Which driving licence do you need to drive a RV?

Make sure to have the right driving licence for your trip

Which driving licence do you need to drive a RV?

Make sure to have the right driving licence for your trip

As you may know, there are multiple types of RV (recreational vehicles). You can choose between motorhomes, campervans, pickup campers, trailers or even roof tents. You won’t need the same driving licence with all of them. Even if most of them can be driven with a classic B licence, there are some exceptions.

First things first

The first thing you need to know is that there is no universal answer to this question. Depending on where you are traveling, laws concerning driving licences can change. It depends on the country but also, sometimes, on the states you are in. 

Therefore, you should inform yourself when you plan your itinerary. You can find information on the multiple forums and Facebook groups of roadtrippers. However, if you want to be 100% sure, you can check with local authorities. You can either go on a governmental website or call the consulate if you don’t find the information online. 

Which driving licence for a motorhome?

Don’t be afraid. Usually, you can drive a motorhome with a classic B licence. As long as the motorhome’s GVW is under 3.5 tonnes, you don’t have to get a special driving licence. Luckily, most of the motorhomes on the market have a GVW under 3,5 tonnes.

However, if you want to buy a bigger motorhome or add a trailer behind it, you will need to get an additional driving licence. Indeed, the permissible gross weight will probably be higher than 3.5 tonnes. 

Please note that you can find the GVW of your vehicle on the vehicle registration card. This permissible gross weight is different from the unladen weight. Even if this one is around 3.3 tonnes, you probably won’t be able to drive it with a B licence. Once your motorhome is loaded, it will exceed 3.5 tonnes. 

How to drive a camper van? 

If you want to buy a camper van for your RV trip, a classic B driving licence will be enough. However, once again, you can’t exceed a GVW of 3.5 tonnes. Don’t worry, most of the vans are under this limit. Whether you choose a Mercedes Marco Polo, a Toyota Hiace or a Ford Transit, they will all be under 3.5 tonnes. 

If you choose to add a trailer of less than 750 kg behind your camper van, you will probably need a BE licence or a B96 endorsement. The B96 endorsement can be obtained just after 7 hours of training. It will allow you to drive a vehicle and a trailer with a GVWR under 4.250kg. With a BE licence, this GVWR can exceed 4.250kg.

To get a BE licence, you need to be an adult and have a B licence. You can go to a driving school or complete it as a free candidate. You will have to take a theoretical and a practical test. The practical part will be divided between a non-circulation and a circulation test.

The international driving licence is the best solution to travel abroad

What is the C licence? 

You need some space to store your bikes or your surfboard? You may need a trailer that can fit more than 750 kg. In order to do that, the BE licence and the B96 endorsement won’t be adequate. You will need to get a C licence. It will allow you to drive a recreational vehicle with a trailer behind weighing more than 750 kg.

In order to obtain one, you need to have a B driving licence and a medical check-up made by an approved doctor. You will have to take a theoretical test (code) and a practical test. If you have obtained your B licence within 5 years or less, you won’t need to pass the theoretical part. 

Once you pass the test, your C licence will be valid for 5 years if you are less than 60 years old. After that, the validity period will only be 2 years until 76 years old. 

If you are still anxious about whether or not you need a special driving licence, try to buy a smaller RV. You probably won’t need a special licence to drive a small recreational vehicle. If you want to exchange your RV on our website with someone else, you can ask them what type of driving licence they have to drive their RV. 

The international driving licence

The international driving licence is a translation of your national licence. It allows you to drive abroad. Some countries oblige you to have it in order to drive a vehicle on their territory. However, it doesn’t work everywhere since a few states like Japan or China don’t recognize the international driving licence. 

The international driving licence is totally free and is valid for 3 years. Please note that it is valid only if you have your national driving licence with you. The procedure is usually pretty fast (around two weeks) but we advise you to be cautious and provide additional time. 

Traveling to Great Britain

If you are traveling to Great Britain as a visitor, your national driving licence will be sufficient. You will be able to travel in Great Britain for 12 months without changing your licence.

Traveling to North America

The United States, as well as Canada, require an international driving licence. However, you won’t need one if you are traveling to Mexico since this country accepts national driving licences. 

Traveling to Australia or New Zealand

If your national driving licence is written in english, you will be able to travel to Australia with it. If it is not, you may want to have an international one. In New Zealand, your national driving permit will be accepted as long as your trip lasts less than 12 months. 

With the right driving licence, you are ready to go on a road trip all over the world!

Marie C.

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À DÉCOUVRIR AUSSI !

How to sell your recreational vehicle?

You have decided to sell your RV? Here are our best advice for you!

How to sell your recreational vehicle?

You have decided to sell your RV? Here are our best advice for you!

You have traveled the whole world in your recreational vehicle ? It is now time for you to have a break and to go back to a “normal” home ? You might need to sell your RV in order to move on and buy a house. Here is our advice to sell your recreational vehicle and get a good price for it. 

 

You can also check our blog post about buying a recreational vehicle here! We will give you all our advice to find the best deal depending on your budget and needs. 

Where can you sell your recreational vehicle? 

Online solutions

 

There are multiple websites where you can sell your recreational vehicle to private individuals. Depending on the country you are living in, you can look for a small ads website like Craigslist, Gumtree or Le Bon Coin. You can also find specific Facebook groups to sell your motorhome, van or trailer. 

 

These solutions are used a lot because they are very easy for the owner as well as for the buyer. You can quickly meet each other in order to proceed to the exchange. Since there are more and more vanlifers, you can easily find a buyer on the Internet. Moreover, this solution is totally free for you. You don’t need to pay anything in order to publish your advertisement.

Offline solutions

 

Of course, you can always sell it with the help of a professional salesman. For example, some rental or car companies offer to sell your vehicle for you. By doing so, you don’t have to handle anything but you will have to pay the company for its services. 

 

Finally, if you are old school, you can also publish an advertisement on a specialized magazine.  However, these offline media usually have a smaller audience than online supports. You will probably find a buyer faster and more easily on the Internet. Moreover, these offline media will probably ask you to pay something in order to publish your small ad in their newspaper. 

 

How to sell your recreational vehicle at the best price possible? 

 

We get it: you want to sell your RV at  the best price possible. Maybe it will help you to buy a house or another recreational vehicle. No matter what the purpose is, you don’t want to lose too much money compared to the price of the vehicle when you bought it. Moreover, this RV may have a sentimental value which makes it much harder to sell. 

 

The first thing you need to think of is the perceived value of your recreational vehicle. For example, if you are selling a camper van, what is the value of all the improvements you have realized in it ? Remember that the person that will buy your campervan will save a lot of time since it is already furnished. For the same reasons, if you do all the mechanical checks before selling your car, you will help your buyer save time. And time is money, right?

 

In order to sell it at an interesting price for you, you also need to take care of your advertisement. A lot of people on these small ads websites don’t know how to attract the buyers. The most important thing is the photographs. You must create desire by taking good advantageous pictures. Your text can also be optimized to give all the needed information. 

 

How to set an appropriate price for your RV ? 

 

Depending on the background of your recreational vehicle, it might be difficult to evaluate its value. Maybe you have added furniture or your vehicle has some damages. Whatever it is, you probably can’t sell it at the same price you bought it. You will need to adjust it depending on the current condition of your RV. But what is the good price?

 

The easiest way to evaluate it is to compare it to other small ads. You can check online what are the prices of vehicles similar to yours. You can filter your search with specific criterias (brand, model, color, etc.) so you can have access to ads that match your vehicle. Then, you can calculate an average. 

 

Based on this average, you can then customize your vehicle sale price depending on its own characteristics. You can also think of small arrangements that you can do to increase the price. For example, a fresh coat of paint can change a lot on the perceived value. It won’t cost you a lot but can help you sell your RV faster and at a better price. 

In order to sell your RV at the best price, you need to improve its perceived value.

Be cautious with the potential “buyers”

Check frauds are rising

 

The main weakness of these small ads websites is that you can meet a bunch of ill-intentioned people. The most recurring scam is the invalid checks. If a buyer wants to pay you by check, be sure that it is a valid check. Don’t let the buyer take your recreational vehicle without verifying the validity of the check.

 

To avoid that, you can also ask for a cashier’s check. This solution works with an agency that blocks the necessary amount of money for the payment before the check is given to you. That way you are guaranteed that the check will be valid once you deposit it. However, there are more and more fake cashier’s checks so you need to be cautious with that.

Stay careful until the end of the transaction

 

Unfortunately, you have to stay cautious until you have received the payment on your bank account. You can never know who is ill-intentioned, even if the person seems trustworthy. For example, you must not give a copy of your registration document to a potential buyer. This one could use it to do a fraud. If it is necessary, you can give him information orally but never send him written documents.

 

Other things may be trivial but can have very bad consequences. For example, if the buyer wants to try your recreational vehicle before purchasing it, make sure to go with him in the vehicle. Moreover, do not give him the keys. You have to turn the key yourself and also take it back at the end of the test before getting out of the vehicle. Otherwise, the “buyer” could wait until you leave the car to start and go with your RV.

 

What about exchanging your recreational vehicle?

 

You want to sell your recreational vehicle in order to buy a new one? You don’t want to end your vanlife and plan to go to a new destination ? Why don’t you exchange your RV? With the community Swap the Road, you can exchange your vehicle with another road tripper from all over the world. You can now travel further, faster and easily. 

 

Our concept is pretty simple: we know how difficult it is to change continents when you are traveling in a recreational vehicle. You have to ship it overseas which is hard and expensive. That is why people usually limit themselves to America, Europe or Australia, for example. 

 

With Swap the Road, we want you to break the limits by traveling the whole world in a recreational vehicle. In order to help you do that, we have built the first community to exchange recreational vehicles. You have a RV in the US? You want to travel to Europe? You can find someone on our website who has a RV in Europe and wants to go to the United States. Perfect match!

 

You can check how it works here and also ask us any question by contacting us. We can’t wait to meet you! Stay tuned by following us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. 

 

And once you have sold your wheeled-home…

 

That’s it. You have found the perfect owner for your cherished recreational vehicle. It is now time to say goodbye to it. By doing so, you also need to say goodbye to all the memories you have in it. To us, the first thing to do is to take pictures. You want to save the exact appearance of your wheeled-home before selling it. Take a picture of every corner. 

 

Then, it is time to prepare it to be sold. You will need to take off all your personal properties. Of course, you will take back your clothes, your food and all your stuff. But you will also have to take down your decorations like garlands, pictures or plants. Is it a tear we are seeing on your cheek? 

 

As we were saying earlier, you can also do some upgrades before selling it. You may need to paint the walls again or to change the floor. You can also add some furniture to add value to your vehicle. But don’t forget to sell it once you have improved it! 

 

It is now time to make someone happy by giving him or her the chance to live the same amazing adventures that you have experienced in this wheeled-home. You can trust us: he or she will thank you forever for that opportunity.

Now you just have to say goodbye to your wheeled-home!

Marie C.

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The best apps you need when traveling in a RV

Mobile apps can save you a lot of time and money during your road trip.

The best apps you need when traveling in a RV

Mobile apps can save you a lot of time and money during your road trip.

During your RV trip, you will probably travel to a lot of different places that you don’t know. You won’t be able to learn all the information needed to live comfortably. This is the reason why we can find more and more mobile apps created for the vanlifers. They will help you to know where to park, how to find water but also which places to visit. 

iOverlander

iOverlander may be the number 1 app downloaded by the vanlifers. It has been created by travelers to help you find all the information you need on the road. Based on your localization, you will be able to see on the app all different places. For example, it will show you the campsites, the dump stations or spots with free Wi-Fi. 

This mobile app is based on the collaboration of the road trippers community. In fact, anybody can add a spot with a description and reviews on the website. The main advantage of this is that you can benefit from updated information. For example, you can check if a place is still open and if it is free. 

When it was created, the iOverlander app was mainly used in South America. Nowadays, you can find useful information on it whether you are traveling in North America, Latin America or Europe. It is totally free and very appreciated by a lot of vanlifers. 

Park4night

When you will be on the road, it will happen sometimes that you get distracted and forget to think of a place to sleep at night. You can trust us: you don’t want to be destitute at 6 pm in the middle of nowhere. To avoid this situation, you will need an app to tell you where to park nearby. 

Park4night can indicate where are the closest motorhome areas around you. It will also tell you if it is free or if you have to pay but also if it’s a private or public place. You will find places to park during the day and the night, rest and picnic areas. Just like iOverlander, this app is collaborative. It gives you the reviews, photos and comments of previous users. 

The best part of this mobile app is that it is accessible offline and is, for the most part, totally free. You can also choose the paying  version for 9,99€ a year or 1,99€ per month. On the app, you will have access to the itinerary and the telephone number for the places you want to go to. 

Waze

During your trip, the road will be your second home. But, to be honest, it will not be the best part of your trip. Spending time on the road is just a way to get to extraordinary places. Of course, it gives character to this kind of trip. However, you don’t want to miss a great experience because you have spent too much time on the road. 

To optimize your driving experience, you will need an app like Waze. More than a navigation mobile app, Waze is able to give you the traffic conditions in real time. Since it is a collaborative application, the app users can share information like accidents, traffic jams or police radars. 

Waze is totally free and will make your driving experience much more appreciable. You can also use Google Maps which is improving its real-time information. 

Gasoil Now

Your gasoil consumption will represent a major part of your budget. If you want to save money, you need to be smart about the places you go to refill. For example, gasoil will probably be more expensive in big cities. You may want to fill up before going to these urban areas. 

In order to know where to go, you can use the mobile app Gasoil Now. First of all, it will tell you where the gasoline pumps are near you. If you need to refill asap, it will help you a lot. But most importantly, the app will tell you how expensive it is. Thanks to a color code, you will know where to go to pay less. You can also enter the model of your vehicle and the size of your tank directly into the app. By doing that, you will be able to know the cost of your refill in a particular station. 

Please note that this mobile application is mostly used in France and Europe. However, you will probably be able to find an alternative in the country you are traveling to.

Flush

When you are on the road, the small things can become very important. Like going to the toilet, for example. It may seem trivial but it might become your main concern at some point. If you choose to have a RV with no toilet in it, you will need to find some. Of course, you can go to a cafe or a restaurant but you will have to pay for something. 

By using the mobile app Flush, you will be able to know where the toilets are near you. This app can indicate simply, quickly and for free approximately 200 000 toilets in the world. The application works mostly in big cities and can lack information when you are in more rural areas. Therefore, even if this application can be very useful, it will never be as quick as finding a tree or a bush and go back to our natural instinct!

Need to find toilets, a wifi spot or a parking area? Use your phone!

Wifi Map

If you want to become a vanlifer, you will need to accept that you will be disconnected from the digital world most of the time. However, you might need to have access to wifi from time to time. It will help you stay in touch with your family and friends. It can also be useful if you are still working during your trip (as a digital nomad for example). 

To find a Wifi spot, you can use the mobile application Wifi Map. It is the “world’s largest wifi community”. You will be able to connect yourself to multiple Wifi spots around you thanks to their VPN. You can also add new spots and help other travelers. 

Wifi Map is working all over the world and can be downloaded for free. You also have a paid plan called Wifi Map Pro which gives you access to additional features. 

Roadtrippers

Imagine : you are traveling from point A to point B. When you arrive at point B, someone asks you : “how have you seen this amazing place on the road to come here?”. It turns out you drove nearby a fantastic place without knowing and didn’t stop by. What a pity!

Roadtrippers is a mobile app that can help you not to be in this situation. The application gives you access to a map that indicates the different points of interest along your itinerary. When you are planning your road trip, you won’t be able to list all the areas you need to visit. With Roadtrippers, it will be easier to make sure you don’t miss a thing. 

By using Roadtrippers, you can also check if a particular place is along your itinerary. Rather than checking on Google Maps where it is and then comparing it to your itinerary, you can just use the app. It is a real time-saver. 

Facebook

It may seem foolish to talk about Facebook in this blog post. Let us explain ourselves. When you are on the road, whether you are traveling alone or not, you will want to meet other vanlifers. It is one of the main advantages of this kind of trip : you create a bunch of relationships. 

Facebook can help you create amazing friendships. Depending on where you are traveling, you can have access to different public or private groups. For example, you can find a group dedicated to van life in Australia. It will help you meet new people but also share tips. 

To find this social aspect, you can basically go on any social network. Facebook is, for us, the best one thanks to these groups. You can also download specific apps for vanlife like The Vanlife App which is a social community of roadtrippers. 

Don’t forget to disconnect!

Even if digital tools like mobile apps can be very helpful while you are doing a RV trip, you have to remember to disconnect from time to time. If you are always looking at a screen, you will probably miss all the interest of vanlife. Enjoy the road, meet people and discover new places. Offline.

All of these applications can save you a lot of time. But most of them can be replaced by a simple conversation with locals. Need to find toilets, parking spots or Wifi? Just ask! You will be surprised and amazed by the kindness of people when you seem genuine, respectful and benevolent.

Don’t forget to tell us in the comments what are your favorite apps for traveling and road trips. We are sure that you have lots of advice to share with our community. 

Before going on a RV trip, don't forget to download these apps!

Marie C.

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TO DISCOVER ALSO
There are multiple RV types and you need to choose the right one for your needs.
Tips

How to choose your RV?

You are dreaming about going on a road trip with your loved ones? You need to find the perfect RV in order to enjoy this experience.

Read more »