As one of the country’s leading motorhome dealers, we’re often asked for our tips and suggestions about choosing and then using a motorhome.
Here are just a few of the pieces of advice we have offered over the years – and which you, too, might find useful.
Take the time to choose a motorhome that’s appropriate for you
Finding you’ve purchased a motorhome that’s just too big or too small – or whatever its fault – can be a serious annoyance and potentially a poor use of your money. So, just remember that nine times out of ten there is absolutely no need to rush.
So, take as long as you need to evaluate the market and to choose one that’s right for you and your life circumstances. Of course, we make no secret of the fact that we’d love to assist you in that!
Think carefully about how you plan to use your motorhome and where
We’d be the first to insist that motorhomes are truly flexible and adaptable vehicles. Nevertheless, some of the smallest camping sites in remote, rural and or especially wild locations well off the beaten track may be difficult to access if you choose one of the larger or heavier motorhomes available on the market.
The Almost Wild Campsites selected by Cool Camping may give you some idea of the wilder side of adventures in your motorhome.
If you really like getting off the beaten track, then a smaller vehicle might be more practical.
Involve your family in the decision
Given the size of the financial outlay almost certainly involved, you probably wouldn’t even dream of spending the money without consulting your partner or spouse – plus, perhaps, even your adult children.
We’d go one step further by suggesting, in one of our top motorhome travel tips, that you engage those others in the detail of your motorhome too – such as the choice of different interior layouts and vehicle powertrains.
Further reading: Buying the right motorhome.
Consider driver-training and breaking yourself in gently on trip number one
You need to be sure that you have a licence that will permit you to drive the motorhome you’re thinking about. The government’s website containing advice from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) is the place to start, of course, but if you’d like further help about what that all entails, by all means, please contact us and we’ll happily explain.
Even if your licence is fine, some basic familiarisation training would be highly advisable – and it’s typically not so expensive.
Finally, even if you’re experienced with motorhomes, almost every vehicle handles and performs differently from another. It’s perhaps a good idea to make your first trip in your new motorhome a short one to to learn its handling characteristics.
Plan a few journeys based largely around bigger roads and motorhome parks with good access and turning facilities. Don’t test your close manoeuvring and reversing skills in a tiny site on your very first trip!
Don’t skimp on motorhome insurance
Your motorhome, its accessories, and all your camping gear will be expensive.
As with almost all forms of insurance, the cover provided by one policy might be significantly different to that offered by another. It’s not a question of being better or worse but simply which one will be suitable for you, your motorhome, and the way you plan to use it.
For that reason alone, you might want to avoid choosing the cheapest insurance policy but instead spend some time researching which motorhome insurance offers the most cost-effective cover for the level of protection you need.
Head over to our motorhome insurance guide which discusses how to choose the most appropriate insurance for you as well as covering the need for GAP insurance and breakdown insurance.
Research the road rules when going abroad
Over the last 30-40 years, most road rules have more or less converged in the EU.
However, not all the road rules have and some, to unaware UK drivers, may come as a surprise. Although no shocks are anticipated in the immediate future, the UK’s departure from the EU might result in greater divergence in the respective rules of the road between the two places. Two examples of lingering divergence are the “priority to the right even if a minor road” and some old “priority to vehicles that are joining the roundabout” systems which are still fairly widely found in France.
Even if you know these from car driving, remember that your braking distances will be longer in a motorhome because it’s a heavier vehicle.
As always, the bottom line of any advice on driving abroad is to research in advance the road systems in the country you’re heading off to in that new motorhome! Further reading: Taking your motorhome to Europe.