Motorhome Living – The Basics

Travel & LeisureTravel Tips

  • Author Steve Greenwood
  • Published December 12, 2009
  • Word count 635

A motorhome allows you to have your personal comforts around you whilst giving you the freedom to travel to any location you wish. This article serves as a brief guide to get started and make motorhome living a little more comfortable.

Gas Supply

Heating the motorhome and cooking requires gas. This gas, also known as LPG is stored in replaceable steel bottles or cylinders on-board and should be stored in an upright position. Depending on the type of motorhome there may be permanent gas storage on-board which can be refilled at stations, just like LPG cars.

Two common types of gas used in motorhomes are propane and butane. Butane contains more energy per bottle than propane but will not operate at lower temperatures. As fittings require changing from the use of propane to butane, those who use their motorhome all year will probably prefer to use propane.

Drinking Water

One of the most obvious requirements is a source of clean and drinkable water. The majority of modern motorhomes are fitted with on-board water tanks capable of holding 15 – 40 gallons or more. Ensure to refill the tanks from mains based water and not tank based. Less regular use of the water supply can cause stale tasting water; in this case using bottled drinking water is recommended.

Waste Disposal

Another consideration is waste generated and its disposal. Disposal of waste will vary pending its type; household, grey waste and black waste. Household waste is the easiest to dispose of by using waste bins. However used water, also known as ‘grey waste’ can cause more problems as grey waste can only be dumped in certain areas. In many instances these areas are only accessible via foot so those with a dump valve on their motorhome will need to find a portable container to carry the waste to the dump point. Fortunately some sites will provide facilities where it is easy to drive to the emptying point, situated on firm ground with an emptying gulley. Note that emptying grey waste into public drains is technically illegal in most places.

Black waste or toilet waste is stored within a toilet cassette. Cassette emptying can be carried out at the ‘CDP’ or Chemical-toilet Disposal Point which can vary from a covered hole in the ground to a ceramic toilet device.

Electricity

Electricity is another commodity and comes either 12 volt or 230 volt, i.e. vehicle and mains supplies. The vehicle electrics are available all the time but low powered, mains electricity is only available on sites once the vehicle has been ‘hooked up’.

Typically the vehicle electrics will be able to supply the lights and water pump, but not heating. Air conditioning can also be run on the vehicle electrics, but is generally more efficient on the mains. Most modern motorhomes will have all the fittings necessary so that once the outdoor cables have been attached the sites mains supply mains electrics will be available.

Heating

Finally, consider using other amenities likes microwaves or a small portable oven for cooking, as most motorhomes only come fitted with a gas hob. For heating, portable electric fan heaters can be used through the mains supply, however avoid using gas heaters because of the risk of suffocation.

Finally, consider using other amenities likes microwaves or a small portable oven for cooking, as most motorhomes only come fitted with a gas hob. For heating, portable electric fan heaters can be used through the mains supply, however avoid using gas heaters because of a suffocation risk.

These are just a few ideas to consider if you are looking to stay in your motorhome for more than a weekend break and away from camp sites. Once you are used to the way your motorhome works and functions, everything will feel much easier and will make motorhome living a joy.

You are invited to view our extensive range of motorhome articles, including guides, advice and news. Sureterm Direct specialises in motorhome insurance. Obtain an online quote from one of our insurance specialists.

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