It is best to prepare in advance for each trip. This also applies to the first motorhome trip. Below, we present a few essential tips that should be kept in mind when traveling home on wheels.
With this article, together with CarGO , we are opening a tutorial series that will discuss the basic issues related to the use of a motorhome. They will allow you to tame the car before the 2020 season!
The motorhome is tall - stay alert!
Many of us have never had the opportunity to drive a car other than a passenger car in our life. Therefore, we did not pay attention to the markings placed at the entrance to the tunnel or to the underground car park, regarding the height of the vehicle. It is imperative when driving a motorhome.
When calculating the route, you must take into account the dimensions of the vehicle. This is one of the first tips for motorhome safety. Nobody would like to encounter an unpleasant surprise of being stuck in a tunnel, for example, while on the Internet we can find many photos documenting such situations. Such an adventure means not only the destruction of the car, but also the costs associated with the car extraction campaign.
The width of the car should also be taken into account. You take up more space on the road than a car. It is important to properly assess the distance from other cars, as well as from the shoulder, edge or axis of the road. Also, do not forget about it while passing through the gate.
The width of the vehicle is particularly important when driving through narrow streets in the centers of large cities and in small towns. Avoid such places as much as possible and use a travel companion when parking (especially in reverse). First of all, look in the side mirrors!
Adjust the road taking into account the dimensions of the vehicle
In order to avoid the situation described above, it is best to plan the route well in advance and even work out several alternative road sections. In particular, one should bear in mind the mountainous regions of Italy, Germany, Switzerland and Austria, where drivers can expect many such surprises.
The second important issue is choosing the route according to your skills. If this is your first time driving a big car, then most likely charming streamers will not be the best choice. The safest route must be a priority, not the fastest, or the most spectacular.
The third thing is the proper planning of the rest, especially if we are going on a longer route. Check where you can (and where not) camping in the wild. Not all European countries look favorably on such an option and some of them have to take into account the mandate (as in Greece, for example).
It is worth checking in advance where there are places suitable for stopping or rest, if only so as not to stand in a crowded parking lot, when there is a stop with a lake view 20 minutes away. In addition, in many places we will have to obtain the consent of the landowner for a possible stop of the car.
Keep driving calmly - the car is heavy
Another rule of safe travel in a motorhome is to take into account the weight of the car. It is influenced by the weight of the people traveling on it, luggage and equipment. It is often enough to go overboard with the amount of luggage to exceed the permissible total weight. In many countries, such an offense can result in very high fines. A motorhome is not a sports car. Drive calmly, slower than in a car. Try to avoid situations in which you will be forced to brake hard.
And remember that different countries have different speed limits! In Poland, motorhomes up to 3.5 tons, which in the registration certificate, in the "type of vehicle" field, have the "special motorhome" inscribed in the Highway Code Act, should not move faster than:
50 km / h in built-up areas from 5:00 to 23:00,
60 km / h in built-up areas between 23:00 - 5:00 (note, soon 50 km / h will apply 24 hours a day!),
80 km / h on a motorway, expressway or dual carriageway with at least two lanes for each traffic direction,
70 km / h on other roads.
Particular attention should be paid when negotiating speed bumps, tracks, gaps in the road and other terrain unevenness. The suspension, due to the weight, can then take its toll. Remember to slow down a bit when you see a similar obstacle in front of you.
Also, remember to properly place the center of gravity. Ideally, the heaviest items should be placed as low as possible. This affects the stability of the car while driving. In addition, luggage and accessories must be in the lockers. Secure properly transported items, preferably check that everything is locked before each start of the car. In the event of sudden braking, even the lightest objects can strike with great force.
The maximum number of people allowed to travel in the motorhome is entered in the vehicle registration certificate. Passengers must travel seated with their seat belts fastened. Of course, children must be fastened in child seats while driving (for height and age - check the regulations in force in a given country).
Extended braking distance - keep your distance
Another motorhome (and not only) safety tip is: the larger the vehicle, the longer the braking distance. In some countries, such as France, regulations stipulate that when driving at a speed of 100 km / h, you must keep a minimum of 62 meters from the other vehicle.
This is exactly what it takes for the driver in the rear to react and brake their car in the event of a sudden stop. In Poland, similar regulations do not apply, but the rules of physics - yes. The weight of the vehicle is of great importance when driving.
Take the slopes slowly and diagonally
Motorhome driving rules require you to go up the hill quite slowly. Remember the weight. If you stick to one side tightly, the car may tip over and you will fall downhill which can be very dangerous.
It's better to go to the other side a bit, taking care of course not to get in the way of anyone. At the very top, take some gas, because if you jump up the hill quickly, you will start to go down the hill faster than you expect ...
Motorhome throws when turning!
Have you ever watched buses? Their rear "overlaps" when turning. You also need to remember this when you are driving a motorhome. Pay attention to this, especially when passing through the gate which you must turn behind.
CarGO advises you: drive your whole car in, and turn only when you are AFTER the entrance.
Keep these tips in mind at all times, and let the following video summarize . Safe motorhome driving is the basis for a successful holiday, wherever you are going.
A lawyer who loves traveling. Always with a book on the go. I collect memories of the color, taste and smell of every place I visit.