Planning to hit the road on a first-time motorhome adventure? Motorhome travel offers all the creature comforts of home as well as the opportunity to chase beautiful landscapes and stunning natural attractions. Whether you’re hoping to indulge in some solo travel, heading off on a road trip with friends, or setting out on a family holiday over the school holidays, a motorhome holiday really does give you the freedom to see the world at your own pace.
Before you head out on the wide open road, check out our top tips for renting a motorhome for the first time:
- Set a firm budget
- Shop around
- Check the fine print
- Choose the right size vehicle
- Research overnight parking options
- Learn about your chosen model
- Get insured
- Drive carefully
- Don’t over-pack
- Be economical with fuel
1. Set a Firm Budget
You know you want to rent a motorhome, but what is your budget? Set yourself a realistic budget and consider whether the cost is worth the trip. If you’re new to motorhome travel, renting is also great way to work out whether owning a motorhome is right for you without needing to make a costly financial investment.
2. Shop Around
When renting your first motorhome, be sure to rent from a reputable source. Research different models and compare rental plans online before you decide on your chosen vehicle. If you’re taking the whole family or a big group of friends with you, you might want to look for a more spacious model, or, if you plan to head out to rural, remote areas, it would be a good idea to look for motorhomes with added extras such as solar panels and a water filtration system.
3. Check the Fine Print
Before you sign off on anything, make sure you read the fine print to ensure you’re getting a good deal. Read the contract thoroughly and see what is and isn’t included in the price. Looking out for any hidden charges or additional costs that accompany the hire of your chosen motorhome will help to avoid any unexpected financial shocks later down the track.
4. Choose the Right Size Vehicle
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that the biggest motorhome in the best. Think about your trip, passengers, luggage and activities, and choose the right motorhome for your needs. For example, If you’re headed out on a solo trip, it’s better to go for something smaller, while a family holiday will require a lot more space. It’s also important to think about how comfortable you are driving a large vehicle. Motorhomes are slower and carried more easily by strong winds, so it might be a good idea to take a test drive, if possible, before you head off on your adventure.
5. Research Overnight Parking Options
Go over your planned route and find the best places to park your motorhome overnight. National parks, caravan parks and campgrounds generally offer designated places to park a motorhome, as well as extra facilities such as barbecues, showers and toilets. They can be very popular at certain times of the year, including school holidays and public holidays, so be sure to book ahead if possible. If you’d rather be more spontaneous during your travels, ensure that you are in fact allowed to park in your chosen parking spot.
6. Learn About Your Chosen Model
It may sound pretty straight forward, but reading your motorhome’s manual before you hit the road will definitely give you a better idea on how to operate and look after it. Take some time to go through the manual, as motorhomes can differ from model to model, and even seasoned drivers can get stuck from time to time. Make sure you take it with you when you head off to avoid any preventable issues along the way.
7. Get Insured
Make sure you’re insured before you hit the road. Some rental companies offer insurance within their contracts, so it’s important to double-check the details with your provider. Research your insurance options and compare prices and additional features online to help you choose the right cover for your trip. If you’re planning to go on a long distance trip, find out if you’ll have access to a mechanic in case you end up in a spot of trouble.
8. Drive Carefully
Driving a motorhome is a different kettle of fish to driving a car. Their size alone can make simple tasks you’re used to doing all the time, such as reversing, parking or turning corners a hassle. Take some time to get acquainted with your new vehicle and learn its quirks before you begin your journey. Keep in mind that motorhomes are a little slower than cars and can get carried by strong winds. Don’t rush, keep an eye on the road and never forget the height of your vehicle.
9. Don’t Over-pack
Packing for a motorhome holiday can be tough, as you don’t want to take too much or too little. Pack as light as you would for a traditional family holiday, but don’t forget the essentials. Make a list of essentials and stick to it. It’s also important to distribute the weight evenly inside the van, make sure all cupboards are closed and secure all of your items. This will make the drive smoother, especially in bad weather conditions, give you more space to relax and aid the safety of all passengers on board.
10. Be Economical with Fuel
Motorhomes are known gas-guzzlers, with a 2-6 berth motorhome using around one litre of fuel for every 8-10 kilometres of travel. Don’t get caught out on the road – make sure you take a spare jerry can of petrol and drive with efficiency. Most rental companies will expect you to fill the tank before you take your motorhome back. Fill up before you return your motorhome to avoid getting stung with unwanted charges upon your return.
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