Are you thinking about buying a motorhome but are worried about the challenge of driving one?
In fact, you are likely to discover that – with a little practice and growing familiarity – it is probably no more difficult than driving your own car. The following tips may help to explain how you may overcome any initial doubts or worries:
Look and learn
- when you get behind the wheel of any vehicle you have not driven before, you usually spend a moment or two familiarising your self with the controls, so that you know where everything is and know just how it all works – especially in an emergency;
- getting behind the wheel of a motorhome is unlikely to be so different and a few minutes just making yourself comfortable, adjusting the seat, and getting familiar with all the controls is likely to pay dividends;
- you’ve made yourself at home in the cockpit – and the spacious interior, no doubt – so you’re probably looking forward to moving off;
- if there’s still any trepidation, though, or if you want to play it extra-safe, you might want to enrol on one of the motorhome courses run by the Caravan and Motorhome Cub;
- these 6-hour manoeuvring courses aim to teach you all about handling a larger vehicle – forwards and in reverse – simple maintenance, routine safety checks, the law, and have a feedback session;
- now that you’ve gained a little confidence, there are just a few things to remember – especially until you’ve become familiar with the length, width and size of your motorhome;
- the golden rule – as far as the Quirky Camper is concerned – is to relax, slow down and enjoy the journey (likely to be at least half the enjoyment of outings in your motorhome);
- while you are on the move, you might tend to forget some of the key dimensions – the height and length of your motorhome – so take a look in your owner’s manual and learn them off by heart, so that you are not caught out when encountering low bridges or especially narrow and winding roads along the way;
- with the extra length of the vehicle, you may need to take corners wider than you are used to, but be careful, of course, of swinging out into oncoming traffic, slow down and look well ahead when cornering;
- in fact, you might want to kill your speed more generally while getting used to driving your motorhome – it’s not designed to be driven as fast as the car you use for work or trips to the shops and, besides, slowing down may help you to enjoy the journey better;
- if your motorhome is less than 3,500 kg unladen weight (as most are), then the rules of the road, including speed limits are the same as for the car you normally drive – but if it is above 3,500 kg then remember that lower speed restrictions apply;
Park and Ride
- even though you may have become familiar with the handling of your motorhome, it is rarely a good idea to take it into already congested and sometimes narrow inner city streets;
- Park and Ride schemes are therefore a boon to motorhome owners since they let you park easily away from all the congestion, with your vehicle waiting safely for you at the end of your visit to the city.
By following just a few simple tips and suggestions, therefore, you are likely to find that driving a motorhome presents no great challenge – and you soon take to it like a duck to water.