Motorhome tours: What campers should pay attention to
According to the VIVD (Caravaning Industry Association), the caravanning industry is continuing to grow. In the first three quarters of 2018 alone, 43,522 caravans were sold. Compared to the same period of the previous year, this represents an increase of a whopping 15.5 percent. This is no wonder, as travelling by motorhome offers many advantages.
Holidaymakers can travel at their own pace to place and explore countries or regions independently. They always have their own comfortable home with them. However, there are a few things to consider before every motorhome trip.
General tips for travelling by camper van
Especially people who go on a motorhome trip for the first time ask themselves many questions in advance. In addition to planning the route, it is important to get to know the motorhome and familiarise yourself with it. Among other things, the correct loading of the vehicle is important. Make sure that heavy objects are stored underneath and near the axle. The weight must be distributed evenly otherwise, the driving behaviour can change negatively. Light objects, on the other hand, can be stowed further up. Before setting off, you should also make sure that all cupboards and doors are correctly closed.
Before the first motorhome trip, campers should also familiarise themselves with how the freshwater supply works, how wastewater can be disposed of and how gas and water are used in the mobile home. The supply of electricity also plays an important role. After all, very few people want to do without a television, hairdryer and the like, and mobile phones, laptops and tablets also need to be recharged regularly. At the campsite, you can usually connect your motorhome to shore power, but if you like to park away from the campsite and want to be self-sufficient in electricity, you need other options, such as easy-to-install solar panels.
Another thing not to forget is the driving of the motorhome. It is larger and heavier than a car. Therefore it is more difficult to manoeuvre, has different visibility conditions and also differs from other vehicles in terms of its braking behaviour. So it never hurts to do a few practice laps.
The following points should be kept in mind when driving at home and abroad
Regardless of whether the motorhome trip takes the holidaymaker to Germany or abroad: Certain legal principles must always be observed. The basis is, of course, the correct driving licence. A motorhome may not be driven on public roads without a driving licence. With a Class B driving licence, you may drive vehicles up to a maximum permissible mass of 3.5 tonnes. For heavy motorhomes, however, you need another class: up to a weight of 7.5 tonnes, you need a Class C1 driving licence and even class C for even heavier vehicles. Holders of the old class 3 driving licence have it easier here. They are allowed to drive a motorhome with a permissible total weight of up to 7.5 tonnes.
We have already explained how best to stow the load in the motorhome. But in this context, another point is important: a motorhome must not be overloaded. Unfortunately, it happens faster than you think that the permitted values are exceeded. In Germany, an overloaded vehicle can quickly cost you a fine of 10 to 235 euros. Abroad, it can be even more expensive.
It is also very important to find out which traffic regulations apply in the countries you are visiting before you travel abroad with your motorhome. In many countries, for example, you must drive with your lights on even during the day. This is the case in Finland, Poland, Denmark, the Czech Republic and Switzerland. Failure to comply with this rule can result in a fine of between 10 and 190 euros, depending on the country.
It is also important to research how fast you are allowed to drive abroad before your motorhome trip. Speeding can result in a hefty fine - in many countries, the penalties are much more severe than in Germany. For example, if you are caught speeding 20 km/h too fast in the Netherlands, you could face a fine starting at 165 euros. In Switzerland, a fine of about 250 euros is due for a speeding offence of up to 15 km/h.