Motorhome and van living, a life on the road.
October 21, 2018
“Of course, you are free to ignore Socrates’ advice and spend the rest of your days in frivolous pursuits a gang of marketing mavens designed for you. Or you can spend a few minutes thinking about what’s truly important. What should be the goal of your life? What does it mean to have lived well?”
THE AWAKENED APE-JEVAN PRADAS 2016
I have considered many possibilities around how I could live the sort of alternative lifestyle I have always dreamt of.
I was never meant for the 9 to 5.
As time has gone by I have narrowed down my options to four possibilities:
- Work a regular job for the summer months in the UK, pay rent and bills and feel pretty down about it but make up for it by attending festivals and clubs like Whirl-i-gig. Then I would spend four to five months of the year over the winter months in Goa, India to make up for my miserable existence the rest of the time: this option does not really appeal.
- Live on a canal boat in the summer months, run some sort of small business from that boat and once again winter in Goa: this is more appealing. Canal boat communities
- Live amongst a community in a hippie commune or shared house of like-minded people, where the environment would make me happier; I am writing about this way of life in my next post.
- And four is the subject of today’s post, buy a motorhome and live in it full time whilst travelling the world.
long-term motorhome living on the road.
“Fear is what stops us from truly living. For many that dream of travelling around the world, the thing that stops them from doing so is the fear of not having enough money or sustaining an income to sustain their travels…Be bold and fearless. A new chapter in your life is about to begin.” LEARN HOW TO MAKE YOUR FIRST $100 WHILE TRAVELLING AROUND THE WORLD AS A DIGITAL NOMAD-DAVID JAMES
This is something I have thought about a lot over the years. It makes so much sense. Your home is your vehicle, your costs are reasonably low, you make money through writing (at point of writing this post my book has sold its first 42 copies and my first royalty payment goes into my bank next week, its only a small amount but its a start and through starting adverts on my blog I can make more money to live on; so it is possible).
Unfortunately for me, I would have to learn to drive first but when I set my mind to something I achieve it; thas just the way I am.
If you fancy the idea of this there are lots of blogs online, written by people who are living this lifestyle: one such blog is WANDERING BIRD: WWW.WANDERING-BIRD.COM
Heres a snippet:
ONE YEAR OF MOTORHOME LIFE- LESSONS WE’VE LEARNT
written by Wandering Bird 31st May 2018
“We bought our first Motorhome in May 2017. Since then, we’ve explored 11 countries (England, Wales, Scotland, France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Liechtenstein, Belgium and Luxembourg.) We’ve travelled over 17,000 miles, had two different motorhomes and have made many, (MANY) mistakes. Boy, has it been a learning curve. Time has gone so fast, and yet we’ve managed to do so much. So, to celebrate our first year of Motorhome Life, we sat down with a glass (fine, ok, a bottle) of wine and detailed what’s been our biggest lessons learnt from a year of motorhome adventures!”
I love the idea of just travelling from country to country, meeting new characters as I go and discovering new and amazing places and people.
You can also make the inside of your vehicle unique to who you are; mine would be a hippie paradise with a sound system to play my music and Indian drapes hanging from the walls.
But let us look at the pros and cons of this lifestyle and be a little more realistic.
Article courtesy of Comfort Insurance: www.comfort-insurance.co.uk
Living in a Motorhome – Pros & Cons
“Have you ever thought about living in a motorhome? Not just using it for the odd holiday, or a road trip across the country – but actually calling it your home?
It’s not a way of living many choose. You have to really love being in your motorhome, for most or all of the time.
But if it’s something you’re considering, and are wondering whether it’s right for you, then we’ve come up with a brief guide on the pros and cons of living in a motorhome full-time, as well as the other considerations you’ll have to take into account.”
Is it legal to live in a motorhome or campervan full-time?
“Yes – there are no UK laws stopping you from living in your motorhome, campervan or van full-time. The only requirement is that your vehicle has passed its MOT and is fully road legal.
However, there may be restrictions on where you can park up and reside, which you’ll need to research yourself depending on where you decide to go.
The allure of motorhome living comes from being able to take your home with you, but this doesn’t mean you can park up anywhere.
For example, local authorities across the UK and Europe might have restrictions on whether you are or aren’t allowed to park up in a street or layby and spend the night there. It also might not be safe to do so. If you’re unsure on where you can and can’t park (particularly at night time), be sure to consult The Highway Code guide.”
The Pros and Cons of Living in a Motorhome (or Campervan)
“One of the most obvious differences between living in a motorhome and living in a house is the limited space available to you.
But if you are living in a motorhome, RV or Winnebago you typically have much more space to work with than if you’re living permanently in a campervan.
- Cleaning. You can clean the entire interior and exterior of your motorhome in around an hour, granting you more time for fun activities and relaxing. Plus, the range of plug-in 12V and rechargeable handheld vacuum cleaners available on the market makes cleaning your vehicle easier than it’s ever been.
- Less jobs = more time. Having a smaller space to maintain and keep clean creates plenty of opportunities to spend time with your friends and family.
- Lack of space. Some people like their space. And if there are a few people who will be living in your motorhome, there won’t be a lot going spare. Everyone will probably have to share one bathroom, and the beds are likely to be close together.
- Mess and untidiness. Unless kept under control, mess could become more of a problem due to living in smaller space. This will again be exacerbated if there are a few people living in the vehicle as it can be easy to become frustrated at a lack of space to store belongings.
Simply put, if you want time and space by yourself, full-time motorhome life probably isn’t for you.”
“Living in a motorhome, camper or RV means you can go wherever you want, whenever you like. This is arguably the main reason people choose to live in a motorhome.
You never have to stay in one spot for longer than necessary.
- Enjoy complete freedom. Travel practically anywhere in the UK and Europe, knowing that you have a bed to sleep in at night wherever you are.
- Live in incredible places. With the complete freedom that full-time motorhoming allows, you might find yourself drinking your morning coffee overlooking Lake Windermere one day or in the Brecon Beacons the next.
- Stay as long as you like. Living in a motorhome means you can stay in one place as long as you want to (provided you have somewhere suitable to park up). Then just jump behind the wheel and leave for the next leg of your adventure.
- Challenging to drive. Motorhomes can be difficult to drive around, especially if you’re not particularly experienced in this area. If you’re not overly confident driving vehicles larger than a car, you might want to think twice about living permanently in a motorhome. However, there are a number of motorhome training courses available if you want to improve your skills.
- Larger vehicles require a category C driving license. If you’ve passed your driving test before 1st January 1997 and you’re not yet 70, you are automatically allowed to drive vehicles as heavy as 7.5 tonnes. However, anyone with a standard UK license can drive motorhomes and campervans under 3.5 tonnes, and to cater to this the majority of new motorhomes are manufactured with a Maximum Allowable Mass (MAM) of 3.5 tonnes. You can use the government resource to check which vehicles you can drive.
- One of the only limitations on motorhome living is where you can and can’t park. As mentioned above, it’s advisable to plan your parking before you set off on the next leg of your journey – and this itself may incur some monetary costs.”
Cost of living in a motorhome or campervan
“Whether you live in a house, flat or a motorhome – there are different costs you need to be aware of. However, full-time living in a motorhome brings with it some very unique expenses which you might not have considered.
- Much cheaper than a house. Unless your circumstances are very unusual, living in a motorhome is less expensive than living in a house. In terms of how much money it costs to run on a day-to-day basis, motorhomes, RVs and campervans are cheaper.
- Park fees are affordable. The money you spend to park up somewhere for a few days won’t cost you the world. Most campsites are reasonably cheap to park up in.
- Petrol costs. If you stay in one place for a long time, you won’t have to worry too much about petrol costs.
Aside from the above, there are additional costs that come with living in a motorhome.
- Cost to buy a vehicle. The most obvious is the price of a motorhome itself. They can be quite expensive, especially if you want a newer model. However, when compared to the cost of a house, the cost is minimal.
- Insurance. And the insurance will be higher if you’re living in it full-time, as opposed to just using it for a holiday every now and again.
- Budgeting. It can be difficult to create a budget when costs are so varied in different places. You could find yourself spending more than usual in a certain location.”
“You don’t normally stay in one place if you’re living in a motorhome. Typically, you will visit lots of different parts of the UK. You may even find yourself visiting different countries in Europe, which is one of the fantastic benefits of motorhome living.
- Sense of adventure. If you have a sense of adventure, then the motorhome life is wonderful.
- See new places. The motorhome life allows you to meet new people and experience different ways of living.
- No two weeks will be the same – you won’t get bored of doing the same thing over and over.
- No restrictions.If you’ve made the decision to live in your motorhome and travel, you won’t be restricted by what you can do, and where you can go.
- No fixed abode. Some people prefer to stay in one place – mainly because they might have friends and family nearby, and always being on-the-move means they see them less. However, the beauty of your situation is that you can choose to stay somewhere as long as you like. If you like where you are, you can stay put.
- Postal address. Not having a fixed address can be complicated when it comes to getting post, paying off bills and filling out forms.
- Local amenities. You might find it difficult to not have a local doctor or dentist that you know and trust. Living in a motorhome means that you won’t have the convenience of these local services.”
Key things to consider
“As mentioned above, you will still need to receive your post. You’ll still need to receive your
However, it is not possible to get it sent to your motorhome as you are not likely to be in the same place for long.
So, what are the options for receiving post when you live in a motorhome?
- Get your post delivered to a relative or friend. This is a popular option as it allows you a safe and trusted place to receive your post. That way, if you receive an important document you know it can be delivered to someone you trust.
- Your right to vote. If you are going to get your post sent to someone who lives alone (and thus pays a reduced council tax bill), you will be giving up your right to vote. This is because you can’t register on the electoral roll. It is important to have a postal address because the company that provides your motorhome insurance will need somewhere to send the documents.
- Other options. If you don’t have an option of a friend or family’s address to send to, you could always consider other options like renting a virtual mailbox. Some services will receive, scan and email you your mail confidentially so that you can receive your postal correspondence while on the move.”
“Keeping warm in winter can be a struggle in some houses let alone a motorhome. This is when the choice of vehicle is important.
- Choose a well-insulated vehicle. More are well-insulated and have double glazing but you will inevitably find yourself using more gas during the winter. This is why it is a good idea to book some campsites for this season so you can hook up to the electric supply rather than spending excessive money on gas. In this situation, it’s a good idea to look out for campsites that include electricity in their pitch fee.
- Water tanks. In most modern motorhomes, your water tanks are located underneath the vehicle but with a kind of heated flooring to prevent them from freezing. If they aren’t protected and are located under the vehicle, then they can be prone to freezing.”
Best Motorhomes and Campervans to live in
“There’s no “best” vehicle for you to live full-time in, as everyone has their own specific requirements. Some people might want a smaller, compact B Class van that allows them the freedom they want to live how they want.
However, some might want a more lavish A Class bus with every amenity you can imagine from a motorhome.
It all depends on your budget and your priorities.
If space is important to you, then an A-Class or C Class motorhome would be the better choice for you.
If you’re more concerned about budget, or perhaps you might be considering a campervan conversion”.
Is full-time motorhome life right for me?
“It’s really down to personal preference.
Hopefully, we’ve given you enough of an idea on what life on-the-road is like, so you can decide if it’s right for you.
If you choose to give it a go, then we’d love to hear about your experiences!
And, as always, ensure you have suitable insurance for your travels.”
Full-time motorhome insurance
“If you’ve read this far, then you are probably thinking seriously about full-time living on the road.
Whether you drive an RV, motorhome or campervan, you will need to sort out full-time insurance for your permanent home-on-wheels.”
QUOTE FROM: HOW TO LIVE IN A VAN AND TRAVEL BY MIKE HUDSON-2017:
“More and more people are breaking out of their brick homes and moving into vans to live simple, mobile lives led by curiosity, freedom and adventure…You can live anywhere you want. A van is freedom. It’s the new office. It’s the new home. And no one will be asking for rent.”
So, you clearly have to think this through before taking the leap and selling your home or packing in that job but if you have the balls then its worth it.
For me, as a people person, it would be all about the people you meet on your travels, fellow travellers of the world.
“Wits are needed for one who wanders widely…the impulse toward pilgrimage-a sacred journey or a journey in search of the sacred-must be nearly as old as the human sense of the higher powers themselves”. JOURNEYS IN THE KALI YUGA-AKI CEDERBERG-DESTINY BOOKS
To end and in order for you to give great thought to this alternative lifestyle; Heres one motorhome travellers tale, courtesy of www.theguardian.com
I left corporate life behind to live in a camper van. I am never going back
“I’ll probably never have a 401K, but I have some trout from the stream to sustain me. Of course, a sudden accident or illness could do me in at any time, but I’m afraid this is true for all of us”
Vanessa Runs: ‘When I had to start choosing between food or coverage, I picked eating.’ Photograph: vanessaruns.com
“Every once in a while someone asks me about my “aha” moment: the exact time when I knew I would become a full-time nomad, quit my job and “retire” from a budding and promising career at age 29 to travel across the American continent indefinitely in a 22-foot Rialta RV with one dog, one cat and one husband in tow.
I would usually tell the story of my epiphany on the summit of a mountain in Colorado. I would also describe how I managed to convince my husband, an electrical engineer in a rising company, to abandon our mailing address and our white picket fence in San Diego. It’s a good story and I wrap it up neatly.
Then last week, I finally understood how silly that story was. My real turning point came way before that. The “aha” moment was more like an “uh-oh” moment.
This story involves the collapse of a failed long-term, live-in relationship back in my 20s when I still believed a woman could change a man with nags and threats alone. It was the day I abandoned my treasured and custom-made cherry wood table.
The night we split up, we didn’t discuss the table. We discussed my debts. The ones he caused with his traumatic brain injury, lengthy recovery, even longer rehabilitation, subsequent reschooling, and ultimate refusal or inability to get a job. We discussed how bad my credit was. How badly I needed to sell the condo.
When things were first becoming strained between us, I had the cherry wood table custom-made. It was spectacular: dark brown, beautifully finished, simple and sturdy. I displayed it without a tablecloth. In the evening, the sun would hit it just right and it would practically glow.
“Here is something beautiful for the both of us that I have helped create,” I thought.
My efforts didn’t work, and our paths shifted. I gave up the dream of a house-centred life that didn’t quite fit me.
My new path took me to San Diego, where I re-entered the workforce and eventually married a wonderful man whose destiny it was to drive me around.
That first year in the RV was like a vacation. Both of us overworked and under-stimulated, we drove from San Diego to Alaska, across Canada, then back down the East coast. And for the next two years, we did our favourite parts all over again.
These days we have slowed way down. Our senior dog, now 15, is showing her age and doesn’t travel as well as she used to. We are ageing too, favouring quiet campgrounds over urban convenience. We chug along with poor clearance in a never-ending pursuit of that perfect campsite no one has ever heard about.
We own two bowls, two spoons and two forks. We wash our dishes with creek water. My husband goes fishing for our breakfast. I walk a lot. I seek solitude like a junkie seeks crack. I sleep extravagantly.
The miles have been kind to me. I’ve known hummingbirds as friends, holding their tiny pulsing bodies in the palm of my hand. I often waste an entire day reading. I can sneak up on a squirrel.
I live and write offline. The sunsets slip by one after the other, and I am sentenced to watch them quietly, without reaching for a selfie. I tuck these moments away in my heart where they fester into a messy sort of love.
I have learned that I don’t need to possess things in order to love them. I have learned that most people are not like me. I have learned that many people are exactly like me. I have learned that security is a myth.
At this exact moment, I have a little over $6,000 sitting in my bank account. Without any extra sacrifices, this can feed and sustain my humble family for three months.
Of course, a sudden accident or illness could do me in at any time, but I’m afraid this is true for all of us. Or at least it has always been true for me. I used to have insurance once, many years ago. When I had to start choosing between food or coverage, I picked eating. I have never been able to afford both since then.
One winter morning while I was working towards my university degree, I picked up the school paper to read an article about how very affluent our student body was and how much disposable income we all had. Just the day before I had eaten dinner out of the garbage, my first meal of the day. Somehow I always feel that everything is going to be okay.
I have faith not so much in the positive outcome of things, but more strongly in my own ability to endure everything. There will always be times of trouble and I will always survive them. I am good at making jokes in the dark places. I am good at suffering. I am good at loss.
Today I went to see the Gila Cliff Dwellings in New Mexico. Seven hundred years ago, Mogollon natives inhabited these caves. I walked where they walked. I saw where they ate and drank and slept. I looked out of their windows and saw the same views they would have seen.
I didn’t spot any cherry wood tables, but the view was of one giant mesa: a table for God himself. Deep and dark and black-veined, more intricately carved than anything I could dream up and teeming with life.
“Here is a mesa that has been holding hundreds of trees for hundreds of years,” I told myself. “Surely I’ve been brought here to do more than cling to one dead slab of cherry wood.”
I’ll probably never have a 401K, but I have some trout from the stream and there’s enough to share with you, too, should you drop by. I have fresh water from the mountain and an extra mug of coffee. I have a little bit of bread, some wine in my mason jar, and a messy sort of love for you.”
And everything is going to be okay.
“Vanessa Runs is the author of The Summit Seeker: Memoirs of a Trail-Running Nomad and Daughters of Distance: Stories of Women in Endurance Sports. You can follow her at vanessaruns.com.”
If a motorhome life is for you; then its time to hit the road and find freedom, peace and happiness…