Complete Guide: Hiring a Motorhome or Campervan

Driving over Butter Tubs Pass

Why Hire a Motorhome or Campervan?

We may well be biased on this one! 

We love road tripping in our campervan and take off at every available opportunity to hit the open road. 

But regardless, if you’re hear then you’re halfway there and so here’s our rundown of why we think you should hire a motorhome or campervan!

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    Try before you Buy

    If you’re thinking about buying your first campervan or motorhome then it is definitely advisable to hire one first. 

    This way you can make 100% sure that this type of holiday is for you. Buying a motorhome is very expensive and isn’t quite as idyllic at times as it’s made out to be. Not knowing where you’re going to sleep or pouring poop down a drain definitely isn’t for everyone!

    Additionally, motorhomes and campervans come in all range of sizes, shapes and internal layouts. Renting a campervan in a layout and size that you think you want is a great way to double down and verify before splashing the cash. 

    You might find certain layouts don’t work for you and you need to tweak what you’re looking for slightly.

    Festival Weekends!

    Going to a festival or on a camping trip with mates? Why not rock up in your very own van and be the envy of the group. You’ll have cold beer and hot coffee quicker than all your mates and a far comfier bed!

    A great way to explore the country

    We’ve spent our entire adult lives road tripping across the UK and Europe. Several months in a tent? Done it. B&Bs up and down the country. Done it. Budget hotels. Done it. Luxury hotels. Done it.

    And none come close to the flexibility, freedom and low cost that driving your very own home on wheels provides.

    Whether you’re single, in a couple, travelling with mates or have 5 of your very own offspring in tow – hiring a campervan for a week will often times be cheaper than most hotel costs, you can be far more flexible and it is just more fun. And of course, that’s all we’re really after.

    Cheaper than Hotels

    As mentioned previously – in most scenarios a week in a campervan or motorhome will cost less than hotel touring. Particularly as you have your very own kitchen and bar onboard so no need to pay restaurant prices every night if you don’t want to.

    Better than tents

    I mean. Come on. We all love a tent. We’ve spent many, many weeks in tents including 6000 miles around Europe. But packing up a wet tent with all your gear into your car every couple of days is not fun. 

    Plus, the increased ride height makes driving a van all the more special as you can see so much further whilst on the road.

    A Special Occasion

    Got an anniversary coming up? What could be better than renting a classic bug campervan for a week or two and getting away from it all.

    How about a big birthday? Gather your mates, rent a van per family, hire a motorhome and hit the road. We guarantee your break will be filled with laughs and adventures.

    Where to hire a Campervan?

    GoBoony

    GoBoony specialise in renting out motorhomes and campervans from private owners when they’re not using it. So you know that when you pick it up they’ll know the van inside out and be able to offer a level of insight that many companies simply cannot match.

    Some great options for classic VW’s, modern conversions and even all the way up to luxury family motorhomes.

    Spaceship Rentals

    Spaceship Rentals are our pick of the bunch for a professional motorhome hire company. 

    A great selection of vans, depots up and down the country, a solid customer service based reputation and very competitive prices.

    How much does it cost to hire a Motorhome or Campervan?

    Typically to hire a motorhome you’ll be looking at between £300 and £1500 per week depending on high or low season and the type of van you need.

    A large, modern and full featured motorhome in the height of school holidays will set you back a great deal more than a small, van conversion in November. 

    So shop around until you find a van that meets your needs, at a time you like within your budget. 

    Top Tips for Hiring a Motorhome

    Before You Go:

    Study the Terms and Conditions

    Make sure you know what you’re getting and what you’re not. Do you want to take the dog? Make sure you know if you can and if there will be an extra cleaning charge. Is there a mileage cap? Can you take it abroad if that’s what you want? Make sure you fully know all the rules before you commit to spending any money.

    Motorhome Speed & weight Limits

    Did you know that some of the larger or heavier motorhomes have different speed limits to regular cars?

    Check it out on the government website!

    Also be aware that unless you hold a C1 licence you will only be able to drive a motorhome up to 3.5T gross weight. Your hire company should check this prior to accepting your booking. 

    Motorhome Driving Tips

    We have a separate article to help you be as confident as you can behind the wheel of your rental motorhome – check it out here

    Planning Your motorhome camping Trip

    We could talk about planning road trips here all day but it’s probably not the place for it and luckily we already have a whole planning series just waiting for you.

    You want to get this right as ultimately where you go can make or break your trip.

    What to Rent? Campervan or Motorhome?

    Motorhomes

    More suited to larger families, tend to be a bit more expensive and slightly trickier to drive if you’re not used to large vehicle. 

    Conversions 

    Conversions are an excellent choice for couples, single people or travelling with friends. Small, agile and typically packed with features.

    Campervans

    Campervans can be smaller again so are the easiest to drive and include classics like the old VWs. Great for a romantic break, a throwback in time and taking the slow road.

    Campsites or Wild Camping?

    Technically, wild camping in campervans is not legal anywhere in the UK. Including Scotland. It is a misnomer that wild camping in a van is legal in Scotland, that law only pertains to tent camping and under specific circumstances. Therefore we’d recommend that beginner motorhomers start off with campsites.

    That said, if you have your heart set on wild camping then it can be done if you’re sensible and careful. And of course – leave no trace! Here’s our run down on how to wild camp in a motorhome

    If a video is more your sort of thing then check out Wandering Bird taking one of their friends for their first wild camping experience:

    If you’re wondering where to find the best campsites? We have an article dedicated to that right here.

    And of course, you also have pubstopovers. Check out Brit Stops – it might be worth buying a copy even if you’re only away for a week. 

    The book costs roughly £27 – about equal to an moderately expensive campsite. So if you are planning on a couple of evening meals out anyway – eat out at a Brit Stop pub and save the cost of accommodation for that evening.

    Booking Campsites

    If you’re going peak season, we’d advise booking campsites at the same time you book your rental van. Campsites get very busy these days during peak season and you won’t want to end up stranded. 

    However if you are able to travel outside of peak season then why not be a bit more spontaneous and see where the road leads you.

    Using your Rental Campervan

    12v electric – 240v electric – fresh water – grey water – black waste – heating – fridge – gas – reversing camera

    This might sound like a lot to learn. But it’s actually fairly simple, if a lot to take in. Unfortunately there is no one size fits all or complete guide as every motorhome or campervan is slightly different.

    So make sure your Motorhome hire company takes you though how to use

    • 12v and 240v electrics. What works on each system?
    • Water – turning on the water pump, filling up with fresh water, emptying grey (used fresh) water, emptying the toilet (including the air nozzle to empty smoothly and avoid getting pink eye!)
    • How do you heat water for washing up or a shower? How long does it take to heat up?
    • Heating – does the van have heating, is it diesel or gas?
    • The fridge – does it run on electric and gas? How to light it
    • Gas – is there plenty on board when you pick up the van, how do you turn it on and off.

    Everything they teach you, have a go at whilst you’re with them. For example, it might have looked simple to light the fridge, but perhaps there’s a knack to it. Try it whilst you’re with them.

    Additionally check out our top tips for beginner motorhomers.

    Check whats included

    Bike racks, roof racks, kitchenware, tableware, bedding, toilet cleaner, a full gas (propane) tank, breakdown cover. Not all of the above will be included – normally bedding isn’t. But make sure you know exactly what you need to take and what you don’t.

    Check again before you leave the forecourt. Mistakes do happen and you don’t want to be 200 miles away when you realise that there’s no pots and pans!

    Get Excited for Your Motorhome Holiday

    Read articles on the internet, check out YouTube channels, get prepared and excited all at once. Here’s some great resources for you:

    The Weekend Warriors (our website): Obviously a great choice!! Below are some links to get you started

    Wandering Bird: A wealth of top information for all motorhomers and a YouTube channel run alongside

    The Gap Decaders: Very experienced motorhomers and yet more top quality content

    Our Tour: Packed full of excellent free content and motorhome guides as well as many, many excellent ebooks and other resources

    Join a couple of Facebook groups so you can ask questions and learn from others. Here’s a few to get you started

    Motorhome Happiness <-> Campervan Overnight Parking <-> Motorhome and Campervans UK

    And here’s some inspirational YouTube channels that we love!

    Kinging It – Craig & Aimee are masters of vanlife & light entertainment, we’ve been longtime fans of these guys 

    Jits into the Sunset – Tania & Adam make the most incredible vanlife films all over the UK & Europe. Check out their Ireland series as it’s a favourite of ours

    Eamon & Bec – Probably the King & Queen of the YouTube vanlife community and for good reason. These guys have been everywhere – Canada, USA, Mexico, UK, Europe, Morocco and probably more to boot.

    And of course, if you get stuck with something or you’re not sure whilst you’re away, just ask someone. Be that a fellow camper or a campsite owner.

    Picking up Your Campervan

    Fully Inspect It

    Fully inspect the van for damage. Take photos inside and out. If there is any damage show the representative, take a photo and email all the photos to the rental company before you leave the forecourt. Even if they tell you that isn’t necessary. Email them the photos – you then have proof of any prior damage, saved online.

    Get a Demo

    As we mentioned previously – make sure you are shown, and have had a go, at using every single facility the van has.

    Check everything included is onboard

    This includes kitchenware, tableware, a full gas supply, breakdown cover and the contact details for it.

    Your Motorhome Holiday

    After that informational overload – you’ve only got one thing left to do. Have a holiday and enjoy yourself!

    Enjoy Yourselves

    Motorhoming is fun. It’s an experience that can’t be replicated. Things will go wrong! But that’s ok. Laugh at yourselves and help others.

    Make memories together and have an absolutely wicked time

    Take Your Time

    Being on the road is about taking your time. 

    Switching off from the pace of modern life and being spontaneous. Give it a go. We promise you’ll love it.

    Have a plan but don’t be afraid to deviate from it

    As we mentioned previously. Have a plan. Make contingency plans (our planning series is here to help you). But don’t be afraid to deviate in favour of something better. Even if that’s chilling out at a particularly nice spot for a kick about.

    How to do laundry in a campervan

    Laundry is one of the things motorhomes can’t do.

    But luckily, generally speaking you won’t need to do laundry for a single week away. However if you’ve got a longer break or accidentally drop all your clean clothes in a puddle then check if your campsite has laundry facilities. Some do. If not here’s a map of laundry rooms around the country.

    Cooking in your motorhome

    Cooking on the road is fun. 

    The BBQ that got burnt but was somehow still raw in the middle, or that incredible pasta sauce you made that you’ve not been able to replicate since.

    Make cooking part of the holiday as oppose to an everyday chore. Involve people who don’t normally cook. Cook outside – even if it’s raining.

    Here’s our top gadgets for cooking in a motorhome

    Renting an RV Summary

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    Usha Gap Campsite

    Hopefully that covers everything you need to know in order to have the best motorhome holiday possible.

    Don’t forget to check out what’s on offer at both GoBoony and Spaceship Rentals to get the best deal on the van that suits you!

    Go Explore! In your RV!!!

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