Traveling by motorhome in Scotland: what to be prepared for
Traveling by motorhome is an opportunity to immerse yourself in an adventure where the road becomes your home. The allure of Scotland's picturesque landscapes fascinates even the most demanding tourists. Here's how to balance the joys and challenges of a motorhome trip
Traveling in a motorhome offers the enticing prospect of embarking on an adventure where the open road becomes your home, and your itinerary knows no bounds. The allure of picturesque landscapes, impromptu stops, and the freedom to chart your course is undeniable.
Yet, beneath the veneer of carefree exploration lies a complex duality. As we delve into the world of motorhome travel, it becomes evident that while it's an avenue for boundless fun and memorable experiences, it also presents a tapestry of challenges, risks, and considerations that deserve our attention.
Ready for a thrilling road adventure? Learn how to balance the joys and challenges of motorhome travel below.
Material is prepared with tTravel – an app from travelers to travelers that helps them monetize their travel experience and explore the world, avoiding the main travel planning issues.
Discover a full 8-day itinerary around Scotland on a motorhome in tTravel app via the link. The itinerary is prepared by Lora Arkhypenko – photographer and winner of the IPA (International Photography Awards).
Types of motorhomes
You have three options for exploring rural and untouched areas with different types of mobile homes:
This is a converted minibus that offers the convenience of a mobile home. It is good for its compact size, similar to a minibus, making it easy to maneuver, and no restrictions on dimensions. However, it typically lacks a separate bathroom and can accommodate a maximum of 4 people.
Caravans are like full-fledged homes towed by a car, accommodating 2 to 8 people. The positive thing is the ability to unhitch the caravan at the campsite, free you to explore nearby cities or remote locations with an ordinary car. The drawback is limited access to remote campsites with narrow roads or challenging terrains.
Motorhomes are essentially houses on wheels built on truck chassis. They offer the flexibility of using any campsite and no restrictions on distance. However, their larger dimensions make driving and parking on narrow roads more challenging. Motorhomes come in two categories based on size and weight, which may affect the required driver's license category.
Class 1: Length up to 8 meters and 3.5 tons, requiring a B-category driver's license.
Class 2: Length over 8 meters and 3.5 tons, requiring a C category (trucks) license.
Where to stay when traveling by motorhome?
In Scotland, you can stop and park your motorhome virtually anywhere, even in the most remote and scenic locations – a privilege not always granted in other countries. However, there are also designated parking sites, known as camping sites, nestled in picturesque spots that offer essential amenities.
During your journey, you would better stay at these campsites for a specific reason. Motorhomes are essentially self-sustaining, like a miniature yacht on wheels, equipped with a kitchen, complete with a fridge, a bathroom housing a toilet and shower with a water supply, and the provision of hot water. The availability of air conditioning and heating, however, depends on the motorhome's configuration, which may or may not be autonomous. In our case, we had a motorhome that required an external power source for the heating system to function properly.
At the campsites, known as pitches, each designated motorhome spot should be equipped with a water source for replenishing your supplies and electricity for connecting your motorhome. These sites also provided facilities for disposing of grey water (wastewater from usage), as well as amenities like showers, toilets, laundry facilities, and occasionally, on-site shops and restaurants.
Cons of traveling by motorhome
• Food Preparation
Regrettably, in nearly 99% of cases, meal preparation becomes a daily ritual. Inside the motorhome, you have all the necessary facilities for cooking, making it a valuable feature, especially for families. However, it also means you won't be dining at restaurants three times a day, which can be either a downside or a significant plus, depending on your perspective. Nevertheless, there's still that magical 1% when you stumble upon unique dining experiences in unexpected places.
• Every move necessitates tidying up and organizing belongings
Every journey from point A to point B requires the meticulous arrangement of your belongings. As the motorhome moves, everything inside tends to defy gravity and go airborne. All cabinets are securely fixed to prevent accidental openings, but everything still needs to be stowed away and secured each time.
• Navigational Stress
In the UK, narrow roads and mountainous terrain can create a significant challenge for motorhome travelers. Combining a sizeable vehicle, tight roadways, and winding paths can induce initial stress. However, this is often a temporary hurdle. After a few days, you'll navigate these roads easily like a seasoned rally driver.
An unexpected symphony of clinking dishes, rattling pans, and the rattle of stoves often accompanies the commencement of your journey. It's only after a few adjustments, such as placing cardboard layers between cookware and clever stacking, that you can mitigate these intrusions.
While motorhome vacations may appear as an economical alternative, it's essential to factor in all the associated costs. Beyond the initial rental or purchase, there are expenses for camping sites, fuel, and any additional equipment. This journey requires genuine commitment, as it may not be as budget-friendly as it initially seems.
Pros of traveling by motorhome
• Diverse Exploration
Discover a myriad of experiences in a short period. Whether you're canoeing on a serene lake today, hiking tomorrow, taking a sea dip the day after, or dining at a Michelin-starred city restaurant, each day can be uniquely different. You call the shots on where to witness the magic of sunrise and sunset.
• The Journey Itself
The road, especially during extended drives, is a time of profound significance. It's akin to a condensed life, where the world outside your window transforms every hour, offering glimpses into diverse lives, landscapes, and thoughts. It's a rendezvous with yourself for those precious hours, an undeniable plus of the journey.
• Unbounded Freedom
Revel in the liberating feeling that you can halt your motorhome anywhere your heart desires. This unparalleled sense of freedom is the essence of the travel experience, an aspect we should cherish in our adventures and life.
• Remote and Enigmatic Places
Human nature tends towards comfort, and technological progress attests to this inclination. Yet, the emotions evoked by the world's remote corners are incomparable. These lands have evolved silently, bearing the marks of hardship. They beckon the curious traveler, for it's in these uncharted realms that you'll find the true essence of discovery. In places where accessibility is challenging, the allure lies in the unknown, far from the well-trodden path.
Daria Rogova, Head of Insurance at Visit World
To move, travel or work safely in a new country, you will need health insurance. You can apply for an extended policy on our website here.
Products from Visit World for a comfortable trip:
Travel guide for 200 countries;
Legal advice from a local specialist on visa and migration issues;
Travel insurance around the world (please select the country of interest and citizenship to receive services);
Medical insurance all over the world.
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