Motorhoming in Europe: Everything You Need To Know!

Travel Tips Travel Gear

Motorhoming in Europe can be a fantastic experience – but it’s not without its challenges. If you’re thinking of hitting the open road in a campervan or motorhome, read this comprehensive for the most trouble-free experience.

In this post we’ll cover everything we’ve learned from travelling in our motorhome in Europe, from a paperwork checklist to the vehicle essentials you should carry. The bottom line is though, once you’ve got the paperwork basics ticked off, it’s super easy.

Paperwork You Need

Preparing your paperwork for your big European Motorhome adventure should be your first priority. Some of these are essential, some aren’t, but this should cover most of the things you’ll need to prepare:

  • Passports – Check the dates. Take photocopies
  • Driving License – You’ll need one 😀
  • Green Card / IDP – If needed. Double check
  • Vehicle Insurance – Print and check your European cover
  • Vehicle Breakdown Cover – Print and check the Europe cover
  • V5 Logbook – Take a photocopy as a backup
  • MOT Certificate – For vehicles over 3 years old
  • EHIC Cards – Take around a week to arrive
  • Travel / Medical Insurance – Print the paperwork
  • Covid Status – Check your vaccination status and entry requirements
  • Ferry / Eurotunnel – Check-in prior and print paperwork
  • Pet AHC – Required for each trip into Europe and may take a few weeks
  • Swiss Vignette – If you’re travelling in Switzerland
  • Crit’Air Sticker – For low emission cities in France

Vehicle Essentials

Once your paperwork is in order, you’ll need to ensure you carry a few essentials in your vehicle. Some of these are legally required when driving any vehicle in Europe not just for motorhoming in Europe.

  • UK Number Plate Stickers – Cover old GB signs
  • UK Sticker – Rear oval sticker
  • Hi-Vis Jackets – 1 for each passenger
  • Warning Triangle – Used for breakdowns on roads
  • Headlight Converters – Changes headlight beam pattern
  • Spare Bulbs – Required in France for headlamps
  • First Aid Kit – Small travel pack is fine
  • Fire Extinguisher – Legal requirement only in some places
  • Electric Hookup Adaptors – Check for country-specific adaptors
  • Gas Bottle Adaptors – For refillable systems, you’ll need connectors
  • Angles Morts Stickers – Only for vehicles over 3.5 Tonne

Vehicle Safety Checks

You’ll probably be doing a lot of driving, so making it as trouble-free as possible is the aim here. We recommend carrying out some of these basic vehicle checks before you travel.

  • Tyres – Check the date and pressures and look for any cracks or bulges
  • Oil Leaks – Check for any oil leaks under the engine bay
  • Water Coolant – Make sure your coolant levels are correct
  • Washer Water – Make sure you have water for your wipers
  • Brakes – Check brake pad depth is sufficient and discs not cracked
  • Lights – Check all bulbs in the headlights and rear lights are working
  • Wiper Blades – Make sure these have plenty of life

Tips To Keep Cool

This has been a hot topic with the increase in high temperatures year on year in Europe so here are our top tips to keep your campervan, motorhome and yourself cool.

1. Close Blinds & Cover Windows. You need to stop the heat getting in your motorhome or campervan so close your internal blinds or cover the glass windows on the outside with thermal covers to stop the heat and sun getting in.

2. Use Fans for Good Air Circulation. Strategically position fans close to open windows in the shade to blow cool air in. Open and roof vents or windows to let the hot air escape as it rises. Don’t have fans blowing towards each other as this doesn’t create good circulation.

3. Use an Awning To Shade the Vehicle. If you have a roll out awning, park that side in the sun and then roll out the awning to shade the sunny side of the vehicle. The other side will naturally be in shade and the more you can shade the vehicle, the cooler it will be inside.

Need more tips to keep cool? Check out our top 10 tips to keep any Motorhome or Campervan cool in Summer.

Travel Gear

While a lot of these might not be considered essential, there are a lot of items that will make your motorhoming trip in Europe a lot more pleasurable and convenient. Below we share some of the purchases we have personally made for our Europe trip.

Please Note: I have provided affiliate links to Amazon where you can buy these products should you wish and if you do, I’ll get a tiny small commission which goes towards the running cost of this blog. Thank you in advance if you do purchase products via these links 🙂


Battery Fans

It get’s hot in Europe, much hotter than in the UK, so it might be a good idea to take some lithium battery fans to keep you cool. Battery ones are good for when you are off-grid, and the lithium batteries tend to last a lot longer.


Insulated Vacuum Water Bottle

These were recommended to us by a connection on Instagram, and whilst expensive; these will be great if the weather’s hot! These leak-proof water bottles can keep liquids cold for up to 18 hours and even hot liquid piping hot for up to 8 hours.


Collapsible Paddling Pool

This paddling pool is ideal to keep the kids cool or even to bath them in. We’ve gone for this collapsible dog paddling pool because, quite frankly, who wants to stand their blowing up a paddling pool?


Mosquito Repellent Bracelets

We came across these when searching for mosquito spray, and the reviews looked terrific. They have a repellant scent on the bracelets and so deter the bugs without the need of spray. And, the kids will love them.


European Hook Up Adaptor

Included in our vehicle essentials list above, most of Europe uses this specific adaptor which has excellent reviews. It connects to your existing UK hook-up cable.


Pet Cooling Mat

As previously mentioned, it can get pretty hot in Europe, and this seems like a wise essential for your dog or cat. We’ve seen many people who travel Europe recommend these and this is the specific one we have chosen which is available in different sizes.


Dog Cooling Vest

We’ve seen some pretty hot weather forecasts and heatwaves in Europe, so if you are taking your dog with you, this might be the perfect gift to keep them cool. We’ve got this for our little chihuahua Rio, and it also has a solid D ring for the lead.

Summary

We hope you found our Motorhoming in Europe guide helpful. If you think we’re missing anything, we’d love to know so we can continually update this guide to help many people travel trouble-free in Europe. The bottom line is, it’s easy, you’ll love it and happy Europe adventures from us 😀

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