The motorhome market can be a bit of a minefield if you haven’t quite decided what you’re looking for. The more informed you are about the options available to you, the more assertively you’ll be able to navigate the market and come away confident that you’ve made the right decision on your motorhome.
In this guide, we’ll cover everything from the differences between coach-built, A-class, American ‘RV’ style, and race trucks to what’s included in motorhome insurance cover.
By the end of it, we hope that you’ll be clear on what type of motorhome is best for you – within budget, the right size and road-ready.
Ultimately, it all comes down to personal preference. What might be the ‘best’ motorhome for you probably won’t be suitable for somebody else.
That’s why we’ll never tell you what type of motorhome you should buy; instead, we’ll help you to make the decision that’s best for you.
Differences between motorhomes and campervans
Before we get into the four different categories of motorhome (as recognised in the UK), it’s important to make the distinction between a motorhome and a campervan.
Without knowing the differences, your search for the perfect motorhome (or campervan) will likely prove frustrating and confusing.
When you think of a campervan, you probably immediately see an image of a Volkswagen, right?
However, campervans come in all shapes and sizes – some have even have a pop-up or high-top roof which might make you think they’re a motorhome at first glance.
The giveaway of whether a vehicle is a campervan or motorhome is usually the living space.
In a campervan, there’s generally no divide between the cab and the living quarters.
As they tend to be smaller in size than motorhomes, there simply isn’t the space for a separate cab.
With only limited room to play with, they usually only have basic facilities for cooking, washing, and sleeping.
Typically speaking, motorhomes include a greater number of appliances than campervans such as full-sized ovens and fridges, and often have bathroom facilities within them.
That’s because a motorhome is built on a truck or bus chassis and designed to serve as self-contained living quarters for recreational travel.
Types of motorhome
As frustrating as it is, you will see both websites and experts using motorhomes and campervans to mean the same thing.
But, now that you know the difference between motorhomes and campervans, you can concentrate on the four different types of motorhome: coach-built, A-class, RV and other.
Probably the most popular type of motorhomes, coach-built vehicles are built on a chassis cab, so they retain the front cab with a motorhome body built onto them to create adequate sleeping and living space.
There are two types of coach-built motorhome: over-cab and low profile.
Over-cabs, or ‘Lutons’, tend to be bigger in size – able to accommodate two to six people – thanks to the having the additional space above the cab, which is usually utilised for storage space or an extra bed.
The low-profile, coach-built motorhome tends to have storage cupboards as a way of making up for the lack of space above the cab.
On the upside, however, this smaller vehicle often handles better than its bigger brother, while fuel consumption is often slightly better.
Able to comfortably accommodate couples or a small family, the low-profile, coach-built motorhome makes the most of the interior space available.
The A-class is considered the most prestigious type of motorhome.
Often built from the chassis up – with a full caravan shell added to make optimum use of the interior space – the A-Class is identifiable by having no separate cab.
Inside you’ll find plenty of space and comfort, complete with a lounge area and, often, a full-size, drop-down double bed above the cab.
The A-Class, then, is suited to those people who want a touch of luxury when road tripping.
It’s the sort of vehicle that, when you pull up at the motorhome park, other motorhome and campervan owners wish they were you.
But, of course, you have to pay extra for the privilege of the added luxury.
- RV (recreational vehicle)
If you can call yourself an RV owner, you’ve not done badly in the world.
An import from America, the RV offers lots of room and luxury.
You might associate RVs with successful musicians, travelling around Europe to play gigs, in a space that accommodates all of their kit and still leaves room to sleep alongside their band and crew.
Think domestic-quality facilities and even flat-screen TVs.
But also remember the extra time and money that will need to be spent on the upkeep of an RV.
You might come across motorhomes that don’t fit neatly into one of these categories – for example, motorsport or race-truck motorhomes that also have room to transport vehicles as well as accommodate people.
These more niche vehicles tend to have specific uses and might still qualify for motorhome insurance.
Before you buy your motorhome
If you’ve found your dream motorhome, it pays to pause for a moment to think about a couple of things before you hand over your hard-earned cash.
Firstly, can you legally drive the vehicle? When you get to vehicles of motorhome size – and even some significantly smaller vehicles – you need to check your driving licence before even taking a test drive.
The licence you need to drive a motorhome depends on your age and the vehicle’s maximum authorised mass (MAM).
This is the vehicle’s weight plus the maximum load it can carry.
Secondly, it’s wise to find out how much the motorhome insurance premiums are likely to be, and what benefits are included in the policy.
Motorhome insurance cover with Motorhome Protect can include the following benefits:
- Unlimited cover across all the countries that are part of the European Union.
- Cover of camping personal effects for up to £3,000.
- Up to 6 months to complete a self-restoration.
- Cover for motorhomes with a value of up to £150,000.
- Unlimited mileage cover.
- Introductuory NCB allowed.
- Discounts for club members.
- Consideration of all claims and convictions.
(Note that these features and benefits are subject to eligibility and underwriting criterea. Get in touch with us to see which features apply to your motorhome.)
Get a no-obligation motorhome insurance quote today.