Essential Tips for New Motorhome Owners
Motorhome ownership is at an all time high. According to the National Caravan Council, UK annual motorhome registrations have increased by 50%, as of May 2021. If you’re thinking about buying a motorhome or campervan, check out our New Buyer’s Guide and useful tips to help you choose the right vehicle.
We are seeing increasing numbers of new motorhome and campervan owners who are looking forward to enjoying their first holiday in their new home away from home. However, delving into the world of leisure vehicles with no prior experience can be daunting to say the least. That’s why we’ve compiled a useful guide to help new motorhome and campervan owners set off on their travels with minimum stress and complications.
What do I need to do before setting off on my first motorhome holiday?
Check everything works
Your vehicle’s packed and you’re eager to set off on your first motorhome or campervan adventure. However, before you get to this stage it’s worth making sure that you’re familiar with your new motorhome and that you know how everything works. Not only does this increase the odds of everything going smoothly, but it will also give you peace of mind.
Never assume everything will work as it should without testing it first. Whether your motorhome is new or second-hand, test all appliances, fixtures and fittings so that you’re sure they work before driving off in your new purchase. Get the dealer, or if buying privately the seller to show you how everything works
Whilst it’s tempting to want to head off on your very first adventure as quickly as possible, have a practice run in your new motorhome by cooking and even sleeping in it on your driveway, or on a quiet campsite somewhere very close to home. This will help you to ensure that everything is working as it should be when you head off on your holiday. If you’re new to motorhoming or have purchased a new vehicle, read the vehicle instruction manual so that you can familiarise yourself with all of the features of the vehicle and that you know how to operate everything on board.
If you’re hiring a leisure vehicle, make sure the owner of the vehicle demonstrates how everything works and talks you through all you need to know before you set off on your journey. You might be interested in our Discover Hire policy, allowing you to hire a motorhome or campervan from friends or family.
If you’re planning to travel outside the summer months, it’s important to test the heating in your motorhome before you travel, as leisure vehicles can get very cold in the autumn and winter months and as a precautionary measure, always be sure to pack some warm clothes.
Pack all the necessities
An organised motorhomer should have an inventory of items that can be used to patch repair if anything in your vehicle breaks whilst away on your travels. This will buy you time until a proper repair, replacement, or upgrade can be undertaken. Useful items include duct tape, tent pegs, guy ropes, a torch etc. Also make sure to check your oil fluid, tyre pressure, gas bottle, etc before heading off on your holiday.
When it comes to packing your motorhome, check the weather forecast and pack sensible clothing depending on the activities you’ll be doing and the time of year that you’ll be travelling. Essential items include waterproofs, sun protection and walking shoes. For more information on what to pack on your motorhome holiday check out our motorhome essentials blog.
Plan your route
Motorhomes are significantly bigger than cars and as a result, can be stressful to drive until you gain experience and confidence. During the early days, consider avoiding very narrow or single track roads with stone walls. The most common motorhome accidents occur during a manoeuvre and whilst not fatal, can be inconvenient and expensive. Be aware of low hanging trees as well as low bridges and consider investing in a motorhome specific satnav that should produce a route that is motorhome friendly.
If you’re travelling off the beaten track, e.g. the Highlands of Scotland, petrol stations are few and far between. Its crucial to check you have enough fuel for your journey so plan your stop off points in advance. You may be interested in our motorhome hacks and tips blog for more helpful pointers for your motorhome travels.
Things to consider when booking a pitch at a campsite
Before booking your pitch, consider where on the campsite you’d like to be placed. Some people prefer to be located close to the toilet block or on-site entertainment for convenience, however this also means it can be noisy. It’s best to avoid parking at the bottom of a hill or steep slope as you might get flooded if it rains heavily.
It’s a good idea to park behind bushes or a solid wall to shelter your vehicle from strong winds. In open spaces and very strong winds, awnings are at risk of suffering damage, so consider taking them down before any threat of strong winds materialises. Trees can provide essential shelter from the sun in hot climates; however, tree sap can damage motorhome paintwork, so it’s best to stay vigilant. If you don’t require the shelter from the sun and are pitching your motorhome where it is likely to rain frequently, the dripping of water from the tree onto your motorhome and awning can be annoying.
The more you travel, the quicker you can work out what arrangement is best for you. Keep in mind that if travelling with pets, make sure the site you have in mind is pet friendly and always take into consideration any rules that may apply.
How do I level my motorhome and why is this important?
Levelling a motorhome is one of the most important skills for a new owner to learn. A tilted motorhome or campervan can cause long term damage and issues by adding a strain on the door frames, cupboards and chassis of the vehicle. Some integrated fridges in motorhomes do not work properly unless levelled. Titled ground is also likely to cause your shower to not drain properly, further highlighting the importance of levelling your vehicle.
In order to correctly level your motorhome, find somewhere with firm ground. Motorhomes are extremely heavy and will not stay level for long if parked on soft ground. Invest in a strong levelling ramp and kick it into position under the wheels of your vehicle to ensure it stays in position.
Picture this – you turn up to the campsite you’ve booked ready for your holiday on a lovely sunny day, you park your motorhome and think nothing else of it. Then it starts to rain and you find yourself in a bad situation when you realise your motorhome is stuck in the ground after sinking into the wet soil. This happens more often than you’d think, but fortunately is completely avoidable with the use of durable levelling ramps and some careful organisation when you pitch up.
If you’re looking for more information, read our Top Tips for New Motorhome Owners.
Before you get behind the wheel and set out on your travels, you’ll need to make sure you’re properly protected with a motorhome insurance policy. Our specialist motorhome insurance policies provide that added peace of mind that you are protected whilst away on your holiday whether you’re travelling in the UK or Europe.
At Comfort Insurance, we’ve been providing motorhome and campervan cover for more than 30 years and are experts in our field. If you’re about to embark on your first motorhome experience, the last thing you need is to worry about being insured. To safeguard your motorhome, call 0208 984 0666 or get a quote online and our specialist team will take care of your insurance needs.
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We’re a family run business with over 30 years' experience in the provision of specialist motorhome and campervan insurance. With a wealth of awards under our belt, we pride ourselves on providing a friendly and professional service, offering you the most comprehensive cover money can buy - starting from just £220!
We’re a family run business with over 30 years' experience in the provision of specialist motorhome and campervan insurance. With a wealth of awards under our belt, we pride ourselves on providing a friendly and professional service, offering you the most comprehensive cover money can buy - starting from just £200!