Campervan Rental in Germany
The Ultimate Guide (Part 1)

Planning Your Trip

This is the first part of the ultimate guide to ensuring you have an unforgettable campervan tour of Germany

Click here for Part 2 - Campervan Tips

Setting Your Itinerary

You will need to give yourself at least a week or two to see all of the amazing places in Germany. While there are awesome countries at its borders, don’t rush through the country in a hurry to get elsewhere.

Planning campervan trip

Germany’s majestic mountains, modern cities and charming small towns invite you to linger and will have you wanting to stay much longer than you had planned. Popular road trip routes that will take you through the country’s best sights and attractions take a few days each and you will want to select more than one. Here are a few options to get you excited about your trip!

One German RV rental company offers the following as good guidance on the distances you should plan to travel:


Ideal/relaxing: 100 to 600 km per week


Comfortable but less relaxing: 700 to 1000 km per week


Challenging/a bit too far for most: 1,100 to 1,400 km per week


Don’t do it! It won’t be fun: Anything over 1,500 km per week.

Remember, every 60 to 100 kilometres of distance you spend driving a motorhome will deprive you of approximately one hour of something that’s more fun.

These are some popular routes and will offer up some of the best things to see and do in fabulous Germany:

The Incredible Alpine Road — This 450km route incorporates stops in Lindau, Bad Tolz and the Chiemgau Alps. To say that it is scenic simply doesn’t do it justice as you’ll find picturesque castles and mountain views like nowhere else in the world. Clear your camera’s memory card before you start, as you will fill it with photos before you know it.

Frankfurt to Munich — A popular route through southern Germany. Fabulous food and wine await as you wind your way through the Mosel Valley and Baden. You will skirt the edge of Switzerland before heading up to Munich, a city that alone is worth the trip to Europe.

Castle Road Route — If you have ever seen any pictures of Germany’s spectacular castles then you’ll know you simply must take this route. See the very best of Bavaria as you drive, including Heidelberg Castle, Rothenburg Town Hall and Nuremberg. Want to keep going? You will find yourself in Prague — a fascinating city in the Czech Republic that makes an excellent end to your European holiday.

The Best Times of Year to visit Germany

Germany is a very popular destination because of its beautiful topography, rich history and culture. If you wish to avoid the crowds, then don’t arrive during the summer months (June to late August).

Spring and autumn are times when Mother Nature really shines, however, as flowers bloom and, as winter approaches, the leaves turn a spectrum of colours. Temperatures are milder, too, with little rainfall reported.

Unless you love a harsh winter, avoid Germany between December and February when the country experiences severe cold, frequent snow, fog and rain.

Choosing the Right Vehicle

When it comes to hiring a campervan, Germany offers large fleets and plenty of options. You will want to select your vehicle based upon the number of people in your party, budget and itinerary. While vehicle specifications vary from vendor to vendor, what follows are some basic guidelines for what you can expect.

Two Berth

These vehicles comfortably sleep two adults and their manageable size will not intimidate first-time campervan drivers. Vehicles are manual transmission with air conditioning, a small refrigerator, stereo and an awning to give you a little shade when you sit outside.

German 2 berth campervan
Two Berth with a Shower and Toilet
German 2 berth campervan with shower and toilet

You can expect all the basic features of a two-berth but the inclusion of a shower and toilet on board gives you some freedom and flexibility. You will need to empty the sewage and greywater before you return the vehicle so make sure you have the rental agency explain the process.

Four Berth

These are great for small families or a few friends on holiday together. They are also ideal for couples that want a bit more space to move around. Kitchens come complete with burners and a larger refrigerator. You’ll also get AC, a shower, toilet, an awning, stereo and automatic transmission.

German 4 berth campervan
Six Berth
German 6 berth campervan

Six Berth — These mansions on wheels sleep up to six adults in complete comfort. Extras you will appreciate include a larger stove, toilet, shower, refrigerator, dining area and more!

Campervan Rental Basics

What’s included with your motorhome varies by rental company. You can save time and make it easier for yourself if you opt for a company that includes kitchen items, linens and towels. Airline luggage restrictions being what they are, you probably won’t want to bring home an extra suitcase full of any household items you purchased for your campervan trip.

Read your contract carefully and watch out for hidden charges for things such as the first aid kit. Opt for a GPS rental if one is not included as it will save you time and fuel in not getting lost. A GPS can also prove cheaper than using a smartphone given mobile data roaming charges and more reliable should you find yourself in an area with poor mobile coverage.

If you decide on a campervan that includes a shower or toilet note that you will have to empty the sewage and greywater contents before you return the vehicle. The rental operator should include written instructions on how to complete this task but you may want to watch some instructional videos on YouTube before you start your trip. And, if you are travelling during winter, make sure your vehicle has heat so you won’t be shivering indoors and out your entire holiday.

Camping in Germany

Camping in Germany

Finding a place to camp in any German city is not for the faint of heart. Local restrictions often ban overnight camping outright while narrow roads and tight parking spaces make manoeuvring a large vehicle a nightmare.

Instead, head to one of the many holiday parks you’ll find in close proximity to major cities and take public transport to tourist attractions. Campervan parks are out of this world in Germany, often having pools, restaurants, playgrounds and more! Make sure to book in advance if you are travelling during the peak summer season, though, as competition can be fierce for campervan parks.

Check regulations in parks and never assume that camping is permitted or you risk pricey parking tickets or even getting your vehicle towed. As a general rule, freedom (wild) camping is illegal in Germany and can be dangerous during hunting seasons.

Public Holidays in Germany

The following are regional (R) and national (N) public holidays in Germany during 2017

  • Sunday 1 January: New Year’s Day (Neujahrstag) (N)
  • Friday 6 January: Epiphany (Heilige Drei Könige) (R) Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Saxony-Anhalt
  • Friday April 14: Good Friday (Karfreitag) (N)
  • Monday 17 April: Easter Monday (Ostermontag) (N)
  • Monday May 1: Labour Day (Maifeiertag) (N)
  • Thursday 25 May: Ascension Day (Christi Himmelfahrt, 40 days after Easter) (N)
  • Monday 5 June: Whit Monday (Pfingstmontag) (N)- seventh Monday after Easter, also called Pentecost Monday.
  • Thursday 15 June: Corpus Christi (Fronleichnam) (R) – Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Hesse, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland, and some local authorities in Saxony and Thuringia.
  • Tuesday 8 August: Peace Festival (R) – Bavaria (Augsburg)- Tuesday 15 August: Assumption Day (Maria Himmelfahrt) (R) Saarland and some local authorities in Bavaria.
  • Tuesday 3 October: Day of German Unity (Tag der Deutschen Einheit) (N)
  • Tuesday 31 October: Reformation Day (Reformationstag) (N) – celebrated as a German national holiday in 2017 to celebrate the 500th anniversary, although typically it is a regional holiday in Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and parts of Thuringia.
  • Wednesday 1 November: All Saints’ Day (Allerheiligen) (R) – Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland.
  • Wednesday 22 November: Day of Prayer and Repentance (Buß-und Bettag, Wednesday before November 23) (R) – Saxony.
  • Monday 25 December: Christmas Day (Weihnachtstag) (N)
  • Tuesday 26 December: Boxing Day/St Stephen’s Day (Stephanstag) (N) – also known as the second day of Christmas.


  • Oktoberfest – mid-September – early October
  • Bach Fest - June
  • The Berlin International Film Festival - February
  • The Rose Monday Parade – late February
  • Germany’s Carnival of Cultures – May

Road Safety in Germany

There are things that you need in your vehicle in Germany:

  • Driver’s License
  • Passport
  • Insurance Documents
  • Proof of Ownership (V5 Log Book)
  • Headlamp Converters
  • Warning Triangle
  • Spare Bulbs
  • Breathalysers

Here are a few things to keep in mind while driving in Germany...

  • If you are just visiting, then your driver’s licence is effective in Germany for as long as you’re there.
  • Traffic drives on the right and passes on the left
  • Children under 12 years or shorter than 1.5 meters may not sit in the front seat unless they are in an approved child safety seat.
  • The minimum age to drive in Germany is 18.
  • The police are allowed to collect fines (Verwarnungsgeld) for most minor traffic offenses on the spot. If you don’t have enough cash on hand, you can usually pay with a credit or debit card.
  • Most moving-violation enforcement in Germany is done via enforcement cameras so watch your speed at all times.
  • You can find out about the different traffic signs you may see in Germany here.
  • Emergency vehicles with a flashing blue light and siren sounding always have the right-of-way and you must pull-over to the right-hand side of the road.
  • When passing another vehicle you may not exceed the speed limit.
  • The penalties for driving under the influence in Germany are harsh and penalties for drunk driving now apply for a blood alcohol limit of 0.03 or greater.
  • Special rules apply when driving on the Autobahn.
  • Use of mobile phones is prohibited while your vehicle is in operation.
  • If roads are covered in snow then chains may be required.
  • In wooded areas, watch for wildlife that may run onto the road.
  • In the event of an accident, exchange information with the other driver(s) including your driver’s licence, passport, insurance green card, and rental information. As a tourist, it is in your best interest to then call the police to the scene to prevent later legal problems.
  • In an emergency on a major road (motorway, highway, secondary road), look at the white kilometre stones or posts by the side of the road for arrows pointing in the direction of the nearest emergency telephone.
  • The emergency numbers in Germany are 110 (police) and 112 (fire brigade and ambulance or Krankenwagen). You can dial free of charge from any public call box. Note, that you can’t call 112 with a phone without SIM card.

Don't Forget

There are things that you need in your vehicle in Germany:

  • Driver’s License
  • Passport
  • Insurance Documents
  • Proof of Ownership (V5 Log Book)
  • Headlamp Converters
  • Warning Triangle
  • Spare Bulbs
  • Breathalysers

The Definitive Guide to Campervan Rental in Germany

Planning Your Trip

Ensuring  your camper van tour of Germany is the very best...

Campervan Tips

Everything you need to know for a motorhome road trip in Germany...

Campervan Brands

Information about key motorhome brands in Germany...