Motorhome cover – check you have adequate cover

It is essential to ensure that you have adequate coverage for your motorhome before you take it out on the roads. There are many different factors that you have to take into account when you are looking for the best deals on your insurance. If you choose to go with a specialist in motorhome cover then they will be able to search around on your behalf to get you the cheapest deal with the cover you need.

Your motorhome policy needs to be considered very carefully as there are many different things that need protecting and which you might not consider if you are used to insuring a car. Car and motorhome cover are entirely different and this is why you need to choose an insurer who specialises in offering motorhome insurance.

If you are taking your motorhome out onto the roads and doing a lot of travelling then the cost of insurance will be higher than if you only travel for a week or two out of the year. The same will apply if you are going to be travelling with your motorhome out of the UK. You do however have to be totally honest about this when taking out a policy. If you have stated that you are only travelling in the UK to keep your insurance costs down and then make a claim for an incident that occurred in Europe, your policy will be null.

When considering insurance you will need to make sure that such things as awnings and steps are included in the cost of the policy. Awnings can get ripped in bad weather and some providers will add this into basic cover while other insurance providers might ask that you take cover for such things at an additional premium. You also need to check what contents are included in the motorhome insurance. The majority of motorhomes are futted with a fridge, cooker, bathroom and kitchen and these can breakdown, therefore you need to know if they would be covered in your policy.

You also have to check the small print to see what contents cover you have in relation to if it is new for old or replacement only. If the entire contents of your motorhome were to be stolen or destroyed they can be very expensive to replace. New for old is the best type of cover as it would allow you to buy replacements at what they cost today. However, if the cover only pays out replacement for what the items were worth at the time of losing them.

You also have to compare exclusions and limitations in motorhome cover before taking on the policy. Factors to take into consideration here include if you should be hit by a driver that is uninsured and if you have liability cover which includes medical expenses. You also need to check to see if recovery and breakdown is included in the policy. If you were to breakdown and your motorhome needed towing for repair then you should be provided with an alternative vehicle, at the very least you should be taken to your destination along with your luggage.

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Budget motor home insurance can be compared with a specialist website

Budget motor home insurance can be found online and you can get the lowest premiums if you compare quotes that a specialist finds on your behalf. Do not be tempted to just go for the first policy you take a look at that sounds reasonable. You need to look deeper into the key facts of the cover to see what it entails and what you would and would not be covered for.

The amount of time you spend on the road and where you are travelling will make a difference to the cost of your motor home insurance. If you are on the road with your vehicle for the majority of time then you can expect the premiums to be higher than if your vehicle is garaged for a lot of the time. The cost of insurance will also be decided by the size of the motor home with the larger “home from home” type vehicles being the dearest to insure.

When looking for budget motor home insurance you could consider taking out third party fire and theft. However this only gives the basic cover and is not really suitable if you take your motor home out on the roads from many months out of the year. You might be able to get away with a third party fire and theft policy if you only take your motor home out for one or two weeks of the year.

If you want full cover for not only the motor home but also the contents and other things then you will typically need to take out fully comprehensive insurance. While this is a dearer policy you can get a quality but affordable policy by going with a specialist website. You can also get cheaper insurance by offering to pay a higher excess charge. The excess is the amount that you have to stand to before the insurance company would payout on a claim. All insurance companies will add in excess but you can offer to pay more and this will lower the premiums you pay each month. However you also have to take into account that you would have to find that sum of money if you had to claim on the insurance policy.

When looking at fully comprehensive insurance there are many things that you have to consider, usually they will be included in the majority of policies but there many be limitations as to how much the insurance company would payout. This will differ between insurance companies so it is vital to check the small print before you take out the cover.

You need to make sure that your belongings would be covered in the budget motor home insurance policy. As this is your home while you are travelling around in your motor home your belongings can add up to a fair sum. All comprehensive policies will include cover for belongings and such as awnings but they do have a limit up to a certain amount which differs between policies. Always check to make sure that the policy you are taking gives you new for old coverage. This means that you do not lose out when it comes to replacing all of your belongings if they were destroyed or stolen.

Campervan insurance needs scrutinising

When looking for campervan insurance you need to scrutinise the contents of the policy very carefully to ensure that it contains everything needed. One of the main factors you have to consider when looking to take out insurance for your camper van is how long you use it and where you are likely to be travelling. The cost of insurance will also depend on what level on cover you need. You can choose fully comprehensive, third party fire and theft or third party only.

If you take your campervan and do a lot of travelling throughout the year then you should consider covering it with fully comprehensive as this gives the most complete cover. However if you only travel in your campervan for the odd week with the family, then you might be able to save money by insuring third party only. Third party, fire and theft provides liability protection for any third party who may be involved in an accident which was your fault as well as damage caused by fire or if the campervan was stolen.

Fully comprehensive campervan insurance on the other hand would provide you with many additional benefits. The majority of comprehensive insurance policies cover for any accidental damage that happens to the campervan. They also cover for loss or damage to the vehicle and the cover would also pay for repairs to both parties in an accident. Some will also pay for medical costs to the third party but you have to check the small print to see what the cover actually includes.

You would almost certainly want the policy to include cover for your belongings as the majority of campervans very often act like home. If you were to lose everything in a fire or if they were to be stolen then you could lose a lot. While policies usually include loss or damage to personal belongings you would be better off if the policy covered new for old. A new for old policy would allow you to replace the items lost at the value they are today as opposed to when you purchased them.

A good comprehensive insurance policy would give you some form of breakdown and recovery assistance. If your vehicle broke down and you had to pay for recovery, it could be very expensive. Usually a policy will include taking you to your destination and getting your campervan to a repair centre. Some policies will offer to pay for accommodation; however the level of cover would depend on the insurance provider.

When looking for campervan insurance check to see if you would be covered for the awning and any camping equipment that was stored in the van. Both of the can be very expensive to replace if they are not covered in the policy. Both of them are usually covered for up to a certain amount so you have to compare this in the terms and conditions of the cover. You would also have to look out for windscreen and sunroof cover and if any items such as stereo equipment and navigation equipment would be covered if these were damaged or stolen.

Protect your campervan from being stolen

Whether you use your campervan for daytrips or for longer outings, one of the attractions of using it is because it can be your home from home whilst travelling. Therefore, it makes sense to by undertaking a few simple steps that can reduce the likelihood of theft.

One of the simplest things you could do is not to make things easy for the criminal. Always lock all the doors and windows when leaving the campervan even if it is just for a very short time. After-all, the thief could be in the driving seat and away in less time than it takes you to walk to the kiosk and pay for the fuel you have just filled up with. The fitting of an immobiliser could add to the difficulty of starting your campervan without the keys… because you always take the keys with you, don’t you?

Although good quality padlocks and heavy-duty chains might be expensive to buy, their presence could make attempting to remove items like gas tanks or bicycles from a bike rack rather challenging and time consuming. Using locking wheel nuts and fitting an alarm from a reputable company, which is activated each time you leave the vehicle, could also act as an effective deterrent. The idea of stealing your campervan and stripping it for parts and accessories might not be so attractive if the actual initial vehicle theft is not going easy.

Whenever you leave your campervan, always take your valuables with you. Never leave them in plain sight, always lock things away. Even items of clothing or trainers can be appealing to a thief who might be tempted to try to break in for a closer look. Whilst inside, takes a good look around and could be happy to remove anything that is not locked away, even the campervan itself. If you leave any of your vehicles registration documents inside, it could make stealing your campervan to sell on, worthwhile.

Having the registration number of your campervan etched onto all its windows and any other part that could be removed and sold on, could help reduce your vehicle’s appeal to a criminal. It might also be prudent to security mark all your valuable possessions within the campervan, perhaps using an ultraviolet pen if etching is not practical. You could also electronically tag your campervan to give added security. All these tips could help you protect your campervan from being stolen.

What size motor home should I buy?

Having decided to buy a motor home, you are probably vexed by the question of ‘’ The answer might lay in for what you hope to use the motor home. If you wish to use the vehicle for weekends away or to attend festivals etc. then a B-class might suffice. These are also known as day-vans or campervans and are generally panel vans fitted out as motor homes.

C-class is chassis cab conversions with a caravan body and is often known as coach-built. If it has a bedroom over the cab area, it is called an ‘over-cab’. If not and has a lower roofline, then it is called ‘low-profile’. This class of motor home might suit someone planning to enjoy longer periods touring and requires more room than that offered by a B-class.

The largest is the A-class, which is coach shaped with smooth bodylines and is normally very roomy. Generally, the ‘compact’, which is in this class, is about 6m long, which is the benchmark between medium and large. If you plan to spend longer periods in your motor home, perhaps months catching the winter sun in Spain, then it could be deemed wise to buy something larger to yield more comfort.

If you plan to tour in the UK then it could be prudent to be aware that the maximum motor home size permissible is 12m long and 2.55m wide (39’4” x 8’4”). However, most campsite entrances, ferries, road tolls, recovery prices and insurance are fixed for the 6m motor home. Therefore, anything greater than 6m may pose problems that outweigh the benefits of its larger living space.

Not only do you need to consider the living space within but also what you plan to take with you so look at the payload information for each motor home. This is the difference between the MTPLM (maximum technically permissible laden mass – the legal maximum weight including all equipment and occupants) and the empty motor home. There is a chart available to allow you to compare payload details.

If you plan to have a tow bar or bike rack on the rear of your vehicle then the overhang needs to be 55% or under to allow for this. The maximum legal length 60% and it is measured from the centre of the rear wheel to the rear of the motor home. Thought might also be given to the axle weights permissible for the motor home. Traffic police rarely tolerate overloading and it could lead to trouble with the law.

As you can see, there are lots to consider when deciding ‘what size motor home should I buy’. Therefore, it might be helpful to visit motor home shows, relevant internet sites, read enthusiasts magazines or simply talk to motor home owners to assist you with your decision.

Quick guide to motorhomes

Fancy owning a motorhome but you find the choice quite overwhelming. There certainly appears to be a vast range of models, layouts and size to suit most budgets and a could be useful. To start with, it might help if you quantify for what purpose you wish to use the motorhome. If day trips or the ability to overnight somewhere, perhaps at a festival, are what you seek then you may wish to consider the B-class motor homes. These are also known as campervans or day-vans and are normally panels vans, for example a Ford Transit, fitted out as a motorhome by the manufacturer.

If your plans are for more than day trips, a C-class motorhome might be appropriate. These are chassis cab conversions known as coach-built and have purpose built ‘caravan’ body attachments. If they have a bed area over the cab, they are referred to as over-cabs and those without this area and with a lower roofline are called low profile.

The final category in this , is the A-class. These are invariably built to order by the manufacturer and are normally very stylish in body design, roomy and with practical features. A-class could suit those who wish spend longer periods travelling, perhaps catching the winter sun in Spain. In the UK, the maximum length for a motorhome is 12m with 6m being the benchmark between medium and large. Most insurance, recovery packages, ferry and road tolls cater for the 6m vehicle. This, plus the increased running costs and lack of manoeuvrability, should be fully understood and compared between the varying sized motorhomes.

The generosity of the payload is an important factor in the . It is the difference between an empty motorhome and its MTPLM (Maximum Technically Permissible Laden Mass). The greater the payload the more scope you have of packing heavy equipment and luggage. There is a chart available so that you can compare the varying payloads. The overhang of a motorhome is also important; the legal limit is 60%, measured from the middle of the rear wheel to the back of the vehicle. This could easily be exceeded if a bike rack and bikes are attached, so too the axle weight limit.

Finally in this quick guide to motorhomes is the extremely important factor – you! Does your licence allow you to drive a motorhome? If you past your driving test before 1 January 1997 are under 70 years old and have no medical conditions, then you may drive a motor home with 7500kg MTPLM and 8250kg with a trailer. If you obtained your licence after this date or are over 70 years old, then the limits of 3500kg MTPLM and 4250kg with trailer apply.

Buying a used campervan

There is normally a used campervan in the market place to suit most budgets and design preference. As with all purchases, information is power, so plenty of research before you commence your purchasing trip could be the key when . Make a list of wants and sort these into ‘must haves’ and ‘would be nice’. Do not be too ridged or unrealistic with your ‘wish list’. After all, the campervan will be second-hand and its condition should reflect its age and mileage. It might be disappointing and expensive to refuse a campervan with low mileage and full service history in favour or a less sound vehicle based on its interior layout!

When , always view your would-be purchase in good daylight conditions, as this should make detecting flaws easier. Look for cracks on the outside, sun damage, knocks, scrapes etc and check the seals and trims. Look at the chassis and inspect underneath the vehicle. Inside, check the cupboards, handles, carpets, upholstery and beware of over personalisation of the interior. Ensure that there are no signs of damp. It normally has a distinctive smell and mildew is often present in corners and cupboards. An inexpensive damp meter could assist with this.

Test all the electrical and gas equipment, making sure that the seller fully demonstrates every single feature is in good working order and that they all operate from a hook up. Always take the campervan for a test drive, ensuring that you drive down both town and country roads. Also, try parking it and turning it around so that you are fully comfortable with its degree of manoeuvrability.

If buying privately, always insist on viewing the campervan at the seller’s home address so that you can verify ownership. Insist on seeing full documentation and check the chassis and engine numbers. Motoring organisations, for example, the RAC and AA, offer on-line history checks, full inspection and road tests. Be aware that a private seller does not have to make a statement regarding the vehicles condition. However, they are legally obliged to answer truthfully any specific vehicle related question. If you are from a dealer, they are duty bound to ensure everything is in safe working order and many provide a guarantee with the sale. Some dealers also offer part exchange deals and provide finance arrangements.

Regardless of whom you approach, it is often sensible to shop locally. This not only makes the travelling to view easier but also any after-sales visits more convenient. Also, when buying a used campervan, always haggle. Not just on the price but also for extra items that may not be included in the selling price.