Since a motorhome holiday provides the perfect combination between adventure and comfort it has therefore become a very popular form of travel. However, things can get a bit unnerving on such a trip, especially if it is your first time out with a home on wheels. So here are some things to keep in mind for your very first motorhome trip.
- Choosing the right motorhome
- Watch the payload
- Choosing the right Destination for your First Motorhome Trip
- Stay Insured
- Prepare for the weather
- Check tyre pressure regularly
- What to Pack for your First Motorhome Trip?
- Research on forums
- Use a GPS for navigation
- Keep important documents at hand
- Eliminate smells
- Park on the outskirts of a city
Choosing the right motorhome
Given that it is your first time out with a campervan it is important to choose one to your liking. This is sometimes not easy, so it is advised to consider the following and not get tied down by a particular brand:
- The number of people who will travel with you.
- The amount of time you will be spending in the motorhome.
- Whether you will be carrying large items.
- Will you stay at a campsite or do wild camping. If the latter then you will need a toilet, showers and solar panels.
You may have priorities like more space, large seats and a bed, but it will be hard to find one with all. Note down the dimensions in case you need to tunnel or take a ferry.
Watch the payload
It is vital to know your motorhome weight as exceeding the limit will affect the handling of the vehicle, the mileage and if by chance there is an accident then your insurance becomes invalid because of the overweight clause in the policy. Load everything on the motorhome and take it to a weighbridge to check the weight of the van.
Choosing the right Destination for your First Motorhome Trip
While a destination should ideally be chalked out, enjoying the journey is of paramount importance. So apart from your final stop, make sure to stay at sites on the way to see as much as possible.
- Limit your driving to three hours per day to ensure that you spend the maximum time enjoying places and not behind the steering.
- Look for a site that has all the amenities and a waste disposal area. Once you are used to your motorhome, only then try your hand at wild camping.
- Wild camping may not be possible at all places, so check your final destination accordingly
You must get your travel insurance before you book your motorhome. Make sure to include breakdown and a high level of cover to help you out in a tricky situation. Choose only those cover options which you need to keep the premium low. If you compare the policy benefits of your new motorhome policy with your existing insurance you can easily find a better motorhome insurance quote.
Prepare for the weather
No matter where you are going you may need to pack for the season. So be prepared for bad weather stoppages by taking card games, books and crafts rather than just relying on the TV. This also allows you to spend quality time together if you are with your partner or the family.
Check tyre pressure regularly
The most common cause of insurance claims of road accidents that involve motorhomes are tyre blow outs. So before you set out, put this high on your checklist by going through the manual and checking on the tyre pressure and any other handy information.
What to Pack for your First Motorhome Trip?
Since you will be camping most of the time make sure you are carrying the essential accessories. Small things, which won’t dent your bank can be included such as, torch, toilet chemicals, cooking gas, matches, toolkit, leveling ramps, fire extinguisher, knives, camping chairs, table, picnic mats, portable solar chargers, and barbecue should be on the packing list. Based on the climate, pack a heated jacket to combat cold temperatures or summer casuals for those sunny days.
Research on forums
There are a plethora of motorhome websites and forums having information on a large number of fellow motorhome enthusiasts. You will find loads of advice and motorhome tricks which they will be happy to share with you. Additionally, if you land up at a campsite and need assistance, your request won’t go unanswered, especially if they know that you are new.
By using a GPS navigator pre-loaded with the places you intend to visit, you can save a lot of hassle. Also new roads and diversions are happening all the time, so make sure your device is updated. Feed the dimensions of the vehicle to prevent you from being directed to under bridges that are not high enough or on roads that are too narrow. If you want to save money by avoiding toll roads, you can also set up your navigator accordingly.
Keep important documents at hand
Make sure all the motorhome papers like insurance, emergency contact numbers, registration papers are handy. God forbid you land up in a tricky situation and you have to search high and low for the documents you need. Keep photocopies of these documents and keep them in an accessible location.
The greywater from the showers and sinks collects stinks and can also easily rise up in the wastewater pipes when the motorhome is moving. Pour a detergent with a nice fragrance into the greywater tank through the sink plug holes before you set off on the trip. This will eliminate any bad smell which may result from the vehicle movement. Use portable toilet disinfectant sachets, both to reduce the smell and disinfect the cassette at the same time.
Park on the outskirts of a city
As it is driving a motorhome for the first time can be stressful and more so if you are driving in busy places. Look for campervan sites on the outskirts of a city or town which have transport options to the city. You can then use a train or bus to explore the city instead of having to negotiate your way into a busy city center in your motorhome.
Your first motorhome trip is surely going to be a memorable experience, so make sure you enjoy it to the hilt. Don’t try and plan too much or overdo things, lest you become crazy at the end of the day. Go slow, take your time and enjoy the fabulous freedom of the outdoors that a motorhome life offers.
Hi, I’m Jo – A passionate globetrotter, wildlife enthusiast, thrill seeker and writer. I love to explore new places and inspire others to travel.
I like to travel far and wide (Well, Africa counts, right?) and then come back to this blog to share my escapades.