10 tips for your first motorhome holiday

The guide list for your first motorhome holiday.
Are you planning your first trip in a motorhome and need help preparing? With our 10 points you have everything in view and can start your holiday relaxed:
Motorhome in a tunnel at Bryce Canyon

Driving licence

In most countries, it is sufficient to be at least 21 years old and to have a valid EU driving licence for passenger cars. An international driving licence is recommended, especially for Australia and New Zealand. However, this is only valid in conjunction with your national driving licence. In Australia and New Zealand, some rental companies allow you to rent a car from the age of 18.

Peyto Lake in Canada

It all comes down to planning

Plan your trip well in advance and find out about routes and any route bans. Estimate the approximate number of kilometres for the trip and make a list of possible campsites for each stage. Also consider the possibility of one-way rentals and use our magazine to help you plan.

Motorhomes at sunset on the beach
Photographer: leonori

Refuelling and petrol

It is better to estimate the fuel costs a little more generously if you do make spontaneous detours with the motorhome. The individual driving style and the terrain (mountainous landscape or flat plains) also have an influence on fuel consumption.
When refuelling in North America, there are either Full Serve (with attendant) or Self Serve (self-service) options depending on the petrol station. With self-service, you usually have to specify in advance how many gallons you want to fill up and pay directly or pay with a credit card at the pump. Note that the quantity is always given in gallons. One gallon corresponds to 3.785 litres.

Road in the Mid West of the USA in the Badlands

Traffic rules

Before you start your journey, familiarise yourself with the traffic regulations in force in the country. It helps to get a good overview before the first trip with the motorhome and to keep an eye on possible peculiarities. If the traffic in the destination country leads in a different direction than in your own country of origin, it is also advisable to carefully get used to the differences on small roads and not to drive through city traffic straight away.

Falcon Lake in Manitoba

Arrival and transfer

With many rental companies, the transfer to the station is not included and is therefore your own responsibility. Keep this in mind when planning your trip. If you are travelling with children, you must also think of appropriate child seats for the trips to the station.
For long-distance trips, it is recommended to spend the first night in a hotel, as it is usually not possible to pick up the motorhome on the day of arrival. This way you can start your adventure well rested. If you arrive in a larger city, you can also use the first two to three days for sightseeing before getting into the motorhome.

El Monte Motorhome in Utah
Photographer: El Monte

On-site instruction

If this is your first trip with a motorhome, don’t worry: you will receive a detailed introduction to the vehicle and its handling on site. Draining waste water and handling the propane gas will also be explained to you before you take over. Feel free to ask if anything is not clear to you, and take your time after the briefing to familiarise yourself with the motorhome. During your trip, the rental company is your contact person for all questions.

Motorhome on a campsite in Ontario


Compare the equipment of the motorhome on site with your shopping list to add small items if necessary. For long-distance trips, it is of course a good idea to book the motorhome with the full equipment so that you have to take as little as possible in your suitcase. If, on the other hand, you are picking up the vehicle close to home, you may want to take your own bedding or your favourite pan.
Buy mosquito repellent locally, as only this really helps against the local mosquitoes.

Woman holding full shopping basket in supermarket
Photographer: pixfly

The first grocery shopping trip after the pick up

We recommend that you visit a large supermarket for your first grocery shopping, as there will certainly be some household items on your list in addition to food. Depending on how well you know the destination country, you may also know where to buy household items particularly cheaply, or learn about a nearby weekly market for fresh produce. Exchange information with your campsite neighbours at the campground.

Meadow and mountain landscape in Oregon
Photographer: TourMappers North America

On the road in a motorhome

Even though a motorhome is easy to manoeuvre, it takes a little getting used to, especially with the larger models. When cornering, you should therefore pull out nice and wide. When parking in reverse, always have someone help you. While driving, make sure that everything inside the vehicle is firmly locked.

Motorhome with forest in Canada


In all this, don’t forget the advantages of a motorhome holiday: Just stop where you like. Don’t follow the route too closely. Meet nice people at the campsites. In other words, have an unforgettable holiday!

Further questions and technical terms are answered in our FAQ.

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