Anyone can make mistakes when using their first new motorhome. We have compiled a list of the critical things that you should try and avoid doing as they can be dangerous and expensive.
Travelling and living in a motorhome for the first time can be a challenge, but never let it scare you. All you need is to do your homework before hitting on the road. Here are some of the most common mistakes-and how to avoid them.
1. Refilling the Wrong Type of Fuel
We hear you saying of course I know the fuel type of my motorhome! However in our experience of serving motorhome rental customers, you have no idea how common and costly this mistake can be. Just like rental customers, a new owner can easily refill the wrong type of fuel.
The majority of new owners will be used to refilling regular petrol in their own cars which of course becomes second nature, this normally would not be a problem however most motorhomes are diesel so please keep this in mind. If you do quickly realise that you have put the wrong fuel in, please DO NOT start the engine, this will result in the wrong fuel going through the whole engine. This can be a very expensive and annoying problem to have so please avoid at all costs.
So please remember: always check the fuel pump is correct before refilling!
2. Forgetting the Height of Your Motorhome
Unlike your regular passenger vehicle, a motorhome is called “home” for a reason. It is much taller, wider and heavier than a normal vehicle. For example, the height of a 4 or 6 berth KEA motorhome is about 3.4m, which is almost twice the height. It is okay when you are on an open road but please consider the blind spots not showing on your reverse camera, and the low bridges and tunnels that you encounter during the trip. It is always recommended to ask your passengers or anyone else around for help or to jump out of the vehicle to make sure it fits!
Get a sticker, write down the height and put it on the windscreen. Just in case!
3. Locking the keys in your motorhome
We are human. We forget things. However, you don’t want to break in to your own motorhome when you realized that you locked the keys in. Some of the manufacturers, for example Toyota, will lock your ignition keys inside straight away after you slam the door. For bigger motorhomes, we always recommend locking the house door last from the outside. This way, you are sure you have the keys in your hand before you leave for your walk.
Always keep at least one set of keys with you, especially the main ignition and door key.
4. Forgetting to Walk Around
Before you start the engine, walk around your motorhome.
This is to ensure that everything is kept where it belongs. Things like your awning, water hose, power cable, step, antenna, roof vent and compartment doors are easily forgotten. Make sure you check all of them before travelling. We have seen many customers coming back with awnings ripped and other issues. Make sure you write down a checklist of items you need to do prior to departure.
Also, don’t forget to check to interior: fridge door, bathroom door, all the cupboards and drawers… Be sure they are secure.
5. Packing Too Much
Your eyes are always bigger than your stomach. It is not necessary to over pack food if you are heading away on a short trip. Motorhomes have limited space. Make sure you pack what you truly need. For example, you don’t really have to pack 3 chargers or 2 bottles of dishwashing liquid for a 7-day trip. Our recommendation is to compile a list of things that will last your trip and include some essentials in case of emergency a first aid kit and plenty of water.
However, you don’t want to pack less than what you need either. So, be smart and well organized!
It is not an easy to remember everything as a new motorhome owner. If you are in trouble or are not sure, don’t be shy to ask for others’ help. You will find the motorhome community very friendly and willing to help any novices. There are so many things to see out there. Go ahead and plan your first motorhome trip!