A must-read beginner’s guide to motorhomes

Buying a motorhome and setting out on your first adventure is always exciting – but have you done your research?

It’s a good idea to take your time, explore your options and ask lots of questions when you’re new to the world of motorhomes and a first-time buyer. If you’re wondering which model is best for a family holiday or need to know a few maintenance tips before heading out, here are a few pointers to get you started.

Choosing the right motorhome for you

Selecting your very first model is a major decision – the right motorhome is an investment that will last you many years and help you create fond memories. It’s important to understand the differences between each motorhome make and what your preferences are.

There are several types of motorhomes available. Two of the most common are coach-built and van conversions. The coach-built models provide a significant amount of interior space and a wide variety of home-comfort areas. This includes larger kitchen spaces, toilet facilities, built-in showers, and ample storage.

If you’re just starting out and worried about manoeuvring a larger vehicle, a smaller van conversion with a pop-up roof might be a good choice. Conversions are often described as a midway point between a car and a larger motorhome – ideal for beginners!

Getting to know your electrics

One thing that catches a lot of new owners out is that the 230v electrical sockets won’t work if they aren’t plugged into mains electricity. Most of your household appliances will need to be plugged into these to work, such as the kettle, microwave, hairdryer and toaster.

Motorhome batteries function slightly different to a car’s – so it’s important to have an understanding of how they work. For true self-sufficiency when travelling, make sure that you’ve kept your leisure battery well-charged and maintained – so that you can lengthen its lifespan and ensure your van has power throughout your trip.

Understanding your new vehicle

Once you’ve purchased your very first motorhome, it can be tempting to head straight off on a family holiday or romantic getaway. However, it’s a good idea to slow down and get to know your motorhome intimately – read the manual, examine the various systems within the van and check you’ve packed the essentials.

There are a number of confusing elements that can throw beginners off and lead to costly mistakes. One of the most common is getting the water tank filler and fuel filler mixed up, and putting the wrong liquid into your tanks. Most motorhomes will have a blue or white screw cap for the water and a yellow or black one for the fuel.

In the event that a mistake is made, you’ll need to drain the fluid from your fuel tank into containers. You’ll have to get rid of the water as well, and then gradually add new fuel. For the fresh water tank, you could use a tank cleaner to remove the fuel – but in both cases, it’s probably worth getting it done professionally to avoid any major problems or breakdowns.

Plan your route and prepare for your trip

There’s no better feeling than travelling down the motorway towards your very first adventure, but it’s always worth planning your route ahead of time. If you don’t know the roads or haven’t been to your destination before, make sure you log it into the sat-nav before setting off.

Check all of your interior systems are working properly beforehand, especially your electric, fridge and gas. Look inside your fuse box a look for any signs of damage or blown fuses, and test your CO2 detectors and smoke alarms to ensure they are working properly. By taking all of the appropriate steps, you can enjoy your very first motorhome trip with your peace of mind intact.

Browse our full range of used and new motorhomes or visit us at Suffolk Road, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, NR31 0LN.