Is driving a campervan difficult?

In today’s article, we will discuss: Is driving a campervan difficult? We will discuss how to drive safely with a campervan and give you a few extra tips to make your trip better.

Is driving a campervan difficult?

No, driving a campervan is not difficult at all compared to the manoeuvring of Class A or Class C motorhomes. With practice and some basic driving skills, you will be able to handle a campervan with ease. 

Getting behind the wheel of a campervan is not very difficult, although like everything else, it has an adaptation process, since it is a larger vehicle than a passenger car, the driving position is higher and the angle of access to the pedals is different. 

The most important aspects that we need to know to drive a campervan are: 

  • take into account the height and width of the vehicle you are driving, this is a very sensitive issue when we go through bridges, tolls or covered parking lots; 
  • pay close attention to the wind and steep descents; 
  • and finally, be careful with sharp turns and check the rear view mirrors before any manoeuvre. 

How to drive safely with a campervan

Travelling with any type of RV is a unique experience as it provides a fantastic feeling of freedom. Still, driving a campervan needs some preparation. Differences in the vehicle’s response to acceleration, braking and cornering speeds due to the extra weight and increased aerodynamic drag make it necessary to drive particularly cautiously.

Experts in these areas give some tips to make an RV vacation both safe and fun.

  1. Check the vehicle: before starting the trip, it is necessary to verify that the operating conditions of both the car and the motor home are optimal.

The tire pressure of the RV is the first point to check. Fuel, water supplies according to the number of passengers, radio and spare batteries are, among others, elements that cannot be lacking.

  1. If you are towing a caravan, level the weight between both vehicles: above all, it is important not to increase the weight in the trunk of the car, as this would cause the height to drop and, consequently, problems in coupling with the trailer. This will give you a balanced centre of gravity that makes cornering easier.
  1. Safety on the journey: during the journey, all passengers must use seat belts and not go in beds. People who get dizzy easily should ride in the front seats of the motorhome or car.
  1. Don’t forget to check the emergency equipment, such as the fire extinguisher, first aid kit, and signalling tools before leaving.
  1. Be careful when braking: the extra weight of the motorhome modifies the minimum distance that the car requires to brake safely. It is recommended to maintain a distance equal to three cars with respect to the vehicle in front. And in overtaking, it must be taken into account that more meters will be necessary to carry out the manoeuvre.
  1. Reverse gear, slopes and crosswind: these are three events to which you must pay the utmost attention. On a slope, you have to use the first track or the slow track so as not to obstruct traffic.

When descending slopes, try to maintain a constant speed and use the engine brake as much as possible (engaging). And as for the reverse gear, the suggestion is to practice it as much as possible before the trip. 

The most advisable thing is to try to follow the behaviour of the trailer: if you turn to the right the driver of the car should do the same.

Crosswinds are a big problem for vehicles that are very tall in relation to their width. To avoid accidents, the secret is to keep a low centre of gravity and distribute the weight proportionally between the two vehicles.

  1.  Use the apps: GPS applications or those that help to find the easiest route or services of interest, such as restaurants, medical centres, hotels or police, are a good ally when driving with a motor home safely.

More advice on travelling with a campervan

What to bring in your campervan trip? With a campervan, one can travel from a single person up to nine including the driver, although normally they are usually six seats. With so many people, it is difficult to organize what to carry in such a small space. The key is in the organization. It is advisable to carry only what is necessary, and above all to carry everything well placed. It is essential to distribute the load so that the weight is balanced.

Where to go in a campervan? Before going on a trip, it is advisable to have a minimum planning and to know places where you can sleep. There are guides that can be of great help to us. When arriving at a locality it is advisable to avoid the urban area and go directly to the motorhome areas. 

How to cook in a campervan? Cooking is an art, but in a campervan, it is even more so. It is convenient to bring basic products, which take up little space and are used to make many different recipes. Gas is used for the kitchen and the fridge. Two bottles of butane or propane gas are usually enough, in addition, these are changed at the gas stations.

Where to park a campervan? To sleep in the campervan, you can choose between a campsite, a motorhome area or parking in a locality. It is the municipalities that impose their rules and the municipal police that act to ensure that they are enforced. 

Sometimes they restrict motorhome traffic and parking. 

It is advisable to consult the authorities and tourist offices to avoid parking in prohibited spaces. If possible, it is advisable to park on a flat surface and remember the following outside a campsite or motorhome area:

  • You cannot use chocks to level the vehicle, but you can use them to stabilize it on slopes.
  • The dimensions of the campervan cannot be exceeded by opening the windows, but they can be opened if they do not exceed it.
  • You cannot extend the awning, or use camping elements outside, or remove the step.
  • You can sleep and cook indoors, but as long as no annoying noises or odours are emitted.

Final reminder

Each driver has his way of driving and his cruising speed with which he is comfortable. Do not change these habits by riding near a fellow traveller. Safety is even more important than the company!

Please let us know if you have any suggestions or questions on the content. 

Other FAQs about Camper Vans that you may be interested in.

Do camper vans have toilets and showers?

Why are camper vans so popular?

What is the best camper for a family of 4?

FAQ on Is driving a campervan difficult?

Is it hard to drive an RV?

Experienced motorists tell us that it is not hard to drive an RV, however, for a newbie, it could pose a challenge. It is recommended that before driving an RV you familiarize yourself with its dimensions, as you must quickly get used to the vehicle and know in what space you can park or if a road is wide enough to fit on it.

Is it hard to drive a 31 foot RV?

It is not that hard to drive a 31 foot RV. Still, you will have to practice before hitting the road. ​The aspects for which driving a motorhome is different are obvious. Currently, this type of leisure vehicle usually: exceeds 20 ft (6 m) in length, except for a few occasions such as the Challenger Combo x150. 

How to drive with a motorhome?

To drive with a motorhome, you have to know the following tips:

  1. Know its dimensions. It is as basic as it is fundamental.
  2. Spread the load evenly. 
  3. Avoid overtaking.
  4. Drive at a steady speed. 
  5. If there is a strong wind, slow down. 
  6. Use the side mirrors. 
  7. Do not leave loose items inside.

Which is easier to drive, Class A or C?

When it comes to driving comfort, Class C RVs are definitely easier to drive. The difference in size between Class A and Class C RVs really makes the difference in this case. Class A motorhomes can be 40 feet long (thus harder to manoeuvre) while Class C motorhomes generally cut around 28 feet!

How fast can you drive a Class C RV?

You should be driving a Class C RV faster than 65 miles per hour (105 km/h). The ideal speed is between 63 and 65 mph. Don’t drive your RV over the recommended speed, as its size and load reduce the braking time and increase the risks of overturning, especially in high winds. 

References

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