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

 

 

96 thoughts on “Living In A Motorhome – The 10 Best Things

  1. Sounds like you’ve really adapted to the new lifestyle. Well done you. Quite a change!
    I only met you once on the Arundel walk, which was fabulous. Must walk again some time. Good luck! Ann x

  2. Great website you have got it right every word you said 🙂 Me my wife and 2 kids live in a motorhome much cheaper way to live less stressful, we wildcamp every night and have been doing it for 5 months.

    Good Luck to you and your new life
    Shane

  3. Hi Ann,

    Thanks for the comment. Yes living fulltime in the motorhome still feels like the right decision. Feel free to join us on a walk, we have a couple of day walks on the programme. Will be overseas from late June so don’t expect too many UK events for a while!

    All the best

    Gary

  4. Hi Shane,

    Thanks for the comment. Great to hear from a family who are fulltiming, was surprised to hear you wildcamp every night! I wildcamp about 60% of the time at the moment. I will email you as would be keen to know more.

    Cheers

    Gary

  5. Hi Shane,

    Thanks for the comment. Great to hear from a family who are fulltiming, was surprised to hear you wildcamp every night! I wildcamp about 60% of the time at the moment. I will email you as would be keen to know more.

    Cheers

    Gary

  6. Hi Shane,

    Thanks for the comment. Great to hear from a family who are fulltiming, was surprised to hear you wildcamp every night! I wildcamp about 60% of the time at the moment. I will email you as would be keen to know more.

    Cheers

    Gary

  7. Hi there,

    We’re all happy you enjoyed your visit to our Pub on your travels, sounds like the whole weekend was a success (great weather helps!)

    Cheers,

    Alex

  8. Hi, That sounds amazing!

    I want to do this but I am scared about not finding a campsite in london to stay since they have a 6month period.

    I would love to pay you a visit and ask a few Q’s before making the big move!

    Thanks,

    John

  9. What a great incentive for anyone wishing to do the same. I am also looking to buy a camper/mobilehome as i want to do exactly the samne thing. The only difference is i want to use a normal panel van and convert it myself. I been to see some the last few weeks but still havent found the right one.#It would be interesting to find if there are many others who do this. i am in London or milton keynes 95% of the time so finding parking is easy for me. Keep up the comments!

  10. Hello
    My name is Michelle Vinotti, I am Brazilian and I’m going to London to study English. Me and my boyfriend are going to study at Stanton School. I wish you pass me your email so we can talk. I would like some information on where to park a motorhome in London. We would like to live in a motorhome while it will remain there. So I wanted more information about this.
    My email is: michelle.cinema@hotmail.com
    Thanks

  11. I’m thinking of doing the same as you’re doing. Never owned a motorhome before. Can you give some practical advice please on buying a motorhome…make, engine size for economic travelling, best layouts, etc. etc. There’s so many out there – how do you decide?!!
    Many thanks and happy homing!!

  12. Hi Caroline,

    Trying to decide what motorhome to buy is really tough. There are so many competing factors in making the decision. Firstly you need to consider your budget and that will probably begin to narrow your choice. Then you need to think how you expect to use the vehicle which will help decide on size and layout. Many Brits love motorhomes and caravans with a proper lounge but for me I just needed a table where I could work and eat and so went for a dinette. I will email you seperately with some ideas about what to think about and I would be happy to discuss with you in more detail and tip you off on some things you might not have considered.

    For me the Hymer was a good choice for many reasons. The A class pull down bed is permanently made up and VERY comfortable. The bathroom is a good size with a decent shower. The clincher though is the quality of the interior which is much better than most makes and important if you want to fulltime in your vehicle. When I was looking at various models I saw lots of younger models where the seats were badly worn and the quality of the interior was ‘cheap’ and would be less likely to stand up to regular use.

    Having said all this I no longer need a 4 berth and I am considering changing for a panel van conversion which would be slightly easier to drive and slightly more economical (though my Hymer does get close to 30mpg if driven carefully).

    If you want to meet up to see my vehicle to make a comparison to others you might view just ask.

    All the best
    Gary

  13. Good day, am looking to build a motorhome and live in it full time too, however having problems getting insured without a full time address, how have you sorted it please?

  14. Hi there , I know exactly how u feel I’ve done a bit of wild camping a couple of yrs ago and would love to live like u but couldn’t do it on my own so I’m looking for someone to do it with , male or female but only platonic . I feel it’s better with two because I enjoy good company especially on long winter evenings , it’s good to have someone watch your back and it makes u both feel safer . I think I may have been a vagabond in a previous life I love the open road and being free is amazing , I’m 57 going on 17 and find it hard to meet someone willing to b free also. I think you are doing a great service allowing folk to b in touch and gain some knowledge from u , thank u for everyone who will benefit from u , Blessingsx H.

  15. Hi Gary,
    Thank you for your interesting blog.I’m thinking of selling my home and buying a motorhome and living in it with my two dogs. Do you come across many women living alone in their vans? Also would be a bit nervous to wildcamp but realise this keeps costs down. Any other snippets of info gratfully excepted.
    Happy days
    Marina x

  16. just came across your conversations. I too, was spending far too much on flat rentals. I bought my motor home this year so i still consider my self to be a novice.I have met a couple of others doing the same .(good luck to the girl from OZ) I think we should form a meet,greet & support group.where areampsites that are suitable in the London area. I inadvertantly came acroos a great parking area in kent-

  17. Hi Elspeth!
    Thanks for the comment on the blog. As you say rents in the South East are too high and going up so fulltiming in a motorhome makes a lot of sense. I’d be interested to know more about your idea to form a meet, greet and support. Do you mean some online resource or meeting in person? I worked in Kent in early 2010 and used to wild camp in a really peaceful and quiet location. I will email you directly as I’m curious to know more about your ‘story’.

    All the best
    Gary

  18. Hi Marina,

    Thanks for the comment on the blog! Many people become motorhomers because of their pets as it allows them to take holidays with them. I’ve met a couple of fulltimers with pets but they usually stay on campsites rather than wildcamp.

    I personally do not know any women who wildcamp alone in the UK but I know of a couple of female who do so in Spain. Wildcamping does seem to worry some single women and I even know a few males who do not feel safe wildcamping. If you choose your location carefully I think it can be as safe as a normal house and I would imagine owning dogs is an extra security measure.

    I will email you directly and perhaps we can chat more about it.

    All the best
    Gary x

  19. Hi Gary – great to read about your exploits. My questions are – what do you do about such things as doctors/dentists/mail etc etc. I am considering your lifestyle, I am fully retired with one small dog but do need regular prescriptions etc. Any info please?

    Vernon – Cranwell Lincs.

  20. Dear Sir Great to read all these comment…no-one has mentioned the legalities of full time motorhome living…how does getting post,pensions,doctors if taken ill,keeping bank account&tabs on your money,and generally the ins&outs of this tempting way of life..await your resonse…

  21. Having just stumbled upon this site, I have found your openess about this way of living. I have been doing this for a year now and love it. For me it’s all about the freedom and no stress lifestyle. I am keen to learn more as i predominantly live in my works yard with free electric etc. But am in the process of moving on and to be honest i have had it easy so far. So any tips etc would be greatfully recieved.

    Kevin

  22. Hi Kevin,

    Thanks for the comment. If you have been living in a motorhome for a year already you almost have as much experience as I do. I agree with your comments about freedom and less stress, they are probably 2 of the main reasons I can see myself continuing this lifestyle for some years to come. I rarely stay at campsites and do not have a work car park where I can park and use their electricity. I am dependent on 12v electricity to run my laptop and have 2 leisure batteries. My kettle is the old fashioned type that whistles, I use the grill to do toast and most of my lights are LED. I should also point out that I don’t have a generator or solar panel.

    If you contact me directly on info@www.motorhomevagabond.com I would be happy to swap tales and experiences with you. Currently I visit a campsite once a week to top up the leisure batteries, empty the thetford cassette and take on more fresh water. With a little trial and error you soon work out what works for you.

    All the best
    Gary

  23. hi dude, nice blog. also clearing house to clear off, should be in France heading to Portugal Xmas, lots to clear out yet but very refreshing to clear the junk out. we have a Iveco panelvan conversion, proffesionally done by a carpenter and very warm and cosy. gonna be living in it until as my girlfriend says,we run it into the ground, then buy another, hehehehe. we have done this summer in the uk 4/5 trips and wild camping, this country is si restrictive to our likes but never mind,it sounds as if the europeans are more tolerant, cant wait. love to email for info if thats ok, all the best. Steve n Sue and lizzie the sheepdog, its her cart as we call it and wobetide anyone who comes near it. she;ll have em….

  24. Hi,
    I am thinking of doing the same, but I need some info, do you need to have a special license to drive a motor home? What about parking, do you have to park on sites like static carvan? Is it safe? How much it cost to empty the tank and how often do you do it?

    Sorry for asking too many questions, but I need to make a decision and need help.

    Thanks

  25. Hi! Have been visiting your site a bit randomly and have really enjoyed it.

    My story is I have been full timing for about seven years in my Autotrail Cheyenne, which I bought from ‘Van Mecca’ eg Brownhills in Newark.

    No abroad as yet but could be on the cards in the future…hopefully early retirement in about 18 months…Portugal looks tempting!

    As an inveterate fiddler I’ve done various things to the van, raised the rear fixed bed for more storage, beefed up the floor insulation, ducted warm air under the bed for chilly winters and have 3 sets of cab window insulation, concertina blinds..pricey but good and inner and outer screens..having the lot definitely makes sense, cosy and no condensation.

    I have two Brompton folding bikes which are just brill and this years investment is an inflatable canoe, to replace my current ones, which are getting a bit strenuous to get off the van roof, Halfords bargain storage boxes instead now.

    I would love to talk vans with anyone interested, so feel free to push my e mail address around..nigelkturpin@gmail.com

    Lots more info available for anyone interested, free weekend stay overs available if required!

    Keep on keeping on, clearly this is a great way to live…good luck with the water heater problem!

    Regards Nigel T

  26. Hi Gary,
    Anyone can judge that you have been living in Motorhome for along time. Its my first visit here and i really like your blog. what I like about living in a motorhome is freedom to explore locations.

  27. great to read what you have been doing mate.hopeing to do the same in a year as saveing up for the van at the moment to convert.are there any sites where you can stay for more than a week so as to work local to get cash to stay on the road.thanks

  28. Hey Gary,

    After a long time of wondering what the hell I was going to do about my living situation (1 bedroom flats are 1k in London per month and after 11 years of sharing and only 2 years in my own space I am not planning on sharing again!) I am now seriously considering getting a camper or motor home and living in it for 1-2 years. Ideally I want to have a deposit for a house at the end of it. I have seen your blog and it is really encouraging…I just wondered if we could catch up on email a little more, so I can get some answers to some burning questions I have about camper van life? many thanks for your blog, its really interesting and motivating.

    Kind regards, Steffi

  29. hi gary,good site i,ve come accross by accident could you tell me how you look for,a good spot for wild parking. Many thanks greg

  30. Hi Greg,

    Sorry for late reply. I don’t really do much wild camping these days. Generally you just make a decision on whether you think a place feels safe. I used to use places like Wimbledon Common and Ealing Common but that was before the changes to the LEZ in January 2012. If you look at various internet forums and general Google searches you will find information about places that others have used for wild camping in areas all over the UK. I don’t have a TV and the laptop is my main electrical device. I used to find the power from the leisure batteries was enough to get me through a couple of days wild camping (I don’t have solar panels). That was baed on evening usage only as I was working during the day in an office. If I was travelling around a lot I would still wild camp more but these days I spend most of my time on the outskirts of London at campsites.

    I hope this helps!
    Gary

  31. Thanks for your reply gary the info you wrote is usefull and your site is very helpfull many thanks greg

  32. hi, great site..am seriously considering this lifestlye and its good to see such info is available..

  33. Hi Lorraine,

    Thanks for the comment. The number of people thinking about this lifestyle is on the increase and it’s not hard to see why. Happy to answer any questions you might have if you decide you want to try the lifestyle.

    Cheers
    Gary

  34. Hi, I have been living in my campervan with my dog for nearly 6 years. I wildcamp most of the time, living in the North West(uk). I love this way of life now, very simple peaceful life. Living fulltime in my campervan enables me to work only part time, I spend the rest of my time fell walking with my dog. Low living costs mean more money in the back, I work for my benefit not to pay huge living costs, living full time as a vandweller is definately becoming more popular.

    Willow Lady

  35. Hi, I have been living in my campervan with my dog for nearly 6 years. I wildcamp most of the time, living in the North West(uk). I love this way of life now, very simple peaceful life. Living fulltime in my campervan enables me to work only part time, I spend the rest of my time fell walking with my dog. Low living costs mean more money in the bank, I work for my benefit not to pay huge living costs, living full time as a vandweller is definately becoming more popular.

    Willow Lady

  36. Hi Willow Lady,

    Yes I understand exactly what you mean. Too many people are working just to pay bills and most are not really happy. The situation is getting worse and like you I’ve seeing more and more people considering the fulltime motorhome life as an alternative. I’ve not seen too many women doing it on their own though so good for you! I wild camp much less these days, perhaps staying at sites a couple of days a week, wild camping a couple and being away from the motorhome in other accommodation while travelling elsewhere in the UK.

    Do you have a blog at all? Would be keen to know more about your way of fulltiming. Like you I love hill walking.

    Cheers
    Gary

  37. Hi Gary,

    I don’t have a blog, I really should start one. I have come across many women who live in their
    vans, the oldest about 80 years old, I see her once a year when she comes to my area, she is a wonderful lady and has lived in her motorhome for 30years+, I really look forward to speaking to her as she has many stories to tell. Where I live/work is a tourist area and campsites are very expensive here, so it’s easy for me to wild camp, plenty of places to park up, never had any trouble, the police know I live in my van, but they are very friendly and don’t bother me. I have some people ask me about living in a van, because they are thinking of doing the same, peoples attitudes to motorhome living is deffinately changing, it’s more acceptable now.

    You have a great site, taking my time going through it.

    Willow Lady

  38. Hi Willow Lady,

    I’ve been contacted by women considering fulltiming but very few do it. I did hear about a couple of women who tour Spain together, doing fruit picking or other basic work to get by. They had been doing it for years.

    I used to wild camp most of the time as it seemed a nonsense to pay for electricity when I had no TV and I used gas for cooking. Now though I need to work from the motorhome and as such use the laptop for much longer periods. As I visit campsites more often I bought an electric kettle and toaster and sometimes use a George Foreman grill to make use of the fact I have electricity. I would say I still only use campsites about 2 days a week. At the moment for example the motorhome is parked in the UK whilst the girlfriend and I are travelling through France in my other vehicle, a Kia Sedona.

    Let me know if you ever decide to start a blog, would love to read it and swap links.

    Cheers
    Gary

  39. I assume getting a good friend to allow you to use their home address would get around the need for a permanent address?
    I have 2 dogs and wondering how to keep interior clean and dry.
    I’m hoping, once I eventually join you lot, to shoot rabbits and wood pigeons for food and dog food.
    Having a small plot for veg. sounds like a good idea too.
    Planning on having solar panels and possibly wind turbine to keep costs down too.
    Keep the info and tips coming – your experience is really appreciated.

  40. Hi Eric,

    Wow it sounds like you are really planning to go the whole hog and become really self sufficient. I personally don’t have any pets but I know many people who bought a motorhome simply because they wanted to holiday with the pets and could not bear the thought of leaving them in kennels. Keeping a motorhome clean with pets must be harder but people seem to manage. My friend Russsell who has been a motorhome owner for at least 6 years has had dogs for much of this time and might be able to give some tips. I will alert him to this post and ask him to comment.

    Solar panels seem to be quite popular if you plan to wild camp most of the time. They do cost quite a lot of money but are quite efficient. The problem is you get less charge in a UK winter and typically it’s winter when it gets dark at 4pm that you need power the most. Depending on your power usage you might find solar panels are all you need. Some prefer a quite generator to a solar panel and I guess they both have their advantages and it will come down to your own personal needs. I’m no expert on wind turbines but the general feeling seems to be that wind is not a reliable source of energy.

    Good luck with your plans and I would love to know more about what part of the UK you live and your reasons for considering this type of lifestyle.

    Cheers
    Gary
    The Motorhome Vagabond

  41. Eric, best advice for the dogs is a few throws for the soft furnishings, a decent dustpan and brush, a hand held Dyson and some old towels. I always enjoyed having the dogs in the van, and every site we stayed on had a doggy run, pooh bins etc. You might be able to lift loose fit carpets so have a vinyl type flooring instead.

  42. i Gary..well, i,ve taken the plunge!! Going up to Scotland at the end of the month to collect my mh..busy clearing house now..liberating in itself! Have found a small site close to where i am and have reduced hours at work so i,ll get a regular couple of days off to go exploring..also joined a wildcamping site..some great info on there…good luck to the others thinking of or doing full time.

  43. 14 months fulltime, 5 months out of that in Europe. can not imagine to live in brick building long term again.
    BEFORE going full time – try to talk to real person FACE TO FACE, somebody who is fulltimer, or at least somebody who spent some time living in camper. Fulltiming IS NOT AS ROMANTIC as it might seem from comments on the web!!! it is a big change! Just because certain things (e.g. type of van, places to stay, way to travel, etc) suits someone, doesn’t mean the same attitude is going to be good for you.
    community among campers… hmmm … not sure about that. it happened to me 10+ times when wild camping that people (who were obviously planning to stay overnight) left after i said “Hi” to them. though, i always respect privacy of other campers and i always park at far end of parking place from their motorhome.
    have to say, i am import from Eastern Europe, my van is K reg (1993), so many British people probably don’t feel comfortable to stay overnight parked in the middle of nowhere next to (bloody) immigrant in old van. that’s just my personal experience and tiny note about fulltimers being part of GREAT FRIENDLY community.
    That might be true for British (australians, new zealanders, western europeans) fulltimers, because person from Eastern Europe is never consider to be equal human being to British, no matter what his/her lifestyle and behaviour is. Situation, that other campers would leave because i parked 10m from them, NEVER happened to me in ANY other European country except UK.
    anyways, i guess, your comment is gonna be – u dont like UK – then get the hell out of here. thats what i call: missing the point i am trying to say.
    ANYWAYS.
    if anybody considers full timing and need info about anything – leave your email, and i’ll get back to you, or if you live in area, which i am currently visiting, i can stop by for chit chat – i can show you great features of my van and at the same time i point out bad points of my camper, so u can save money by getting the right van AND getting ready for big lifestyle change.
    to become full timer 2 days after buying van (the way i did it) IS NOT A GOOD IDEA. have to say, i had advantage of using fully equipped garage for free for unlimited time, after i bought camper, what made whole thing a bit easier.
    all the best 🙂

  44. Hi Garybox
    Hope you can help me. I have a 30ft motorhome which needs to get moving, along with me!
    In my late 40s’, but still young, kids grown & flown & single. I want to go travelling & need to work but dont know where to start, what to do or anything! I thought about starting with fruit picking in France, then the world!
    Im also slightly worried about being on my own. Any advice you can give me would be great.
    Look forward to hearing from you.
    Cheers!

  45. Hi,

    It’s not easy to know what to do is it? While motorhome fulltiming is certainly a cheap way of living, most of us below retirement age still need to earn a living. There are those that are able to work for themselves from their motorhome in online ventures. I’m hoping to earn money this way in the future too. At the moment I work for myself in the travel industry. I do get to travel overseas but not in the motorhome. These days the motorhome is used for weekends away with the girlfriend though I would like to do another tour one day soon for a month or two maybe.

    Everyone is different but if you have a sense of adventure I think you would enjoy the experience. I rarely felt alone on my overseas trip but then I was always meeting other English speaking motorhomers and I did have some friends come out and visit me from time to time. What I would say is plan your trip as much as you can. Have some spare funds in the event something needs to be repaired and work out where you want to go and where you plan to stay. Staying at a campsite every night will soon get expensive so think about countries who accept wild camping or offer cheap / free places to park like France (Aires), Germany (Stellplatz) and Italy (Sostas). Also don’t rule out the UK. Naturally our weather is less predictable but depending on the time of year I could be just as happy touring parts of Scotland as I would be parts of Europe. Scotland has lots of space, low population and great scenery where wild camping is easy and accepted. Maybe a little trial run in the UK for a few weeks will help you decide if it’s right for you.

    Once I fix my 5th gear I hope to do some more short tours again to places like Scotland and possibly Norway.

    There are lots of ways to live the lifestyle, you just need to find the right one for you. One option you might want to consider is working for someone like the Camping and Caravanning Club. Wages are not great but you get free pitch and electric and people I’ve spoken to have been able to save enough working 8 months of the year to travel in their motorhomes 4 months a year during the winter.

    Good luck with it!

    All the best
    Gary

  46. Hi,

    Thanks for your comment. I agree fulltiming is not for everyone but then paying stupidly high rents and working to just pay bills is not for everyone either. Speaking to others who do it is a good idea as is perhaps hiring a vehicle for a couple of weeks low season to try it out within the UK to see whether you like it. Living in a small space is not romantic especially but the sense of freedom you can get is addictive.

    Your comments about ‘community’ amongst campers is interesting. I maintain that the majority of campers are really friendly and I always find myself chatting to strangers on campsites (I rarely chat to strangers on the tube or in the street). The situation you describe I think can be explained. You refer to wild camping. When I wild camp I always want to be alone and out of sight. I don’t want to be confused with a gypsy and I don’t want to upset the locals. If too many campers wild camp in the same place locals are more likely to complain and before you know it height barriers or ‘no overnight sleeping’ signs are erected. Maybe what you experienced was fulltimers who did not want to draw attention to themselves. I doubt it had anything to do with you being Eastern European or having an old vehicle. Many places in Europe have free parking places for motorhomes to overnight. When I was in Europe I would always seek out other motorhomers and chat to them in free parking places. I don’t do this in the UK simply because wild camping is not as easy here and as a result I try and keep a low profile.

    Anyway I appreciate your comments. I certainly would not tell you to ‘get the hell out of here’ and don’t know why you would think this. Not sure what part of the UK you are from but would be good to meet up one time and swap stories about places we go and motorhome living.

    All the best
    Gary

  47. Hi, I have been reading your comments and they have been very helpful. I do have one question if you could answer it for me…. When it it windy or a slight breeze does the motor home rock or sway. I am thinking about getting one but that is a concern of mine. If it does rock is there any way of making it very stable? Thanks.

  48. Hi Rob,

    At campsites you see caravans with support legs which I assume limits the effect of the wind. You don’t really see these on motorhomes but it’s never bothered me. In high winds there is some rocking but I’m not a light sleeper and once lying flat in bed the effect seems less. Not sure if this helps you! In summary yes motorhomes do rock and sway in high winds but it has never concerned me.

    All the best
    Gary
    The Motorhome Vagabond

  49. In my experience most motorhomers are more likely to have pets rather than children. When I do come across families they are not fulltimers but just take their motorhome or caravan to a campsite for a week during school holidays. I guess I’m saying it is rare for families to full time but it does happen. Wild camping will not be easy. Have you already found a location you think suitable? If you had landowners permission you might be lucky but if you are hoping to just find a peaceful place where people will not disturb you it’s not easy to find a place in London. Do you have a motorhome already? If not and you want to be based within the M25 you need to make sure it’s LEZ compliant if it’s diesel. This will mean something fairly new and expensive! Ironically you could own some huge petrol American motorhome that only does 8 miles to the gallon and that we be allowed in London! For more on the LEZ look at my post here:

    http://www.motorhomevagabond.com/fulltiming/london-low-emission-zone/

    Once I know what sort of vehicle you have or plan to get I can give more info on campsites north of London. Feel free to send another comment.

    Good luck!
    Gary
    The Motorhome Vagabond

  50. 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.

    Leon

  51. 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.

    Gary
    The Motorhome Vagabond

  52. 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.
    Andrea

  53. 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
    Gary
    The Motorhome Vagabond

  54. “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 ?

    Regards,
    Adam

  55. 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.

    James

  56. 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
    Gary

  57. 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.

    Gary

  58. 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.

  59. 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.

  60. 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.

    Cheers
    Gary

  61. I would dearly to live in a motorhome as i`m a very keen photographer . however when it comes down to finance how would that work if u lose your credit cards and ur banks needs to send you a need card as well as statements.. and as well as insurance..

  62. Hi Janette,

    You need an address for the purposes of being contacted but that can be a friend, relative or even a postal address that you pay for. You say you are a keen photographer, I’m also getting more serious about photography recently. Do you have a blog for your photography?

    Gary

  63. I have been co raising my son for 2 years in a motor home but as my partner is now having a child with someone else apparently the health visitor won’t allow me to have my son without being on a campsite (safety apparently) are you aware of any laws that state it is illegal to raise children in a motorhome?

  64. Hi Andrew,

    I’m not aware of any laws and I have heard about people who either raise their kids in a motorhome and even home school them. Sometimes to make life easier fulltimers will use a relatives address for the purposes of getting the kids in school or getting GP etc. The state always like citizens to fit into nice boxes that they can manage. It might be worth asking the health visitor what the law exactly is so you can research it further. Gypsies raise kids in caravans and you don’t hear anyone telling them that they must be on a campsite.

    Good luck

    Gary

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