Motorhome holiday checklist: What to do before you set off
We all know the feeling of the last minute panic before setting off on holiday. What have you forgotten to pack? Do you have all of the right documents? With a motorhome holiday, there are a couple of other things to think about too. Are you fully insured and is your breakdown cover up to date? If you’re heading to another country, do you have the correct nationality identifier sticker on your vehicle? Do you have the correct road lighting? Is your motorhome in good shape?
With so much to think about before you set off, we’ve put together this checklist to help make the process a little easier and, hopefully, a little less stressful.
1. Make sure your vehicle is in good working order
There’s nothing like a breakdown to ruin a holiday. Get any servicing that needs doing booked in with plenty of time to go before your trip so that any problems can be sorted before you set off. Going for a test drive after you’ve taken it out of storage can be a good idea too. This way, you’ll be able to spot any issues that have developed over the winter months and get them sorted rather than discovering them half way down the motorway on day one of your holiday.
2. Consider a motorhome habitation check
As well as making sure your motorhome is ready to hit the road, you’ll also want to make sure everything in the living area is up and running. Of course, you can test everything yourself, but for that extra peace of mind that there are no faults in the gas or electrical systems, you might want to consider getting a professional motorhome habitation check done every year or so. This will ensure everything is in tip-top condition and will make sure you don’t miss anything.
3. Empty both the fresh and waste water tanks
You don’t want to be driving with full water tanks. This will have an impact on both your vehicle’s handling and your fuel consumption. Make sure both the fresh and waste water tanks are empty before you set off and it’s also a good idea to clean out the toilet cassette too.
4. Check gas, electric supply and fluid levels
Make sure the gas is off at the cylinder and ensure that the electricity supply cable is stowed away. If appropriate, switch the fridge power source to 12v.
Before you set off, it’s worth checking that your windscreen wash is topped up and that your oil and water levels are correct. Don’t forget to check your fuel level too!
5. Check your lights
Make sure that your lights are all in good working order, including your brakes and signal lights, an easy job if there are two of you. If you’re heading abroad, you’ll need to check the requirements for your headlights and get the correct headlight converters if you’ll be driving on the other side of the road.
6. Check your tyre pressure
Before you hit the road, check your tyre pressure. This will help with fuel economy as well as helping you spot any issues with your tyres before you leave. Incorrectly inflated tyres could cause issues with steering and braking and might even cause blowouts. You may need to adjust the pressure depending on the amount of luggage you’ve got with you.
While you’re checking your tyre pressure, it’s a good opportunity to check your wheel torques for some extra peace of mind.
7. Check your safety and security appliances
Test your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarm and replace any batteries if necessary. Make sure your fire extinguisher isn’t due for maintenance and is easily accessible. Ensure everyone on board knows where it is and the same goes for fire blankets.
If you’ve got a proactive tracking device, make sure you switch it to the correct settings for travel, whether that means deactivating the motion sensor or ensuring that you have your driver recognition card or fob with you, to avoid any false alerts.
8. Make sure everything is secure
Check that all windows, roof lights and internal doors are closed. Make sure all your cupboards and lockers are closed and secure and that the fridge door is locked. Make sure all of your belongings are packed away securely so that nothing will be shifting around as you drive. This will prevent you from breaking anything and will also make sure that heavy objects in particular don’t move around, potentially having an impact on your vehicle’s handling.
9. Raise the corner steadies and remove the chocks
Make sure the handbrake is on and then raise the corner steadies, if appropriate and remember to remove any chocks before you try to pull away.
10. Check you haven’t left anything behind
Before you head off, take a quick look around and under the motorhome to make sure you won’t leave anything behind. As you pull away from the parking space or the pitch, check that you haven’t missed anything.
Make your next holiday as stress-free as possible by following the steps above and making sure you do the first few points with plenty of time to go before your trip. The last thing you want is for a mechanical issue to emerge just as you hit the motorway. Get everything checked over inside and outside your motorhome before your first trip and you’ll soon be back in the swing of your usual checks before you leave each pitch.