Motorhome FAQs

Here at Yorkshire Rose Motorhomes, we often get asked a number of similar questions from prospective motorhome owners. So we thought we would put together some of the most frequently asked questions into one handy blog post that potential motorhome owners might find useful. Whether it's a question about driving a motorhome, through to what are the different types of motorhome and what does it actually mean to 'winterise' your motorhome. We get asked all sorts, and we've compiled them all here.

Take a look at some of our most frequently asked questions and answers below. Hopefully you will find the answer to your question by the end of this post, but if not please do not hesitate to contact us!

Our Top Motorhome FAQs

Do I need a special driving licence to drive a motorhome?

Generally speaking, no, you do not need a special driving licence to drive a motorhome. Most drivers can drive most sizes of motorhomes on a standard car driving licence.

However, in certain situations some driving licences will not allow a person to drive vehicles that are 3,500kg or higher. Essentially, if a person is 70-years-old or over, or they passed their driving test after the 1st January 1997, then they will have to pass an additional driving test in order to drive a motorhome that is over 3,500kg.

This is because you must have category C1 entitlement on your driving licence to drive a motorhome of this weight or higher. All driving licences issued before 1st January 1997 will already have C1 entitlement.

If you own a motorhome that exceeds 7,500kg, then you will need to pass a category C driving test to have category C entitlement on your driving licence. Category C is a HGV licence.

Is a motorhome difficult to drive?

For most people a motorhome is just like driving a car. Smaller models in particular are incredibly similar to driving a big car, and don’t require much extra thought.

However, if you’re driving a larger motorhome, you may need to get used to some elements. These include getting used to the size of the vehicle, particularly when driving in busy or smaller roads. You will also need to get used to the different rear visibility, which is far less than what you may be used to.

Are there motorhome driving courses?

The short answer is, yes! The Caravan and Motorhome Club offer a motorhome manoeuvring course, which can help you quickly build your confidence in driving a motorhome.

The course covers:

  • The principles of driving a larger vehicle.
  • How to manoeuvre a motorhome forward and backwards.
  • Simple maintenance tips.
  • A guide to safety checks.
  • The laws affecting motorhome drivers.
  • Feedback from the one-to-one on-road session.

For more information, click here.

What are the different types of motorhomes?

There are four main types of motorhomes on the market. They are:

  • Class A motorhomes: Class A motorhomes are the largest motorhomes around and are generally between 29 and 45 feet long. More spacious than the rest, Class A motorhomes often sleep from six to eight people and are often more luxurious than other models featuring amenities such as fridges, self-contained bathrooms, TVs, and multiple spaces.
  • Class B motorhomes: These are the smallest motorhomes on the market, often referred to as campervans. These models tend to sleep up to four at a time and are often much easier to drive and park than other models. Class B motorhomes have limited space and often operate more as a van with some sleeping space, than a holiday home on wheels.
  • Class B+ motorhomes: These models are like bigger versions of Class B motorhomes. They tend to offer more amenities and luxuries and are more of a cross between a Class B and a Class C motorhome. B+ models can offer things like stand-up shower/bath combos as opposed to the small wet baths you often find in Class B models. B+ models also make good use of space and can often provide kitchens, living spaces, and sleeping spaces that are bigger than those in Class B models. It’s not uncommon to find twin beds and sofa beds in Class B+ motorhomes.
  • Class C motorhomes: These motorhomes are the middle ground between big Class A models and the smaller Class B models. Class C motorhomes look like larger versions of campervans and often have an overhead cabin above the driver and passenger seats providing extra sleeping or storage space. Class C motorhomes are often between 30 and 33 feet long and can sleep up to eight people. They often offer plenty of living space and some of the luxuries you’d associate with a Class A motorhome.

You can read more about the different types of motorhomes here.

Is road tax expensive for a motorhome?

Motorhome owners must pay road tax in order to legally drive their vehicle. Motorhome road tax, or Vehicle Excise Duty (VED), can be paid as a one-off fixed fee for six months or a year.

There are a number of factors that can affect how much road tax you have to pay. These include:

  • The vehicle’s production date.
  • The vehicle’s gross weight.
  • The vehicle’s engine size.

Motorhomes that are under 3,500kg, will be taxed as a private or light goods vehicle. The amount you will pay for these vehicles will vary depending on the engine size.

Vehicles under 3,500kg with an engine that is not over 1549cc, will require a single, 12-monthly payment of £200 in road tax.

Vehicles under 3,500kg with an engine that is over 1549cc, will require a single, 12-monthly payment of £325 in road tax.

Vehicles over 3,500kg in weight will be taxed as a private heavy goods vehicle. These vehicles will require a single, 12-monthly payment of £165 in road tax.

If your motorhome was registered between 1st April 2017 and 11th March 2020 then you will pay a different rate of tax if your motorhome:

  • Is in the M1SP category (you will need to check with your dealer if you are not sure)
  • Has CO2 emissions that are included on the ‘type approval certificate’ (this might be called a ‘certificate of conformity’ or ‘individual vehicle approval’)

What are the ongoing costs of owning a motorhome?

If you purchase a motorhome, it’s a good idea to be aware of what ongoing costs you’ll need to pay throughout the year.

These include:

  • Road tax
  • Vehicle insurance
  • Maintenance costs
  • MOT
  • Storage

We’ve already explained road tax costs for motorhomes in the previous FAQ, so let’s now move on to vehicle insurance.

Just like any other vehicle it is illegal to drive a motorhome on the road without insurance. Motorhome insurance will provide you financial protection and added peace of mind should you get into an accident or have your motorhome stolen.

You should expect to pay somewhere between £220 - £400 per year, with the average cost of around £315 per year for a motorhome that’s worth around £40,000.

MOTs and servicing are also essential for motorhomes, so the cost of these should also be factored in when budgeting. And you may also have to spend money throughout the year on ongoing maintenance in order to keep your motorhome in the best condition.

If you have a driveway or somewhere else where you can store your motorhome when it’s not in use, then you don’t need to worry about storage costs. However, for some people, you may wish to make use of an indoor storage facility, which will cost you money.

Does my motorhome need to be plugged in when I am stationary for my appliances to work?

Most motorhomes can plug into mains hook-ups when you’re at a campsite. This can help you charge the battery and operate all of the lights and appliances on board.

However, if you’re taking your motorhome somewhere that does not have a mains supply, then fear not, your vehicle’s leisure battery should keep you in power for a few days. In some instances you may also use a gas cylinder to supply heating and refrigeration. However, a gas cylinder will often run out much faster than a battery will, so be sure to top it up before your trip.

When using a leisure battery, you can often top it up throughout your stay by using a solar panel or by driving the motorhome around.

What is a leisure battery?

When driving a vehicle, the automotive battery will supply a high current that helps start the engine. The rest of the time the vehicle is on the move, this battery is being charged by the alternator.

These automotive batteries are not designed to provide the sort of power required to power the appliances and equipment in the motorhome when it’s stationary. This is because these batteries aren’t meant to supply small amounts of energy over long periods of time.

This is where a leisure battery comes in. Leisure batteries provide a power source for 12V appliances and can power the motorhome’s lights, TV, and kitchen appliances.

Most motorhomes are fitted with a leisure battery, but if you do not have one, you should consider purchasing one.

Leisure batteries can then be charged using an external battery charger that is fitted to the mains power or by driving the motorhome around.

Can I smoke in a motorhome?

In the UK the Smoke-Free (Private Vehicles) Regulations 2015 ensure that it is illegal for anyone to smoke in an enclosed private vehicle that is carrying someone under 18-years-old. If there are no people in the vehicle that are under 18-years-old, then everyone is free to smoke.

These laws, however, only apply to a vehicle that is moving and does not apply to a motorhome that is:

  • Stationary and not on the road.
  • On the road but is being used for living accommodation.

Do I need to use a seatbelt when travelling in the rear seats of my motorhome?

Seatbelts must always be worn if a person is travelling in the front seats of a motorhome.

You will also find that almost all motorhomes will feature seatbelts on forward facing seats that are in the rear as these are designated travelling seats. If there are seatbelts fitted to these seats, then the law states that you must use them when travelling.

If sideways facing seats are fitted with seatbelts, these technically do not meet the required standards by law. However, despite it not being strictly illegal to travel in these seats, we would recommend that you avoid doing so.

What does it mean to ‘winterise’ my motorhome?

Winterising is the name for the steps you can take in order to protect your motorhome from damage due to cold temperatures. It’s the term we use for the practice of preparing your motorhome for winter.

When winterising your motorhome, you should ensure that you do the following things:

  • Drain the water supply: Any water that remains in your vehicle’s plumbing systems can freeze during winter. Freezing can cause it to expand and destroy pipes and valves, which you will need to pay to repair before your next trip. So it is absolutely vital that you completely drain your vehicle’s water system.
  • Drain your water heater: You should also ensure that you drain all of the water from your motorhome’s boiler. Your boiler can be hugely expensive to replace, so be sure to drain it to avoid damage during winter.
  • Charge your leisure battery throughout winter: Your motorhome’s leisure battery can fully discharge within 2-3 weeks of not being used. If you allow this battery to discharge fully, it may damage it. For this reason, it’s always a good idea to hook your motorhome up to the mains power for 24 hours or so every few weeks. In some instances, you may need to use a separate DIY charger or charge the battery for longer periods of time.
  • Remove delicate electronics: It’s always a good idea to remove delicate devices such as TVs and radios from your motorhome. This is because water could condense on the electronics inside them, which can damage them. It is also a good idea to remove these devices, along with any other expensive items, to protect you in the event of a break-in.
  • Protect your upholstery from the sun: Just because it’s winter, doesn’t mean that the sun won’t damage your motorhome’s upholstery. For this reason, it’s always a good idea to keep your blinds and curtains shut throughout the winter.

Other steps you may wish to take to prepare your motorhome for winter include:

  • Topping up the engine coolant antifreeze to protect your engine.
  • Inflating all of the tyres to the correct pressure.
  • Removing all food from the motorhome to avoid attracting vermin.
  • Adding an antifreeze component to the windscreen washer tank.
  • Switching off gas bottles, disconnecting them and storing them in an upright position in a well-ventilated place.
  • Ensuring ventilation holes are clear, to help manage moisture levels.

Any other questions, get in touch!

If you have any other questions about owning a motorhome, or would like to enquire about our services, then don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can give us a call today on 01302 439360 and one of our friendly, helpful team will be happy to help.

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