There’s nothing easier and more relaxing than RVing. You pack once and hit the road, heading wherever you want, whenever you want. With countries being so close together in Europe, taking a motorhome around the continent is one of the best ways to see all there is to see. Europeans love to camp and there are campgrounds just about everywhere. But how do you plan an RV trip overseas? These 6 tips will ensure your trip goes smoothly and you’ll be RVing around Europe in no time.
Consider the “buy-back” program
When it comes to getting an RV, there are 3 options. Renting, leasing, or buying. The least expensive way is surprisingly buying (for long trips). If you are not planning to stay for longer than a month, this might not be the most sensible option. However, if you are planning on staying for an extended period of time, buying ends up being the cheapest choice. When buying an RV from an outfitter, look for one with a buy-back program. Many companies will agree to buy back the RV once your trip is done. Buy-backs usually average around 65% of the purchase price. Crunch the numbers before you leave and see if renting or buying is right for your budget and vacation.
Get an International Camping card
Before you head out, look into getting an International Camping card. This provides admittance to most camping sites (in some cases at a reduced rate) and is held by the campground instead of your passport. It’s a respected proof of identity and provides third-party liability insurance for you and up to 10 others.
Learn road rules
If you’ve never driven in Europe, your first experience can be extremely intimidating and overwhelming. It’s wise to familiarize yourself with the road rules in different European countries. Learn how to calculate distances in kilometers rather than miles and study what the road signs mean. There are also apps like Going Abroad which have helpful tips like safety rules by country, speed limits, forbidden lanes, and more.
Track toll roads
A lot of European limited-access highways are toll roads. If you’re looking to keep costs down, navigate your trips on smaller secondary roads that don’t have toll charges. Some countries like Switzerland, Austria, and the Czech Republic require a windshield sticker in order to drive on the expressways. You can buy the stickers at border crossings, post offices, and gas stations.
Feel free to leave the RV
If you’re in a big city and want to explore the city, leave your RV on the outskirts of the city and take the bus or train into town. You’ll avoid the hassle of driving down the narrow cobblestone streets and finding parking. Additionally, make sure that your vehicle has parking permit stickers, which usually indicates whether it is permitted to park in that particular area. In case, you don’t have such stickers, you might end up paying a hefty fine.
Buy necessities in advance
It may come as a surprise that a lot of the small necessities are not included when renting an RV. For example, there are usually not linens, towels, kettles, toasters, folding chairs, and other outdoor settings. Head to the market as soon as you get your RV and find out what it’s missing. You’ll save yourself a lot of money by buying from a market rather than renting from the RV company.
Europe is one of the best places to RV. You’ll meet so many Europeans who share a love for camping, see the countryside in a whole new way, and explore countries that are truly picture perfect.