So you’ve taken the plunge and bought yourself a new motorhome. Congratulations! Whether it’s brand new off the forecourt or a second-hand bargain, a world of new adventure has just opened up for you and your family.
But before you set off on your first trip, there are a few things to consider. Here, we’ll cover top tips from what to pack and where to go to how to protect your amazing new investment with motorhome insurance.
Once you’ve got that new home on wheels, you’ll be itching to get out onto the open road, so let’s get started.
Check the legal bits
You’ve probably already checked this out but, before we go any further, you need to make sure you have the right licence to drive a motorhome in the first place.
As motorhomes are larger than your average car they require a special licence in order to drive them.
As the Gov.uk website states, the type of licence you need will depend on how old you are and the motorhome’s Maximum Authorised Mass (MAM), which means the vehicle’s weight plus the maximum load that it can carry.
There’s an easy step-by-step guide on the Government’s website that helps you work out which type of licence you’ll need. You just need to remember when you passed your driving test (before or after January 1997).
Join a club
As a new motorhome owner, you are now in a very special club. You will meet countless new friends on your travels, chatting with people at overnight stops and sharing stories from the road.
One of the quickest ways to find out about the best campsites is to join a trusted association like the Camping and Caravanning Club.
With over 100 years of camping and caravanning expertise and up to 30% savings on club site fees, it’s well worth the subscription (currently from £40 per year).
You’ll even receive a free monthly magazine! Use their website to search for pitches that are dog friendly, near the coast, quiet campsites and more.
Get a motorhome sat nav
If you’re new to motorhome ownership, you might think you can jump into your RV and head off into the great unknown without a second thought.
But not planning your route – or more specifically, not having the right sat nav at your disposal – might put the brakes on your trip before it’s even begun.
As consumer website Which? explains, motorhome sat navs differ from standard car sat navs because they give you extra detail on your route information – is there a low bridge ahead?
Should you avoid that narrow country road? Motorhome sat navs will give you advanced warning of potential hotspots so you can look like a pro, even if it’s your first time out!
Choose your in-house entertainment
There will always be those times when the weather doesn’t play ball and you’ll be confined to your motorhome until the storm passes.
The good news is that if you’ve already got a TV licence at home, then you don’t need a separate one for your campervan or motorhome.
That means that you won’t need to miss out on your favourite TV programmes while you’re out and about! Just remember to cover your TV, tablets or other devices on your motorhome insurance in case of accident or theft.
Or if you want to go old school, gather up a few games that are easy to play on a wet afternoon, especially if you have kids in tow – card games, Monopoly, chess or Cluedo, the choice is yours!
Brush up on your speed limits and driving skills
If it’s your first time out on the road in your new motorhome, you need to be aware of motorhome speed limits. Different speed limits will apply depending on the weight of your vehicle. The Government’s website lists the speeds as follows:
Speed limits for motorhomes with an unladen weight of under 3.05 tonnes:
Built-up areas – 30mph
Single carriageways – 60mph
Dual carriageways – 70mph
Motorways – 70mph
Speed limits for motorhomes with an unladen weight of more than 3.05 tonnes
Built-up areas – 30mph
Single carriageways – 50mph
Dual carriageways – 60mph
Motorways – 70mph
Watch out for local speed limits, too, especially if you’re driving in an unfamiliar area. For example, there might be a 20mph limit near a school.
Driving your new motorhome will certainly feel different to a normal car and you’ll need to be prepared for how differently it might handle on the road, especially in very wet or windy conditions.
Some other top tips we’ve found online from motorhome hire specialists Quirky Campers – park facing outwards so you don’t have to reverse out of parking spaces; use your mirrors as much as you can; think about your positioning at junctions and don’t be afraid to ask a passenger to help you when manoeuvring.
Get your motorhome serviced
Getting your motorhome regularly serviced is important for your safety and the safety of your passengers and other road users.
As Camping and Caravanning points out, most motorhomes will be covered on a normal car MOT and servicing should happen at the intervals suggested by the manufacturer.
You’ll also want to make sure the living area of your motorhome is safe and secure, especially as you have things like water, gas and electric on board.
A habitation check will identify any potential problems, like mould and damp, early on and may help you to avoid invalidating your motorhome warranty.
If and when you ever come to sell your motorhome in the future, prospective buyers may also ask to ask evidence of habitation checks and having them to hand will help you get the best price.
Protect your investment with motorhome insurance
The biggest tip we can give any new motorhome owner would be to protect yourself, your motorhome and its content with the right motorhome insurance.
You’ll want to relax while you’re exploring amazing new places, both in this country and further afield, so it’s good to know you’re protected if the unexpected does happen.
Here at Motorhome Protect, we can compare motorhome insurance quotes to find you the best coverage for you and your circumstances. Cover through us can include things like:
- Unlimited cover across the EU
- Up to 6 months to complete a restoration
Protect your new home on wheels today by getting a quick quote from the specialists at Motorhome Protect.
Frequently asked questions
How can I make my motorhome more homely?
It's simple - treat your motorhome like your stationary home, filled with love, warmth, and your personal style. Start by adding some personal touches like family photos, wall art or your favourite throw pillows. Create a cosy space with soft lighting and plush blankets. Don’t forget the kitchen; stock it with your favourite snacks and beverages. Incorporate plants for a touch of greenery and freshness. Cleanliness goes a long way in maintaining a homely environment.
How do you modernise a motorhome?
Modernising a motorhome can be an exciting endeavour, breathing fresh life into your adventurous abode. The key to transforming your motorhome lies in the blend of comfort, functionality, and style. Start by updating old furnishings with sleek, multipurpose furniture that maximises space.
Incorporate modern technology like solar panels for energy efficiency or a Wi-Fi booster for connectivity on the roads. Don't forget the aesthetics, a fresh coat of paint or modern wall coverings can do wonders! It's all about thoughtful upgrades that enhance your travel experience while keeping up with contemporary trends.
How do I keep my motorhome damp free?
Keeping your motorhome damp free is essential for a pleasant and mould-free journey! Start by ensuring that your motorhome is well-ventilated, especially when it's parked. Regularly check for leaks in the roof, windows, and plumbing, as these are common areas where damp can sneak in. Using moisture-absorbing crystals or a dehumidifier can also help reduce humidity levels inside. Don’t forget to dry out your vehicle thoroughly after returning from a wet or snowy trip.
Should I put a dehumidifier in my motorhome?
Installing a dehumidifier in your motorhome is a smart move. Motorhomes are often exposed to various climates and weather conditions, which can lead to a build-up of humidity. This excess moisture can cause dampness, mildew, and even mould growth, all of which can damage your motorhome's interior and pose health risks. A dehumidifier works to reduce this humidity, keeping your motorhome fresh, dry, and free from musty odours.