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Goboony

Everything You Need to Know for Your First Motorhome Holiday


Going on your first motorhome holiday can be a daunting experience, so together with our friends at Goboony, we’ve put together this expert guide to help you on your way to your first road trip adventure.

 


We want everyone to get out there and experience the outdoors, and as much as we love a tent, camping isn’t a practical, accessible or comfortable option for everyone. Luckily a holiday road trip in a campervan or motorhome offers an appealing alternative.  In recent years, motorhome travel has grown in popularity. It gives you that feeling of freedom and comfort, as you can go anywhere, anytime, with everything you need right there with you. These days you don’t have to own a motorhome yourself, but instead hire one hassle-free from sites like Goboony

 


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Goboony is a motorhome sharing platform that was born from the belief that everyone should have the chance to experience the freedom of motorhome travel. The name comes from New Zealand, where people will go to the “boonies” –hidden destinations, or places to be discovered. On there you’ll find over 5.000 motorhomes available for hire, from affordable campervans to luxury motorhomes. Sustainability is a priority too, with the platform aiming to reduce the number of new motorhomes being produced and left unused for months on end and helping ensure older motorhomes get used to their full potential. 

 

Why travel by motorhome?

A motorhome is like having a home on wheels. There’s no impersonal hotel rooms where you have to pack and repack constantly, and it comes with your own cosy bed. You’re not anchored to a check-in time or public transport schedules, and you remove the need to pitch a tent at each campsite, as your motorhome is prepped and ready as soon as you arrive. 

 

And these aren’t the only benefits. Every day, you can wake up and choose where you want to go. If the sun is shining, you can set your GPS to the closest beach to bathe on, or forest to hike through. If rain is forecast, you can find a museum or indoor attraction, or just cosy up in your motorhome and play board games. If you like one of your destinations a lot, why not stay a few more nights and make the most of it? Or if you’re ready to move on, simply pack in your awning and hit the road. The point is, you’re in charge, and all the while you’re always one step away from nature and many steps away from life’s stresses and hassles. 

 


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How to choose a motorhome?

The most important factor when choosing a motorhome is the number of people who will be joining you. Are you looking for a two-berth, four-berth or something even bigger? Are you going with the entire family and needing a spacious motorhome, or is it just you and your partner in a cosy Volkswagen campervan? You’ll also want to consider how much time you’ll be spending in the van. If you’re planning to be outdoors most of the time exploring, then you’ll be fine with a smaller vehicle. But if you’re expecting to be spending more time relaxing together in your motorhome, then you’ll likely want something more spacious. 

 

Also consider which size vehicle is best suited to your holiday destination. If you’ll be driving through narrow, winding roads, you’ll want to avoid hiring a larger motorhome. The same applies if you’re planning to travel within cities, as larger vehicles can make parking a challenge!

 

Fuel costs are also worth considering in your decision-making. A larger motorhome naturally consumes more fuel than a smaller one. Alternatively, you could opt for an electric campervan for a more sustainable choice that reduces fuel costs – just remember to consider whether you’ll have access to charging ports to be able to stop enough to recharge during your trip.

 


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How do you find the best campsites?

One of the best aspects of motorhome travel is that you can sleep in the most beautiful places! In some countries, you have the option to wild camp and park your home on wheels where you want. But most of Europe requires you to stay at a campsite or overnight parking spot. The majority of campsites are suitable for motorhomes, so you shouldn’t have much trouble finding one. You can easily find and reserve a pitch at Park4Night, PitchUp and Campspace. Some apps also let you search for free motorhome spots, such as parking lots by pubs or farm camping grounds.

Embrace outdoor living

You can also take your motorhome holiday as a chance to really embrace outdoor living. With the right kit and a good camping stove you can brew your morning coffee in front of your motorhome rather than inside of it. When the weather is nice, you’ll want to sit and eat outside too, especially when you’re parked with an incredible view. Take an afternoon snooze or read your book in a comfy camping chair. Check out our range of camp kitchen essentials and furniture for everything you need to add a bit of outdoor luxury to your trip.

 


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Time to get practical

Let’s hit the road! Or can we? Motorhomes are a lot bigger and heavier than a car so before you hire one you’ll need to check which one you can drive with your current driving license. To drive a motorhome of up to 3.5 tonnes, you only need a category B or B1 license. To drive a motorhome with a MAM (Maximum Authorised Mass) of 3.5-7.5 tonnes, you need a category C1 license. To drive a motorhome with a MAM of over 7.5 tonnes, you need a category C license. 

 

Additionally, it’s important to consider which European cities have environmental zones. These often apply primarily to diesel vehicles from before 2001, but some cities also restrict vehicles running on petrol. You can register and order environmental stickers in advance or plan your route to avoid entering major cities. Most cities have campsites on the outskirts, from which you can use public transport to enter. This saves you from unexpected fines, traffic and difficult parking spots.

 

Five common mistakes to avoid on your first trip

● Don’t forget to disconnect your motorhome from any electrical hookups you have used before driving away. This is all too easy to forget and can cause huge issues if you pull out the socket. So always make this the final thing you check before leaving, and maybe even leave a note on the dashboard to remind yourself.

 

● Aside from the electrical hookup, people also forget anything on the roof! You’ve got to close the skylight and fold away the antenna or dish before you leave. If you’ve got a roof box on top, double-check that you’ve safely secured it. 

 

● People often use levelling ramps to ensure the motorhome isn’t tilted. Make sure you drive off these by rolling the motorhome backwards, not forwards, as that can ruin your tires and the blocks.

 

● Always empty your wastewater tank before you leave a campsite. This saves a lot of weight for driving, which equates to less fuel consumption. Also, ensure that you have some clean drinking water with you. Not enough to slow you down, but just to ensure you can stay hydrated in case of an emergency.

 

● Ensure that you know the exact dimensions of your motorhome. We recommend writing them down on a small piece of paper and having it accessible when driving, such as on the dashboard. The width and height of the motorhome are really important so you can identify if a tunnel or parking garage is too narrow for your vehicle. This is a common mistake that can result in expensive damage to the roof!

 


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