Is a Campervan for you?

Our Guide to Help You Discover Whether a Campervan Holiday is Right For you

Motorhome travel and hire is a phenomena sweeping the globe, with the amount of campervan road trips rising annually. People of every age are arranging motorhome and campervans holidays for themselves. From elderly to people with one or two children and 20-somethings. They are not just confined to summer either but throughout the year. If you are in between making the leap yourself but are unsure, read our guide below to help you out!

Advantages of Travelling in a Campervan

campervan road trip

- Staying in a campervan means you only have to unpack once. It is frustrating when travelling to several cities as you’ll constantly be packing and unpacking, and the suitcase always results in such a horrendous mess! However, in the campervan all you have to is unpack once in your campervan, and you don’t have to worry about the weight of the case, or you can even bring things directly into the campervan and not bother with cramming.

- Independence on your road trip. You are not tied into a predestined route. You don’t have to rely on hotels, public transport and can go anywhere at any time. Take off depending on the weather, mood or whatever reason. 

- One of the biggest costs on your holiday is going to be paying for food. Dining out is not cheap. However with a campervan you have cooking facilities on the road thanks to your oven, hob and fridge. This means you can cook on the move or even meal prep before you leave and store it safely.

-Motorhomes mean you don’t have to keep your belongings in a shared living space. A hotel room will have maids and have had other guests before you. The campervan will be locked and safe and your sleeping will be brilliant.

- Campervans have lots of storage space. You can bring all of your travel essentials and a little to spare.

- Stay nice and comfy on the road with a real mattress that will be as comfy as anything you have ever stayed on. You can even bring some home from home comforts. Bring board games, plants, blankets or whatever else you may want to bring. Put the home back into motorhome.

- Don’t want to leave your little pooch behind? A campervan means you don’t have to. They can have their only little spot on the road with you in the campervan.

camper facilities

Disadvantages of Motorhome Travel

- Although travelling in a campervan can be a lot cheaper because you can put accommodation and travel costs together - it still is not cheap. You need to factor in everything when travelling like meals and other costs you may incur but still its worth noting it is not cheap.

- Driving a campervan can be daunting and a little confusing for some. They are significantly bigger than most people's day to day vehicles. Parking and moving in tight corners is a thing that people find particularly hard to manage, due to gauging the size of the campervan.

- Organising yourself and getting moving every day can be a lot. Day trips and shorter trips can be a lot of effort if you are constantly driving a big vehicle like this around. You also have to be sure everything in the campervan is in place so it won’t get damaged. A bike or car is something else is recommended to get around this issue of a campervan as your base vehicle.

What size campervan should I hire?

Converted Vans

This is where your living vehicle starts to get really autonomous, as most van conversions include a washroom with a shower compartment and a toilet. Van conversions are longer and taller than campervans, providing added living space although still a small space. They are perfect for wild camping. This is not to say that conversions are without their drawbacks. This is the stage where you need to start worrying about something that doesn't impact smaller vehicles: height restrictions.

explore in a van

Motor Homes

Motor homes are the rolling houses-on-wheels that are also known (especially in the states) as RVs. Though they're far from sporty, motor homes are unbeatable when it comes to creature comforts. Any cramped cold-weather stay in a camper van will have you dreaming of the luxury offered by a big motor home with as much insulation as they have. While motor homes tend to look about as attractive as plastic bricks on wheels, they truly can't be beaten for space and comfort, they do generally cost more money.

The size of a van conversion presents some obvious compromises. The larger you go, the more interior space you get, of course. But the larger your campervan is, the more challenging it is to drive, particularly in cramped quarters and tricky manoeuvres like reversing. Larger vans will also be physically incapable of fitting into some of the spaces open to smaller vehicles. (Bear in mind that a big enough van can carry along alternative modes of transport, like bicycles.) Rental costs also tend to increase proportionally with the size of the vehicle you hire.

Believe it or not, you don't need to worry about special licencing to drive fairly large vans and motor homes. The bare minimum driving licence covers vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes in gross weight, and you'll actually find it difficult to find a campervan over that limit available for hire.

Campervan Life: What's It Like?

At its best, campervan life is a serene experience. It offers real self-determination. When you are travelling in a campervan, you can set your own destination, schedule, and pace. Whether that s parked up next to serene Highland lakes and cooking over an open beach fire just outside your motor home with stunning views. Campervan holidays account for some of peoples happiest memories and give you the chance for freedom and to explore. You can also set it to to your own budget - either to save money or spend a lot more money.

On the other hand, cabin fever is a real thing. The longer you live in a campervan (particularly without interruptions), the smaller it can feel.

This is why it's important to research the weather you can expect at your destination. The best campervan holiday experiences include lots of outdoor time, whether you're "roughing it" on your own or spending the night at a campsite. Sitting outside your campervan can be idyllic -- when the sun is shining and the temperature's right. What will you do if it's raining, or if the sun is blazing hot? You can plan the right wardrobe, but how does it work with your campervan? What do you do with muddy wellies after a squall? How do you dry out rain-soaked sweaters? And how comfortable is a roof bed going to be if there's high-velocity wind screaming past it all night?

As you'd imagine from these hypotheticals, good weather is an important part of enjoyable campervan travel. If you're planning for a long stay or know you'll be facing adverse weather, it's a good idea to invest in a larger van or a campervan. The added space (and the climate control system) will be very welcome!

Can A Camper Van Fit Your Needs?

In my personal experience, few travel stops can match the ability to pull over at short notice when you find a nice view, open up the door, and brew a nice cup. You're travelling in an entirely different style when you have kitchen, washroom, and all your necessities along for the ride.

But the campervan life isn't for everyone. Ask yourself: Do you tend to get bored and anxious when you're on the road for too long? Is luxury an absolute necessity when you travel? Is your personality cut out for living in very close proximity to your travelling companions? If you answered yes to these questions, think very carefully before you commit to a campervan holiday.

With that caveat on the record, I will say that I consider motorhome rental Ireland something that anyone and everyone should try at least once. If the experience suits you, you may have found a new pastime. If van life disagrees with you, well, better to find it out through a rental than after you've invested in buying a van.

Vacationing in a campervan is always an adventure. Whether the travel and the weather are completely cooperative or they decide to challenge you, you'll not soon forget your first campervan vacation.