Planning An RV Trip In Europe? Read This First!

european rv trip read this first

Europe is definitely one of the most traveled continents in the world.

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In fact, most travelers who do visit Europe arrive there by sea, by air, or by train. Students, nomads, and passerby who drive through the region will tell you that it was one of their best experiences in life.

RVing in Europe is a thrilling and adventurous way to travel. Seeing the best part of Europe by driving is that unique opportunity you may never get otherwise.  It’s an opportunity to see a side of Europe that may be missed if you go by air or sea. (In the US, it’s called RVing and in Europe, it’s called Campervan or Caravan if you didn’t know that already.)

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RVing through Europe

Traveling Europe with a campervan or RV will most likely cost a bit less even though gas prices are higher than in the U.S. Traveling in a recreational vehicle is far more exciting though when you want to see the real country. 

How much does it cost to travel by Camper in Europe?

Approximately it is $500 per week to stay in Europe at a cheaper hotel or motel and about $200 daily per couple. For a family of four, that’s more than $280 daily. Then you have to pay for all your transportation.

When you travel with a camper, your transportation and lodging are included in your total. Renting a smaller camper van costs around $60-90/day. You have to consider driving though. If you want to drive a lot, you will have to pay for gas which is way more expensive over there. BUT the distances in Europe are smaller. You can be in a different country with a few hours of drive. 

However, in my opinion, because of high gas prices, and narrower roads a road trip in Europe is not as much fun as in the USA. It is way better to travel in a low gas mileage car and stay at Airbnb-s or hotels. Especially in the shoulder season. You get to drive more comfortably and see more. As a drawback, you won’t have your own bed with you. 🙂 

Where to park your RV for the night in Europe?

It may be free to stay on the side of any road, but that can be dangerous. In some countries like Iceland or England is ok, but you need to make sure that the area is safe.

Campgrounds are your best bet. It’s safer and you will have a chance to make friends with other campers. Plus they have all the amenities you’ll need. European RVs are much smaller than US RVs. Most of them are van-sized or small about the same as an American Class B+. It is really difficult to navigate a large RV in Europe; the local roads are not made for large vehicles. Before you stay at a campground, contact them and ask them about their requirements. They may only accept camper vans or pop-ups. Here is a campsite directory with lots of European campsite listings.
With that in mind, you can stay at a campground for an average cost of $30 a night (or $45 in “busy season” during summer. Many campgrounds are not open in the winter)

How to find an RV rental in Europe?

There are several campervan rental places in Europe. You can find local ones in the countries you plan to visit. Here are a couple of international RV rental places:

Driving Your RV in Europe

It may be wise if it is your first European vacation to study all the highways and the road rules. Do this for each country you plan to drive through and learn about any “extra rules” for driving an RV in Europe. For example, driving on the left side in England is that “extra rule” to keep in mind. There are also those small towns or villages which can be very narrow for you to drive through if you have a larger RV.

Finally, when traveling around the world, seeing it through the back roads will be one of the most exciting ways of discovering Europe. You can stop at any time, anywhere, and have all your stuff with you. If you already enjoy the RV lifestyle, or if you just want to discover a new continent a different way, you should really try to drive a camper across Europe. 

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