Monthly Archives: July 2011

Get Away in a Hire Motorhome for the Winter

Motorhome Hire Scotland

Does the thought of hanging around an airport at the beginning and end of your holiday fill you with dread? Middle of the night starts, airport delays, queues, sub standard hotels – really, who needs them?  Why not enjoy the freedom of taking your accommodation with you with a motorhome hire holiday.  It’s been a freezing winter in the UK with lots of snow and ice, so why not head for the guaranteed sunshine in the south of France, Spain, Portugal, Italy or wherever you fancy? How quickly you get there or how much you want to see on the way there is entirely up to you – complete freedom.

Motorhome Hire Scotland

Driving abroad is very different to driving around the UK, roads are less busy and if you choose to use the ‘autoroutes’ you will be amazed at the frequency and standard of facilities provided by the service stations.  But if you choose to use the ‘A roads’ you will also love how uncrowded they are just like Scotland.  Children love a motorhome hire holiday as they get quickly acquainted with their own bed and area of the motorhome they like to be in.  If you have children who tend to get bored on long journeys, they can just chill out in the back of motorhome watching a DVD.  A massive advantage of motorhome holidays is that you can take all the stuff you need, or think you need, but also with plenty of storage room you can bring back anything you find on the way.

Motorhome Hire Scotland

A great combination is a motorhome and some bikes, most motorhome hire companies have a bike rack fitted at the rear, capable of carrying several bikes and some of the larger ones like the Carioca 656 or the Carioca 707 both Motorhomes have a garage at the back end.  With having your bikes onboard you can cycle along in the sunshine to do your shopping or just for fun – great for getting some fresh air and some exercise.

Many of these aspects we have covered here could easily be enjoyed in England, Scotland or Wales if your time and budget are limited. The UK is a fantastic place with an amazing coastline and the possibility of enjoying a beautiful sunset with a barbeque and a glass of wine in your hand this is the best way to enjoy the Weast coast of Scotland in a hire motorhome, the best part being the knowledge that you have a very comfortable bed just a few feet away.

Motorhome Hire Scotland


To talk to someone about a motorhome hire holiday call 01738 580755 anytime or

Demand for cheaper holdays is good for motorhome Hire companies in Scotland

Demand for cheaper holdays is good for motorhome Hire companies in Scotland

The rising demand for cheaper holidays can only be good for British-built motorhomes and Motorhome hire companies.

Many makers are focusing on producing new downturn-defying models. To help out, all the manufacturers are also absorbing some price rises from base-vehicle suppliers.Motorhome Hire Scotland

But new, affordable, motorhomes will also play a strong part in maintaining market momentum.

AutoTrail unveiled its Excel value-for-money range at the Caravan and Motorhome Show, while Lunar Caravans reported motorhome sales were also strong, led by its Ford Transit-based Pinnacle over-cab compact coachbuilt model.

Swift recently announced a more affordable motorhome range, labelled the Escape. Prices of this entry-level coachbuilt model start at around £30,000 and are ideal for motorhome hire companies.

Swift’s Escape Motorhome specification list includes a full kitchen and shower room, double glazing, and central heating.

Motorhome manufacturer Auto-Sleepers, whose November 2008 sales exceeded those for the previous year, also plans to launch two new vehicles – a compact coachbuilt, and what it claims will be a revolutionary new campervan.

Motorhome Hire Scotland

The Compass Avantgarde 155 and Elddis Autoquest 155 Motorhome models are the latest in the award-winning budget range from the Explorer Group.

These new two-berth low-line vehicles each boast a fixed double bed and front dinette – making them perfect for couples, or singles and ideal for motorhome hire / rental fleets.

Looking ahead, the Motorhomes Information Service (MIS) says the sector will have to weather the storm like everyone else.

“In the slowdown it may be that there is no better way of getting some great-value leisure time,” says MIS spokeswoman Ruth de Mierre.

Motorhome Hire Scotland

“Besides the crunch-busting new models, second-hand vehicles are also selling well.
“The sector’s two clubs, The Caravan Club and the Camping and Caravanning Club, also say they expect site bookings to go up this year, as people look for the best value they can get for their leisure pound.

A rental / hire Motorhome gives you the freedom to holiday when you like

A rental / hire Motorhome gives you the freedom to holiday when you like

Motorhome hire scotland

Fed up with the same old hotel food and crowded beaches? Why not join the millions of holidaymakers who hire a Motorhome in Scotland? Here are some of the joys of holidaying at caravan parks…

The freedom to roam with the comforts of home…
Motorhomes incorporate all your travel needs. You can savour the beauty of the countryside in Scotland and also enjoy the amenities of thousands of caravan and motorhome  parks in Scotland across the UK, Europe and beyond.

Go anytime…
A hire / rental motorhome gives you the freedom to holiday when you like, not just when a good holiday deal comes up. You can go in the summer, the winter, for a weekend break, stay for months at your favourite caravan park or tour Europe – the possibilities are endless.

Motorhome hire scotland

Reflect your taste and personality…
There are many different shapes and sizes of touring caravans and motorhomes, or static caravans which are left all-year-round at caravan parks. Modern hire / rental motorhome can accommodate all the fittings and extras you want – luxury interiors, showers, flush toilets, even wi-fi.

Get back to nature or live it up…
For holidaymakers who want to get away from it all, some caravan parks provide only basic amenities. But many caravan parks now provide all the facilties for an exciting family motorhome  holiday – such as a leisure complex, spa, bars and restaurants.

Join a club…
Caravan and motorhome clubs provide a range of services and benefits, such as discounted rates at caravan parks and on ferries, cheaper insurance, help and advice, and access to exclusive events.

Motorhome hire scotland

Get healthy…
Because caravan parks are often situated in areas of outstanding natural beauty in and around Scotland, near heritage attractions, country parks or by the sea, you can enjoy outdoor pursuits and sports such as kayaking, hill-walking, fishing, pony-trekking, group-walking and cycling. Many caravan and motorhome parks also provide sports tournaments for all the family.

Take your pet…
Dogs are part of the family, and a motorhome holiday means you don’t have to leave your pet behind. Many caravan parks provide pet amenities, including dedicated dog-walking areas. And, of course, you save on kennel fees or the hassles of finding a dog-minder.

Spend winter in the sun…
Instead of getting caught up in the summer holiday rush, caravan parks in Spain, Italy, Portugal and other sunny parts of southern Europe are open all year.

Motorhome hire scotland

Go green…
Motorhome /Caravanning is environmentally sound because caravans use the existing infrastructure of roads. Caravan motorhome parks and modern caravans are also becoming increasingly energy-efficient, using more eco-friendly and recycled materials.

Take up residence…
Some caravan parks are designed for permanent living. Park homes are static caravans that are bigger than touring caravans – furnished and with access to every amenity. Hundreds of thousands of people enjoy the benefits of life in caravan parks, an easier and cheaper alternative to buying a home


Celebrities are pushing motorhome hire in Scotland up the popularity charts

Celebrities are pushing motorhome hire in Scotland up the popularity charts

Motorhome Hire / Rental in Scotland is the coolest of cool leisure pursuits right now, with celebrities like Robbie Williams, Gail Porter and Jamiroquai singer, Jay Kay, pushing motorhomes up the popularity charts.

Motorhome Hire Scotland

And the many British manufacturers who produce motorhomes are feeling the benefit with increased sales.

But there’s even more good news – research by Standard Life Bank reveals that sales of motorhomes in Britain will grow by a further 50% in the future.

However, motorhome hire / rental clients are a demanding breed, giving designers the tricky balancing act of providing more space and equipment than Dr Who’s Tardis.

The motorhome also has to be versatile enough to suit varied individual tastes and lifestyles if it is used in a hire fleet.

Family members who face physical disabilities or other challenges also find that motorhomes offer the ideal holiday, and they are well-served by a range of hire / rental firms who offer specialist adaptations.

Motorhome Hire Scotland

Vehicles for wheelchair users, for example, have an increasing presence in the motorhome market and interiors can cater for every type of access need.

A clutch of new models, from leading UK names such as the Explorer Group, and Auto-Sleepers, have also shown that designs are capable of crossing age boundaries, from the ultra-chic young generation to the early-retirement age group.

In particular, it is the 50s age group that is in the vanguard of the mobile leisure renaissance, evidenced by the growing number of ‘park full’ signs going up at the sites around Scotland, The Caravan Club and the Camping and Caravanning Club.

The clubs are also reporting record membership intake, plus, massive use of their related travel services.

It’s understandable, says industry organisation the Motorhomes Information Service (MIS).

Motorhome Hire Scotland

A spokeswoman says: “Motorhomes know few boundaries – they’re not just holidays or a getaway weekend.

“They’re also used for mid-life gap years, six-month Spanish sojourns, and are quite definitely the leisure multi-tasker.

Motorhome Service Areas In Europe

Motorhome Hire ScotlandMotorhome Service Areas In Europe


Although the words on the sign may vary, this symbol is fairly universal throughout Western Europe – it means motorhome service facilities are available

One of the great things about motorhoming in Europe is the wide availability of motorhome service areas – places where you can empty your toilet cassette, dispose of waste water and fill up with fresh water, all in one place. They are normally located together, with space to drive your motorhome right up to the facility while you service it.

Where Can I Find Them?

Motorhome service points are often at aires (designated overnight parking facilities for motorhomes), but are sometimes at other locations, such as motorway service areas, supermarket car parks, town car parks and so on.

Sometimes they are free, sometimes one or more of the services (usually fresh water) requires a small payment, such as €1. The best way to find them is with guides like these or their digital equivalents.

In the UK, they are pretty much non-existent – even some campsites don’t have such convenient, ‘all in one place’ facilities.

There are a number of things that it’s useful to remember if you are planning on using service points regularly while travelling.

Motorhome Hire Scotland

Fresh Water

  1. A supply of €1 and €2 coins is often useful for fresh water, which is often the only part you have to pay for (e.g. €1 or €2 for 100 litres).
  2. Some purpose-built units require tokens instead of coins – these are usually available nearby but I’ve rarely had to use them.
  3. If you want to be able to connect a hosepipe up to fill your fresh water tank, you’ll need a selection of hose fittings as taps vary widely.
  4. Consider using a Dettol wipe on the fresh water tap before filling up your water – the problem is that someone may previously have used it to rinse their toilet cassette…

Grey Waste (Waste Water Tank)

Grey waste is the contents of your waste water tank – washing up water and water that you’ve washed/showered with.

Most purpose-built motorhomes have a drain pipe with a stop cock on it that’s used to empty the van’s waste water tank. This requires you to drive over a drain and position yourself so that the water flows into the drain.

Motorhome service points normally have a drain that is positioned so that it is easy to drive over and empty your waste into it. Sometimes you will need to lift up a grate or cover to allow the waste water to flow freely into the drain.

Please do not empty toilet waste into a grey water drain. The area’s sewage system probably won’t be able to handle it and it isn’t nice – especially when ‘deposits’ are left stuck on top of the drain grill.

Motorhome Hire Scotland

Emptying Your Toilet Cassette (Black Waste)

Black waste is the name given to the contents of your toilet cassette. Unless you have an RV or a large motorhome with a fixed toilet tank, you will have to empty your cassette every few days (if not more often) by carrying it to an emptying point and emptying it into a sewer.

This is not such a bad job as people think, and you soon get used to it. Here are a few tips:

  1. Never forget to press the air vent button when emptying the cassette – this enables the waste to flow out smoothly, rather than ‘glugging’ and splashing everywhere…
  2. When emptying your toilet cassette, only ever rinse it with the designated rinsing tap (if there is one) – try to avoid using the fresh water tap.
  3. Sometimes a ‘solid deposit’ or clump of toilet paper will get stuck in a corner of the cassette when emptying – a good rinse and shake (with the cap on) will free these up and keep your toilet cassette reasonably clean and sweet smelling!
  4. Use the cassette rinse tap to charge the cassette with water again before adding your toilet chemical (if you use one). A couple of litres of water is usually enough.
  5. Finally, never put anything other than human waste and toilet tissue into a cassette.

Can I Empty My Toilet Cassette Into A Toilet?

Yes (usually).

This is a common question, as there are times when toilets are readily available but a cassette emptying point is not. Here are a few things to consider:

  1. If the toilets are on a mains sewer, then there shouldn’t be any problem with emptying toilet cassettes into them. I do it at home when we come back from a trip.
  2. Done with care, there is almost no mess and any small splashes on the rim of the bowl can easily be wiped afterwards.
  3. A little more care needs to be taken if the toilet you are using drains into a septic tank. Some toilet fluids will interfere with the biological processes that break down waste in the septic tank.
  4. I use Elsan’s organic toilet fluid in our cassette. This is marked as safe for use in septic tanks. Some non-organic toilet fluids may not be – check when you buy.
  5. I also prefer Elsan fluid as it seems better than Thetford fluid at preventing smells.

In some very rural areas you may find signs in public toilets asking you not to empty toilet cassettes into their toilets. Please respect these signs – there is probably a reason for it. I have seen a few of these in the Scottish Highlands and northern isles, but they were the exception, not the rule, and usually suggested alternative (toilet) locations where you could empty your cassette.

Examples of European Motorhome Service Areas

For anyone who hasn’t travelled much by motorhome in Europe and isn’t familiar with the wonderous level of convenience that motorhome service areas provide, I thought I would illustrate a few of the examples I’ve come across in my travels. As you’ll see, despite the fact they all do the same thing, they vary greatly in configuration.


This custom facility in La Rochelle has an unusual toilet emptying point – you put the spout of your toilet cassette into the drainpipe that comes out of the wall on the left. The other facilities are fairly standard – a waste water drain you can drive over and multiple fresh water taps.


Purpose-made service points like this Euro Relais design are common in France and, increasingly, in Spain and Portugal. They’re easy to use but may charge for water and electricity (if provided).


Custom-built facilities vary widely – this one at the large Capbreton aire in France was functional, if a little ‘rustic’. The tap on the right is above the sewage drain and is for rinsing your toilet cassette after emptying – the one on the left should be used for fresh water.


This German facility was in a car park and charged €2 for 60l of water. Waste water and toilet emptying were free (the hatch in front of the machine was for toilet waste).


Another example of a German toilet emptying facility, complete with dedicated rinsing tap – another tap was provided, a few metres away, for fresh water.


This Rhine-side Stellplatz had a custom service area that was excellent and even included a crate for bottle recycling! Fresh water on the left, toilet emptying and rinsing on the right, drive over the drain in the ground to empty grey waste water.

Sometimes you’ll need to lift a manhole to empty your toilet cassette – they are usually marked and often have a piece of rope attached for easier lifting.

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