Taking your campervan off-road isn’t for everyone, for plenty of people the small section of grass between the end of the road and your pitch is quite enough. However, many wild campers and campervan enthusiasts have been taking their vehicles to new territories for years. Sound like fun? Well, here are our top tips for safe, enjoyable off-roading.
The Right Vehicle
First things first: it’s important to ensure your vehicle is appropriate for off road use. You need a good ground clearance but, at the same time, you don’t want to be taking anything too top-heavy off road as you could well end up rolling your vehicle. A few modifications can be helpful for light off-roading too, slightly lower tyre pressures and four-wheel drive are essential.
Different surfaces will require different gear usage, but in general you’re going to be in need of control on slippery surfaces. Maximise the effect of your engine braking by sticking in low gears and avoid any heavy use of the foot brake. It could cause you to slip unwillingly. Going slowly is always a good approach too; you have time to correct your mistakes at the right speed.
A Means to and End
If you’re looking for a real off-road experience, you’re probably not going to find it in your campervan. Use your off-roading as a means to an end, use it to find otherwise inaccessible spots and great wild campsites, but don’t treat your campervan like a genuine 4×4: it won’t respond very well! Always make sure where you’re travelling is not private land and do beware of other travellers: you might not be the only one after a good place to camp.
Check, of course, that your campervan insurance is valid if you’re going wild camping and really make sure that you are able to concentrate and focus on your driving. After a few excursions you’ll have no problems, but don’t ever take off-roading lightly – it can be a grave mistake.