Tips for renting a campervan in Ireland

Some tips to help you make the best decisions for your next hire

Is this the first time you have considered going for a campervan or motorhome holiday? Let us show you some key tips you can use to plan and enjoy your perfect holiday so far!

explore ireland by motorhome

Organizing Your Trip Is Key

You may be looking to camp differently other than using a tent. Reasonably, some people get bored from spending an entire day in one place during their holiday. Rental presents an enticing opportunity for extra freedom and fun on your holiday. Look at it this way; you get to enjoy many road trips and see plenty of exciting stuff along the way, explore new places like national parks, sleep under an actual solid roof, and preserve your beer just as you like it – chilled.

As you can imagine, it is an entirely different experience. With a camper van hire or motorhome, you have an exciting opportunity to tour different parts of the world. It does not matter the kind of holiday experience you want; it could be a coast-to-coast campervan trip or a fortnight vacation with your family. Hiring a camper van is the perfect option for what you seek. The first part of this article shows you how to select the ideal vehicle, the facilities you can expect to find in the vehicle, and the cost of hiring the motorhome or camper van. Knowing where you will rest your head for the night makes planning much easier - check out our favourite campsites in Ireland like Kilmore Quay.

How To Select The Ideal Campervan For Your Holiday Needs

In many circumstances, you will have to start by choosing between a small campervan and a large campervan. But what are the major distinctions between the two?

campervan holiday

Features Of The Small Campervan

Fundamentally, a camper van is like a panel van that has been remodelled to provide some living space for the user/s. In the recent past, the design of these modern camping vans has stirred a strong online reaction, with millions of people sharing posts of their #vanlife. However, these vintage campervans do not offer practical and modern living conditions, making it nearly impossible to enjoy a relaxed and romantic holiday. This is why you are better off hiring a contemporary model of the camping van.

For example, the VW or Ford Transit base vans offer sufficient sleeping space for up to four adults. In addition, the camping vans are suitable for short vacations, especially where small families are involved. Hiring this campervan in Ireland comes at an affordable cost, and the space inside is a comfortable living space for users who intend to spend plenty of time outdoors. These are what people use to get away for the weekend, escape campervans if you will. These are great if you are not confident on small Irish roads leading to many of our attractions like the Giants Causeway or Glendalough.

You will realize that driving around in a campervan feels more or less like driving a big car that is more energy-efficient compared to a motorhome. Read on here to find the perfect campervan for you.

Features Of A The Large Campervan

A four or six-berth motorhome is ideal if you have a big family or are planning to take an extended holiday break. The motorhome may not seem as fashionable as a campervan, but it offers far greater practicality.

For example, motorhome beds are much more comfortable and have extra features like a loo, shower, and oven like most rental companies have.

On the other side, it means you have to drive around with a larger vehicle, and your confidence and ability to manoeuvre the vehicle and pick motorway and road trip routes will be tested especially on narrow country roads.

In addition, you need to be concerned about driving regulations. Specifically, only drivers aged below 70 years who passed their driving tests before 1997 have the C1 category on their license to allow them to drive any motorhome weighing up to 7500kg. Anyone else can only drive vans weighing less than 3500kg.

motorhome interior ireland

The Facilities Found In A Campervan or Motorhome from  Rental Companies

Regardless of the size of the campervan or motorhome you opt for, it is helpful to know the type of facilities likely to be found in either of the two camping vehicles. You will likely find a water tank, a fridge, a 2-burner gas hob, a sink, and a tap for cooking facilities. Other models may come with a grill or oven. At first, these facilities may appear quite limited, but it is a huge improvement compared to cooking under a canvas. In addition, there is plenty of room to be creative in your cooking using two rings only!

You can also expect to find foldable beds that are usually packed away for living or driving as they are the standard options. A motorhome is also likely to have fixed bunk beds and double beds.

Pop-top roofs – some pop-top roofs open when you push a button. They provide an opportunity for the young ones to have fun in the ‘upstairs’ playing area, especially when the weather seems unbearable. You might be used to camping underneath a canvas where you leave your bedding lying around all day; however, to use the campervan as more than just your bedroom, you will have to put away your bed every morning and arrange the bedding later at night. Simply put, you will have to stay organized as long as you use the campervan.

Let us talk about the washing facilities for a minute. Ordinarily, the large motor homes for hire come with fixed toilets; however, other camper vans come with a portable toilet or a porta potty. Also, it is worth remembering that many camping sites have washrooms, rendering the campervans washing facilities, including the portable toilet, a not-so-important consideration.

motorhome kitchen

The design of campervans is creative enough to provide the required living space. For example, you can fold out the tables or the swivelling front seats to free up more space in the van. Also, the vehicle has numerous creative storage spaces and trendy lighting in the internal area. You can also expect wind-out awnings (fixed on the side of the campervan) and a portable toilet (you might find immovable toilets and showers in the bigger motorhomes.

For example, I am always eager to show people how the two picnic seats in my VW California are kept in the tailgate and the outdoor table tidily packed in the sliding door. Your only concern is not to feel too smug as you enjoy a cup of tea served within a few minutes of setting up your breakfast table as your friends are just finishing locating their tents’ pegs.

Upon hiring a campervan or motorhome, you will only require to carry your clothes, food (it is better to buy food along the way and unpack it directly into the storage cupboards), and other personal items like bedding, sports or games equipment, and camera. Rental companies provide basic items like cooking equipment, cutlery, utensils, bedding, and outdoor chairs and table. Other companies offer bike racks, DVD players, roof racks, and driveway awnings. To accommodate a pet, you might have to pay an extra cost.

Having the right facilities is one thing, but knowing how to use them is equally important. The facilities that are easy to use include ‘utilities’ like gas, water, electricity, and toilet or disposal. Here, we advise you to seek written instructions and a demonstration from the rental companies when picking up the van. In addition, many camper vans and motorhomes (including the upgraded vintage ones) can be connected to an electric hook-up in the campsite to help power the 240v plug sockets, internal lights, ovens/grills, or fridges.

Also, it is important to know how to switch the gas on or off since the hobs and fridges in the van may run out of gas. Water is stored in onboard water tanks; you can refill the tanks anytime at a campsite. You can safely empty the waste in the portable toilet at a campsite’s disposal station.

Vital Questions To Ask Before You Hire A VAN

-Does the camper van or motorhome hiring arrangement have a mileage limit? And what are the repercussions of exceeding these limits?
-How can I deposit the hiring charge?
-Do I pay any extra costs for additional drivers and insurance?
-How can I access breakdown services? We expect that this is provided as standard.
-Is there a minimum age limit required for the driver?
-What are the facilities included in the offer? Several hiring companies charge an additional cost for the facilities required for the road trip, like bedding packs, kitchen, chairs, outdoor tables, bike racks, and awnings.
-Do I have to clean the vehicle when returning it to the rental company?
-Do I need to empty the tanks and toilet cassettes? (It is recommended that you take this initiative and clean after yourself).
-Does the hire come with its own bedding for myself and family members?
-Does the camper van come with a gas canister, and do I need to return it in full?
-Does the hiring company accept pets to be accommodated in the van? Does the motorhome have the necessary pet facilities like a cat litter box etc.?
-Does the hiring company formally hand over the vehicle as they explain how everything works at the depot location?
-Is there a customer service line you can dial if you need help with the van during the camping period or breakdown cover?
-Do I return the campervan to the same location as the pick up?
-However, you can expect all trustworthy companies to offer their clients sufficient support and communication arrangements.

motorhome luggage

How To Use Your Rental In The Best Way

What To Pack When Going Camping With Your Motorhome

Hiring a motorhome from trustworthy rental companies is important to ensure it is completely equipped with necessities and everyday facilities such as hoes, power cables, buckets, and cleaning equipment. In addition, you will be furnished with a list of the inventory.

It is helpful if you request the campervan inventory ahead of time to help you know what you need to pack for your camping expedition. If the vehicle depot is nearby, you may pack your essentials from home after collection or pack what you need in soft luggage bags that are easier to store.

The Most Important Motorhome Essentials To Pack In Your Hired van

It will help if you carry your clothes, toiletries, and other personal effects. You must remember to pack light as camping in a motorhome as it differs from a hotel, which has much more space. Surely, no one needs to pack their six pairs of shoes in the motorhome!

You will need lightweight sleeping bags to serve as the ideal bedding option, especially for non-standard sizes of bunk beds and French beds (whose corners have been cut off).Also, carry some quick-drying microfiber towels, a better option than the heavy fluffy one that requires more storage space.

The motorhome has an RTA first aid kit to adhere to EU laws. However, it is important to carry a standard first aid kit for occasional scratches, insect bites, etc.

Remember the loo roll and look for the thin options - they will require less space in the hire van.

Pack some anti-bacterial wipes to sanitize the toilet cassette and the end of the hose in case you drop it or need to use a hose offered at the camping site.

Also, remember some dishcloths, tea towels, kitchen rolls, and other necessary cleaning chemicals.

You will need specialist toilet chemicals such as these.

Remember to pack a car phone charger to ensure your electrical devices stay supplied.

You will require a washing line and pegs in your rental. Alternatively, you can use these ratchet lines to secure the line to trees.

Also, pack a few fun items like jigsaws or playing cards to maintain indoor fun in case it rains.