As we’re one of the country’s leading motorhome dealers, is hardly surprising that we are often asked for tips and suggestions about choosing and using a motorhome.

Here are just a few of the ideas we have offered over the years. We offer them again in the hope that you, too, might find them useful.

Take the time to choose a motorhome that’s appropriate for you

Your aim, of course, is to choose a motorhome that is the right size for you and its intended use. If it turns out to be just too big or too small – or any other fault for that matter – it can be a serious annoyance and potentially a poor use of your money. So, choose carefully by taking your time and remembering that nine times out of ten there is absolutely no need to rush.

Take as long as you need to size up what is a varied, diverse, and competitive market, therefore, to choose the vehicle that’s likely to prove appropriate for you, your family, and your lifestyle.

We make no secret of the fact that we’d be delighted to help you in achieving just that excellent result!

Think about how you plan to use your motorhome – and where

Motorhomes are nothing if not versatile and adaptable – they’ll take you to those parts many other vehicles simply cannot reach.

It’s only realistic to accept that some of the smallest campsites in remote, rural, or especially wild locations that are well off the beaten track may be difficult to access if yours is one of the larger or heavier motorhomes available on the market.

Some of the campsites identified by the Cool Camping website as “almost wild” might give you a snapshot of the wilder side of adventures you could get up to in your motorhome.

The upshot, of course, is that if you have your heart set on getting off the beaten track, then a smaller motorhome might be more practical.

Get the family involved in your choice

Whether you are buying a new or a pre-loved motorhome, the financial outlay will be nothing to sneeze at. It’s the kind of sum you’d almost certainly want to discuss with your partner or spouse – and, possibly, even any grown-up children still at home.

Involve the whole family not just in the choice of your preferred make and model, but also about such details as the appropriate interior layout or even the powertrain of that particular vehicle.

To help you in any such family discussion, we can point you in the direction of our helpful guide: Buying the right motorhome.

Consider driver training – and break yourself in gently on your very first trip

You’ll need to make sure that you have the appropriate licence allowing you to drive the motorhome you’re thinking to buy. The official website compiled by 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.

With the appropriate driving licence in your pocket, it might be time to consider some basic training in driving a vehicle as big as your new motorhome and familiarise yourself with the controls. Suitable training is unlikely to be all that expensive.

Finally, even if you’re an experienced old hand in driving a motorhome, almost every vehicle handles and performs differently from another. It’s probably a good idea to make your first trip in your new motorhome a short one – on which to learn its handling characteristics.

Plan a few journeys based largely around bigger roads and motorhome parks with good access and turning facilities. Avoid trying to 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 from that offered by another. It’s not a question of being better or worse but simply the suitability of a particular policy 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 and instead spend some time researching which motorhome insurance offers the most cost-effective cover for the level of protection you need. That is the way you might be assured of getting good value for money.

Head over to our motorhome insurance guide which discusses how to choose the most appropriate insurance for you as well as covering the possibility of GAP insurance and breakdown insurance.

Research the rules of the road when going abroad

Over the last 30-40 years, most rules of the road have more or less converged throughout continental Europe.

Nevertheless, significant differences remain and the UK’s departure from the EU has thrown some of the details into starker relief – against a background of practices that might catch out the unwary.

Two examples of lingering divergence, for example, 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! You might also want to review our guide: Taking your motorhome to Europe.

The big day has come. As the proud new owner of a motorhome, you’re ready to embark on your very first trip!

It’s worth curbing that natural enthusiasm for just a moment or two longer to carry out a few helpful “pre-flight checks” and run through your travel plans once you’re on the road. As far as the following tips and suggestions go, let’s assume that you’ll be staying within the UK for at least your first foray or two.

Eventually, and with experience, you’ll almost certainly discover that the time well spent on these pre-outing preparations becomes second nature – practically instinctive.

To give you some idea of the importance of getting the packing, stowing, and last-minute preparations right, you’re unlikely to find anything more comprehensive than the Wandering Bird’s treatment of the subject – and if you’d rather watch than read, there is even a self-explanatory video to accompany their article.

As a rule of thumb, the checklist is likely to feature all or some of the following. For example:

The vehicle

  • check that everything inside is correctly stowed and secured – get it right to avoid spending a potential fortune later if things go wrong, suggests the motorhome rental website Goboony which describes the task of packing as both difficult and easy at the same time;
  • although you’ll have more room for your baggage than if you were staying in a hotel, don’t get carried away with the temptation to pack too much;
  • walk around your motorhome and inspect it from the outside to be sure that everything appears to be where it should be;
  • make sure that all the mechanics and internal fittings are working correctly;
  • disconnect all gas supplies (disconnection is not always quite as straightforward as it seems, so you might need to follow the manufacturer’s specific advice on that one);
  • check that all the electrics – the vehicle’s external system for signalling and lights and internal illumination) – are OK;
  • remember to confirm where you stand with any need for a TV licence – broadly speaking, if your normal place of residence will be empty while you’re away or nobody will be using the TV there, your motorhome TV should continue to be covered. But if someone else back home will be using the TV (your grown-up kids might have stayed behind, for example), you may need a separate licence for the set in your motorhome;
  • pack a good toolkit – and familiarise yourself with how each piece works;
  • include some emergency lighting and dependable, fully charged torches;
  • make certain that you have a good first-aid kit available that is within its “use by” dates;
  • take some means of heating with you or confirm that anything built-in will be adequate – as any native will know only too well, that might be important even at the height of a British summer, so it’s certainly worth checking;
  • make sure the appropriate water tanks and reservoirs have been filled;

The adventure

  • a story in the Daily Mail on the 23rd of June 2022 described the surge in popularity of motorhome holidays as the means of enjoying your staycation;
  • so, remember to double-check the location of your campsite and the reservations you have made there – this is especially important if your first trip happens to coincide with a bank holiday or any school holiday periods;
  • plan your route carefully – whether you use satnav or good old-fashioned maps, this is important since 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;
  • plan a route that avoids as many towns and village centres as possible – old narrow streets and large motorhomes can be incompatible with public harmony and tranquillity;
  • check that your insurance is valid and up to date – although that’s almost certainly the case, it’s always good practice to check such an essential before setting off
  • have maps to hand – even with a satnav on board, having a big-picture old-fashioned map, opened in your passenger’s lap, is sometimes invaluable when the electronic device just doesn’t seem to be making sense or you need a quick decision;
  • practise driving and manoeuvring your vehicle beforehand – if you’re still a novice, or feel a little uncomfortable behind the wheel of a motorhome, setting off on your first trip is probably not the best time to learn;
  • consider taking a motorhome manoeuvring course – both the Camping and Motorhome Club and the Camping and Caravanning Club run them – to build your confidence.
  • at the very least, you might want to find somewhere quiet and safe, like a supermarket car park when it’s closed, and practice your basics like reversing and parking before you load up and set off;
  • brush up on the best practice rules of the road for motorhomes – manoeuvres such as attempting to overtake lorries and getting stuck in the outside lane because your motorhome can’t quite make it can quickly lead to difficulties and dangers.

Daunted by this seemingly long list of tips and suggestions? Don’t be intimidated by it. As we have said, most of it will become second nature after your first couple of excursions so enjoy what will be the first of many – it’s a great moment to celebrate.