Can I drive a motorhome on my regular driving licence?
Depending on the weight (technically, the Maximum Authorised Mass, or MAM) of the motorhome your standard UK driving licence for a car also allows you to drive a motorhome.
If you passed your driving test before the 1st of January1997, you may drive any motorhome up to 7,500kg MAM – which covers all but the largest of American-style RVs.
If you passed the test after that date, however, you may drive a motorhome of up to 3,500kg MAM (the majority of those made for the UK market), but will need an additional category C1 licence to drive a motorhome between 3,500kg and 7,500kg MAM.
The Camping and Caravanning Club offers the warning that, once you reach the age of 70, you need a medical declaration signed by your GP to retain your C1 qualification for driving motorhomes between 3,500kg and 7,500kg MAM.
What is the Maximum Authorised Mass (MAM)?
The Maximum Authorised Mass (MAM) is the maximum weight of your motorhome, including all its fixtures and fittings and everything you are carrying in it.
You need to be aware of this weight when loading your motorhome, therefore, because if it is exceeded, you may be stopped and prosecuted for driving an overweight vehicle.
You can find the MAM stamped on the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) plate – usually fixed inside the engine bay or sometimes attached to the door pillar. If you are in any doubt about the weight of the loaded motorhome, you may need to visit a public weighbridge to check that you are within the authorised limits.
How much road tax must I pay on my motorhome?
The answer is not straight forward, because – just as with cars – vehicles first registered after the 1st of April 2017, the amount of road tax also reflects their CO2 rating.
Detailed information about the rate of road tax for all classes of vehicle may be found on the government website – your motorhome is officially described as a motor caravan under UK law.
Does my motorhome need an MOT?
Classed as a motor caravan, your motorhome – whatever its size or MAM – is subject to the same MOT requirements as your car. In other words, once it is three years old, it needs to pass an annual MOT test.
What type of toilet does my motorhome have?
A number of different types and designs of toilet are built into motorhomes.
The most common is a cassette type, which is removable from outside the vehicle when it needs to be emptied and which has either its own in-built water tank or uses the motorhome’s own water tank for flushing.
Alternatives are the proprietary Portapotti makes of chemical toilet or a marine toilet (most commonly found in the larger size motorhomes).
Do the usual no smoking rules apply?
Since 2015, the law has made it an offence for the driver to smoke, or to allow any passenger to smoke, in a car or motorhome also carrying any passenger under the age of 18.
However, a motorhome is exempt from these rules if it is either stationary and not on a road, or is stationary whilst parked up as living accommodation.