as swimming pools, recreational facilities, and well maintained showers. These are available to reserve.

As you can see, finding accommodation in Australia is very inexpensive and often free in Australia. The budget required is minimal, but keep in mind the need to stop at dumping stations to empty the waste water tank and refill the fresh water. We are here to advise you if you need more information.

In Canada, the campgrounds are similar to the USA. You will need to verify that they accept motorhomes. Also, contrary to what you have likely heard, there is no problem with space in Canada. The only exceptions are in certain bottleneck areas such as Tadoussac our areas close to the Victoria Island pier.

Keep in mind that in Gaspé and Quebec, you will often be able to find off-grid camping with the advice of locals. You could spend almost every other night outside of designated campgrounds.

In New Zealand, a very welcoming country for motorhomes and campervans, you can choose between very well equipped caravan parks and rest areas. When you see the label “qualmark” you are guaranteed excellent quality.

Lastly, in South Africa, there are scores of well-maintained and equipped campgrounds along tourist routes and in the national parks. Here they are known as caravan parks.

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