There really is a lot to learn when it comes to our trusty campervans and motorhomes. To help you get to grips with it all, we’ve put together this A-Z guide to help you out. It’s got everything from essential equipment and must-pack accessories to top manufacturers and campervan clubs.
Because when you think about, just like finding the best campervan insurance, there should be no great mystery to owning a campervan or motorhome! Give the knowledgeable team at Motorhome Protect a call today and get your campervan insurance sorted in no time.
The largest and most prestigious type of motorhome you’ll see on the road. With a wealth of facilities and luxury add-ons, these can get expensive. But if you’re planning on travelling full-time then you might need an A-Class for its homely feel and ample storage.
ACTUAL LADEN WEIGHT (ALW)
This is the total weight of your vehicle and its contents. It’s important to know this when travelling around the country. Visit a weighbridge once you’re fully packed to check yours.
They’ve been making motorhomes at their Cotswolds base since the 1960s. Auto-Sleepers specialises in Mercedes and Peugeot motorhomes.
Another leading British motorhome manufacturer. Auto-Trail is a name that’s become synonymous with quality vehicles.
An awning is a tent-like structure you can attach to the side of your campervan or motorhome. They’re a great idea for campers who need some extra living space. Or to store large sports equipment such as mountain bikes when not in use.
Be sure to speak to our campervan insurance team to check if such expensive contents are covered. We’ve also got an online guide to choosing the right awning if you need some extra advice.
Many motorhomes or campervans are built on a base vehicle such as a Citroen Relay, Fiat Ducato, Ford Transit, Mercedes Sprinter, Peugeot Boxer, Renault Master or Volkswagen Transporter.
Another name for a campervan. Super easy to manoeuvre and suitable for those who might not need as much space as the A-Class or B-Class provide.
No, it doesn’t refer to the number of beds. It means the number of people the vehicle is able to sleep.
When touring for longer periods you might choose to tow another vehicle or trailer behind. This emergency device is necessary to safely stop the towed vehicle if it becomes disconnected while you’re driving.
Founded in Germany in 1924 as a furniture maker, Burstner has been a popular motorhome manufacturer across the UK and Europe for the past 60 years.
A type of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) more suited to milder weather conditions and popular with campervan owners. Usually sold in a blue cylinder.
Many new motorhomes now have built-in cab blinds. But if you have a campervan or an older motorhome then you’ll want to invest in internal or external cab screens.
We prefer the interior type as you never have to go out in the cold and wet when you want to let the light back in.
The most popular choice of gas bottle in the UK. Be aware they’re not exchangeable if you’re travelling around Europe. So, if you’re going for longer than a week or two then you’ll need an alternative.
Whether you’re in a campervan or a motorhome, you’re still camping. So, you’ll need all the right equipment to have a peaceful holiday. From sleeping bags and blankets for a restful night’s sleep to first aid kits and other safety essentials there’s plenty to think about.
If you’re looking to add something new for the 2022 season then look no further than our ultimate list of the best motorhome and camping accessories. And don’t forget campervan insurance, too.
CARBON MONOXIDE (CO)
The silent killer. Incorrectly installed, poorly maintained or poorly ventilated appliances such as cookers or heaters can all cause exposure to this deadly gas.
Don’t take a chance, check your carbon monoxide detector is fitted and working.
A type of chemical toilet popular in motorhomes.
More compact and less luxurious than an A-class but bigger than a B-class. A very popular mid-point. Learn more about the differences between A, B and C class motorhomes on our blog.
CERTIFICATED LOCATION AND CERTIFICATED SITE
Small independent campsites only open to Caravan and Motorhome Club and Camping and Caravanning Club members respectively.
CHEMICAL DISPOSAL POINT
A service area where you can safely dispose of toilet waste.
Chocks help to achieve a level motorhome. And will ensure you enjoy a good night’s sleep, your sinks drain properly and you don’t spill the wine!
The most popular type of motorhome. Tend to be bigger than those that have been converted from a regular van-type vehicle. The overcab area makes them particularly good for families.
The driver/passenger area at the front of the vehicle.
Famous for the luxury they offer, German manufacturer Concorde has been producing premium-quality motorhomes for more than 35 years. If you like exploring hard to reach places then be aware they can be on the larger side.
A campervan or a motorhome is a significant investment that you’ll want to protect. Not only with campervan insurance but also a cover.
Read this Motorhome Protect guide to help you pick out the right one to protect your home on wheels from the elements.
An essential accessory if you want to prove you weren’t at fault in any accident. Particularly if you also have the appropriate campervan insurance. Read our guide to all things dash cam-related for more info.
Many people couldn’t imagine being separated from their four-legged companion for any length of time. Fortunately, if you own a motorhome or campervan then you don’t have to be.
Wondering where to take them for an invigorating walk? Then take a look at some of these incredible dog-friendly beaches to visit on your next tour.
On many campsites you can plug into the electric hook-up on a bollard next to your pitch. That way you can power all your lights and electric sockets for the kettle, microwave, Wi-Fi booster and so on.
One of the most popular reasons to book into a campsite on a regular basis.
ELEVATING OR POP-UP ROOF
If you’re buying a converted campervan then you’ll probably have one of these. They provide extra space and headroom for when you’re camping, but a low profile to reduce drag when motoring. You’ll also avoid any nasty bumps from low-hanging trees or low barriers at car parks.
Much more versatile than a fixed roof or high top.
Many areas of continental Europe are perfect for touring in a campervan or motorhome. When you’re next searching for the right campervan insurance, why not take a look at the Motorhome Protect site for information about planning a trip to a European holiday destination? We’ve got guides on Portugal, Belgium, Germany, Austria and many more.
Taking your campervan or motorhome on a ferry will open up many of the UK’s islands – as well as Europe – for holiday adventures. Make sure to check height and weight restrictions first as these can change depending on the operator.
FIRST AID KIT
Whether you’re on a long-distance hike or chilling round a campfire, a medical emergency can strike at any time. A well-stocked first aid kit is an essential item to keep your tour on track. If you want to know what to pack in your first aid kit then read our handy guide.
FLIES AND OTHER INSECTS
From hoverflies and house flies to horseflies, mosquitoes and midges the UK has around 100 different varieties of flies. Depending on your location and time of year these can put a serious dent in your holiday enjoyment.
Fortunately, you can buy insect screens to stop the pesky critters from getting in.
FRESH WATER TANK
You’ll not only need it for drinking but also for cooking and for washing on a daily basis.
You’ll want a three-way fridge that can be powered by three different sources. When you’re hooked up at a campsite it’ll use mains electricity, when parked but not connected it’ll use gas, and the vehicle’s battery when on the move.
The gold-standard in camping pitches. You’ll have a fresh water supply, waste water disposal, mains electricity, and even a TV connection.
An increasingly common feature is a fitted gas tank. It’s cheaper to fill up than exchanging a cylinder. Housed under the vehicle, it also frees up space inside.
GAS CYLINDER LOCKER
A separate compartment used for the storage of gas cylinders.
GREY WATER/GREY WASTE
Waste water coming from the toilet is called black water. Waste water that comes from your kitchen and bathroom sinks, as well as the shower are called grey water. There’s a separate grey waste storage tank that can be emptied when you reach a service point.
The area of a motorhome designed for living in.
A campsite pitch favoured by owners who don’t want to get stuck in the mud. It offers a hard ground surface made of gravel, asphalt or concrete rather than grass.
When travelling in Europe these are often a required piece of kit. It’s a good idea to pack these in any event as you ever know when you might need to make yourself visible to other road users.
One of the most popular brands in the world. Hymer vehicles offer legendary comfort and performance.
Whether you drive a motorhome or a campervan they’re a significant investment, so they deserve significant protection when you’re out living your van-life dreams.
If you want to use powerful home appliances like a hairdryer then you’ll need one of these devices. It converts the electricity from a 12v leisure battery into a form that will power the 240v domestic appliance.
JOIN A CLUB
Joining both the Caravan and Motorhome Club and the Camping and Caravanning Club will give you a huge variety of well-run campsites to choose from. There’s lots of great membership benefits, too.
Leave your campervan or motorhome standing for too long and you’ll need a set of these.
The beating heart of any home has to be the kitchen. And there’s no reason why a home on wheels should be any different. There’s certainly an art to cooking in a campervan or motorhome kitchen. But once you’ve mastered it you won’t look back.
The 12v secondary battery of a motorhome or campervan. It powers the internal lighting, water pump etc in the living area.
LIGHTS AND LANTERNS
Lighting is an important part of getting the atmosphere right. LED lights, xmas lights, household lamps, and candles all have their place in giving your van that unique feel of home.
A motorhome without an over-cab area. They offer reduced wind resistance and a sleeker look.
MAXIMUM AUTHORISED MASS (MAM)
Also known as Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW). It’s a loaded vehicle’s maximum safe weight limit when being used on the road. You’ll find it in the owner’s manual or displayed on a plate or sticker fitted in the vehicle.
MOT AND HABITATION CHECKS
You must MOT your vehicle every year. A habitation check will do a similar job to the MOT, but for the habitation area. It’s a useful check that’s well worth arranging.
MOTORHOME MANOEUVRING COURSE
When you’re used to driving a normal family car, large motorhomes can be daunting to drive. Build up your driving confidence by signing up to a motorhome manoeuvring course. From reversing and safe loading to an invaluable one-to-one driving session with a specialist driving instructor, it’s highly recommended.
MOTORHOME SERVICE POINT
An area where you can fill up with fresh water and empty the waste water tanks.
As well as all those stunning stately homes and gardens, the National Trust also has lots of incredible campsites. Here’s a selection of just some of the best campsites for campervans.
Alongside safe driving, knowing how to navigate the highways and byways of the UK is an essential skill for any touring enthusiast.
The bed over the cab. Often referred to as a Luton overcab. Other bed styles include the drop-down, static, pull-out, rock n roll, transverse, and twin.
A motorhome or campervan conversion where the original van body has been kept. Usually features a sliding door on the side.
The maximum legal weight your vehicle can carry. It’s the difference between the MAM and the vehicle’s unladen weight.
This French motorhome manufacturer produces stunning motorhomes with great design features at the higher end of the market.
Working out which pitch is right for you and your vehicle is a common concern, particularly when the great British weather takes a turn. Grass, hardstanding, or serviced then each have their pros and cons that you’ll have to weigh up.
For those with a larger motorhome there should be no toilet problems. But if you’ve got a smaller campervan then you’ll probably want one of these in a cupboard. Just in case of emergencies. The key thing to remember is to carefully measure the space where you’ll be storing it and get one that fits easily.
Most motorhome owners prefer propane for its year-round capabilities. It usually comes in red cylinders.
Found world-wide throughout campervans and motorhomes. Used in the water system instead of traditional plumbing connectors.
Everyone wants a good night’s sleep when they’ve been touring all day. Don’t be that noisy neighbour!
The American name for a very large motorhome.
Highly regarded, French manufacturer that produces the full range of motorhomes. It produces an excellent range of campervans for the UK market branded Dreamer.
Anything that helps with reversing and other tricky manoeuvres is well worth the investment.
Where you’re exploring unfamiliar parts of the country, a sat nav is a must. Make sure you choose the right sat nav for your campervan or motorhome.
Alongside campervan insurance, a regular service will keep you on the road for longer.
Having a refreshing morning shower with warm water is a luxury many motorhome owners would find hard to give up. Follow these 10 top tips from Motorhome Protect to take care of your motorhome shower.
The front driver and/or passenger seat in a motorhome often swivel to face backwards. That is, once you’ve parked up!
Even in the safest and most secure camping spot you’ll need to stay alive to this common risk.
You’ll know you’re sitting in a very high-class motorhome if you have the luxury of underfloor heating. Perfect for comfy road trips in even the coldest locations.
UNIVERSAL BULB KIT
A blown bulb can happen anywhere and at any time. Keep this in your maintenance kit just in case.
A vehicle’s weight without passengers, contents or fuel.
The Vehicle Identification Number is usually stamped into the chassis. Every vehicle’s VIN is unique.
A very popular choice for campervan self-build enthusiasts. There are a huge variety to choose from and you’ll always get a friendly wave from other owners.
There can be a bewildering number of lights on the dashboard. If you’re wondering what they all mean then read this handy guide from Motorhome Protect.
The distance measured from the front and rear axles of any vehicle. It’s important for steering control and wheel balance.
E[X]TINGUISHERS AND FIRE SAFETY
Fires in campervans and motorhomes are rare, but when they do happen, they can cause a huge amount of damage and danger. It’s vital to take fire safety seriously and have the right fire extinguishers on board.
Why do you need campervan and motorhome insurance? Give us a call and let us explain.
Catching the right amount of zzzs is vital for a successful road trip. Make sure your vehicle is well protected and you enjoy a restful night’s sleep.
PROTECTING YOUR VEHICLE WITH INSURANCE COVER
Campervans and motorhomes are a big investment. Using our panel of insurers Motorhome Protect are sure to find you the best campervan insurance for your needs, tailored to your vehicle, needs and budget. Cover arranged by us includes many benefits. For example:
- Cover for vehicles valued up to £150,000
- Up to £3,500 of cover for your camping personal effects
- Unlimited EU cover
- Discounts if you’re a member of a campervan or a motorhome club
Call today and get a quote for campervan insurance.