To some, motorhomes represent a new lease of life. Holidays become a chance to explore, free from the shackles of a pre-paid hotel in an unknown destination. The road is yours, along with the pick of a number of motorhome sites up and down the country. With all the home comforts you might need and a passport to connect with the beautiful outdoors; what could possibly go wrong?...
Any experienced motorhome owner can tell you that a motorhome site itself has the ability to make or break a holiday. You can have your heart set on a certain location and all the activities it offers, but if the motorhome site itself doesn’t deliver, you might spend more time ruing your bad decision than enjoying your time away.
In this article, we look at the ten reasons why choosing the wrong site could spell an unhappy break:
1. Power struggle?
As a motorhome owner, you know how much power you require once you have reached a touring pitch. So don’t let what can seem a minor detail become a major hindrance. You might have your eye on what seems the perfect motorhome site, at a beautiful, secluded spot. But if it doesn’t tick the power box, you, and your holiday, could be in trouble.
Owners of large motorhomes with many power needs – from large TVs to high spec kitchens and sound systems – should take particular care to a) check that a motorhome provides power, and b) check that if it does provide power, a motorhome site meets their specific power requirements. It can pay dividends to make your own power provisions, such as solar panels, rather than rely solely on a site.
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2. Hidden costs
We all want to know what our holiday will cost before we set out, not least because it allows us to budget. For this reason, ensure your motorhome site does ‘exactly what it says on the tin’. Be certain that you will not encounter extra costs which you assumed were factored in to the price you paid up front. Extras have been known to come in the form of reservation fees, as well as added charges for extra people, and tents, should you be a motorhome owner who likes to pitch up for the night.
3. Lack of local amenities
Many of us value a degree of seclusion on our motorhome holidays. After all, if we wanted to be herded around in minibuses and engage in a battle for sun loungers, we would surely join the masses on their package tours and ‘all inclusives’. Despite this desire for privacy, peace and space, there should be an awareness of practical considerations. Some motorhome sites can be found in wonderfully tranquil spots off the beaten track, but these locations can often leave you with limited options to pick up everyday supplies.
If you are intent on finding a hideaway, ensure that you come fully stocked up with your own essentials, and have a route plotted to the nearest shops, should you need to replenish your larder.
4. If your name’s not down, you’re not coming in!
Thanks to the range of clubs and associations for motorhome owners and campers in the UK, we can enjoy special rates, connect with fellow members, benefit from expert advice, and gain access to exclusive sites. The flip side, however, is finding yourself stranded when you don’t possess the necessary credentials to enter a motorhome park.
So while there is a lot to be said for the ‘get up and go’ spontaneity which involves throwing a couple of bags in your motorhome and setting off in search of adventure, you should always research a site beforehand, to ensure it is not a ‘members only ‘ facility.
5. No place for pets
There are many pet-friendly and pet tolerant motorhome sites throughout the UK. That’s great if you are a dog owner, as our furry friends don’t have to miss out, and can come along on holiday for some fresh air and fantastic walks. The problem arises when we make the assumption that a motorhome site is pet-friendly, when in fact there are many restrictions pertaining to pets, or a complete ban.
If taking your dog away with you is second nature, don’t assume that a new motorhome site you are visiting has the same attitude as a pet-friendly location which you have stayed at in the past.
6. Can’t take kids
While some sites maintain a no pets policy in order to stay welcoming for those without a canine companion, there is also a long list of motorhome sites which operate ‘adult only’ entry criteria. This is intended to keep sites free from the movement and noise which holidaying children will inevitably bring to a location, preserving a culture of calmness for the adults staying there.
So if you are jumping in your camper with kids in tow, ensure you are not on your way to an adult only motorhome site. Pick from the plethora of family-friendly sites, such as Love2Stay’s fully serviced motorhome site in Shropshire, complete with super fast wifi so the kids don’t miss out on the social media gossip!
7. Seasonal suitability
Camping trips around Christmas and New Year are picking up popularity in the UK, at motorhome sites in Wales, England and Scotland. Not only do they offer the opportunity to take advantage of lower rates in the offseason, but they are also characterised by a festive spirit among holidaying motorhome owners, and provide a chance to ditch the same old routine for an exciting environment. That’s all well and good, but some motorhome sites are simply not well designed for the harsher climes.
If you are looking at a motorhome site with very little in the way of trees, hedges, and other features which could constitute cover from blustery conditions, you are putting yourself in the firing line of the winter weather.
8. Low bathroom-to-camper ratio
The bathroom facilities at your motorhome site should be plentiful. That’s because there might be another few hundred campers trying to use them at any given time of the day. It makes sense to check the extent of facilities in relation to the size of the motorhome site, especially when booking for peak season.
As a rule of thumb, you might have cause for concern if there are any more than ten campers to each shower or loo. Check motorhome details thoroughly, read reviews and if possible, get first-hand accounts of a site from fellow campers who have visited themselves.
9. The road to ruin
With a strong influence from across the pond, the UK is making the move towards massive motorhomes which offer unprecedented comfort levels. They are revolutionising the camping experience, redefining luxury on the road. But they also come with their own drawbacks – namely, that some UK motorhome sites are only accessible via roads which are simply not suited to the immense size of the new age motorhome or ‘RV’.
If you are eyeing a site which is reached by traversing steep hills or rocky, rural roads, you might have trouble making it, or worse still, could put you and your passengers at risk.
10. Payment problems
In theory, it shouldn’t be a problem to pay for a product or service if you are a willing customer. However, payment at motorhome sites falls into the category of things which you shouldn’t leave to chance. It might be a long trip to the nearest ATM machine, so don’t lose half a day of your holiday because you don’t have the cash to pay a site operator. Not all motorhome sites will accept bank cards - even VISA or Mastercard - so ensure you know which payment methods are acceptable before you set off on your journey.
Those are our ten reasons why a motorhome could throw a spanner in the works – it always helps to choose carefully before booking a pitch
Already looking ahead to Summer 2019 in your motorhome? Or perhaps you want to find out what the Christmas camping trend is all about? Love2Stay is one of the premier motorhome sites near Wales, situated in the charming Shropshire countryside near the border with England, and offering all the facilities you need across 120 fully serviced pitches.