Home on Wheels-Motorhome Blog

How to live in a motorhome fulltime

As we approach our one year anniversary of living in our motorhome fulltime I thought it would be good to reflect on how we feel now, what we have learnt and our experience of living in a motorhome. In the last 12 months we have visited 10 countries and covered 12,000 miles. Along our journey we have seen many fantastic places and loved every minute. It’s a life experience that I think more people should try and do when they reach a certain age, but I realise it might not be for everybody.

How it was 12 months ago

Things were so much different a year ago. We owned a nice house in suburbia, I was a teacher in Further Education, Anne had been working in the NHS for 41 years, we owned 2 cars and owned a lot of possessions.

Like most people we worked to pay the bills and replace our possessions that we thought needed replacing. Now, we get our pleasure from seeing new places, experiencing different culture and talking to people we meet on our journey. Are we having an extended holiday or is this a way of life? It’s probably a mixture of the two but what I can say is that visiting different places in a motorhome is mega fun!

Downsizing was liberating but emotional

Once we had made the huge decision to sell our house rather than rent it out things moved quickly. Our house sold to the first viewer before the for sale sign went up and suddenly we were faced with deciding what possessions to keep and what to put into storage. Personally, the hardest part for me was moving out of the house I had lived in for over 50 years but change is good for you and I soon realised that what I have now is far better. I wrote several blog articles about minimalism that you can read here.

Where have we been in our motorhome?

Having picked up our motorhome from the dealer in Kendal and staying a night nearby in case of teething problems we had decided to drive the popular North Coast 500 in Scotland. With reports of many roads being single track, and difficult for motorhomes, we found the route stunning and easily completed in a 7 metre motorhome. You can read my blog articles about the North Coast 500 here.

Motorhome fulltime living at Ullapool Scotland
What a view. Parked up near Ullapool, Scotland

Visiting France in our motorhome

In late September 2017 we used Eurotunnel to travel in our motorhome to France. The weather was beginning to change in northern France so we headed south and also used our first free French Aire. We spent about 10 days exploring The Loire Valley and visiting several stunning Chateaux. You can read my blog articles about our motorhome experience of The Loire Valley here.

Chaumont chateau
Chaumont chateau

Visiting Spain in our motorhome

In late October of 2017 we headed further south to Spain. Working our way down the Mediterranean coast we soon found ourselves into a mild Spanish winter and weeks and weeks of blue sky with virtually no rain. Days were warm and nights a little chilly but we were managing to live in our motorhome without a problem and I even managed to have a BBQ in late November and Anne swam in the sea too.

Beach in Spain
Warm and sunny in November on the beach in Spain

Christmas was spent inland on a cold and windy campsite in the mountains but in early January 2018 we returned to the coast where the temperatures were much better. Following the Spanish coast we eventually reached the south coast and also visited Granada, Cordoba, Ronda and Seville before reaching Gibraltar. The Spanish cities of Merida and Cáceres were also visited and are now firm favourites with us and I would recommend a visit to these Roman and Medieval towns. You can read about our motorhome visits to Spain in more detail here.

Caceres, Spain
Caceres, Spain

After a brief visit to Portugal, and a vow to return to spend more time in the country (blog articles about our motorhome in Portugal here), we eventually returned to the UK in early April on the Bilbao to Portsmouth ferry.

Our motorhome fulltime adventure to Denmark, Sweden and Norway

It was a bit of a gamble, as far as the weather is concerned, to set off in late April on our 8 weeks motorhome tour of Scandinavia, but any worries we had about the weather being cold and wet were soon dispelled when we were lucky enough to arrive at the start of a very warm and dry spell of weather that Scandinavia experienced from May 2018. Visits to Copenhagen, Malmo and Stockholm were excellent and we arrived in Norway on 10 May which is where we spent the next 6 weeks.

Motorhome fulltime living on the Atlantic road in Norway
Our motorhome parked up on The Atlantic Road in Norway.

Visiting Norway in a motorhome was a joy and also a scenic assault on the senses. Norway and the fjords is a fantastic place to tour in a motorhome. The expensive food is the only downside but we took 2 months supply of food and we only needed to buy fresh stuff. The high cost of food in Norway was also offset by the number of free motorhome stops that were possible. 25% of our motorhome stops in Norway were free and this figure could easily have been higher if we had tried harder, although many campsites are in superb locations like this one at the Briksdal Glacier.

I wrote a guide about our motorhome tour of Norway that you can read here.

Back to motorhome fulltime heaven in France

Returning from Norway in early July we left the UK again 10 days later on the ferry from Portsmouth to Caen for another motorhome fulltime adventure in France.

France is an amazing place to tour in a motorhome. The country has thousands of Aires, many of which are free. They are quite often near to towns, villages and places of interest. It’s possible (if you felt the need) to tour France in a motorhome without spending anything on campsites or overnight stops. The French love their motorhomes and mostly welcome them due to the boost they bring to the economy.

Vineyard France Passion
Our motorhome parked in a vineyard in France

What’s it like living in a motorhome fulltime for 12 months?

Generally, it’s been very easy living in our motorhome fulltime for 12 months. It’s helped that the weather has been good in Spain over the winter. Although a motorhome is a small space we have everything we need to be self sufficient. Solar panels to generate electricity, two 11kg cylinders of refillable gas, a good shower and toilet, a comfortable bed and, of course, cooking facilities. We have eaten simply on the whole, without space it’s difficult to prepare elaborate food. We buy the fresh local produce of whatever country we are in and apart from the odd lapse of a bar of chocolate we eat a healthy diet.


Walking is also something we have done a lot of, especially in Spain and France. In the last 12 months I have worn out 2 pairs of shoes and our average daily step count is high. Cycling is also very safe in Spain and France as they have a huge number of dedicated cycle tracks.

Meeting people

One of the pleasures of touring in a motorhome fulltime is the friendly people you meet on your journey and we have bumped into some amazing people, all having the same motorhome touring addiction as we now do. Stopping to talk to fellow motorhomers on a remote mountain pass or meeting the same German couple we met in Spain underneath a Norwegian glacier everyone has the same passion for exploring.

As the saying goes – Small home large garden! Waking, in winter, when it gets light is a luxury!

How much has it cost to live in a motorhome fulltime?

We had a budget of £60 per day and we have spent £63 per day over the course of the last year. We are happy with the cost of living in our motorhome fulltime bearing in mind that we have also stayed in hotels/cottages and paid for return flights to the UK as well as car rental. The cost of our 2 months in expensive Scandinavia also contributed to us exceeding our budget. Many of these expenses could be said to be not the norm for people thinking of doing the same but were personal to us. £3,133 was spent on eating out (this included 2 Michelin guide recommended meals) and £5,000 on campsites that again could have been reduced by better planning.

We haven’t watched TV for a year

Could you live without television for one year? We have and it’s easy. We do have a TV in our motorhome but we don’t have an aerial or satellite dish. We took with us a selection of DVDs and we have watched 3 movies in 12 months. We use the Internet for news and that’s it. In the evening we read and plan our next motorhome destination.

The Home on Wheels motorhome tour blog

In the last 12 months I have written 58 blog articles, including this one, about our motorhome tour of Europe and about living in our motorhome. My motorhome blog has been fun to write and intended to be a personal diary mainly, although I also hope it’s an inspiration for others to do a similar motorhome tour.

So far, our motorhome blog has reached over 9,000 people and the articles read over 17,000 times so it seems like the motorhome lifestyle appeals to many people.

Life is about experiences and we can now certainly say we have had a few, although a blog can only give you a very brief insight into what it’s like to live fulltime in a motorhome for a year!

Here are some of our best images from the last 12 months touring Europe in our motorhome

New England Bay
New England Bay
Cycling at Benicassim
Cycling at Benicassim
Guns of Mazarron
The amazing guns at Mazarron
David Brice
David in Granada, Spain.
Cadiz in Spain
Cadiz in Spain
Flamenco in Seville
Flamenco in Seville
Roman theatre Merida
Roman theatre Merida
Migas Sampling the local food in Spain
Sweden motorhome tour
Parked by a lake on our Sweden motorhome tour
Molde, Norway campsite
Our motorhome on the Molde campsite in Norway
Seven sisters waterfall Norway
Seven Sisters Waterfall, Geiranger taken from the Geiranger ferry

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24 responses to “How to live in a motorhome fulltime”

  1. Andrea Balderstone avatar
    Andrea Balderstone

    I have loved following your blogs. Thanks for sharing your travels with us. Looking forward to many more.

    1. davidbrice avatar

      Thanks Andrea. There will be more! Best wishes. David

  2. J I Goodrick avatar
    J I Goodrick

    Happy anniversary.
    Great blog.

  3. The White Way Round avatar

    Great post! We’re currently doing a year in Australia and loving it. We enjoy reading your posts for when we head back closer to home and explore Europe more. One question – is your moho right-hand drive, and if so, does that cause you any problems in Europe? Did you consider getting a left-hand drive van? Best wishes, Karen 🚐

    1. davidbrice avatar

      Hi Karen. Our moho is right hand drive even though we drive a lot in Europe. We did consider left hand drive but decided that the resale would be harder. As long as your passenger can help with traffic blind spots driving a right hand vehicle is not a probelm. Enjoy Australia. Sounds fantastic. David

      1. The White Way Round avatar

        AutoTrail Delaware available in Sydney from end March 2019 in case you fancy this trip!

  4. Phil avatar

    Truly inspiring adventure, I admire your courage to pick up sticks and travel around Europe in a Motorhome. Do you guys plan on doing this indefinitely?

    1. davidbrice avatar

      Hi Phil. Our plans are changing due to family commitments. We will be back in the UK over the winter and might buy or rent for a while so we can use that as a base. Our motorhome trips will be shorter if we do that. We might well live in our motorhome in the UK if we can’t find a suitable house but site fees in the UK are almost the same as renting a house. We will see.

  5. Tracey avatar

    Hi David

    I’m just looking at your expenditure and wondering how much your storage costs amounted to for the time you were away, and whether this is included? Are you able to give a few details of what other things you included? I’m thinking about hidden costs that I might not have thought about.

    Lovely to read about your adventures and see your great photos.
    Best wishes,


    1. davidbrice avatar

      Hi Tracey. Monthly storage costs were not included. We sold most of our possessions but kept 2 beds and an armchair as well as kitchen stuff and personal possessions. The monthly storage cost is £49.66. There may have been other costs such as motorhome insurance not included and depreciation of the motorhome. Travel insurance is also a cost I didn’t include. Hope that helps. Let me know if you have other questions. Best wishes. David

  6. Paul Bruce avatar
    Paul Bruce

    Great website.
    You are doing what we want to do now but we have 3 years of working left before we hit the road.
    Keep up the comms.

    1. davidbrice avatar

      Thanks Paul. It’s a great way to explore Europe. Glad you like the blog.

  7. Stephen Thorne avatar
    Stephen Thorne

    Love the pics and reading about your experience , was a bit shocked to discover the costs , it seems quite expensive to me at 25,000 quid a year plus the cost of the van etc. Did you free camp at all? if so was it easy ?

    1. davidbrice avatar

      Hi Stephen. Glad you enjoyed reading about our full time motorhome experiences. We could have done it on less money, but it was the Scandinavia trip that increased the cost and the fact that we treated it as a holiday rather than a lifesyle. We did free camp a bit but could have done more. Enjoy your travels. David

  8. shannon avatar

    Me and my boyfriend are thinking of permantley buying and staying in a motor home, quitting college to explore the world and do on the side jobs in other countries. Your blog is so inspiring, do you have any tips?

    1. davidbrice avatar

      Hi Shannon. My first tip! Finish your college course and get some qualifications so that you have something to fall back on.Secondly, plan ahead so that you know that you will have an income. Travelling is great fun but you will need money for food and fuel and so on. Once you get your college qualifications you could have a gap year travelling before starting a career. Sorry, I don’t mean to put a dampener on your plans, just trying to be realistic. Good luck.

  9. Shannon avatar

    Yes that does make more sense haha, we’re also saving up so hopefully we can travel to some cool places and possibly make a YouTube channel about our experience, if that kick starts hopefully it can be a permanent career, anyway I enjoy to hear about more of your travels, I love your blog:))

    1. davidbrice avatar

      Great idea Shannon. You can start a You Tube channel anytime and start improving your film making skills ready for your trip!

  10. James Harper avatar
    James Harper

    is this something only those that have large amounts of excess money can do?
    you were able to sell up and buy a reliable van plus fund a trip on the back of a house sale.
    how do you plan to reintegrate once the cash or fun runs out?
    do you have a skill that enables you to work remotely or can you pick up where you left off?
    vans depreciate houses go up in price,this skews finances.
    more info on overall cost etc would be useful.
    too many questions unanswered.
    I did something similar 30 years ago it cost me over 35000 pounds then. plus a monumental effort to get back into life.there is a downside to living the dream,you will burn cash and will need to return to earth at some point.

    1. davidbrice avatar

      Hi James. Thanks for your comments. We didn’t have large amounts of cash. We lived frugally and stayed at places in Europe that were cheap, rather than expensive campsites. France has thousands of Aires that are very cheap and in good locations. Spain also has good cheap places to stay. We full-timed in our motorhome for nearly 3 years and we are now back on the housing ladder. Much of what you say are indeed important considerations. Many full timers rent out their homes whilst they are travelling and that works for many. We wanted to downsize our family home and wanted to do some travelling after we retired and that worked for us, but I agree that it won’t work for everybody. Best wishes – David

  11. robin Mark Heawood avatar
    robin Mark Heawood

    Hi David,
    Thanks for sharing your insights, photos and experiences.
    Can I ask what you do about receiving mail etc, when you don’t have a permanent address?
    Did you arrange this to go to family or friends?
    We are considering life on the road next year and found your blogs really helpful.
    Cheers, Robin

    1. davidbrice avatar

      Hi Robin. Thanks for your comment. When we were full timing in our motorhome we used our daughters address for correspondence. For example, your motorhome insurance company will need an address and they will also charge you more for being “full timers”. Hope you enjoy your travels. We spent nearly 3 years full time and loved it. Best wishes – David

  12. Dave Brewster avatar
    Dave Brewster

    Absolutely fantastic blog / story

    We’re contemplating selling up and living full time .

    1. davidbrice avatar

      Hi Dave. Glad you like the blog. We loved living in our motorhome. We did 2.5 years in total, but we are now back in bricks and mortar due to Brexit, grandchildren and elderly parents. Presently in France for a month and still love motorhoming. Best wishes.

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