Jan, one of our readers, owns a motor home and takes regular trips away of varying duration. She kindly sent in her tips for packing for this type of travel.
If you're a regular motor home traveler, your luggage needs will vary depending on the length of each trip. For those who are traveling for a period of up to a month, your luggage will be similar to those using a suitcase.
However, for those like me who travel in their motor home for an extended period in Europe and Morocco our needs will be different. For a start, you are likely to experience weather extremes that will include cold (and in some cases, freezing) temperatures to very hot conditions.
Warm clothes always take up more room so it's important to think about layering. If only a small percentage of your journey is likely to be in cold conditions, take less of the big woolly jumpers and thick coats; several layers of fleeces won't take up as much room. One pair of thick socks and a pair of warm, calf length boots should be sufficient for cold weather footwear. A set of thermal leggings and a top is always a good investment as they can be worn under your clothes.
You will be limited on wardrobe space so I hang several garments up on one hanger. Top tip: Always travel with good quality plastic hangers; metal ones will rattle around in the wardrobe when you are driving.
Choose garments (fabrics) that don't need ironing. I never carry an iron, and although most campsites will have an ironing board and iron available, I have yet to use one.
Garments will need to be folded up to fit tightly in the cupboards. I purchased some great summer tops in Australia that can be screwed up in the back of the cupboard, but when worn there's not a crease in sight. The material is a mix of viscose and elastane. Linen is a popular choice during summer but it's not good for motorhomers – the less the garment creases the better.
Most campsites provide use of washers and dryers – the current cost is between 3-6 Euros per wash and the same again if you use a dryer. You need to ensure you have enough underwear and garments to see you through for at least two weeks.
Top tip: Carrying two weeks' worth of underwear can take up a lot of space, so I use a strong but pliable bag to act as a “drawer” for these items. I have another bag for scarves and belts and another for my sportswear and swimming costumes. These “drawers” take up one of my three cupboards allocated to me and gives me easy access to the items, leaving the other two cupboards for tops and shorts/trousers.
We use an outside locker for our shoes; this prevents smelly shoes wafting throughout the van! My husband is a UK size 11/12 and therefore takes up most of the locker space. I divide my shoes up into sandals, walking shoes and day shoes and then put two pairs in see-through bags. Bagging them prevents scuffing.
Muslim countries such as Morocco need careful consideration when out and about. Ladies' arms should be covered and preferably legs too if wandering around in towns and cities. We recommend that long trousers are worn by both men and women. A lightweight scarf is ideal for covering your top half. In Morocco you can purchase great lightweight baggy trousers and long skirts cheaply. Top tip: Definitely do not expose cleavage as you are likely to offend, and also attract unwanted attention.
Finally – consider bed linen and towels. We carry two complete sets of bed linen and two duvets, one 4.5 tog and one 9.5 tog. They can be joined together for colder times or used individually, depending on temperatures. When it's really hot, the duvet cover can be used alone. I carry 4 tea towels which is enough to last between laundry. And we use microfibre bath towels and robes as they are quick-drying and take up less room.
In summary, think carefully about what to take. Have something with you for all possibilities, but remember, when traveling in a motorhome it's mostly casual wear – don't pack too many posh frocks or suits, you won't need them!
Posted by Jan