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Can you live in a motorhome fulltime?

Permanently living in a motorhome is an appealing prospect for some.

The freedom of the open road, being closer to nature and being freed up from some of the constraints of society, are all powerful incentives.

In many respects, the answer is “yes” and this article could end here.  However, life isn’t usually as simple as that and before moving full time into your motorhome, there are a number of issues you will need to be aware of.

Legality

There is absolutely no law which prohibits you from living full time in motorhomes.  There are, however, local laws and regulations which very clearly define where you may or may not do so.

For example, if you simply parked up your motorhome in the public street and decided to make that your new location, you might quickly find that local people, your local council and the police might well take steps to make you see things differently. 

Generally speaking, you may be facing one of two options:

  • moving from legal short/medium term camping site to camping site;
  • taking up longer term or permanent residency on a site licensed by the local authorities for permanent occupation.

Note that in the case of the second point above, tenant occupation might not necessarily mean in motorhomes or camper vans.  It might be more commonly defined as meaning park homes.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a “new frontier” to be settled in the UK, so simply deciding to make a piece of countryside your home for the next several weeks might not be legal either.  Almost all land is owned or controlled by someone.

So, you may need to accept that living in motorhomes full time also implies a relatively mobile lifestyle.

Environment

In principle, there is no reason why some of the slightly larger and better-equipped motorhomes couldn’t be used for permanent occupation.  They are extremely resilient and well thought-through living spaces.  Providing you can accept a slightly more compact lifestyle than might be found in a conventional house/flat, the basic infrastructure of the vehicle around you should be fine.

Of course, keep in mind that things such as heating and the prevention of icing-up of some of the fluid systems will be very important in winter.  Make sure also that when heating and cooking inside a lot in wintertime, that your vehicle is 100% safe in terms of ventilation etc.

Addresses

In the UK, a fairly large number of official and utility systems simply can’t deal with the concept of mobile addresses.

So for things like correspondence, delivery of goods and the register of electors, you will need to have someone who is willing to let you use their address.  You can also use rental addresses, such as Post Boxes but keep in mind that some organisations and official bodies don’t always accept a PO Box address.

There might also be issues with things such as your credit scoring and potentially, your banking arrangements.  Yet again though, in our digital world, these are becoming less of an issue and although you may encounter some inconvenience, you should be able to work around it.

Insurance

The subject of your various insurances, including motorhomes insurance, is worth a special mention.

Note that some motorhomes insurance policies may specifically exclude permanent occupation, as they will assume you are using your motorhome occasionally for recreational purposes.  Obtaining an appropriate policy though shouldn’t be a Herculean task.

Psychology

A final word relates to the need for you to mentally prepare.

Whether you are doing this alone, with a partner or even with your family, this lifestyle is likely to prove lonely and possibly slightly isolated at times – particularly before you have become accustomed to it. It can be difficult to set down roots if you’re living a mobile life.

Take that into account and don’t let it surprise you.

In summary, yes you can! There may be some attractive reasons for doing so.  Just make sure you do some research beforehand and cover as many of the above bases as possible.