5 basic tips for your first motorhome trip
25 September 2020
For many people, the first weeks of autumn are the best time for a motorhome trip. In fact, in this period, the prices of accommodations, farmhouses and other attractions are much lower. Villages and districts host festivals and food and wine fairs immersed in natural scenery with fantastic colors, but above all, thanks to the milder temperatures and less busy roads, driving is really a pleasure.
For these reasons, choosing the autumn to spend the first holiday in a caravan is a great idea, but it is important to prepare well in advance, so that it is really a fun and relaxing experience.
1. Familiarise yourself with vehicle dimensions
The first few times you drive it, the size of the caravan can make any maneuver seem difficult. In fact, it is above all necessary to practice the use of the two side mirrors.
While driving, be especially careful about tall obstacles such as signs that protrude on the track and the narrower curves, because the part beyond the rear wheels is very protruding.
2. Plan your itinerary carefully
Gather all the useful information about the places you intend to visit. In this way you will be sure to grasp every interesting aspect of the place and above all you will be prepared for any traffic restrictions, roads closed for work or other obstacles difficult to overcome with a caravan.
In addition, have a good satellite navigation system, bring with you a good paper road atlas and, if you go abroad, always keep a small vocabulary for tourists at hand.
3. Equip yourself with some essential tools
To properly deal with most situations, you must have some indispensable tools:
- An electric extension cord of at least 15 meters to power the camper in the equipped areas of the campsites and along the road;
- A PVC pipe for food use, with threaded or universal rubber connection for water supply;
- A tank of at least 10 litres full of drinking water to be used as a reservoir;
- Levelling wedges to be placed under the wheels to compensate for any unevenness and gradients of the ground during breaks.
- A box with tools such as wrenches, pliers, hammer, screwdrivers, electrical equipment, cable ties etc.
4. Organise pantry and cloakroom
Whether you do the shopping before leaving, or prefer to buy what you need in the places you visit from time to time, provide at least a basic equipment:
- food: salt, spices, seasonings, and some canned food for emergencies;
- crockery: a set of camping pots, and a service of reusable plastic plates and glasses, light, practical and shatterproof.
- clothing: sports clothes suitable for sudden changes of the weather, and enough linen changes not to do laundry every day.
5. Check the vehicle before leaving
In addition to the normal motor and tyre controls, before leaving for your first motorhome trip, make sure that the closing of the windows, especially those with compass mechanism, works perfectly. In fact, an accidental opening during the race could risk breaking them.
Also, check that the cupboard doors, the bathroom door and every other door in the cell have hinges and closure well fixed or, the vibrations during the journey could cause them to open.
Finally, pay the right attention to the cleaning or the replacement of the drinking water tank, and the entire water system of the camper. In fact, during the downtime, the entire system is attacked by limestone, bacteria and the so-called biofilm, which clog the pipes, generate bad smells and can contaminate the water you supply with.