Living In A Motorhome – The 10 Best Things

Having spent some time living in a motorhome now I thought I should reflect and compare it to living in a tradional home. So here follows my ’10 best things about living in a motorhome’. The 10 worst things will follow soon but I can only think of 5 at the moment!

10 Best Things About Living in a Motorhome

The Hymer parked up at Laleham Camping Club

  1. Lower cost of living. Previously I was living in South West London where renting is not cheap. On average a campsite costs me £11.00 per night and I currently only use campsites 2 or 3 times a week and the rest of the time I wild camp which is free. Also consider the council tax which I no longer pay since I have no permanent address. My utility costs are also much lower since I no longer have to pay for electricity. Gas costs are also lower, now only £15.00 per week. approx (much less in summer). So you can see living in a motorhome can be very cheap.
  2. Neighbours. This might not apply in rural communities but in cities you often live next to people that are either noisy, dirty or both. It used to annoy me that people would leave mattresses, old TV’s and white goods outside the flat where they would remain for months and months. Since I started living in a motorhome my experience is completely different now. When on a campsite all my neighbours seem more content as if they have a permanent ‘holiday’ vibe about them. You also get to share your surroundings with wildlife, only this morning I saw my neighbour putting a bowl of water down for two ‘tame’ ducks who proceeded to wash themselves before they were fed their breakfast! When I’m wild camping I have complete solitude which can be a refreshing change. If I ever was unlucky enough to have troublesome neighbours I would simply move the next day and go somewhere else!
  3. Never having to pack for a holiday. I hate having to decide what to put in the suitcase and then arriving at my destination only to find I left something behind. Now everything travels with me and I don’t even have to unpack when I arrive as my clothes are already hanging up in the wardrobe.
  4. Housework is a doddle. When living in a motorhome how much carpet is there to vacuum, worktops to clean etc. in a room about 6 metres long?
  5. No more rush hour traffic or road rage. I used to hate sitting in traffic. It still happens sometimes when I’m going away but I no longer have the long drive to work as I now base myself close to work, sometimes spending the night in the work car park.
  6. Downsizing is good. Living in a motorhome forces you to realise you can’t take all your old junk with you. The process of giving away or throwing out things you’ve not used in years is actually very ‘freeing’. I don’t miss those frantic searches for things buried in a drawer under years of crap you never use.
  7. Lower carbon footprint. My old vehicle did 28MPG and the motorhome does 25MPG but I’ve reduced my mileage by about half because I don’t always have to return to a fixed base. I can’t quite explain why but I also think I’m creating less rubbish and using less water than I did before.  Living in a motorhome can actually be good for the environment! *I think the motorhome actually does 30MPG!*
  8. Less stressful, less complicated life. There are probably many reasons why I feel less stressed. Since my outgoings have reduced dramatically I don’t worry about money the way I used to.  I also don’t miss the junk mail fast food menus, taxi cab cards and other crap that used to pollute my mailbox. Now if only I could find a way of avoiding junk email!
  9. The view from my window each morning. On most campsites my morning view includes either neatly mown lawns, wildlife, The River Thames or some other scene that is generally pleasing to the eye. Constrast this to the flat I was living in where construction work was taking place outside the back window and the view from the front was a busy main road. Living in a motorhome can be good for the soul!
  10. Being part of a community. Once you start living in a motorhome you notice that other motorhome owners wave at you when they pass you coming the other way on the road. At campsites strangers say hello as they pass you on the way to the shower. There is very little sense of community in London anymore and it’s taken me a while to get used to the change….but I think I like it. I certainly like the way motorhome forums on the internet are always quick to answer any questions you might have as a newbie and how welcome you are made to feel.

If you enjoyed reading this article you might also like to read my other articles on a similar theme:

The 5 Worst Things About Living In A Motorhome

Living in a motorhome – Top 10 Questions



About Gary Box

Author: Gary Box.

Gary decided for a complete change of lifestyle late in 2009 which resulted in him buying a Hymer motorhome to live in and starting the Motorhome Vagabond blog. A tour of Europe followed in 2010 and he still writes about his adventures.



  1. Hi peeps,
    Myself and wife spent a year building a motorhome from a 7.5t horsebox, well just a box, never had horses in it. Now we had built it, we are short of knowledge on how to insure it without an addres and as it is huge would we be limited as were we can park it. Any info would be very much appreciated.


  2. Hi Leon,

    Sorry for delay in replying but trying to deal with a backlog of admin since advertising and selling my motorhome. Insurance without a permanent address is not an issue for most. You can either try and get a ‘fulltimers’ policy from a company like Comfort who know some people live in their vehicles. They will need a postcode to send the documents but the quote price is not influenced by this postcode so can be anyone who can pass post on to you.

    Some get a regular motorhome insurance policy as they don’t live in the vehicle permanently but neither do they have a ‘bricks and mortar’ place either. An example might be someone living part of the year abroad. I’d advise being honest and up front with any insurer about the use of the vehicle to make sure you get the cover you need.

    In your case you might be better asking the question on self builders forums too as some insurers might not understand your vehicle and there might be a specialist more suited to people who have done a self build. In any event there is always a solution and someone who has faced what you have before. Might take a little longer to find the right policy for you but if you like living in the horsebox it will be worth the extra effort.

    Good luck.

    The Motorhome Vagabond

  3. Hello Gary, my name is Marco and I’m Italian. I am a film maker and I live in my caravan since Jenuary 2012, so I’m already used to this kind of life. My job makes me travel a lot, so living in a caravan has been quite a natural decision. In the near future I will probably need to work in London for 6 months at least. I don’t know UK rules of the road. I wonder if free parking is possible somewhere in the peripheral area of London. Somewhere where I can park without changing place every day. Do you have any advice about this? thanks in advance.

  4. Hi Marco,

    To answer your question I need to be sure about whether you have a caravan or a motorhome (the former being something you tow with a regular car). If you have a caravan then you will not really be able to park it on the streets and so you will either need to get friendly with a Londoner with a driveway who will let you keep it there or find campsite(s) for the duration of your stay. I know a few in the outskirts of London that seem to do long term bookings so you don’t need to keep moving around and you can then use the tow vehicle to drive into London.

    If you have a motorhome the situation is slightly different. As the motorhome itself is a vehicle it can occupy places on the street where there are no restrictions (like residents only zones). If you don’t need electric hookup from a campsite you can then park for free in places like Ealing Common and Wimbledon Common. However London does have a low emission zone which covers a great part of the city. If your motorhome is diesel and older it might not qualify for being allowed into the city.

    Basically from memory if the motorhome is newer than about 2002 it is usually ok, before that and you would need to stay outside the zone or pay for an expensive particulate filter to make it comply.

    So first things first are we talking about a caravan or a motorhome? Once I know that we can advise accordingly. Feel free to google terms like low emission zone to learn more if you have a motorhome.

    All the best
    The Motorhome Vagabond

  5. “If you don’t need electric hookup from a campsite you can then park for free in places like Ealing Common and Wimbledon Common.”

    Dear Gary,

    Is it legal to live in a motorhome at Ealing Common / Wimbledon Common (or similar places). What is happening if someone sees me entering the motorvan in he evenings and leaving it in the mornings? also should i be worried about the Met police ?


  6. Hi Gary, first, thank you for a very informative site. I have been wanting to live in a motorhome since I became interested in hymers and particularly to enjoy the ’10 best things’ about motorhome living. I have a one bed flat at present but general costs are so high ( gas and electric are metered ) and the place is falling in to disrepair due to lack of adequate funds that I started researching just what it would be like to live in a motorhome. I am teaching myself 3d animation and use two powerful desktop pc’s to make my films. I wanted to ask if you know how the leisure battery system would work for pc’s, can you have a trickle charging system so that the alternator charges one battery which feeds charge to the other and if that is a viable option. If I’m honest I’d probably want to have access to my pc’s most of the time so I’m guessing hook up would be required quite a lot!! I just wondered if there is a way of providing enough electric to keep the pc’s going for a few days. I appreciate it’s an unusual question but I was hoping I could combine my hobby with a more affordable and sustainable way of life.. I am currently looking in to prices at local camp sites and whether it’s possible to get long term deals. Thank you again for a very informative site and the best of luck with your adventures.


  7. Hi James,

    Sorry I have not replied sooner but I don’t live in a motorhome at the moment and don’t get to visit the blog as often as I used to. I can totally understand your comments about the high cost of living and living in a motorhome is one solution some people consider. I think however you need to look into this deeply before making the jump. In my case I used to work from my laptop and was able to run this from the leisure batteries for a couple of days without too much problem. If the leisure batteries were getting low it was always possible to run the engine and they would also get charge when I was driving around, even if that was only 30-60 minutes driving. I never had a solar panel on my Hymer which can also help but it would not be as useful in winter when in all likelihood you would want to be inside out of the cold more and would be using more heating and lighting (also draining the leisure batteries).

    In your case I suspect the computers you use would draw much more power than my laptop. I think you would be much more productive if you were able to connect to electric at a campsite. Depending on where you want to live you need to research what campsites you have locally and what they would cost you. They should be much cheaper than your current costs once you add rent to utilities and council tax (which you might not currently pay). However you really need to think about the servicing costs of the motorhome and the depreciation if you want to make a truly fair comparison. Living in a motorhome is not for everyone but compared to living in one room like you do or a very small flat it does compare very well. Campsites offer much better views generally and I found I was more relaxed and less stressed in the motorhome compared to living in a small flat / house sharing.

    Good luck with what you decide to do. If anyone else reading this wants to give James any advice please do. I’m sure there are others who live in a motorhome and have quite high power demands and they can perhaps tell you how they manage to deal with this.

    All the best

  8. Hi Adam,

    I replied directly by email. I can only give you my experience of doing so. In my case I never stopped in one place more than a couple of nights at a time. Both Ealing Common and Wimbledon Common are surrounded by grass and out of view of houses. In both locations I was only parked at night when both streets were almost empty. During the day it was much busier with office workers and dog walkers parking there.

    The law on this is somewhat in question. Strictly speaking wild camping is illegal in England and Wales. However what is the definition of ‘camping’. If you are in the confines of your vehicle which is legally parked and taxed are you deemed to be ‘camping’. You always see advice on roads to pull over and rest rather than drive tired. If you pull over and nap for 2 hours is this really different to sleeping for 7 hours. It’s this confusion that seems to result in wild camping being tolerated as long as you are respectful.

    Hope this helps.


  9. I have been living in motorhomes for years. Mine are equipped with solar cells. Solar cells will likely provide enough

    electricity for computers. They will not provide enough energy for heating. I use gas tanks for heating in that I just boil

    something like 10 or 20 liters of water. While they cool down they provide a good amount of warmth.

  10. Hi Adrian,

    I never had solar on mine but I think they make sense. The issue though is you use more power in winter (lights go on early) and that’s when you don’t get much sun (in the UK at least). For the cost though I do think they are worth the installation.



  1. […] menus, vouchers and other trash that used to pollute your mailbox. Also, Gary Box in his article on Motorhome Vagabond argues that you wouldn’t need to have the long drive to work, as you will be able to park […]

  2. […] via Living in a Motorhome – The 10 Best Things. […]

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