Whether you have a T4, a Bongo or a Kon-Tiki, if you are a campervanner or motorhomer you know that your holiday home on wheels has a propensity for a breakdown or two.
Sitting in a motorway layby with hopes of your happy holiday fading away, with children screaming that they’re bored, is everyone's idea of hell on earth.
In addition, a campervan or motorhome can be a major investment and one that isn’t taken lightly. So getting the right breakdown cover for your beloved B&B on wheels is important. Basic car breakdown cover will not cut it for your second home unfortunately.
Many breakdown policies have exclusions for the weight, height and length of a vehicle, as well as whether it includes living accommodation, so it’s important that you know the kind of cover you are buying and whether it suits your camper before you take it out for total peace of mind.
Specialised campervan breakdown cover is the way to go to ensure that your camper is covered for all breakdown eventualities.
Levels of cover
Breakdown cover comes in all shapes and sizes with lots of additional benefits available, depending on budgets and what you and your vehicle requires.
Roadside assistance: As with car breakdown, the most basic campervan breakdown cover will cover you for roadside assistance. In other words, if you are on the road and your campervan breaks down on the side of the road at least a quarter of a mile from your home, a mobile breakdown mechanic will come out and try and fix it. This usually means they will spend around an hour working on your vehicle, but that doesn't necessarily include any parts needed to fix the problem.
If your camper or motorhome can’t be fixed at the side of the road, then there is the option of having the recovery vehicle towing you to the nearest garage – but there are limits on how many miles they will tow you, depending on the policy – again this will all be set out in the policy documents.
Homestart: There is also the option of having home start or home assistance on your breakdown policy. This means that if your campervan or motorhome breaks down on your drive or outside your house, then a recovery mechanic will come along and try and repair it there and then. Not all policies have this option, so if you aren't a keen amateur mechanic it might be worth considering adding this option to your breakdown cover.
Onward travel: Another additional benefit to consider if you break down and a repair can’t be made, the onward journey cover would pay reasonable travel expenses or an alternative vehicle for you and, in some cases, also pay for accommodation. As your campervan is likely to have been your accommodation too, this would be a very handy additional benefit to have if a swift repair can't be carried out and means you can still enjoy your break.
Bigger and older campers
Campervans and motorhomes come in all shapes and sizes that’s why it’s important to read the policy documents carefully before you choose your chosen breakdown cover. Some may not cover larger campervans or motorhomes and you may have to seek out special larger motorhome breakdown cover.
The same goes for older campervans. That heritage vehicle may be your pride and joy, but they can also be very unreliable and have a tendency to blow the electrics on a fairly regular basis, so it’s again important that the breakdown policy you are looking at covers older vehicles.
Checking through policy terms and conditions when your campervan or motorhome is slightly different or bigger is really important, as you don’t want to be left high and dry on the side of the road should the worst happen and find that your policy doesn’t cover you.