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Motorhome buying and driving tips

Posted on 24 Dec 2008

Mike Roberts

Get the most out of your motorhome
Get the most out of your motorhome

Top 10 tips to get the most economy out of your motorhome

IN this tough economic climate, it's worth ensuring your motorhoming budget goes that bit further. Follow these tips so you can enjoy your motorhoming passion on a budget.

Try before you buy  
Drive economically
Check your tyres
Camp in low season 
Enjoy city breaks 
Camp in foreign villages/towns
Share costs with friends and family
Join an organisation 
Maintain your vehicle 
Selling tips 

1. Try before you buy:

If you’re not yet sure whether you’re ready or not to take the plunge and purchase your first motorhome why not try before you buy.

Obviously it costs money to hire a motorhome for a week or so but you do get a holiday out of it and it could save you thousands of pounds in the long run if you decide you don’t like it.

If it confirms that life out on the open road wherever and whenever you chose is for you, then it will also make you think carefully about the sort of layout you want from a motorhome. You can then base your choice accordingly and search for a vehicle suitable for you needs. You'll find 'vans for sale here.

2. Drive economically:

How people drive their motorhomes and the impact it can have on travel-related costs is often overlooked, particularly as the excitement builds as you near your holiday destination. Drive to the south of France in a Lewis Hamilton-on-track-style and it’ll cost you more money in fuel than if you cruise at a sensible speed.

When travelling the UK, avoid filling your fuel tank at motorway service stations. Carrying unnecessary extra weight will also cost you money and follow other tips like not braking too hard at junctions or roundabouts.

3.    Check your tyres:

Again, everyone knows that tyre condition can have a big impact on fuel economy. Under-inflated tyres can lead to increases in fuel consumption and reduce the longevity, requiring them to be replaced more often. And they’re not cheap.

Tyre pressures should be checked regularly. Motorists should always check tyre pressures when tyres are cold, as the temperature of the air inside the tyre increases rapidly when driving.

4.    Camp in low season:

motorhome low season image If you don’t have to take any children with you on your next trip away, then consider going in low season. Not only is it normally cheaper but probably more peaceful and relaxing without the little darlings running around causing havoc.

Booking out of season will also mean a wider choice of campsites to choose from. And the longer you stay the cheaper it could be per night.

5.    Enjoy city breaks:

You don’t have to go away for weeks on end to get the most out of your motorhome. Even if you aren’t in the fortunate position of spending week after week overseas in the warm during the UK winter, you can spend many a weekend enjoying a city break without having to fork out on expensive hotel bills.

You don’t have to spend a fortune during the day either as many city attractions are free – including window shopping!

6.    Camp in foreign villages/towns:

Trips abroad needn’t be horrendously expensive if you’re clever about where you stay. This is where towns and villages come in. Obviously you can’t expect to pitch up on a side street and spend the next two weeks enjoying al fresco barbecuing.

But some towns and villages – and why not find out which ones by asking the question on an online forum – allow you to stop for the night, providing you’re not causing an obstruction of course.

Many locals welcome those who stop over as they know any money they spend will benefit the community.

7.    Share costs with friends or family:

Sharing costs is a great way to travel that little bit further. Not only can you share the driving (providing all are properly insured of course) but it means a long journey only seems to take half the time and costs half the price! Sharing the cooking (and the washing up) can be a bonus too.

8.    Join an organisation:

Once you’ve bought your motorhome you’re understandably going to want to use it and that includes for short, weekend trips too. Joining an organisation like The National Trust or the Royal Horticultural Society will not only inspire you as to which stately home or garden to visit but as a member you’ll also save on admission charges.

9.    Maintain your vehicle:

Obviously anything like servicing work needs to be done by the professionals but there are a number of basic things that you as the owner can do to keep the ‘van in tip top condition so when it comes to selling it on you attract a higher number of potential buyers and a better price.

These include cleaning bird droppings, leaves and green slime from your paintwork as if left the bodywork could be damaged. Rust spots should also be dealt with by the keen DIY-er and you should also check things like oil level.

10.  Selling tips:

First thing to ask yourself is whether or not you really need to sell your motorhome. Is it possible to just alter what you don’t like about it? Make a list and see what can be modified – this could include mattresses, upholstery, decoration etc.

Our monthly motorhome magazines regularly feature articles on upgrading and modifying ‘vans so why not subscribe to glean a wealth of knowledge from our own experts.

Alternatively, seek out advice from things like our online forum where you can meet like-minded people and share tips and ideas.

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