The dream for so many motorhome owners is to get away for a month or more and explore a little bit of unchartered territory for themselves. With just a map and a good book for company, it can be blissful getting out on the open road for the long term, but it doesn’t come without it’s potential problems. Aside from tying up all the loose ends at work and finding someone to feed the cat, there’s lots to consider when it comes to your motorhome. So, here’s our long term touring checklist to make sure you have all you need.
You’d be surprised how your motorhome can change in over a month and you’ll notice things like slow punctures, bad fuel economy and clunky drive trains a lot more. It’s a very wise idea to get your motorhome a service before you go out for a long term trip so you can identify any problems before you leave. This is particularly important if you’re off somewhere were it may be tricky to get a service.
Over the course of six weeks or so, it’s highly likely that you’ll find one or two nights where all the shops are closed, the restaurants are booked out and you just want something simple for dinner. Over two weeks, you’ll probably get lucky, but over the longer term you can’t bank on it. It’s a wise idea to have a supply of store cupboard items in stock before you travel – you never know what problems you might encounter.
Planning Your Hook-Ups
It’s appealing to just go with the wind and plan your stopping points as and when you choose. However, the thought of a flat tyre and a dead mobile phone in the middle of the Scottish Highlands isn’t. It’s a very wise idea to plan at least one or two campsite stops where you’re guaranteed to have an electric hook up so you can at least do the basics.
It’s a nice idea to leave your laptop behind for some time, but if you are planning on doing so you should ensure you have all the requisite information available. You’ll certainly need all the standard things like your motorhome insurance documentation and a number for breakdown cover, but also stick in a good number of maps, some local campsite information and perhaps a travel guide to help you find a place to eat.
The typical attitude of a motorhome owner when it comes to essentials is all about getting by, and quite rightly so! There’s no need to buy 500ml of olive oil for one week’s cookery. However, when you’re travelling for a month or more, it suddenly becomes worthwhile. The same goes for detergent, washing up liquid and salt and pepper. Stocking up on home essentials help to make the fourth pasta meal that week even more tasty!
Keeping Fit while Travelling
Long days on the road can really take it’s toll on both your mood and your fitness and, sometimes, it can make your holidays feel more like you’re sat behind a desk. A great antidote to this is to stick in a pair of running shoes or, if you have the space, your old bike. Getting out and enjoying the fresh air will really keep your spirits up and at the same time it’s a great way of exploring new places.
Leave the Finances Behind
For peace of mind, it’s really a good idea to leave your finances behind as best as you can. Have a really good look at your budget and your bank statements before you go and if possible leave yourself a debit or credit card on which you can just spend and enjoy yourself. Also make sure you’ve got arrangements in place to pay the bills at home and let your bank know you’re travelling for a time. It’s not uncommon that cards are blocked when motorhome owners go abroad.
Thinking about Fuel
On a related note, the costs of fuel really start to add up when you’re travelling for a month or more and it’s tempting to start running the tank drier every time. First of all, take a moment to think about how you can improve your fuel efficiency and, secondly don’t ever be tempted to push it too far. It can be worthwhile mapping out fuel stops in your area so you know you’ve always got an option nearby.
The final checklist point for anyone travelling for a long period of time is to enjoy the time you have! It goes extremely quickly once you get going, so make the most of every day and make sure it’s the holiday of a lifetime!