A maiden voyage in your motorhome?

Make sure you have everything you need

It’s your dream come true, finally! You’ve chosen your motorhome and you’re dying to take your first trip. Just to ensure you have a really great time, here’s a handy bunch of lists and hints. After all, you wouldn’t want to ruin the experience by forgetting a key ingredient!

Can you drive it?

Yes, driving a motorhome is pretty much essential to your first outing. Unlike a car, it has a few challenges. It’s a lot bigger, with a wider turning circle. Also, some motorhomes have manual transmissions – can you cope with that? Whether you’re renting or you’ve bought, make sure you know the ins and outs of driving your motorhome – before you even take it off the lot.

Spot the stops

You might not think it matters – you’ve got everything you need right there in the motorhome. But it’s a good idea to be familiar with the location of possible campsites on your chosen route. It might be quite stressful to find yourself driving long after dark, looking for a place to park up. You don’t need to be exact, just give yourself some options so that if you want to spend longer exploring an area, you’ll still know where the closest camping ground is.

Make sure you like your travelling buddy

Motorhoming is very up close and personal, so it’s a good idea to travel with someone you don’t mind hugging! Whether it’s a sibling, spouse or fishing mate, on the first rainy day you’ll find out very quickly whether or not you actually like them.

What do you need to bring?

Make some lists, especially for your first time out. Once you’ve been travelling a time or two, you can leave some equipment in the motorhome and off the lists (unless it’s a rental). Organise your lists into categories, like one for living equipment, and another for personal stuff like medications, bedding and linen. You could also list electronics, fishing gear or anything else specific to the trip you’re planning, and make sure your motorhome has everything it needs, too.

On your living equipment list, you might include:

  • Pots, pans, cooking utensils, cutlery, crockery, glassware, sharp knives, scissors, colander, tin opener
  • Containers for leftovers, reusable shopping bags, rubbish bin
  • Cleaning equipment, antibacterial wipes
  • Laundry powder, clothesline, basket and pegs, suction hooks
  • Picnic rug, camp chairs, table, BBQ tools
  • Umbrellas for rain and sun, matches or lighter, mosquito netting

Your motorhome needs a list too:

  • Water hose, electrical cable, adaptor for hooking up to mains electricity, levelling blocks, spirit level
  • Water purifiers and fresheners
  • Toolbox, spare engine oil, tow ropes, jumper leads, wheel jack
  • Maps or a GPS, gas bottles (filled!)

Make sure you travel in comfort:

  • Bedding, pillows, linen, plus tea-, hand- and bath-towels
  • Medications, toiletries, clothes, footwear, wet-weather gear
  • First aid kit, ear plugs, eye masks, bugspray, sunscreen

Be ready with activities for rainy days:

  • Board games, cards, books, hobby gear, sports equipment
  • A chamois for wiping condensation
  • Devices, power boards, chargers

And a ‘just in case’ list:

  • Glue, bubble wrap, tape
  • License, insurance docs, AA contact

What are you going to eat?

You can’t nip round to the corner dairy when your motorhome’s run out of food – not when you’re parked up in the wilderness somewhere. That’s why it’s a good idea to plan your meals ahead of time. It doesn’t have to be a rigid schedule – you want to stay free and easy on your motorhoming holiday – but knowing how many meals you’re likely to need, planning menus and packing the basic ingredients for those will mean your food won’t run out at the wrong moment.

Keep in mind the size of your motorhome’s fridge, and how much storage you have. Take supplies that don’t need cooling, like cereals, fruit, tins, crackers, flour, pasta and potatoes. Plan to cook outdoors (everything tastes so much better!) but be ready for that rainy day.

You may have to shop at some point during your trip, but try not to do it as an emergency. Having all your key ingredients with you means you won’t have to spend your money on restaurant meals or takeaways – or go hungry when you’re deep in a National Park.

Get ready for your first adventure

It’s exciting setting out on your first motorhome journey. When you want to explore the wild blue yonder, make sure you’ve done your preparation so the experience is as wonderful as you’d imagined. Nothing ruins a trip like being stranded and out of fuel because you failed to do your homework, or going hungry because you didn’t pack a tin opener.

Plan, make your lists, gather your equipment and pack your motorhome with care. Travel with someone you know you like, and make sure you spot all the possible campsites and stopping places along your chosen route. Plan your meals and bring along the basic ingredients, so you’re not caught short after a long day’s tramp.

Make sure you know how to drive your motorhome, and oh yes, have fun!