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Motorhome Life, a Few Tips and Ideas: the eBook

July 15, 2014

Our friends at Motorhome Lifers have put together the ultimate motorhoming handbook just for you, titled ‘Motorhome Life, a Few Tips and Ideas’. If you’re looking into purchasing your very first motorhome but need to know the ropes, let this book be your guide. In this excerpt we’ll give you a little taster of ‘Motorhome Life’, which you can get your hands on right here. Right off the bat, this chapter gives you the ins and outs of the different motorhomes available on the market – so let’s dive in.


“It seems as though there is a bewildering array of motorhomes on the market, but once you know some of the jargon, and start to identify what your needs are, making a choice becomes easier.

A motorhome is basically a caravan that you can drive. The caravan part may be firmly moulded onto the chassis and this type is known as a ‘C’ Class. Or it may form an integral part of the vehicle – this is called a coach build or an ‘A’ Class. A van conversion describes a commercial type of van, like a tradesman traditionally works from, that has been converted into a motorhome. There are endless styles, shapes and sizes of each type to suit all tastes and budgets.

The spell checker places an angry looking red line underneath the word motorhome, as though the two don’t go together. But as it provides a little home on wheels, I think these words form a perfect combination. There aren’t many words for motorhome, and owners often christen their vehicle. Our friends, Jon and Linda always name theirs, be it tandem, car or motorhome. They challenged us to choose a name, but how could we come up with anything as good as Tilly, Taffy or Pumpkin? The colour of our van is listed as Pearlescent Grey and so I shortened it and created the girls’ name, Pearl. The fifty-first shade of grey. However, the only people who refer to her as Pearl are Jon and Linda and we still refer to her as the van or the motorhome.

In the photograph below, our van conversion is pictured on the Atlantic coast of Portugal at Odeceixe, where we wild-camped in 2010.


‘A’ Class Motorhome

The motorhome is built around the chassis, which is integral to the vehicle. Some of these are very big and look like a coach from the outside. If you can afford one of these you must have the funds to maintain and run it. Spare parts, servicing and maintenance are all more expensive and because they have a large, powerful engine they use a lot of fuel. Carthago have these at the top end of their range. You will see American versions of these, imported from the USA and registered in Britain when they arrive. When we owned an American ‘A’ Class our consumption was 10-14 miles per gallon, but the modern ‘A’ classes advertise 18-24mpg.

The photograph below is of our American ‘A’ Class motorhome. I quickly snapped the shot as Mike drove it off the dealership forecourt in Florida, March 2008.

number 2

Not all ‘A’ Classes are huge and there is a full range of new and used available to suit every budget. Pictured below is a European A Class motorhome of a more manageable size.

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‘C’ Class Motorhome

The living accommodation on this type of motorhome is bonded onto the chassis of the vehicle and this is done at a separate manufacturing facility. In Europe the engine suppliers include Ford, Fiat, Peugot, Citroen, MAN, Iveco, Volkswagen and Mercedes. There is a vast array of different configurations for the layout of the living space. There may be bunk beds for children, a garage to store a scooter or a car. We once saw one at a show with a built in sauna.

Our first motorhome was quite basic compared to many available these days, but it met all our needs for a couple wanting to give motorhoming a try. It was a ‘C’ Class, a CI (Caravans International) Riviera 181, on a Fiat Chassis. It was just over seven metres or approximately twenty three feet, depending on where you stand with metrication. It had a double bed above the cab which we slept in, and to get there we climbed a ladder. Just like getting onto the top of a bunk bed. A permanent bed saved us from having to reconstruct and remake it every night. Two long seats faced each other on the sides at the back, with another across the very back to form a ‘U’ shaped seat. Opposite this was a wide shelf, about the size of the top of a single kitchen unit, which provided a useful surface to place the portable TV when we were stationary. Nowadays, most TVs are flat screen and fixed with a bracket. Some are built into a cupboard and stored out of sight.

Heating was provided by a gas heater but motorhomes now have central heating which is more efficient. In the mid-section there was a bathroom with shower and toilet together. Opposite this was the kitchen area, complete with a cooker, comprising gas oven, grill and hob. Underneath the sink, a fridge. Directly behind the cab on the passenger side was a dinette which consisted of two double seats facing each other and a table in between, a bit like a train but with pretty upholstery. Across the corridor from this was the door to the outside. The cab was the same as a commercial van and had a curtain to divide it from the living area which gave privacy and a more homely feel when we closed it at night. This was a six berth motorhome because the dinette table and chairs could be converted into a double bed as well as the seating area at the back.

I took a snapshot of our ‘C’ Class motorhome during our first year. We are parked next to Lake Bolsena, approximately two hours north of Rome.”


If you’re ready to hit the road with your very first motorhome, Pegasus Finance can help. We specialise in motorhome finance, and we work with lenders to find you the best deal around. Already got a price in mind? Check out our handy motorhome loan calculator so we can get this show on the road.

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