Motorhome holiday on trial

The landlords are service-oriented

(ampnet - 28 February 2021) Word has got around: Holidaying in a motorhome is one of the most corona-proof ways to spend the most important weeks of the year. That's why many people want to go on holiday with a flat on wheels for the first time. For this, as we have mentioned here time and again, a trial holiday is a good idea. After the first few nights in the heart of nature, some people may find that this kind of summer holiday doesn't suit them at all. Or they may prefer to stay in a hotel instead of making their bed, filling up with water and emptying the toilet every day.

There are plenty of rental offers, but what about sound advice for the newcomers and good service for the country road captains? We started a round-up to find out.

The range of rental motorhomes is huge, but not endless. "For Easter and Whitsun, the booking dates are still relatively manageable, but for July and August things are already looking very different," says Stefan Diehl, communications manager at Knaus-Tabbert, one of the major manufacturers in the industry. The company, which also owns the Weinsberg and Morelo brands, has its own in-house rental organisation, "Rent and Travel". 180 stations with over 2200 rental motorhomes await customers who are keen to travel.

Dethleffs offers temporary vehicles under the McRent label, which enables the manufacturers not only to cushion fluctuations in demand but also to attract potential new customers. After all, if the experiences during the holiday weeks tend to be positive, the appeal of owning your own mobile increases.

Motorhomes can also be rented privately

In addition to the factory rentals, many car clubs also offer motorhome rentals. In addition, there are hundreds of smaller companies that operate regionally or even locally. There is also the possibility of renting a holiday vehicle from private sources at more favourable conditions. "Campada" or "PaulCamper" are such organisations through which motorhome owners offer their vehicles. However, they must also be registered accordingly. The word "self-drive rental vehicle" must appear in the vehicle documents, because only then will insurance companies pay in the event of damage or loss and letters of cover or the promise of breakdown assistance remain valid. The TÜV inspection sticker also provides information about this. If the next general inspection is not due until after one year, the vehicle is certainly not a properly registered rental vehicle. The intervals for the TÜV inspection are shortened to twelve months.

Cleaning, emptying the toilet

The minimum age of the renter is 21 years, the driving licence must not be younger than 12 months. The contracts usually stipulate an excess in the event of damage, which is between 1,200 and 1,500 euros, but can be covered or at least reduced by additional insurance. Depending on the rental period, some rental companies require a minimum of one week, there are free kilometres, usually 2500 kilometres per week. If this limit is exceeded, each excess kilometre costs 38 cents for most of them. Rental companies are sensitive about the final cleaning. If the vehicle is returned unclean, additional charges of between 150 and 250 euros apply. It can be even more expensive if the waste tank of the on-board toilet has not been emptied and cleaned. An additional fee of up to 350 euros will be charged for this.

Consistently expert advice

There were consistently positive surprises in our samples. With ten telephone contacts nationwide, a conclusive picture of competence, readiness for service and well-founded advice emerged. Our questions: Which mobile is suitable for a family with two children (11 and 13 years old), where can you go and what does the charter cost? We have specified the second half of July as the planned period and have received a whole range of attractive offers. When it came to choosing a vehicle, there was agreement, all landlords offered an alcove mobile, i.e. one with a nose-shaped roof scoop over the driver's cab that accommodates a double bed, or a semi-integrated vehicle with a fold-down bed. That fits and is suitable for families. "You can still read downstairs while the children are already sleeping upstairs," explains one of the landlords.

The equipment can be booked

All of the motorhomes on offer remained below the 3.5 tonne limit, so they were not subject to the truck speed limit or corresponding overtaking bans, and they do not need to be interested in heavy vehicle taxes on toll roads either. Driving license class B entitles you to drive. The costs for the two-week vacation differed only slightly. Between 130 and 147 euros per day were estimated as rent, the price drops with longer rental periods. This includes a gas bottle of eleven kilograms, the active ingredient for the cassette toilet and the prescribed equipment such as safety vests and triangles as well as a first-aid kit. In addition, there is the service fee of 140 euros with which the landlord can pay for the one-hour handover and briefing. Camping furniture can also be rented for 60 euros, barbecue and kitchen utensils are only offered for sale for reasons of hygiene.

Assistance in finding a camping site

Most landlords took the time to give advice over the phone and gave them expert advice. Only two of the ten candidates referred to their websites, where you can get information in advance and decide which mobile you like best. Neither was spared with suggestions for possible travel destinations. The honesty is praiseworthy: “If you want to go to the Baltic Sea during this time, make a reservation at the campsite or a pitch in good time. In the main season it gets very crowded there, "it was said often. The references to the camping app or camping guide, which are helpful when looking for a place to stay, have not been forgotten either. Rent and Travel stood out in particular, from there several e-mails with links to the websites of the parking spaces came in.

The result of our inquiry was therefore satisfactory. Renting a motorhome is therefore not rocket science. The costs are also within reasonable limits. Around 2000 euros for the 14-day charter of a six-meter-long alcove mobile is acceptable. Additional payments are due at the holiday destination, 5 to 15 euros per day on a pitch and around 30 euros on a campsite, but the possibility of self-sufficiency from the galley instead of the expensive restaurant visit relieves the holiday budget. At least it is the cheapest way to explore your affinity for the low-risk motorhome holiday type. (ampnet / MK)