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What is a Motorhome?

A motorhome is a self powered, self contained unit driven from a cabin and with easy access from the cabin to the rest of the vehicle. 

This easy access from the body of the vehicle to the cab can provide a sense of security in that you can easily jump into the cab and drive off, if concerned for your personal safety without having to leave the vehicle.


Is a Special Driver’s Licence Required for a Motorhome?

You may have to consider obtaining a special licence depending on the type and weight of the motorhome you acquire.  To be eligible to obtain a licence you must have held a full car driver’s licence for a minimum of one year. 

In Australia there is a national classification of  licences and the following is a brief description of three of the classes.  Further enquires should be made with the manufacturer and your state or territory transport licencing authority.

C Car:  Any motor vehicle no more that 4.5 tonnes Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM)
LR Long Rigid: Any motor vehicle more than 4.5 tonnes GVM but no more than 8 tonnes GVM
MR Medium Rigid:  Any motor vehicle with two axles and more than 8 tonnes GVM

Motorhomes usually come appointed with swivel driver and passenger seats, dining, sleeping and shower/toilet facilities, hot water system, refrigeration, air-conditioning, television, washing machine, solar panel(s), deep cycle batteries, generator, inverter, water tanks including black and grey water tanks, an awning and other features. 

Motorhomes also vary in length.  There are numerous floor plan designs, some of which include slide out rooms that double the space of the living area. Manufacturers have standard floor plans however will assist you with a design to suit your needs.  If you have not owned a motorhome before, consideration should be given to hiring before buying.  See related link – Starting Out

Two well known brand names are ‘Winnebago’ and ‘Swagman’.

What are the Different "Classes" of Motorhomes?

Motorhome               Coaster Bus Motorhome


“A” Class a complete custom motorhome body mounted on a chassis supplied by a truck manufacturer.  They are larger and more luxurious motorhomes that look like a coach.

“B” Class a custom build motorhome mounted on a truck chassis where the dinette converts to a bed or the bed is in the back.

“C” Class a custom motorhome body mounted on a conventional chassis and cab supplied by a truck manufacturer, usually (but not always) with a bed and storage area over the cab.  An example is the Jayco Fiat Ducato.

Although the bed over the cab leaves more ‘liveable’ space in the motorhome it can be a challenge for the less agile to navigate the steps.  There is also very little head room above the bed.


A conversion of a passenger bus, coaster type or coach to a home on wheels.

4WD Motorhomes/4WD Buses and Coaches

There are now companies who manufacture and custom build 4WD motorhomes and 4WD buses and coaches to help you achieve total freedom.  They are designed specifically for outback touring and off-road use.  One such company is Amesz Design Pty Ltd in Western Australia and another is Trakka at Mt Kuring-gai just north of Sydney.

What Types of Engines Do Motorhomes Have ?

Engines can vary from make and model.  Some of the most common engines in the larger motorhomes are Mercedes Benz, Cummins, and Isuzu. 


Petrol or turbo/diesel.  Diesel is common for larger motorhomes.





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