The great day has come. You are now the proud owner of a motorhome and you’re ready to go on your first trip!

That’s fantastic but the following few helpful “pre-flight checks” and motorhome travel tips might be useful. They’re the sort of thing that, with experience, will become automatic – and this assumes it’s a UK destination.

Have you:

  • checked that everything inside is correctly stowed and secured. It’s not unknown for errors to be made in this respect and that might prove to be very expensive;
  • inspected the motorhome from the outside to be sure that everything appears to be where it should;
  • made sure that all the mechanics and internal fittings are working correctly;
  • disconnected all gas supplies (follow the manufacturer’s specific advice on that one);
  • checked that all your electrics (inside and outside for signalling/lights) are OK;
  • remembered to confirm your TV licence position? Broadly speaking, if your normal place of residence will be empty while you’re away or nobody will be using the TV there, your own motorhome TV should be OK in licence terms. However, if you’ve say left the kids behind at home and they’ll be using your normal set, you may need a separate licence for your motorhome’s set;
  • packed a good toolkit;
  • included some emergency lighting and good torches;
  • made certain that you have a good first-aid kit available that is within its “use by” dates;
  • taken some sort of sensible heating with you or verified that anything built-in will be adequate? Sadly, in the UK, that might even be important even in the summer! It’s worth checking;
  • made sure all your appropriate reservoirs are fully loaded;
  • included all your electrical and plumbing connectors;
  • double-checked your site and site reservations? That’s doubly important if your first trip happens to coincide with a bank holiday or any school holiday periods;
  • planned your route carefully? Whether you use SatNav or good old maps, this is important. You won’t want to discover low bridges or impassably small access tracks only for the first time when trying to reach your site by that scenic route. Try to avoid town and village centres too if possible – old narrow streets and large motorhomes can be incompatible with public harmony and tranquillity;
  • checked your insurance? It will probably be fine but even so, it’s good practice to check that it’s in place and up-to-date prior to departure;
  • got maps to hand? SatNat or not, having a big-picture old-fashioned map open with the passenger is sometimes invaluable when the SatNav just doesn’t seem to be making sense or you need a quick decision;
  • practised with your vehicle beforehand? If you’re “green” with it or with motorhomes in general, learning for the first time as you set off on trip number one might not be advisable. Instead, take it somewhere quiet and safe, like a supermarket car park when its closed, and practice your basics like reversing and parking before you load up and set off;
  • brushed up on the best practice rules of the road for motorhomes? Things like trying to overtake lorries and getting stuck in the outside lane because your motorhome “can’t quite make it”, might quickly lead to issues. So, do some swotting beforehand.

Above all though, don’t be intimidated! It’s a great moment and make sure you enjoy it.