The Achievable Dream 5-part series - the definitive guide on DVD for planning your motorcycle adventure. Get Ready! covers planning, paperwork, medical and many other topics! "Inspirational and Awesome!" See the trailer here!
Gear Up! is a 2-DVD set, 6 hours! Which bike is right for me? How do I prepare the bike? What stuff do I need - riding gear, clothing, camping gear, first aid kit, tires, maps and GPS? What don't I need? How do I pack it all in? Lots of opinions from over 150 travellers! "This DVD will save you a fortune!"See the trailer here!
So you've done it - got inspired, planned your trip, packed your stuff and you're on the road! This section is about staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure. And crossing borders, war zones or oceans!
On the Road! is 5.5 hours of the tips and advice you need to cross borders, break down language barriers, overcome culture shock, ship the bike and deal with breakdowns and emergencies."Just makes me want to pack up and go!" See the trailer here!
Tire Changing!Grant demystifies the black art of Tire Changing and Repair to help you STAY on the road! "Very informative and practical." See the trailer here!
Ladies on the Loose! For the first time ever, a motorcycle travel DVD made for women, by women! These intrepid women share their tips to help you plan your own motorcycle adventure. They also answer the women-only questions, and entertain you with amazing tales from the road! Presented by Lois Pryce, veteran solo traveller through South America and Africa and author of 'Lois on the Loose', and 'Red Tape and White Knuckles.'
"It has me all fired up to go out on my own adventure!" See the trailer here!
We're not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown a hobby into a full time job and a labour of love.
When you decide to become a Member, it helps directly support the site. You get additional privileges on the HUBB, access to the Members Private Store, and more to come as we roll out new systems. Of course, you get our sincere thanks, good karma and knowing you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. :-)
Travel BooksMotorcycle and travel books to inspire and inform you!
DVDs - Watch and Learn!
Horizons Unlimited presents!
Achievable Dream The definitive guide to planning your motorcycle adventure! This insanely ambitious 2-year project has produced an informative and entertaining 5-part, 18 hour DVD series. "The ultimate round the world rider's how-to DVD!" MCN UK.
Collectors Box SetAll 5 DVDs with a custom printed slip case. "The series is 'free' because the tips and advice will save much more than you spend on buying the DVD's."
Advertisers- Horizons Unlimited is well-established as the first source of reliable, unbiased information on all aspects of motorcycle travel.
We reach a dedicated, worldwide group of real travellers, and are the only website focusing exclusively on long distance motorcycle travellers.
If you sell motorcycles or motorcycle accessories, riding gear, camping equipment and clothing, transport motorcycles, organize motorcycle tours, or have motorcycles to rent, you should be advertising with us!
Aside from having to get a LGV license, are there any other constraints with running a 10 tonne truck as an overland camper (based in UK). Do you have to have a tacho, are you limited on driving hours, is insurance excessive compared with something just under 7.5 tonnes?
Appreciate any advice, easy to find people who know about driving trucks but not as campers and don't know whether rules are easier compared with operating a commercial truck.
The big thing is it needs to be converted to a motorhome/camper , not sufficient to just have a box with camp beds in back . So if in Uk you need to have fixed cooking facilities , beds can be convertable from seating , it will need a wardrobe (hanging clothes) . Then you will have to get V5 changed to motorhome . If you dont do all this you will have lots of probs crossing borders , plus otrher things like having to pay MAUT in germany (truck road use charge) etc . There is a proper spec for conversion , have a look for selfbuild camper club for more advice. Another useful site is motorhomefun. HTSH
if converted no tacho not a goods/pcv so no drivers hours regs either insurance should not be much different , etc
Things may be totally different in North America, HOWEVER......
If fully converted to motorhome (cooking facilities, bed, potty, fridge, sink) insurance is MUCH less. I know in Europe you still must obey the HGV speed signs and of course be mindful of dimensional warnings, especially weight and height. In N. America a HGV licence is not even required (mine is >12 ton with air brakes!!) although I did get one. I just renewed my registration for 2 years for $180, for a 12.5 ton truck. No inspection required, which is good since it is in Perth and I'm in Anchorage....
There are of course HGV speed limits in N. America but they are less severe than in Europe, and there are far fewer low overpasses and very old weak bridges.
Be sure to get a HGV or MGV licence more than appropriate for weight (up to 12 tons), and then an IDP (Iternational Drivers' Licence) with no weight limitation. You will probably have far few bureaucratic problems regarding the wieght of the truck outside the EC.
Getting the HGV licence involved:
1) going on a 90-120min "walkaround" with a former truck shcool teacher who works at a local freight company re the "walkaround" about the mechanical issues of the truck you plan to use in the test. Since it was my own Unimog, I of course knew everything.
2) Got to the Motor Vehicle Dept. and get the handbook for commercial vehicles and handbook for air brakes, take them home, read them cover to cover very carefully.
3) next day take the tests at the DMV and score well
4) Get in the queue to take the driving test at the local truck driver school, without taking the course. In my case the wait was about 3 weeks.
5) The lady said "you know your truck very well" - I had owned it for 4 years at that point in time!!
It is critical that you understand all the mecahnical systems of the truck you intend to take the test in, especially safety related: brakes, steering, tires, wheels.
I was able to use my own vehicle because I drove it under a private licence as a motorhome, but being over 26000 lb it qualified as a potential "heavy truck".
I'm not sure how the rules work in Europe, but here in North America, everything depends on what kind of licence plate the vehicle has on it, and what it is described as on the registration document (the paper that accompanies the licence plate).
By way of example, you could purchase a massive semi-trailer power unit (the truck portion of an articulated lorry) here in North America, and register it as a private passenger vehicle. If you did so, you would be treated as a private passenger vehicle in all respects, excepting only circumstances where road tolls are based on number of axles, and road restrictions are based on vehicle weight.
But, if you registered your gigantic Mack truck as a private passenger vehicle, you would not be allowed to operate it as a truck is normally used. You could only use it to carry as many passengers as it has seats and seat belts installed for.
I quite suspect that in Europe, the general gist of things is much the same - it doesn't matter what the vehicle looks like, and it doesn't matter what a reasonable person thinks the vehicle might be, what matters is how the vehicle is described on the registration certificate, and what the nature of the licence plate on the vehicle is.
Yes thats pretty well it , whats on the papers , same in Uk and OZ , there is a still a d/licence requirement dependant on weight in Uk and EU , in UK the licence plate stays with the vehicle from first reg to when its scrapped
sounds awesome idea! why not convert to use WVO (waste veg oil) it aint hard and will save you a shedload on fuel costs, there are always someone somewhere frying something....... check out google for more info.
some systems with double filters etc allow you to strain the oil into a container, making sure no water in it.....ie clear not cloudy and then straight into WVO tank (separate from normal tank) you start on normal diesel, wait 10 15 mins till engine up to full working temp and oil heaters good n hot then swith from diesel to WVO, just remember to switch back to diesel about 10 mins before you stop.
the only downside i can see is if it aint 4WD your gonna need one hell of a winch!
There are minimum requirements for what is inside your camper for it to officially be classified as a Motor Caravan on the UK V5, taxed as a Private HGV, as tacr2man suggests, which is what you want, no tacho, cheaper tax, the 7.5 ton HGV no entry signs can be ignored etc, because you're not carrying goods. The link below seems to be what I remember them to be. You could also try the SBMCC forum
Some people have a large external "garage" for the likes of a dirt bike, so it is a camper which they use at weekend race meetings for instance. The "rules" say if you are carrying something in such a garage not required for camping (a dirt bike, even push bikes), then it is not a Motor Caravan, and then you need a tacho and all that that involves. To me that seems a little vague, as in who would be checking, and what definitively is or isn't required to camp. A US RV in the UK in my opinion needs either a towed car or carried bike so you can camp in it, being too big itself to get where you want to go, so is I think essential in that scenario.
To prove it is a Motor Caravan once converted or imported too perhaps, the photos you send to the DVLA do not want to show a big empty garage space ready for "goods"! Lots of picnic table and chairs etc maybe!?
As far as I can gather the UK speed limits are the same wether a goods vehicle or a camper over 7,5 tons. The rest of Europe probably have their own limits, and especially no entries and road tolls. Adrian Flux seem a good insurers, mine I think is about £300. They have to date only given me a 90 day green card though. Other campervan specific insurers can give 365 day green cards, and cover perhaps Morocco and Turkey, but sometimes don't like something that isn't mainstream. The Motorhome Facts forum has its own insurance deal which is cheap and says self build is OK, but I've not asked yet, this and the SBMCC forum are £10 a year.
There are specific requirements for the Class C test vehicle which your truck probably won't fulfil, but the +/- £1000 one week course that most centres offer include everything. The DVLA took 3 months to issue my provisional licence though, so its not always a speedy process. Try to book directly with the people actually teaching you. I paid more through what turned out to be an agency, and an extra chunk for a kind of guaranteed pass scheme to try to hurry things up after waiting so long for the DVLA. The promises they made were not very truthful!
I also thought 1 to 1 tuition would be best. The first day driving was a nightmare, and made me wonder if I was wasting my time. The second morning I sat in with another trainee, and being able to watch what he was doing, right and wrong, made something click and I was fine from there on.
For example the period it is in the UK prior to conversion it will be an HGV and you need all the appropriate testing etc.l
I don't know how others feel about this but even after reregistering the truck as a motor caravan I think you would do well to get it tested by VOSA as an HGV. There is just no way a regular garage could satisfactoraly test a large truck, and at 10t+ there is a lot of momentum, it is easy to cause a lot of damage in an accident. Testing a truck as a class IV IMO is just a way of avoiding the need to keep the vehicle in a good state of repair. If your truck is safe and relatively modern then you have nothing to fear from VOSA. In fact I always feel reassured comuing away from the VOSA test as they are so thorough that I know my truck is in good repair. Except perhaps the time they failed me for having the wrong type of bolts on the sideskirts and the marker boards 15cm too high!
If you have a non-EU truck, or a very old truck, testing as a Class IV is a good way of avoiding VOSA as in some cases it is impossible to get the vehicle through their test. Air over hydraulic brakes, or full time 6x6 can make it impossible to pass the HGV test.
My experience was very simple, although it may be different now. I spent 4 days on an Class C course and passed first time. I can now drive anything rigid (32t in the UK). I brought an 18t truck and when I went to change the tax class from good vehicle to Private good vehicle at the DVLA office, I asked if I could reregister the body type as a motor caravan. Two weeks later my V5c ame back with the body type ammended. It still doesn't meet all the requirements as the conversion is slow progress but I was never asked for proof.
With regard to the tacho, if the vehicle is taxed as Private HGV, you do not need to use the tacho but if you test it at VOSA the tacho will need to be present and calibrated to pass. My calbration cost £40 and lasts 6 years.
TBH the tacho is a pain in the arse as it is connected to my dash and warns me constantly that it is not being used correctly. I will probably have it disconnected when I leave thre UK and have it reinstated when I return.
My tacho is the analogue (paper) type with digital display and sensing.
I think some wires have got crossed. You can "down-plate" a vehicle in the uk; that is take a truck that was built as one weight class but run it in a lower class. This is often done for exibition vehicles. You save on road-tax and insurance and even MOT tests.
I know a courior who runs a monster great Sprinter/Crafter and he has it registered in a different class because he carries bulk, not weight. It means he gets a dirty great big van with a good sized engine but with fixed costs the same as a SWB tranny.
Obviously when he sells it, the new owner would want to reverse this because it can only legally carry 800kg at the moment.
You obviously can't take your 20 ton "car" to the local garage for an MOT though.
"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA
"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada
"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia
"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders
10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!
Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!
Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.
You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or
to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and
knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.