Safety Tips For Driving A Motorhome

Buying a motorhome is exciting business! Before you take to the road, there are a few things you’ll want to either check or know so that you can drive a motorhome safely.

From knowing the road rules to locking your doors, here are some of the things you can do to keep yourself, your companions, and your motorhome safe whilst travelling around Australia.



Before You Go


Organise Your Insurance

In case something does happen to you, your possessions, or your vehicle, make sure you’re covered with the appropriate insurance. It’s worth taking your time when researching this.

To keep your belongings safe, you should always lock your doors and close any windows if you’re away from your motorhome or sleeping.

Get To Know Your Motorhome

As with any big purchase, it’s going to take some time to learn how it works. Spend some time with your motorhome and familiarise yourself with its ins and outs.

How long does it take to stop? How much space do you need to turn? You’ll also want to know where your lights, wipers, indicators, and other controls are.



Learn The Road Rules And Follow Them

If you’re new to driving in Australia, you’ll need to get well acquainted with the road rules. Stick to the speed limits, make sure you’re in the correct lane, wear your seatbelts, and don’t drink drive. Knowing and following the rules will ensure that you can keep yourself and others safe.

You’ll come across some unusual road signs in some states, with pictures warning of kangaroos, slippery surfaces, or falling rocks. Learn the road signs so you can understand their language.

Plan Your Route & Accommodation

It’s a great idea to have a physical print out of your itinerary and a map. Planning your route ensures that you can get the most out of your holiday and see all the best sights. Make sure you’ve also given a copy of your itinerary to someone at home so people know where you are.

Also, never assume that the local holiday park is going to have space for you. Book your campsites in advance so you always have a place to stay.



When You’re Out And About


Carefully Pack Your Motorhome

Close or lock your drawers before you drive away and ensure that anything heavy or fragile is properly secured. Take care of any loose luggage or furniture and do a thorough hazard check before you start driving. If you have to stop suddenly, or if you turn too quickly, you don’t want anything hitting you in the back of the head.

Be Aware Of Your Motorhome’s Size

A motorhome can’t make the same nimble turns that a car can, so you’ll need to be aware of your surroundings and make wider and slower turns. Following the same theme of size, your motorhome might not fit under low-hanging trees, bridges or in parking lots. So, always be aware of your height to avoid getting stuck accidentally.

A bigger vehicle also means more time to break. Keep a respectful distance from the vehicle in front of you and be mindful of the distance you need to stop safely.

Be Mindful When Reversing

Make use of your mirrors and rear-vision camera (if you have one) every time you reverse. Sometimes it helps to ask someone to guide you. Grab a friend or ask someone nearby. Most people will be more than happy to help out.

Mindful reversing is especially important in campsites, with tents and children appearing unexpectedly. Take it slow, and make sure there’s nothing behind you before you start moving.

Fuel Up When You Can

In the outback and bush it can be many hours before you find another place to refuel, so keep your tank full and plan your stops in advance. If you know it’s going to be awhile before you reach the next service station, fill up your tank and leave nothing to chance.



Prepare For The Weather

Depending on where you are in Australia, you can encounter heavy rain, flooding, and all sorts of unexpected weather conditions. You never want to be caught in bad weather, especially when you’re travelling on an unfamiliar road, so take a moment to check the weather.

You should take the seasons into considerations as well, this will prepare you for the tropical cyclones in Cairns’ wet season or icy winter roads in Tasmania.

Take Breaks From Driving

One of the Fatal Five driving behaviours, fatigued drivers are responsible for their fair share of accidents. So, if you’re driving long distances make sure you’re stopping every few hours so you can stretch, rest, or swap drivers. Bring plenty of snacks and water as well to keep your energy levels up.

Watch For Wildlife & Don’t Travel At Night

Keep your attention up and watch for any animals that might be straying too close to the road. Bulky Kangaroos are especially adept at taking out radiators and windshields, often leaving travellers stranded in the middle of nowhere.

Furthermore, visibility is low at night and you might be tired (especially if you’ve been driving for hours already). Dusk and night are also the most active times for wildlife – which is just another reason why it’s best to do all your driving in the day.

Tips For Travelling With Children

Young children must use an appropriate car seat or booster seat. These laws vary from state to state, so check to see what you need. You’ll also want to keep your little passengers entertained with games, toys, and snacks.

One Final Tip

If you see a lot of traffic building up behind you, it’s polite to pull over when it’s safe to do so and allow the drivers to pass (this also prevents them from attempting any risky overtakes)


Make Your Holiday Safe And Comfortable

If you’ve finished reading and feel confident that you’re on top of everything, then great! Or, if you’ve found some gaps in your knowledge, it’s time to keep researching!

If you’re new to the van life, try taking a motorhome for a trial run so that you can learn by doing! Organise a motorhome rental by calling our friendly reservations team on 1300 664 485 or check out our Cruisin’ Motorhomes and GoCheap Campervans vehicle pages to see what motorhomes are available to hire at our branches.

Or, if you’re confident and ready to invest in a motorhome of your very own, check out the used campervans and motorhomes for sale on our website. If you don’t see the type of vehicle you’re interested in, go ahead and submit an enquiry form so that we can contact you as soon as something is available.