5 tips for your first motorhome trip

If you’re planning to embark on your first motorhome trip, you’re likely full of excitement and ready to get out on the open road — but there are a few tips and tricks that could seriously improve your maiden voyage.

Hired motorhome driving on main road in country valley

1. Do your research before hiring a motorhome

Hiring a motorhome for the first time can be overwhelming, so before you step onto the forecourt, do your research and find out what to expect. What’s the right size for you and your family or travelling companions? What features do you need, and what can you do without?

Do your homework on the road rules, too. What are the speed limits for motorhomes along your planned route, and where are the best places for refuelling? It pays to know this before you set out, as you’ll want to focus on the road when you’re taking the motorhome out on its first journey.

2. Get advice from experts

When you’re picking up your motorhome, make sure an expert takes you through all the safety features and what you should make sure to do before a trip and after you arrive. Motorhomes, unlike cars, have features like window flaps that need to be secured before you hit the road. Hiring places should also offer insurance, so discuss your options and what to do in case of an emergency or breakdown.

Know the size of the motorhome you’re hiring, too. Roads and bridges can be restricted by size, so having the dimensions on hand for easy reference, preferably in the glove compartment, will be very useful on the road. Weight is also important, so check the payload — how much you can put in the motorhome safely — before you leave.


Couple smiling while driving a motorhome

Young couple getting to grips with their motorhome

3. Take a Motorhome Manoeuvring Course

Motorhomes can be a big change if you have no experience with wider, heavier vehicles. Before you get on the road, it’s a good idea to invest in a motorhome manoeuvring course such as those offered by the Caravan and Motorhome Club, which will teach you the basics of parking your motorhome at a campsite, how to do safety checks, and the laws and rules of the road when it comes to motorhome driving. Driving a motorhome at least once before you hire one for a trip is a very good idea, to give you some experience in handling.

4. Take a lot of time on the road

Take it slow if you’re not used to driving a larger vehicle. If you're heading away on a glamping tour, you'll be spending a lot of time on the road, so it's not worth the risk of rushing around. Going drastically below the speed limit isn’t ideal, but definitely take roads and motorways cautiously if you haven’t driven a motorhome before. Plan your journey with a lot of time for travel, including rest stops, to make sure you don’t rush and make mistakes.

Use your mirrors a lot, too; without rear visibility, as you would have in a car, your vision behind is restricted to your wing mirror use, so take advantage of them as much as possible and make sure they’re properly adjusted before setting off.


Beginner talking to motorhome course instructor from driver's seat

Take a Motorhome Manoeuvring Course with the Caravan and Motorhome Club

5. Pick a campsite pitch wisely

Taking a motorhome to a campsite for the first time may mean choosing your pitch, and there are various things to remember when you’re making your selection. Will overhanging branches scratch your motorhome or make it dirty? How far away are amenities, waste disposal points, play areas and other motorhomes? Base your decision on your own preferences and needs for your camping experience.

Whether you choose your spot or are assigned a place, it’s always wise to back into your spot to make sure that you don’t have to reverse to exit it; this is something you can practise on a manoeuvring course.

With the right preparation, your first motorhome trip can be an absolute breeze. Get ready to take on the open road.


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