Here are the best beginning motorhome tips and hacks. Don’t worry if you’re not a newbie; any motorhome or camper-van owner needs a brief refresher after a lengthy absence! To assist, here are some of the most valuable motor-homing ideas for novices, as well as some tips and techniques for anybody looking for a fast refresher.
Continue reading to learn the top hacks and tricks for motorhome beginners.
Motorhome Buying Tips for Beginners.
There are hundreds of different kinds of used and new motorhomes available, ranging from massive A class to sleek 7m vans, with thousands on the market at any given moment. There is no one ideal motorhome for beginners; you must determine what is best for you.
If you’re looking to buy a new or almost new van, go to the events put on by local dealerships. You’ll be able to check out new models’ designs, build the quality of various brands, and maybe even find special discounts on your dream van.
Renting a motorhome is an excellent way to see how you enjoy the lifestyle. A week or two is ideal for learning the fundamentals of motorhome life and getting a sense of what it’s like to live in a camper.
Beginners Basic Motorhome Tricks
Let’s get started with some simple recommendations to get you ready for your first trip:
- Allow yourself time when you initially obtain your motorhome/camper to look over all of the systems, read the handbook, and understand what everything does.
- Determine how to switch on the lights in the dark! This will most likely be done using the control panel near the habitation door. Learn which button to click; you’ll be surprised how frequently you’ll need it when you come in at night or during the night.
- Understand your electrical system. Y
- Two gas bottles are preferable to one; get a second bottle if you have room in your gas locker.
- Don’t overpack, especially if this is your first vacation. Take the minimal essentials.
- Solar panels are an excellent investment if you want to spend time away from an electric hook up or go wild camping with your motorhome / campervan.
- Turn on the refrigerator a few hours before you plan to leave, preferably overnight, so it can cool down before putting food in it.
Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make as a Motorhome Enthusiast.
Don’t put water in your fuel tank or fuel in the fresh water tank!
Unfortunately, it is possible to mistake the water tank filler and the gasoline filler. If you make this error, you’ll need to dump your tank into proper containers before you may drain the fuel. If you can do so, dump the water and gradually add the gas, along with non-contaminated fuel, to blend it.
You also need to clean up your freshwater tank. You can use a tank cleaner, but make sure you get it done professionally and clean the tank before drinking from it.
If you inadvertently put water in the gas tank, you’ll need to contact a mechanic or your breakdown service.
Understanding your Motorhome Electrics.
Many newcomers to motorhomes are unaware that the 240v electrical connections in a motorhome or camper will not work until they are hooked into mains electricity, either at home or at a campsite.
Even then, you won’t be able to use your electric kettle, toaster, microwave, and hairdryer at the same time because you’ll overload the campground electrics, trip the switch, and have to go looking for the fuse box in your jammies!
We strongly recommend having a gas kettle, providing you have a gas stove, so you can make a brew when you’re not connected, such as when you’re stopped in a lovely parking space for lunch or when you go wild camping.
Checking your Motorhome Leisure Battery.
One of the most common problems that new motorhome owners have, as well as those who have winterized their motorhome for storage and haven’t used it in a while, is that the leisure battery dies.
There are various possible causes for this; you can learn more about how to care for a motorhome leisure battery here; however, before you go, test it and replace it if required.
On that note, make sure you perform regular motorhome habitation inspections, either yourself or at a mechanic, to ensure that everything remains in working order and is safe.
Departure Checks and Planning Your Route Before you Leave.
It’s very easy to get excited about embarking on a new adventure. However, before you go, make sure you’ve completed all of your motorhome departure and pre-trip inspections and that your route is programmed into the sat nav.
Things that are often overlooked include:
- Verify that all overhead lockers, wardrobes, and cupboards are closed and snapped shut.
- Refrigerator lock
- Switching off the gas.
- On the stove, close the glass cover.
- Unplugging the power cord.
- Checking to see whether the outer steps are gone
- Ensure that your exterior motorhome storage box is securely closed and secured.
- Putting away the television
- Keeping road trip food and a hot beverage on hand
- Windows and hatches must be closed and locked.
Stay Aware of Speed Restrictions.
It might be tempting to press the accelerator to arrive at your destination faster. The secret to safe motorhome travel, though, is to take it slowly. Don’t try to extend your trip days beyond what you’re comfortable with, and especially don’t try to race in your motorhome!
If your motorhome weighs upwards of 3.5 tonnes, or technically if the maximum unladen weight is 3.05 tonnes, you will be subject to different speed limits in many European countries, including the UK.
Here you can only drive at 50mph on single carriageways and 60mph on dual carriageways instead of the national speed limit. And, regardless of weight, you may only go at 60 mph on a highway when towing.
Invest in wing-mirror protectors
These are among the most valuable pieces of equipment that are advised for beginners. Of course, no one intends to clip their wing mirror into a wall or get clipped by another car, but it does happen. When purchasing these, keep in mind that there are variants for long and short arms, so make sure you obtain the suitable ones.
Another alternative is to paint your wing mirrors bright yellow or pink or add a reflective stripe along the length to capture the driver’s attention.
How to Drive a Motorhome.
Driving a motorhome for the first time might be intimidating. The greatest advice is to find a large, empty parking lot and practise driving in it. Test out tight corners to determine how much space you’ll need. Turn left and right. Backing up is especially important if you’re pulling a trailer or fifth wheel.
In short, get used to the way your motorhome travels and the amount of room you need.
You can make this enjoyable as well. Set up some cones or overturned buckets in a slalom design and see how close you can go without striking or running over them with your rig.
You’ll feel ready for the road after a few hours of practice, with no risk of harming your truck or other cars.
Motorhome Tips and Tricks for Travelling.
Stay aware of your resources: fuel, gas & water.
One of the things that people appreciate best about van life is how thrifty they can be with valuable resources like fresh water and petrol. Van lifers are considerably more conscious of how much energy we consume in the motorhome than in our homes.
However, it is critical to remember to replenish those supplies as frequently as possible, especially when travelling into distant places. There are extremely few gas outlets in these outlying areas. Out of season, it will also be difficult to obtain fresh water and dispose of rubbish. Use what resources you find when you find them.
Fill up as frequently as feasible.
Using Google Maps
Motorhome enthusiasts love using Google Maps to plan their trips. Although they mostly use GPS for day-to-day navigation, they utilise Google Maps to plan our road trips to help us discover and recall sites we want to see and construct an itinerary around them all.
You may use Google Maps to build collections, which allow you to view all the sites of interest in one location and use them to help you select where to go that day.
However, don’t over-plan your motorhome vacation. Life on the road is more enjoyable when you can unwind and go with the flow. Make plans to visit locations and leave time to do things you hadn’t planned on doing, such as exploring, playing games, or simply sitting by the fire and relaxing.
Bring Appropriate Safety Gear.
When living in a motorhome, you must be extremely cautious regarding your safety. In your vehicle, you’ll need fire detection and CO2 detection systems, as well as an extinguisher and a fire blanket.
Also, keep in mind that most motorhomes no longer come with a spare wheel. This is done to save weight and money! Instead, you could have a tyre repair kit. This method involves squirting the solution into the tyre and then reinflating it with a compressor. You may then drive this mended tyre to a nearby mechanic for a permanent repair.
It reduces weight, but if you have a major hole or rip in the sidewall, no amount of solution can mend it- so make sure you have motorhome breakdown protection just in case!
Stop the Smells.
If you’re new to motorhomes, you might not realise that the more you use your van, the more scents you’ll notice. Food particles will become lodged in the grey waste pipe and the toilet. Let’s say you should do everything possible to eliminate odours.
There are eco-friendly washing liquids that also act as degreasers for your pipes so that when you dump your washing-up bowl down the drain, everything stays free and stink-free. There are also other methods for keeping your motorhome’s bathroom and toilet smelling fresh.
You can also acquire the pink spray or liquid to add to your motorhome toilet flush to keep everything smelling rosy. Also, remember to flush the toilet after every use. It helps to eliminate odours.
Don’t Travel with your Valuables.
It’s strongly advised that you not carry valuables such as jewellery on your vacation. The less stress you have, the better.
Other valuables, like computers and iPads, should be kept in a secure location that is not easily accessible. The longer it takes a thief to discover you, the less likely they are to stay.
Thinking about your Motorhome Security.
It’s unpleasant to consider, but motorhomes are attractive targets for thieves, both at home and on the road. It’s critical to make your vehicle appear as tough to steal as possible so that they’ll move on to more easy targets.
We propose both methods to prevent your vehicle from being broken into, such as additional motorhome door locks and devices to prevent it from being stolen, such as steering or pedal locks.
You can check out our blog post about motorhome security to find out more information here – Motorhome Security: Keeping Your Home Away From Home Safe (threeasabird.com)
Learn How to Find Places to Stay in your Motorhome.
Campsites worldwide range from large complexes with swimming pools, restaurants, kids clubs, and entertainment to small family-run operations. Others are less expensive, have fewer amenities, but provide a safe place to park at night. The quality and cost will vary significantly from country to country.
If you’re travelling outside of peak season and intend to stay at a campsite, we highly recommend purchasing an ACSI Camping Card membership to save money on overnight camping.
Wild Camping in a Motorhome
Some places of the world accept wild camping and off-grid living far more than others. Check the local rules to confirm that overnight parking within National Parks is permitted.
Be cautious of National Park laws; most have strong prohibitions on overnight parking, and you may be penalised if you violate them.
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I love everything about travel, from seeing new places, learning about new cultures and trying new foods! I believe that travel is one of the best forms of education you can get, I have learnt so much about myself and about the world from travelling all over. Travel is something I feel so passionately about, and I love the fact that we are now lucky enough to have this opportunity to do what we love as much as we can, it’s a dream come true.
Before we started travelling, I worked in local government in administration. I had been in this job for several years and had reached a complete brick wall where I was so fed up, but didn’t know what else to do. The only thing I knew that I wanted to do was to travel, and had wanted to do that for many years.
There were hundreds and hundreds of places on my wishlist that I wanted to go to, and I knew that going on a weeks holiday maybe twice a year if we were lucky wasn’t going to cut it.
After being in lockdown due to the Covid pandemic, and working from home staring at the same 4 walls every day, 2021 seemed like the perfect time for us to take the risk to finally do what we had dreamed of for so long.
It was a hard decision to completely change our lives, but so far it has been the best decision we have ever made!