Driving a motorhome is a great experience and offers one of the best ways to explore our country. Many of the basic road rules are the same as driving a car and you often won’t need a different license.
However, the experience of driving a motorhome can be a lot different to driving a car, particularly if you’re new to driving larger vehicles. Even the most experienced drivers may take some time adjusting,
1. Plan your journey
A major benefit to driving a motorhome is being able to travel at your own pace. This means enjoying your journey, although it’s not uncommon for many drivers to overestimate how much distance they can cover in their trip. The quickest route isn’t always the best, and not all roads are suitable for larger vehicles, such as motorhomes.
It’s worth taking some extra time to plan your journey thoroughly before getting on the road and having a backup plan in case of unforeseen events like road closures. Planning your refuel stops is also wise, as some petrol stations are larger and have more room to accommodate larger vehicles. This can help make your refuelling a lot easier and less stressful.
It’s also critical to take rest stops to ensure you’re not fatigued on your trip.
2. Adjust for a bigger vehicle
Motorhomes are wider, longer, taller, and heavier than cars. This means there is more to consider and be aware of when manoeuvring these vehicles on the road.
As a motorhome is much wider than other vehicles, you may need to spend more time being mindful of your positioning on the road and checking that you’re staying in your lane.
Turning corners and parking your motorhome will also need more attention, including making slower, wider and more purposeful movements. Keep a lookout for dedicated motorhome parking around popular holiday spots, which provide more space for you.
Also keep an eye out for height indicators, overhanging trees, and other obstacles that may not be on your radar when driving a car.
3. Observe road courtesy
Motorhomes are slower than other road vehicles and, when going uphill in particular, it’ll be a common sight to see cars backing up behind you. It’s courteous to pull over and let others pass you, where it’s safe to do so.
There are many passing lanes, slow vehicle bays, and rest stops designed for this. This also makes the journey more enjoyable for you, without the added pressure of holding others up. On the other hand, don’t compromise your own safety for impatient drivers.
4. Motorhome housekeeping
There are a few other things to keep in mind that are specific to motorhomes. Before heading off on your trip, and between overnight stops, check that all loose objects are secured, so they won’t be a distraction or hazard while you’re moving. Also, remember to turn off your gas and other appliances that shouldn’t be in use while driving.