In today’s age of travel restrictions, people are opening up to the idea of holidaying at motorhome sites. It’s the perfect way to travel within your own state or country. You have the freedom to go when you want (no passports required). And the flexibility to go to one or several locations.
A motorhome is transport and accommodation all rolled into one. And as most motorhome sites are located in or near national parks, it gives you the opportunity to connect with nature. Nothing like fresh country air.
But first we need to find out what is your camping style.
We need to attend to definitions as different parts of the world use different terminology for a mobile home. Also, it can be confusing as for some people the terms motorhome, campervan and RV are used interchangeably. However there are minor key differences.
Caravans or trailers, depending upon which country you’re in, are pulled by hitches on your car, 4WD, SUVs or pickup trucks. This option provides the most versatility. Once your caravan/trailer is set up at site, you are free to drive your vehicle anywhere. Go touring or 4WD driving for some adventure. The trailers come in all sorts of sizes and designs, with some including a shower and toilet.
A 4WD converted into a mini campervan. Some you can sleep inside, others will require you to set up a tent or sleep in/on the pop-up roofs. Perfect for those who want to explore off the beaten track through backcountry or unsealed roads.
The smallest member of the recreational vehicle family. It typically consists of a transit-style van outfitted with furnishings, storage space and a sleeping area. Some could include a kitchenettes but is rare in such tiny spaces. Look for the ones with pop-top roofs that provide standing room, which in some cases also give you extra bed space.
A motorhome is the larger and more luxurious of recreational vehicles. They are fully self-contained with sink, fridge, oven and stove. Also they tend to be more comfortable as they include features such as liquid storage (water and waste), dining area, toilet and shower. Full standing room is a bonus. Plus they contain more sleeping room, up to 6 berths.
Going further up in size and price tag is the top of the range A Class motorhomes. These are big, sleek bus sized vehicles. Its like a converted bus, as the drivers cab integrates into the rest of the vehicle. Well and truly enough room for four or more people to be comfortable.
So what is a RV?
RV, or Recreational Vehicle, is a North American term used to describe any motorised vehicle for camping. It can refer to campervans, motorhomes and caravans/trailers. Basically any motor vehicle or trailer that includes living and sleeping quarters.
As you can see, there is a huge variety of RVs to choose from. Equally, there is a huge amount of motorhome sites to stay at. Below is a small selection of holiday/camping parks from around the world, each with their own unique feature. Which one would you choose?
Australia is the 6th largest country in the world. Therefore, there is a huge amount of caravan parks (or Tourist Parks) to choose from. Actually, over 2000. You can choose by type of views (beach, mountains, waterfalls), the amenities they provide or the animals they attract. With so much variety to choose from, its hard to select one best motorhome holiday in the land ‘downunder’.
Hahnodorf Resort - Best scenery
The 2019 winner of the Australian Tourism Award for Caravan and Holiday Parks category went to Hahnodorf Resort. Located in South Australia, I can see why when you take a look at the photos. It’s nestled in beautiful countryside with sweeping views of the beautiful Adelaide Hills. The bonus is its only 20 minutes from Adelaide.
TG tip: You can have a relaxing break lazing by the pool or playing a round of mini golf. Alternatively, meander along the Epicurean Way road to discover some of the 50 boutique wineries, cideries, breweries, cheese factories, cafes, chocolate houses, fresh produces and some art & culture. Never a dull moment in the hills.
Lake Argyle Caravan Park – camping with an infinity pool
The Lake Argyle Caravan Park in Kununurra, Western Australia, has the coolest pool. It has an infinity pool just like a 5 star hotel. And the stunning Kimberley views are 5 star too. No need to worry about crocodiles here!
It’s a great base if you want to be away from larger towns. Onsite they have a shop, restaurant, bar and tour booking centre. Or simply enjoy walking the easy access trails and scenic lookouts.
TG Tip: You must do a tour of some sort on Lake Argyle and Ord River. And if you love jewellery, you need to join the Argyle Diamond Mine Tour. It includes a stop at the diamond shop to buy directly from the mine.
There are many more to choose from. For more inspiration or ideas on where to go on your next motor home holiday, read Australian Traveller’s best caravan parks blog.
Although a much smaller country than Australia, it still offers over 1500 camping or motorhome site locations.
Poukaraka Flats Campground - island-based campground
The island of Waiheke, located north of Auckland, frequently makes it into the top 10 destinations in New Zealand and the world. It truly is a beautiful island to explore. I felt so relaxed after three days, especially after visiting a few vineyards and beaches.
The Poukaraka Flats Campground is located in the Whakanewha Regional Park, in the southern part of the island. The campsite is basic with toilets and cold showers but its located right on the beach. It’s a great base to explore the rest of the island at your leisure.
Simply drive on to the 40 minute ferry ride from downtown Auckland
TG Tip: the best meal I had was at Mudbrick Winery. Perched on a hill overlooking the vineyard and the bay. It was the most succulent lamb I've ever had. Pricey but well worth it when that tender meat literally melts in your mouth.
Kaiteriteri Recreation Reserve Campground - South Island wonder
My boss, who is a Kiwi from the South Island, highly recommends the Kaiteriteri Recreation Reserve Campground. Located right on the beach, it’s famous for its golden sands and turquoise waters. Simply walk across the road and jump in for a splash.
Or partake in outdoor adventure activities such mountain biking, cycling, eco tours, beach or forest hiking. No wonder this campground is so popular.
TG Tip: it is also the gateway to the Abel Tasman National Park, THE place to go canyoning in New Zealand.
If you like to travel on a budget and off the beaten track, then New Zealand also offers ‘responsible freedom camping’. You can camp in a tent, campervan or car on designated public land for free. The sites have minimal (toilet and cold showers) or no facilities.
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Portugal won the ‘best European tourist destination 2019’ by the World Travel Awards. This country is more than about beaches and the Algarve coast. Some of their 300 registered campsites are found inland of the country. Offering beautiful scenery and relaxing motorhome holidays. Be surprised with rural hamlets and agricultural estates.
Redondo Lodges – natural environment
Redondo Lodges location is inland about halfway between Lisbon and Porto. It’s a perfect getaway from the usual busy tourist spots and if you enjoy some tranquillity. The caravan area is set in a natural environment, shaded by olive and fig trees. Although they only have 6 places, so do book in early. They are also eco-friendly with chemical toilet/grey water disposal.
You won’t get bored out here. There is a nearby lake offering kayaking, wakeboard and paddle boarding. Redondo do offer canoe rentals. They can provide you with hiking maps too. Or attend one of their local festivities, such as the wine harvest in September, olive harvest in October/November or wild mushroom gathering in February and November.
TG Tip: Portugal typically has the cheapest campsites in Western Europe. But, it is also known for free camping options too. Be aware that free camping in the Algarve is officially banned. However, outside of the busy summer period, the police do tolerate responsible free camping.
Camping Arolla – Europe’s highest campground
Here’s one to tick off on your bucket list. Camping Arolla is the highest campsite in Europe, at 1950m.
Set in a natural environment surrounded by forests and at the base of the Swiss peaks. It’s an ideal base for hiking, mountaineering or just relaxing.
In true Swiss style, the campsite has modern and clean facilities. Washing machines are free for guests. And there is a small grocery store that sells local products. The best part is the fresh bread delivery every morning at 8am.
TG Tip: for the serious hikers, try one of the glacier hiking routes in the upper Val d’Herens. For casual walkers, there is a 40 minute walk to the beautiful Lac Bleu. Your eyes will be amazed.
One of Europe’s most captivating countries but also the most unexplored. Time to put it on your motorhome site bucket list.
Kamp Koren – river holiday
Slovenia is blessed with lots of natural beauty. One of the many campgrounds that takes advantage of its picturesque surroundings is Kamp Koren. It’s located in the beautiful Soca Valley, beside the aqua coloured Soca river.
The most interesting nearby sights are the Soca River canyon, Kozjak Waterfall, gravel river banks, Napoleon’s Bridge and the restored front-line from World War I. A lot of history in this little area. It’s the perfect spot for kayaking, fishing, mountain biking, alpine climbing, paragliding, hang-gliding and hiking.
TG Tip: please support their local store. As part of their eco-friendly obligations with EU Ecolabel, their in-house store provides fresh seasonal fruit and vegetables from nearby farms. As well as cheeses, honey, dried meats, herbs and aromatic plants. You can even grab fresh herbs from their own garden for your nightly dinners.
Eye Kettleby Lakes – camping and fishing
For those who want to have a kid free motorhome holiday, look no further than the adults only Eye Kettleby Lakes. They are the bronze medal winners for camping category in VisitEngland 2020 tourism awards.
The property runs a fishery, so it makes the perfect camping and fishing holiday. Or you can partake into some lovely country walks in tranquillity and peace.
TG Tip: Visit the historic market town of Melton Mowbray. Famous for its port pies and Stilton cheese.
Canada has so many beautiful destinations that its hard to decide where to start. But be assured, where ever you are, you’ll find a national park and a motorhome site just around the corner.
Paradise Valley Campground – an outdoor playground
This Paradise Valley Campground is located in Squamish in British Colombia, the heart of Sea to Sky Country. It’s the place to unplug and immerse yourself in nature.
You can unplug as there is no Wifi and its a music free campsite. But they do allow guitars and singalongs. However, you can be kept very busy during the day as they seem to have the most amount of activities right on their doorstep. Try granite rock climbing, the best bouldering, hatchery tours, fishing along Cheakamus River, bird watching (250 species), kayaking on a fast river or calm lake, kiteboarding and windsurfing at The Spit, mountain biking over 100 trails or walk along the many scenic hiking trails.
TG Tip: be sure to ask at reception for Dawn Hanna’s “Best Hikes and Walks of Southwestern British Columbia” for details of all hikes in the area.
Campers Cove Campground – waterfront camping
Located right on the shores of Lake Erie in Ontario, Campers Cover offers premium waterfront sites. A perfect place for a combo holiday. Spend time relaxing on the clean beach or exploring the nearby attractions. The choice varies from board walking in Point Pelee National Park, visit a bird sanctuary or indulge in some tastings at the local wineries.
TG Tip: take a leisurely paddle through the Point Pelee marsh and look for beavers, turtles, muskrats, frogs, dragon flies and an array of birds.
USA is another vast country with hundreds of motorhome site options. In fact, there are two types of RV parks. There are standard and luxury RV resorts. The difference being is that the luxury parks offer extras such as heated swimming pools and a roster of activities. Plus it may include extra amenities such as spas, clubhouses (for special organised events), community fire pits, golf courses and more. Bear in mind that these luxury RV parks do cost more.
Mountain Falls Luxury Motorcoach Resort – luxury RV park
Majority of the luxury RV parks are exclusively reserved for Class A motorcoaches, as is the case for Mountain Falls Luxury Motorcoach Resort. It is set 3200 feet high in the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains, North Carolina. What a scenic resort overlooking the surrounding mountains and valleys. Check out the video on their website.
Your luxurious resort style stay includes a private clubhouse lodge, pickleball, bocce ball, tennis courts, fitness facility, hot spa, 9 hole golf course, two pools and an active social committee. It really does take the motorhome holiday to the next level.
TG Tip: if you can tear yourself away from the opulence, do make the effort to grab a guide book and check out the many scenic stops along the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Ames Brook Campground – standard RV park
If five star is not your thing, then you can still opt for rustic or low key RV campgrounds like Ames Brook Campground. This New Hampshire campground is located in the heart of the scenic Lakes and and White Mountains area. Perfect for those who love outdoor activities.
You still have access to park amenities such as a swimming pool, basketball half court, volleyball and fishing. A mere twenty minutes away, you can also access hiking trails in the White Mountain National Forest or boating activities at Squam Lake.
TG Tip: If you feel like going for a 30-60 minute drive, visiting The Flume will WOW you. It’s a narrow natural gorge which you can walk through or do a two mile loop.
Does travel insurance still cover motorhome holidays?
If you need to rent a recreational vehicle, then its wise to consider some sort of insurance. The rental company will always offer insurance (eg. Collision damage waiver) as an extra to the daily/weekly rate. If you’re travelling abroad, then the best option is to take out travel insurance.
World Travel Insurance provides Rental Vehicle excess cover on their Explorer Plan only. It covers the usual vehicles such as sedans, hatchback or station wagon plus campervan and motorhomes. Two of the pre-requisites is that you
- Must purchase the insurance offered by the rental vehicle company.
- And you don't drive on unsealed roads.
- The rental vehicle insurance excess
If you need to make a claim, the excess on rental vehicle insurance can be quite high, up to $5000. So this travel insurance will cover that portion only (less World Nomads $100 excess). Therefore, no need to pay a premium to the rental company for Nil or Reduced Excess option.
- Return of rental vehicle
If you have injured yourself and are deemed medically unfit to drive, World Nomads will cover the expense of returning the campervan/motorhome back to the rental company (less $100 World Nomads excess).
Give World Nomads a go and get a quote now. Then navigate to the Rental Vehicle Insurance Excess section for the finer details - some details will be different depending upon your country of residence.
TG Tip: World Nomads offer US residents a domestic travel policy. It includes emergency evacuation when they are over 100 miles away from their home. Quite handy if you are motorhoming further away than your immediate local area.
Which motorhome sites would you choose
This is a small sample of the thousands of camping or motorhome sites from around the world designed to inspire you.
If you are free to travel, consider renting a motorhome or campervan and explore at your leisure. Alternatively, you can use a standard car to drive to these motorhome sites as many of them also offer cabin/chalet accommodations.
If you are stuck with your countrys’ travel restrictions, a motorhome holiday at home is just as rewarding and relaxing.
From the motorhome sites listed, which inspired you the most? Where would you like to take a motorhome holiday to?