Campervan & motorhome driving advice for beginners

Campervan & motorhome driving advice for beginners

If you’ve never driven a campervan or motorhome before, getting behind the wheel of a vehicle that large can feel pretty daunting. With this in mind, we’ve put together some top tips to help you boost your confidence before you set off on the campervan holiday of your dreams!

Take it slow

Give yourself plenty of travel time between destinations so that if you do hit traffic, you’re not worrying about being late. This might sound like really basic advice, but believe us, it works! You’re on holiday, so there’s no need to rush around; try to slow down and remember that the journey is a part of your holiday adventure and not just a necessary step. When you’re on holiday, the last thing you want is a speeding ticket, so make sure you’re sticking rigidly to both the vehicle type speed limit and the signposted speed limit of the road you’re travelling on. The speed limit of your vehicle differs depending on weight (A full guide of weight vs speed limits can be found here), but it’s essential to remember that a campervan’s stopping time is greater than a car’s, so you should always slow your speed and leave plenty of room between your vehicle and the one in front.

Use your mirrors

Mirrors are great for checking out the view, but they’re also your most valuable resource when driving. Your vehicle may not have a rear window (Or it could be obstructed), which can feel a bit weird and disorientating when you first start driving a campervan or motorhome! It’s therefore crucial that you make full use of the wing mirrors and position them correctly before you begin your journey to give you a wider field of vision. Pay plenty of attention to your mirrors and make sure you can see as much of the road behind you as possible.

Know the size of your vehicle

You’re probably really familiar with the length and height of your car, but when you’re driving a vehicle that’s completely new to you, it can be hard to gauge the size accurately. This unfamiliarity means that everything from driving under low bridges and reversing to taking corners and parking can spark a bit of panic and leave you feeling apprehensive. With this in mind, we always let you know the height and length of the vehicle you rent, so that the size information is to hand and you can just focus on driving and enjoying your break, instead of vainly trying to recall the vehicle’s dimensions before you attempt a low bridge! When pulling out of a junction, parking or taking a corner the best advice we can give is to take it slowly, give yourself more room and to wait until the coast is completely clear before manoeuvring. Campervans and motorhomes are big vehicles, so it’s essential to give yourself plenty of room to move! We also recommend reversing into parking spaces wherever possible, to make it simpler for you to see any pedestrians or obstacles when it’s time to leave. Never be afraid to ask a passenger or passer-by to help guide you into a space and remember to take it slowly and calmly, there are no prizes for speed parking!

Prepare, Prepare and Prepare Some More!

There’s nothing worse than happily driving along a road only to find that it’s narrowing and quickly becoming far too small for you to fit down comfortably. This is why we strongly recommend planning your route beforehand and wherever possible, avoiding country lanes or obstacles (Like low bridges or speedbumps) to ensure a smooth and stress-free journey. It’s also a great idea to have essential items within easy reach of your passengers, like change for toll roads, sunglasses, chargers, snacks and water. There’s nothing worse than vainly looking for a layby so you can retrieve a charger for your dying sat nav, so get yourselves prepared and keep the necessities to hand. When you’re loading your campervan or motorhome, make sure that your baggage is securely stowed away or anchored down. You’d be surprised at how much things move around in these kinds of vehicles! This way, you can avoid casualties when going around roundabouts or corners and have peace of mind, knowing you’ve got everything stashed away safely.

Keep Calm and Drive On!

If you know how to drive a car, then you can drive a campervan or motorhome. It’s as simple as that! Obviously, the vehicle is larger, but the basic principles are exactly the same as you’d find in your average car. It’s really not as hard as you might expect! Remember to take it slowly, give yourself plenty of time and room to move and you’ll be driving comfortably and expertly in no time at all.

We’re on hand to answer any questions you may have about your vehicle and to provide tips and advice, simply call or text us.


If you’ve got any tips or tricks for driving motorhomes and campervans, why not share them? Connect with us via Facebook or Instagram and let us know your essential travel advice!

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Kintripper is a luxury motorhome hire company based near Plymouth, Devon, in the heart of the beautiful South West. Serving numerous areas, including Devon, Cornwall, Dorset and Somerset, our motorhome hire is conveniently located for your pick-up and drop off point.

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