Motorhome tips for beginners

If you’re a newbie to the world of campervaning, then embark on your first road trip with this motorhome tips for beginners guide!

So you’ve hired a motorhome, now what? If you’re a newbie to the world of camperving, then embarking on your first road trip can be a little daunting. There are routes to consider, apps to download, and housekeeping to be done. So where should you start?

Right here! We’re going to take a bit of time right now to run through some of the basics of travelling via motorhome.

What follows are some tips and tricks for those new to the motorhome experience. We’ll take you through how to navigate, how to conserve your battery, what you should know, and more.

Let’s get started!

Use a GPS Navigator

This might seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many newbies try to wing their motorhome adventure. When planning your trip, always pre-load your GPS device with the area or country you intend to drive. You should also ensure your maps are up to date – new roads are often being built and old ones decommissioned.

Certain GPS navigators will also let you enter the type of vehicle you’re driving along with its dimensions. This will save you from being directed under low bridges or along narrow roads. You can also set your navigator to avoid toll roads.

Make use of apps

There are a slew of apps available to help you better navigate the world of campervanning. Two of the best are MAPS.ME and Campercontact.

MAPS.ME is a great app for planning your journey and plotting points of interest along your route. It’s simple to download and can be run on an iPhone, iPad, or Android device. What makes this app great is that it can be used offline, ensuring you know where you’re going even without an internet connection.

Campercontact is an app that most motorhome drivers swear by. This simple-to-use app gives you comprehensive information on motorhome parking locations, letting you figure out the cost, facilities, and availability ahead of time. It also provides customer reviews so you can make an informed decision about where you want to stay.

For more useful apps, you can check this post! 

Read your motorhome manual

Reading the manual is a notoriously boring endeavour but when it comes to hiring a motorhome it’s essential you know where everything is and how it works. Make sure you take the time to read through your manual thoroughly and explore all the features your motorhome offers.

If you’re renting your motorhome in a non-English-speaking country, check ahead that they provide their manuals in a language you can understand. Some rental agencies may have to order the English manual in while others may direct you to an online repository.

Motorhome tips for beginners

Be prepared for an emergency

Always have a plan of what you’re going to do should the worst happen. Keep all your insurance information handy and any emergency phone numbers close to hand. You should also know both when and how you should report an accident to your hiring company – there are policies in place that dictate how long you have to report an incident.

Save on battery power

The Auxiliary 12V battery is specifically for accessories that must operate when the main vehicle power is unavailable. Consider this your motorhome’s secondary heart.

If you’re looking to camp wild or not stay at rigged camper stops for a few days, you’ll likely have no access to electricity with which to charge your auxiliary battery. This can become a problem as the battery begins to lose its charge.

There are ways in which you can conserve your auxiliary battery, including:

  • Turning the water pump off when you’re not using it
  • Operating minimal LED lights at night
  • Using a pre-filled water bottle as the rinse cycle in the toilet rather than activating the toilet pump

If you’re aiming to do a lot of off-grid camping then it might be worth your while to get a camping generator.

Take an inverter

Investing in a 12V to 240V inverter is a great way to ensure your electronics such as laptops stay charged. It’s especially handy if you’re staying at a campsite without electricity hookups as you’ll be able to charge any rechargeable 240V devices.

If you’re going to use the inverter with the ignition on while the engine is off just make sure not to run your starting battery dry. This won’t be a problem if you have an isolator on the starting battery, of course.

Know your pre-road checks

There are a number of motorhome tasks that must be addressed before you hit the road each day. These include:

  • Turn off the LPG gas
  • Make sure all cupboards and drawers are closed and secure
  • Put paper towels between crockery like plates to prevent rattling
  • Ensure any external footsteps are retracted
  • Check your day’s GPS waypoints are entered into your devices
  • Make sure the roof and window vents are all shut and secure
  • Confirm all sink and shower drain plugs are well-fitted
  • Make sure you have refreshments like snacks and water at hand for both the driver and passengers
  • Bonus tip: for extra guidance regarding your packing list, check this post!

Know your motorhome weight and dimensions

You should learn and memorise the height, width, and length of your motorhome, as well as how much it weighs. The last thing you want is to get stuck under a bridge and you’ll need to know your length as some motorhome parks will only take vans under a certain length.

Your motorhome weight will mostly come in handy when it’s time to sign up for tolls. Certain countries will only allow you through manual toll gates if your vehicle is under a certain weight.

Campervan on a road

Enjoy your motorhome road trip

Travelling by motorhome can be scary at first but it’s also incredibly rewarding. Only in an motorhomes are you able to explore the world while camping on four wheels. With the right tips and tricks, you’ll be able to tackle your campervan trip like a pro.  

Now that you know some of the best motorhome tips for beginners, all you have to do is to head to our platform to book your dream campervan – if you haven’t already! 

About the Author

Avatar photo
Marisa Pereira

Passionated about travelling and dancing, Marisa desires to explore the world and all of its wonders!