Booking a motorhome: What you need to understand

blog motorhomes campground parked
Kristof Haines
12 Jul, 2022
6 minutes to read

Check this out before you lock in your motorhome holiday

Before you drive off into the sunset on your next amazing motorhome road trip, there are a few essentials you have to sort out first. Booking a cheap motorhome rental (or a deluxe one - up to you) is one of the very first things to get locked down before your road trip plans can come to life, so it’s best to tick this off your holiday planning list as soon as possible. However, there are a few fundamental things to remember when searching through deals and organising your motorhome rental booking which will make your life easier, help your trip run smoothly and cut out any possible confusion. We’ve outlined the most important of these points so you can make your booking without encountering any awkward surprises.

Book early

We can’t emphasise this one enough: get your motorhome hire locked in as soon as possible. This provides peace of mind of course but it also means you’re far more likely to secure a vehicle that’s perfect for your upcoming journey. This is particularly essential during peak season (usually summer or the dry season), over public/school holidays and while major events are on, like music festivals and sports matches. Motorhome rental supply can dry up surprisingly fast, so it’s never too early to find and secure your ideal vehicle.

A family and dog outside their campervan in the forest.
A motorhome driving on a winding road next to a forest.

Your driver licence

You might be wondering whether your current driver licence allows you to drive such a large vehicle as a motorhome. The answer, in 99% of cases, is yes. The vast majority of motorhome rental vehicles can legally be driven by anyone with a standard full driver licence. There are a few exceptions to this rule, in the case of particularly huge vehicles. If you’re not sure whether your preferred motorhome can be driven on a standard licence, select ‘Full Specs’ in the vehicle results to find out more about the particular vehicle which has caught your eye.

Manual vs automatic transmission

When searching for a cheap RV rental, an important consideration is whether the vehicle has a manual or automatic transmission. If you’re equally happy driving both then this section isn’t so important to you, but if you have a preference then you need to specify that choice early on. Once you’ve done a search on GoSee, refer to the bar above the results where you can narrow down your options. Select the ‘Feature’ drop down, and you’ll see both ‘Automatic’ and ‘Manual’ tick boxes. Choose one of these, and your results will streamline to only include vehicles with your transmission of choice. If neither of these options are selected (or they both are) you’ll need to compare the details of each vehicle you’re interested in to find out whether they’re manual or auto.

Side on view of a motorhome parked on the grass.
Certified self-contained motorhomes are at minimum equipped with a toilet and waste storage system, but will also often include a shower, a fridge and in-motorhome cooking facilities.
A toilet and basin inside an Apollo motorhome.

Self-contained vs non-self-contained

One of the most important things to note when you’re selecting a motorhome is whether or not it’s self-contained. Certified self-contained motorhomes are at minimum equipped with a toilet and waste storage system, but will also often include a shower, a fridge and in-motorhome cooking facilities. Not only does this allow you to holiday in style and embrace self-sufficiency without sacrificing comfort, it also means you have the choice to try freedom camping. Freedom camping means parking up your campervan for the night in areas which aren’t dedicated campgrounds. This means you get to stay for free, but each country has their own regulations around freedom camping so even if your RV rental is self-contained, be sure to research the rules and camp responsibly.


Everyone hopes that things will go smoothly on their motorhome road trip but every now and again accidents can happen. The insurance excess (even on a cheap motorhome rental) is fairly large, often in the $2000-$3000 range (ie. this is the amount you could have to pay in the event of serious vehicle damage) but you can take that weight off your mind with one easy step. GoSee offers cover on behalf of and Riverside Underwriting - depending on where you live. It is a reimbursement cover, so after you have paid any excess required and as long as you have driven within the terms and conditions of the rental agreement and policy, you will be reimbursed up to the amount stated in the policy.  Excess Refund Cover is available to customers from many different countries, including Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Poland, Romania, and the Czech Republic. It covers a range of mishaps, including weather-related claims, fire damage, damage to tyres, windscreens and glass (often excluded from supplier policies), collisions with animals, theft or attempted theft, towing costs and more.

A motorhome in a ditch after an accident.

Ready to book?

An Apollo campervan driving beside a beach full of surfers.

Additional charges

It’s worth noting that in some cases, the amount that you pay upfront when booking a motorhome rental is not the full and final amount you’ll owe. For example, there is a mileage-based charge when renting in the US or Canada - some Australian suppliers will also charge for mileage, especially if you’re heading into the vast expanses of the Outback. Keep an eye out for mileage packages under ‘extra items’ when booking, for the chance to seize some savings. New Zealand has some mileage-based charges too, but only for diesel vehicles. On the plus side, diesel is cheaper than petrol, so the costs often even out. Be sure to check the engine/fuel type next to the fuel icon when searching through vehicle results on GoSee. A general rule of thumb is that the larger a motorhome is, the more likely it is to run on diesel.


One aspect of motorhome rental that often catches people out is the bond. A security bond or security deposit is an amount paid by you when you pick up the vehicle and held by the vehicle rental company while you are renting their vehicle. It is fully refundable when you return the vehicle in a satisfactory condition. Some companies require only a swipe or imprint of your credit card, while other companies require physical payment, which is refunded at completion of the rental. The amount of bond can vary, and so can the way they are taken - so please check the terms or insurance information on your relevant vehicle.

Hopefully the points above will clear up any confusion when you’re browsing deals to book your next motorhome rental but just in case you still have any questions, you can always get in touch with the passionate motorhome specialists at GoSee to sort out any issues that you might have. After all, planning a motorhome road trip should be exciting and inspiring. Let the experts at GoSee take all the hassle out of your next trip, so you can focus on all the adventures you’re about to have.

A man sitting on a dock in front of a motorhome.