Motor home travel versus Car

Jan 27th, 2006, 11:52 PM
  #1  
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Motor home travel versus Car

Hello, my husband and I along with my parents-in-law will be travelling throughout the UK for a month April/May. We have having trouble deciding which would be the best way to travel. Hire a motor home and and more around or hire a car and stay 3 or 4 days in one spot and do day trips.
joyling is offline  
Jan 28th, 2006, 06:29 AM
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Wouldn't a motor home limit you in access to small towns - wouldn't you have to overnight in RV parks?

I would think a car would give more comfort for travel and more flexibility regarding parking and small-town streets. And staying in one place for a few nights at a time is more restful and gives you a chance to soak in better.

I haven't done either of these in the UK, but that's how I picture it.
Travelnut is offline  
Jan 29th, 2006, 08:06 PM
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With gas between $6 & $7 per gallon a car makes much more sense.
DCJones is offline  
Jan 29th, 2006, 08:46 PM
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A motorhome sleeping 4 people (and have you priced out rental and gas) would be much too large to get into many villages/sites in the UK. You would be stuck parking it somewhere on the outskirts - or at whatever motor home park you are using - and taking public transit everywhere. (If you're going to do that why not just take trains instead?)

This sounds like a recipe for disaster.
nytraveler is offline  
Jan 29th, 2006, 09:01 PM
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many, many people travel by caravan throughout the UK. i don't believe many people on this site travel this way. you're likely to be getting advice from people who, frankly, don't know what they are talking about.

almost all caravans are diesel and a smaller one can be close in economy to a large petrol car or people carrier. other than that i am not versed in this mode of travel either so all i can do is suggest that you spend some time on-line learning about this mode of travel from people who actually do it...they are the best ones to help you decide if access to the places you wish to visit is sufficient and what facilities are available to travelers. there is a british association of caravan owners (probably many). that would be a good place to start.
walkinaround is offline  
Jan 29th, 2006, 09:15 PM
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But a caravan is not a motorhome. It is a travel trailer. Yes, many people in Britain holiday in caravans, both in the UK and on the Continent, but then you have the convenience of a car to go on day trips.

Unless you are well practiced in the art of driving on the other side of the road and along narrow country lanes, I think you'd be much better off with just a car.
Barbara is online now  
Jan 29th, 2006, 10:16 PM
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We did this a few years back in California and it was a wonderful trip. A family of 5, parents and three kids, in a 25' RV. We were very comfortable and it was wonderful to be able to move around while on the road. We rented from Cruise America: http://www.cruiseamerica.com. But, that was in the States, on American roads, although going up Big Sur was a little hair raising. You get used to driving it pretty quickly.
We would do it again in a heartbeat, and I too have thought of doing it in Europe. You may not save that much, but you can be comfortable, at least we were in the larger, US ones.
Also, you are limited to either campgrounds or RV parks - in fact you have to go to an RV park periodically to unload your black- and grey-water. And, you'll learn all about those real quick! But many campgrounds, and some RV parks are lovely, so that may not be a problem. We mostly wanted to avoid towns, but, again in California we weren't there for the towns but the scenery and the sights, so Europe would be different there.
Good luck with your decision!
Momliz is offline  
Jan 29th, 2006, 10:43 PM
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In Berlin, I met an Australian couple who had bought a caravan in the UK and were using it for a 6-month trip around Europe, at which point they'd sell it before returning home. It sounded like it was what I would call a camper-van, outfitted with a shower, toilet, fridge, and some cooking facilities.

But there's a difference between a couple doing this, and you, your husband, and your in-laws all in the same confined place.
WillTravel is offline  
Jan 30th, 2006, 08:13 AM
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I can't imagine taking a motorhome thru certain parts of the UK, the Cotswolds, for example. I was scared in a small VW. The thought of driving an 11-1/2 foot wide vehicle on an 11 foot wide road, with no shoulders and rock embankments, chills me to the bone.
tomboy is offline  
Jan 30th, 2006, 09:33 AM
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I lived in the UK for about 5 years and for part of that time owned a VW camper van. My ex and I traveled all over w/ our two dogs and it was great.

BUT I would never, ever do it as a foursome for a month - never.

Momliz's anecdote about traveling by motorhome in the US has absolutely no relevance here. That hwy1 through Big Sur she talks about being a little hair raising - well CA hwy1 would be considered a wide main road in many parts of the UK. There are many two lane roads in England/Scotland/Wales that are little more than half the width of hwy 1 - and that doesn't even consider the single track roads.

The trouble w/ motorhomes are many and the benefits are few. They are expensive to rent, you are stuck like a turtle having to travel with your house on your back to everything from the grocery store a castle/stately home, you will be stuck in very close quarters 24/7. Just not a great way to tour the UK.

Now a caravan (trailer) might be a bit better because you could park it and go off touring/shopping by car. But then you have to rent a caravan AND a car, and still are in pretty close confines.

Just rent a car and stay in B&Bs - it will be cheaper and you will have much more space, flexibility, and easier on the driver(s)
janisj is online now  
Jan 30th, 2006, 11:21 AM
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Once, in the Cotswolds, and again in the Lake District, the road was so narrow that I stopped the car IN the road (10:30 at night) to pace off its width. Thirteen paces wide (size 11 shoe, heel to toe).
Highway 1 in the Big Sur is an airfield by comparison.
tomboy is offline  
Jan 30th, 2006, 11:33 AM
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Agreed that Joyling may not be aware of the differences in the roads in the US and the UK. Several times in the UK on the way to some small village or site we had to pull off the road so the car coming the other way could pass. And this was two (US size) compact cars. I can;t imagine a Motorhome would get through at all.

And yes - a lot of people may caravan in euorope - but there is a world of difference between the two - a motor home with beds for 4 adults (plus bath, kitchen, LR etc) would be at least twice the size - and there is no car - so you're stuck trying to drive a T Rex on the wrong side of roads that most americans who haven't been there can;t even imagine.
nytraveler is offline  
Jan 30th, 2006, 08:44 PM
  #13  
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Thankyou everyone for your comments, the decision has certainly been made easier for us - car hire and B&B stays appear to be the way to go. If anyone has any "must see" locations or suggestions I would love to hear of them.
joyling is offline  

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