How to choose the right motorhome for you!

Whether you’re a first-time buyer, or seasoned explorer looking for an upgrade, buying a motorhome is a big purchase, so we’ve put together some key questions to ask yourself before you hit the road.

Here at Simpsons, we’re always happy to talk motorhomes and campervans, so please get in touch with one of the team – we’ve been doing this a while so there’s not much we haven’t been asked before and with hundreds of different motorhome types, styles, layouts and designs on the market it can get a bit overwhelming.

Let’s jump in with where to start when choosing a motorhome.


Why, where and how will you use a motorhome?

Ask yourself why you want to buy a motorhome or campervan (rather than hire one for example), where you want to go, how often and what you need it to do for you along the way.

A good starting point is to consider if you’ll be doing mainly UK travel, or taking it over to explore Europe. Will you be using it for long weekends and short breaks, or for extended travel over maybe a few weeks or even months? Escaping a UK winter for warmer climes can be very appealing.

Already a ‘motorhomer’ looking for a change? Ask yourself why. It can help to do a list of likes/dislikes of your current motorhome and list what features you’d like in your next motorhome. That list will prove very useful once you start looking at all the incredible offers around at the moment.


What type of motorhome or campervan do I need?

At Simpsons, we’ve already done a lot of the hard work for you as we stock only the best brands, including:

  • Autosleeper
  • Autotrail
  • Autotrail Tribute
  • Chausson
  • Elddis
  • McLouis Fusion
  • Rapido

Even so, there are almost endless possibilities of motorhome. The general breakdown of types are:

  • Panel van
  • Coachbuilt
  • A-Class

We’ve given a brief description below and you can also find out more about the different types here

Panel van

The term ‘campervan’ is much more widely used than panel van, but things have come a long way since the much-loved VW campers of the 70s and there are many fantastic options to choose from. They are essentially an existing panel van (Peugeot, Fiat) which is converted to include any number of features such as beds, kitchen or even bathroom to make it a trusty travel companion on the open road.


The ‘coachbuilt’ concept involves converters constructing a caravan body onto a cab and chassis. They offer caravanners much more interior space and considerably more home-comfort facilities, including large kitchen areas, built-in showers and toilet facilities, and far more storage. A common site is the overcab sleeping area and the possibilities of different sizes, layouts and designs are vast.

A class

This is the big league and not for first-timers! ‘A’ Class motorhomes are designed and constructed from the chassis upwards. The cab area extends across the vehicle’s full width and both cabin seats are usually swivel operated.


What type of layout do I need?

This is where things can start to get a bit overwhelming with so much choice – and where your wish list of features and requirements that you need from a motorhome can come in very handy. The layout of your new motorhome is one of the most important decisions to make.

Just as you’d look around a new property before buying it, you need to consider how much lounging, dining, sleeping, and bathroom or washing space you need.

You also need to think about how many people are likely to be travelling in your motorhome. The key configurations and designs you need to consider include:

  • Sleeping – there are bed designs galore on offer, from single beds to drop down beds to island beds, transfer beds and French beds. Some of these are fixed – if you don’t like the idea of making up a bed every night (and packing it away again) then you should look at fixed bed options.
  • Lounge space / layout – there are lots of different designs of motorhome to accommodate virtually all requirements you may have of your ‘lounging’ space. Think about how many people will need to use it and what you’d like to use it for.
  • Kitchen – how much cooking and eating will you be doing and for how many people? Some motorhomers like the home from home feel, preparing a lot of meals on board but others do very little cooking while on the road.
  • Bathroom – if you need maximum space, consider an ‘end or rear bathroom’, as with all decisions, you may need to compromise on lounge space, or look at larger motorhomes.

Size, weight and length of motorhome

Size, weight and length of motorhome can all be considered once you’re closer to realising all the information above – what your needs and use will be and for how many people.

Again, there are almost endless possibilities for size, weight and length – you can find out more about some of the ranges we stock here

A lot of people ask us about what drivers licence they need to drive a motorhome. This depends on your age and the vehicle’s maximum authorised mass (MAM) which is the vehicle’s weight plus the maximum load it can carry.

To drive a motorhome with a MAM of between 3.5 and 7.5 tonnes, you need a category C1 licence.

To drive a motorhome with a MAM of over 7.5 tonnes, you need a category C licence.

Find out more here



This is all down to you – it’s your choice. There are motorhomes to suit most budgets, so talk to one of our team at Simpsons who will be able to talk through new and used motorhomes as well as our excellent finance options.

You can review our new and used stock here


Test drive

Just like buying a new car, it’s important to test drive as many motorhomes as possible when you’re thinking about buying.

When you’re in the driving seat make sure it’s comfortable – you could be sat there for some time when you set off on your adventures!

You should also take plenty of time to have a really good look at the various features and layout options from daytime use to night time, such as see how to make up the beds, looking at the kitchen area, how much leg room the lounge area has, how much head room the motorhome has, can you fit in the bathroom under the shower head?

Try and imagine everything you’d want to do comfortably while travelling.


Hit the road

We think owning a motorhome or campervan is one of the best ways to explore with absolute freedom and flexibility – so what are you waiting for?

Contact one of the team today