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Tips on How to Drive a Motorhome

by | Jan 29, 2023 | Blog & Guides

When you’re a new motorhome owner or are hiring a motorhome for your next trip, it can feel a little overwhelming. The thought of driving something the size of a motorhome can be pretty intimidating. But don’t worry! In this article, we’ve included tips and tricks for beginners. You’ll also learn about safety and more!

 

The Basics of Driving a Motorhome

We understand that the thought of driving a motorhome can be intimidating. There’s a lot to remember, such as how high the beast is and how long it is. In this section, we’ll start out with some of the basics to help you feel more confident.

Here are the first things to consider when driving a motorhome:

Take your time: don’t let the dealer or anyone else rush into driving a motorhome. It’s best to pick up the motorhome before the dealer or hiring company closes. That way, there’s time for them to show you a few things about driving such a vehicle.

Know your dimensions: be sure to write down the height, length, and width of your motorhome. Remember, you may encounter some low bridges on your travels, and this information will save you from having a major issue.

Bring a motorhome sat nav: it’s best not to rely on Google maps in a motorhome. The reason is that the sat nav for a motorhome can guarantee you have a safe trip. The navigation will steer you around obstacles that could cause problems, such as low bridges and more.

Set seat and mirrors: when setting up your seat and mirrors, ensure you can see on both sides clearly, including blind spots. Most motorhomes have two mirrors—the bottom one allows you to see blind spots. Ensure your seat is comfortably and correctly placed in front of the steering wheel. Ensure it’s not too far back or close to the steering wheel and the pedals.

Know where indicators & gears are: note if the motorhome is manual or automatic. If you have a manual, make sure you know where the gears are located.

The best way to learn to drive your motorhome is to have a dealer or another trusted person show you how to drive the vehicle. They can show you all the ins and outs of the vehicle and take you on the test drive to make sure you’re comfortable driving the motorhome.

 

How to Drive a Motorhome with Confidence

The main thing you need to drive a motorhome is confidence. It’s essential to build your confidence and the best way to do this is through practice.

Many couples travel in the motorhome together. In most cases, one person usually drives the motorhome quite a bit of the time. However, what happens if that person becomes ill or incapacitated in another way? For this reason, both people should learn how to drive the motorhome.

In addition, it’s important for both drivers to be on the motorhome’s insurance; each person should know how to drive the vehicle safely. So, make sure each driver has a chance to practise and build up their confidence in driving the motorhome.

 

Learn Your Width

Another important issue when learning to drive a motorhome is learning its width. That can be one of the hardest things to know about your motorhome. You need to learn to drive around obstacles, such as cars and other vehicles. You also need to make sure you’re in the middle of your lane and not driving off the edge or into the other lane of traffic.

The average motorhome is about 3ft wider than the average car. It’s important to figure out where white lines on the road are in relation to a spot on the motorhome’s dashboard. This makes it easier to see whether or not you’re positioned correctly within the lines of your lane.

Use your mirrors to judge the gap each time you overtake another vehicle. Were you too far away or too close? You may want to consider adding wing mirror protectors if your vehicle doesn’t already have them installed.

Learning the vehicle’s width takes time and practice. At first, it feels pretty strange, and you wonder if the motorhome is positioned correctly. However, with time and practice, you’ll soon get the hang of keeping your vehicle currently within the lines of your lane.

 

Make Wider Turns

One of the biggest mistakes first-time motorhome drivers make is turning a motorhome like a car. Unfortunately, the motorhome doesn’t act like a car when it’s turning. Here, it’s important to remember the vehicle’s length and pulling out far enough so that the length of the entire motorhome can go around the corner properly.

As a general rule, don’t turn until the back wheels are in line with the obstacle you’re trying to drive around, such as the pavement or a bollard.

If it looks like you’ve turned too early, turn the steering wheel the other way and make the turn sider before turning back in again.

In addition, remember to go slowly. Take your time to build confidence by going slowly!

 

Know the Speed Limits for Motorhomes

Many motorhomes are required to abide by slower speed limits, especially if the max unladen weight is 3.05+ tonnes or you’re towing with your motorhome.

Here’s a quick overview of the speeds from the Gov.UK website.

  Built-up Areas mph (km/h) Single Carriageways mph (km/h) Dual Carriageways mph (km/h) Motorways mph (km/h)
Motorhomes or motor caravans (not more than 3.05 tonnes max unladen weight 30 (48) 60 (96) 70 (112) 70 (112)
Motorhomes or motor caravans (more than 3.05 tonnes max unladen weight) 30 (48) 50 (80) 60 (96) 70 (112)

Speed Limits for Driving Motorhomes in the UK

 

Summing It Up

These are a few tips to get you started with driving a motorhome. It can be a daunting task to drive one of these large vehicles for the first time. However, with practice and being aware of the rules of the road and the size of your vehicle, you’ll soon be driving your motorhome like a pro!

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