Caravans, motorhomes and camper vans will be one of the star weekend and vacation options this 2021. The growing interest that was already aroused before the coronavirus pandemic, is now added that many users perceive them as safer when it comes to avoid contagion. In fact, Spanish motorhome reservations to travel around Spain grew 29 percent in 2020, shows that this means of transport has become one of the most preferred by national travelers. And it is not for less: traveling with the house in tow allows, on the one hand, to move freely to different parts of the country – while respecting the mobility restrictions of each region – and on the other, to sleep in the same vehicle, thus maintaining the necessary safety distances and hygiene measures.
Of this large percentage, according to the annual survey carried out by Yescapa, a motorhome and camper van rental platform in Europe, the user in Spain is notably younger than in other European countries such as France, Germany or the United Kingdom. 54.9 percent of travelers say they are between 36 and 54 years old, however, 35 percent of travelers are between 26 and 35 years old. Likewise, 46 percent of Spanish users claim to travel as a family, 34 to share a romantic getaway with their partner and 13 to enjoy a trip with friends.
Perhaps the main reason why traveling by motorhome is synonymous with improvising, although it is also important to prepare it minimally. First you have to make sure you have the necessary documentation: Travelers’ ID and driving license. Most motorhomes and camper vans are driven with a type B driving license, that is, like the one we use for any utility car, since if the vehicle does not exceed 3.5 tons, it is not considered a heavy vehicle and no special permission is needed.
But it is not the only thing that must be done before embarking on the journey. «The most important thing is to check all the equipment of the vehicle and ask how each one of them works so as not to misuse and have problems during the trip. Also, be aware of the dimensions of the vehicle to avoid finding yourself in complicated situations such as narrow streets, inappropriate roads or paths, “he explains to this newspaper. Cristina Ventosa placeholder image, manager of Yescapa Spain and Portugal. «Besides, you have to prepare a minimum travel project before undertaking the same, to know where you are going to stop and spend the night. Finally, be aware that this way of traveling is quite an experience! ”, He emphasizes.
And it is that among the best attributes of traveling by motorhome are, among others, autonomy, flexibility and moving without restrictions or time limits. «The advantages of being able to carry the house on one’s back, choosing where and when we want to stop. As well as being able to reach places that we would not go with another means of transport. Or what is the same: improvise the trip in total freedom “, adds Ventosa.
It’s more, “the virtues of traveling tourism They have always been evident but it is true that in the current context it is an even more suitable solution to improvise the trip. A user will be able to adapt their route if, for example, access or mobility restrictions are announced in the area to which they were planning to travel. Likewise, and one of the most important, is the fact of doing it in a more isolated way, minimizing contact with others and respecting social distancing. In a motorhome or camper van we have everything you need to cook and sleep. In addition, being able to enjoy a trip outdoors, in contact with nature, which is so necessary after months of confinement and time limits, in which we have spent a lot of time at home… It is synonymous with freedom ”, he emphasizes.
First of all, a series of recommendations should be taken into account so that some vacations in these types of vehicles do not turn into ‘hell’, such as checking the condition of the vehicle and the operation of the equipment, following the good practices of using the motorhome, paying attention on the road and where to spend the night to avoid any type of infraction. Specifically, in Spain there is no specific regulation on caravan parking, but article 93 of the RGC indicates that the regulation of stopping and parking on urban roads will be provided by municipal traffic ordinances, but in section 2 it is specified that “In no case may municipal ordinances oppose, alter, distort or lead to confusion with the precepts of this regulation.”
Parking the caravans in areas that obstruct the view of any commercial activity, monument and landscape, and leaving the tap to the drain open to dump liquids and waste into the public or private space will be considered a minor infraction. Taking out tables, chairs, awnings and emitting annoying noises will be appreciated in the same way. These fouls will be punished with fines of up to 750 euros.
It will be a serious penalty to camp outside the places authorized for it (such as beaches) and to emit noises to the outside from sound equipment. The fine in these cases will entail a disbursement to the driver of the vehicle of up to 1,500 euros. Finally, the very serious sanctions will include intentionally dumping liquids and waste in areas not authorized for this, deteriorating urban furniture and obstructing traffic. Fines for these events will be up to 3,000 euros.
Buy or rent?
“If the user has never traveled in this way, it is best to start renting”, details Ventosa, while pointing out that “in Yescapa we find that many users who rent and try this way of traveling end up acquiring a vehicle. In fact, we have travelers who have rented several times and currently own vehicles who trust us to rent them to other travelers. «Likewise, there are users who have a purchase project but do not decide on the type or model, so they rent several to be able to compare and thus discover the one that best corresponds to their needs. The purchase of this type of vehicle is a great investment and it is advisable to test before launching, “he adds.
Finally, if the user chooses to rent, depending on the time of year in which he wishes to travel and the type of vehicle that is rented -there are different seasons-, since in the summer months and school vacation dates «the prices tend to be higher ”, says the manager of Yescapa Spain and Portugal. “In the same way, it is not the same price if you rent a capuchin motorhome with up to 6 seats than a camper van for two people. Likewise, the equipment of the vehicle must be taken into account because each model is different and there are possibilities for everyone. What’s more, in low season, we can find camper vans for 45 euros a day, in high season it can amount to 90 euros. If we talk about motorhomes, we find 70 euros a day in low season and between 100-130 euros in the busiest months, “he concludes.
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