At Derby Motorhomes, the last thing we want to do is to patronise our clients! However, we’d like to offer a few tips here about things you may wish to think about when taking your first significant trip in your motorhome.
Be conservative in your planning
It’s imperative that you are comfortable with your vehicle before taking it out on the road. This inevitably takes time and a little practice – plus also perhaps some training. (The Caravan Club runs motorhome manoeuvring courses which may help with the basics and build your confidence).
Driving a modern motorhome is intrinsically straightforward but it’s a larger vehicle than you may be used to and that can take a little getting accustomed to when cornering, reversing and parking etc.
Your first trip is therefore likely to be a case of you getting to know both your own driving tendencies and more importantly, the characteristics of your vehicle.
Motorhome basics are relatively straightforward and simple but there’s no substitute for putting them into practice. From that, you are likely to learn a few additional lessons and add to your experience base.
What this means is that we would recommend your first trip is perhaps relatively unambitious in terms of the distance you plan to travel, the countries you plan to visit and some of the driving conditions you intend taking on.
A quick, long-weekend somewhere local might be ideal as a shakedown first voyage for you and your new motorhome. By contrast, a cross-continental marathon epic as your first expedition might be, well, being a little “brave”!
Think about what you need to take with you
There is a range of basic equipment that an experienced motorhome owner wouldn’t dream of leaving behind.
That would typically include things such as first aid kits, a selection of tools, emergency lighting and external collapsible furniture etc. It’s worth reading up as to what those things should be (opinions might differ slightly) because once you are on site, if you realise you’ve left something behind, it may be too late to do anything about it.
So, make a motorhome basics list and put a tick against each thing as you load it into your vehicle.
Familiarise yourself with the motorhome
This is less about driving and more about what makes your motorhome work, any maintenance needed and knowing where things are.
Thinking about motorhome basics should include things such as understanding where the fuses are, where the gas connectors are, how to remove any waste water cassettes and so on.
It should also be things like turning the fridge on a few hours before you leave etc.
These are not the sorts of things you’ll want to try and find or work out for the first time only once you are on your pitch and getting ready to enjoy your break.
A little pre-study in this area will work wonders and put your mind at rest before you leave.
This is particularly important during the summer months and the school holidays (and especially now, during the pandemic when sites may be closed or have limited availability).
Some very popular sites can be booked up considerably in advance and that can lead to disappointment if you simply arrive on spec only to be greeted by the “site full” signs.
It really is worth making a ‘phone call to confirm availability prior to you setting off.
We hope this brief blog gives you some ideas of what you need to consider before your first trip – enjoy!