Whether you are a long hauler or like to travel on the wild side, here is our advice on how to fuel your motorhome lifestyle.
Some customers want to pick up their motorhome and take on that Grand European six month to a year (or more) tour, in which case there will be the need for reliable hot water heating in winter and air-con in the summertime.
If you’re considering being in your motorhome offseason and travelling far and wide, it is worth considering a heating system that runs on diesel such as the Webasto system. A diesel system makes it easier to top up anywhere so you can keep on moving through the different countries.
If your vehicle doesn’t have this system already fitted, it is possible to retrofit it for around the €2000 price mark *. So if you find your perfect vehicle, check out what heating system it has and take the price of needing to change it into consideration.
In addition to the above, many motornautes intend to avoid campsites and are looking for wild camping whenever and wherever possible. In which case you might want to consider adding a solar panel and inverter to your motorhome too. Most motorhomes have a leisure battery that charges up as you drive along some have two!
I’ve lived quite happily ‘off grid’ with two leisure batteries without moving for three days and still had sufficient energy for the lights and the USB sockets. The fridge switched over to gas, as did the hot water and the heating boiler and things were good.
However, if you want to use plug sockets for hairdryers, electric kettles, TVs etc then a solar panel and inverter is something to consider. Personally, my advice on getting a solar panel and an inverter is (if the vehicle you’re looking at doesn’t already have one) buy it anyway and try going without first before you invest in getting one fitted.
As I said before, I didn’t miss it, but you may feel it’s an essential piece of kit. It is possible to retrofit them so give it a go, try the vehicle out first and then consider this investment if and only if you really need it.
Your dream is to fit in a couple of weeks escape regularly over to France to get away from it all for the next few years, even maybe to find your perfect little corner to retire to and settle. So, you’re talking about enjoying trips in France and neighbouring countries such as popping down to Italy, or Spain, nipping over to Croatia or perhaps up to Norway when things are a little too hot in the Med.
You might want to consider something like the Gaslow system. This is an LPG filling up system that is available at local fuelling stations Europe wide. Although not all fuelling stations have them at the moment, they’re increasing in number and it will make life easier if you’re nipping out of France for a week and just want to keep on cooking and fending off the chilly mornings.
The reason for recommending this is because the bottled gas connector valves in each country are different. You might be able to buy the bottled gas but without getting the right connector for each country, you’re not going to be able to fit them. Gas bottles will last around three days on full use for the fridge, boiler and cooking stove, so this is something to be aware of.
Gaslow systems can also be retrofitted for around the €1000 price mark. This means that you can start out with France and maybe a few days over the borders before getting more confident and going further afield the following year. Again ask for a quote if and when you’re ready.
Vive la France and Keep it Simple!
France is a big and diverse country. It’s the very reason why a lot of French stay in France for their holidays. It quite simply has everything: Lakes, rivers, oceans, seas, mountains, ski-resorts, forests, cities, vineyards, plains, chateaux and castles you name it, there’s a place in France famous for it!
It might be that you’re here to practise the language, looking for a retirement property and just want to soak up the culture maybe with a trip over a border on the odd occasion. You’re also quite happy with the safety and security of the very well serviced campsites and, sensibly, you only plan on coming over during the summer season from April to October.
Most vehicles come fitted with a combi boiler that will run off of both bottled LPG gas that you can buy from supermarkets and fuelling stations easily across France or, you can hook up to an electric point on a campsite and the boiler will automatically switch over to run on the electric.
Older vehicles might have a boiler that only works on the bottled gas but, again, it’s easy to replace and a 13kg bottle will cover cooking, heating and hot water for a good three or four days solid use.
If you start out this way and decide to change your lifestyle at a later date, all the other systems mentioned above can be retrofitted so….save your money until you’re ready to change.