Common Mistakes to Avoid in Your Campervan

Avoid these simple mistakes and miss out on ruining your trip

Avoid these motorhome mistakes

There’s no better feeling than hitting the open road in a motorhome – or a campervan or RV, depending on the part of the world you are in. This provides a freedom you aren’t accorded other modes of travel and is actually the best means to scope most destinations in this expansive world we live in.

Campervan trips, however, do need keen attention to detail to ascertain that everything goes seamlessly. Taking charge of a big vehicle is always a trial and it would be in your interest to educate yourself on how every component of the vehicle functions (together with some beneficial campervan life hacks!). In this read, we have compiled some common pitfalls as a reference guide to use during your next motorhome road adventure.

Ignore pre-trip checks

It’s a fact that some people are more organised compared to others. And although things in your campervan don’t necessarily need to be organised to 100% capacity, there are some aspects even the most easygoing campers need to undertake. Doing a final pre-trip assessment of the RV before turning the ignition key can save you a world of headache or an exorbitant repair bill. Here are some of the basic things you should check:

Step lifted

Roof vents and hatchets closed

Hook-up unplugged and secured

Drain valve closed

All cupboards, lockers, windows, and doors secured

Stabilisers up

Cylinder is secure and the gas is turned off

It will only take you a couple of minutes to carry out this task, but it’s a helpful habit to form

See our list of motorhome prechecks you need to make.

motorhome pre trip checklist

Being unaware of your bulk

It goes without saying that a home on wheels is definitely going to be larger compared to your daily drive at home, and because of this, it will take a while to get used to. When you start getting out of the depot, you’ll want to be super keen for the initial hour or so as you familiarise yourself with the campervan’s dimensions. Give adequate room when getting past parked vehicles and take turns with great attention.

It’s also prudent to bear in mind – or note – the weight, width, and length, and particularly the height of the vehicle. Some overpasses and bridges will have signs indicating the maximum weight or height that is allowed to pass.

The bulk of a campervan can also imply that you may require to be more assertive on the pedals, so take a while to acquaint yourself with that as well.

Not Selecting the Right Type of RV

There is a wide selection of choices when it comes to RVs, from conventional Class A motorhomes to travel trailers and camper vans. Taking into account the number of persons that will be on board, along with the amenities you’re searching for (like bathroom and kitchen), and the distance you’ll be going, it’s best to scope the various types of recreational vehicles. A campervan is an excellent choice for solo travellers and couples, for instance. Class A motorhomes are usually the most spacious, but a Class C motorhome is simpler to drive and a great choice for first-timers. In contrast to common belief, you don’t require a special license to operate an RV

Find the right kind of campervan for you here!

Forget about motorhome maintenance

We suggest that you get your habitation area and vehicle professionally serviced annually. And maybe inspected more frequently if you will be going on an extended trip. However, it’s still integral that you remain atop motorhome maintenance before issues arise. With such a powerful and large vehicle, it’s integral to make sure that your engine and brakes are functioning properly. Nevertheless, you should countercheck:

motorhome maintenance

Exterior damage. Especially bulges, failing seals and indications of water ingress, rust or dampness.

Old or worn tyres. Inspect the tyre tread and check for any odd lumps, bumps, or trapped debris. Also, check wheel nuts and tyre pressure frequently.

Defective lights. When operating a large vehicle like this, you’ll have to ensure that you are visible all the time and in any weather conditions.

Maybe invest in a manual or book to assist you with quick resolutions on the road. Poorly maintained and underinsured vehicles can expose you and others on the road to risk.

Squeezing into a city centre

Don’t get me wrong, a campervan is really convenient for a road trip, but bet complicated when getting into the city neighbourhoods. Don’t assume that you can go with your motorhome everywhere!

Locating a spot with enough room to park in the suburbs and then using leg power or taking public transport to conclude the journey is an excellent way to take in the urban area along with natural charms during your campervan road trip.

Acquaint yourself with a landmark or so in any city along your chosen path. The landmarks will assist you to determine the duration you should remain there and rest, or if it is time to get back on the road.

Many big cities have RV resorts, campgrounds, or holiday parks on their outskirts or in their suburbs, where you can establish a base for the night or so and explore on foot, by train, or by bus. It’s also in your best interests to leave your campervan parked when you think you might drink.

Rush the packing stage

Even with a large campervan, putting in those ‘extras’ is a recipe for your home on wheels getting cluttered. Furthermore, you may easily find that you have gone over the payload of the motorhome.

An unevenly loaded or overloaded campervan is a potential safety hazard. No matter if the driving conditions are perfect, if you go over the maximum payload of the vehicle, braking and handling can prove to be challenging. And if a collision does occur, then it can turn out to be disastrous.

Only carry the things that you truly require and always go for compact, light choices like melamine plates and cups or towels. You don’t really require an entire dinner party set on the road.

And while on the topic of packing correctly. Ensure that everything is stored securely before you embark on your journey. Make sure that you put loose things in locked cupboards, strap down devices and ascertain that nothing is moving around. The Country roads are bound to get bumpy! Motorhome insurance claims can be pricey if things are flying all over the place in the campervan interior as you travel. They present a dangerous distraction.

Loading up the schedule

Don’t put too many demands on yourself when drafting an itinerary! The whole concept of getting an RV or camper rental is the freedom to meander along your selected path, stopping the vehicle to take a beverage wherever you see a certain vista.

Google Maps can provide you with estimated driving times, but we recommend giving room to at least double what is indicated for any journey. If your journey will be outside of peak seasons and doesn’t necessarily require a pre-booked accommodation, there’s the choice to forgo the planning and check where your desire to travel will take you.

If you want to remain on a schedule and have planned out every second of your holiday, we recommend that you take a bus tour instead as it will be more suited for you. You should maximise on the freedom a motorhome provides and keep your itinerary flexible!

Turn a blind eye to the weather

For anybody who goes outdoors, it would be an understatement to state our small island experiences alternating weather. Therefore, regardless of the duration of the year you are taking a trip, it’s always prudent to check for signs of bad weather.

motorhome weather planning

High winds can especially make driving campervans a hazard factor. Staying up-to-date with weather reports will provide you with enough sufficient time to alter your plans if need be. If you’re not certain about things will unfold, just park the vehicle and hamper down. No journey is worth placing you and your campervan in danger.

See what to do on a rainy day in your campervan.

Leave the spare parts and tools at home

The motorhome lifestyle is all bout being self-reliant. And regardless of how tuned your campervan is, there are times when things go South while on the road. When this occurs, there’s no sense of satisfaction than resolving the issue yourself without requiring you to depend on well-wishers for aid.

For you to accomplish that, however, you’ll require the proper toolkit equipped with the correct tools. If you’re unsure of what tools to include, don’t worry, we will guide you on what to carry. From socket sets and spanners to pliers and screwdrivers, you’ll feel on top of the world if you can get yourself out of a jam!  

Keep in mind that in addition to tools, you’ll also require a supply of some standard spares. Some of which include:

Wiper blades

Electrical tape

Cable ties


Spare washers and bolts

Spare hose clips / jubilee clips

Spare fuses

Spare bulb kit

Forget to look over the height of your motorhome

You’ve likely heard or seen it occur. Somebody who’s not familiar with the size of their campervan drives into a parking lot with height limitations. Swearing, embarrassment and damage to the roof of the motorhome ensue. It’s also crucial that you are aware of the width and length of your campervan since campsites may have also set size limitations.

Park in a spot that you can’t get out of!

Let’s say you’re in a rush and are desperately searching for a parking spot at night. You get a glimpse of what appears to be a decent spot so you pull in and rest your head for the night. Sadly, when morning arrives and it’s time to go, you come to a realisation. How will you get out of the tight parking spot? Getting out of tricky spots isn’t a task we often affiliate with campervans.

Not Adhering to Campground Rules and Etiquette

When you stop your RV at a campsite, always remember that the grounds also act as a home to somebody else and you should the site in the State you’ve found it. Also, dispose of your surplus food properly.

Park anywhere you like

Pulling over by the roadside may sound all fun and dandy, but it can result in serious issues for all persons involved. It doesn’t matter if you want to look over the map, or want to sleep the night, locate a safe spot where you aren’t endangering your life and that of other road users.

Pitch up without examining the ground first

Not pulling over your vehicle on a slope through the night is something most of us learnt through experience. Although it may seem like a good idea initially, it’s not!

Get your campervan rental Ireland booked today with Rambling Rover.