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.