The Ultimate Guide for Driving a Campervan

Driving a campervan is easier than you might think !

Are you concerned about the skills required to drive a motorhome? You are not the only one! If that’s what’s stopping you from renting a campervan, we are here to help you. We will be sharing some of our best tips on how to safely drive a campervan.

Confidence on The Road:

Our first tip is to take your time while driving to build confidence, but not too fast or too slow. For example, be sure to keep a fair distance from the car in front, as you may be used to using your car’s normal brakes. Also, be sure to leave enough space in front of you when passing the vehicle.

Details Make the Difference: 

These steps may seem too simple, but they will help ensure a safe trip. In addition, it is advisable to take the length of the vehicle into account when turning on a narrow road. Above all, all travelers must fasten their seat belts in the van while the motorhome is in motion. All vans are equipped with three-point seat belts depending on the number of people in this van. You can know about our campervan models here.

Most of the traffic rules that apply to smaller cars also apply to motorhomes. For example: drive at a reasonable speed.Remember to be gentle with the steering wheel as the vehicle’s centre of gravity is higher than that of a normal car, which makes it more sensitive to sudden moves. That being said, reduce speed accordingly in strong winds, going downhill or in poor visibility.  

Parking and reversing can be challenging for beginners as well as experienced drivers. It is recommended to practice in an open area before starting your road trip, to be more comfortable once you are out on the road. Your campervan can in some cases be equipped with reversing sensors, but they are not a substitute for your own judgement. Make sure you operate the clutch smoothly.

Changing Tyres:

Changing a tyre can be something new even for normal car drivers. Although it is the same process, we feel that informing people how to change to a flat tyre is something that can be handy at any time of their life. 

First, ensure that the hand brakes are fully locked. Use the wheel brace to loosen up the wheel screws slightly before you lift the car up. A car jack is available on all of our rental vans, and you should be able to position it exactly under the axle, which is the bar just below the vehicle doors. This jacking point is made to support vehicle weight while lifting it. After that, it is safe to remove the wheel, fit the spare one and reverse the procedure. When you put the car down, tighten the nuts equally from left to right in a star pattern. 

Be aware: 

Make sure to drive extra carefully on spare tyres, since they are usually not as suitable as the normal ones.

Driver’s Licence:

To drive our campervans, a valid category B driver’s licence is required, and the driver must be over 18 years old. For short and medium-term rentals, there is no international licence required. 

Driving in Extreme Weather:

In hot weather, a roof vent fan is your go-to. A ventilation fan, when used in conjunction with a cracked window, maintains airflow in your van by pumping hot air out while drawing cold air in. Even when parked in bright sunlight, a vent fan combined with reflective window covers may keep a van cooler than the outside temperature. That is why it is always advised to park in the shade for extra weather comfort. 

In cold weather, check if the anti-freeze liquid is available. Although winter tyres maintain a good grip in extreme weather, if that option isn’t available to you, consider snow chains instead. Installing snow chains on your tyres can be very practical when it comes to driving a campervan in the snow. 

We have a whole article about driving with snow chains here. Of course, we strongly recommend not getting too adventurous when weather conditions are clearly dangerous. Ultimately, please plan ahead as extreme weather conditions are usually announced in the weather forecast.

Ready to take the wheel? 

We hope that this brief guide will help ensure a safe experience when you try out our campervans for the first time. Nevertheless, driving difficulty varies according to the van style and size. You can check out our different RV models that range from 4x4s to large motorhomes. Each comes with its unique features and qualities, ranging from the number of people they accommodate to the equipment they include. 

Finally, we want to point out that one of the benefits of road trips is taking your time to enjoy the road, so driving slowly not only benefits your safety but also adds something to your experience. 

Thinking about renting a campervan in the Uk, Europe or USA ? Visit us at Indie Campers

About the Author

Soufiane Ouhmad