In almost 35 years of travelling in motorhomes, we came up with rules of motorhome happiness. We didn’t set out to write them; they grew over time and now we see that we rarely break one
1. Always be ready to go when you own a motorhome.
There is one of the biggest advantages the motorhome has over the caravan. We can move at a moment’s notice. To take advantage of this, we are always ready to go.
Some of the best times we’ve had in a motorhome have been when we were spontaneous. You can only be spontaneous using the motorhome rule of happiness number one. Always be ready to go. By that I mean your toilet will be empty and your fresh water tanks full. You’ll have more than half a tank of fuel and most importantly, you’ll have tea/coffee, UHT milk on board.
Being self-employed. The last 30 or 40 years. It’s rare that my getaways were ever planned; they just appeared, and we’d have to grab them. A day here, a long weekend, maybe even a month. I recall having breakfast in Chichester one morning when I got a call about a job I was about to do was postponed for three weeks. In less than two hours, we were in the queue for a ferry at Portsmouth! We were ready to go. You can’t really do that in a caravan, even if you kept it ready, you’d need sites booking and stuff. So the first rule of Motorhome happiness is, for us at least, one of the most important. Always be ready to go.
2. Love driving your van
Drive a Motorhome you are comfortable with, and if there are two of you, that you are both happy driving!Too many people have vans they don’t enjoy driving. This is especially so for big vans, vans with large overhangs, and big rigs like American RVs.
When people are not happy driving, they tend to not take them out as much as they should. If you are not looking forward to driving your van, find the reasons and put it right.
We’ve broken this rule, we’ve had larger vans that only one of us can drive, or the other doesn’t enjoy travelling in. Love your van, love driving it and you’ll use it more.
Those of you who dread driving their van and don’t drive it as much are never really get happy with it. Get out more often, get comfortable driving. If this doesn’t happen, say the van is too big, or the manual gearbox is a pain. Swap it out for an automatic or get a smaller van. Honestly, it’s rare that someone really needs a big van, and little vans invariably have bigger and better adventures.
Okay, I know I said rule number two is Love driving your van, but rule number three is..
3. Never drive too far in one go.
Some brag that they do 400 miles in a day, but that’s more like work than fun. Experience has shown us never to travel over four or maybe five hours in one hit. By sticking to this rule The driving doesn’t become a slog, no one gets irritable, no one gets a numb bum. We aim for around 150 to 200 miles, maybe a little more if much of that is motorway.. Adhering to rule three makes rule 4 much easier to keep.
4. Never arrive late and never in the dark.
Always aim to arrive with plenty of daylight to set up and see your surroundings. This gives you a chance to unwind, maybe walk to the shops, cook a meal and enjoy the day. There are also practical reasons for not turning up too late. The French Aire you fancy might be full after 4pm, then you are struggling against the clock to find somewhere else to stay, or even if it has spaces. No one likes their peace shattered by late-comers. No matter where you are camping, arriving late means that the pitch in the sun or the shade is gone.
The nice pitch on the river bank is taken so rather than sit outside listening to the babbling river, you are on that last pitch nobody wanted and all you hear is the splashing at the Elsan Point, which you feel is far too close.
5 Two days on the road is followed by two on a site
At least one full day on a site, but preferably two, must follow two full days on the road. We motorhome for recreation, don’t make it a slog. After two days of travelling, make sure you stop for a couple of days, chill out, explore an area. That way, you’ll be totally refreshed and the journey will not feel that much of a slog. The best holidays are the ones where you enjoy the travelling to as much as the arriving.
These are our five rules. You might agree or disagree with them, you may have your own. Let us know in the comments below.