A motorhome is a big investment and it needs to be protected and cared for at all times. In my years as a motorhome enthusiast I’ve seen more damage caused to leisure vehicles in campsites than any where else. Leave aside the sometimes tight nature of some campsites and the possibility of a scrape or not judging your rear overhang correctly, what I’ve noticed is the damage caused by parked vehicles taking off again. Here’s a quick checklist that I have printed and stuck on the inside of my motorhome as a quick reminder of things to check every time I take off:
Am I hooked up?
Are any windows open?
Are stabilizers down?
Is gas switched on?
Is fridge not on battery setting?
Is my awning attached?
Are any objects likely to slide?
Some of these might seem quite obvious things to check, but believe me, I’ve seen or heard of all of the above caused thousands of pounds worth of damage to motorhomes. Am I hooked up / plugged in? If you are on a campsite – chances are that you are hooked up to their electrical source. If you drive off and are still plugged into this source, you can damage the connection point on your vehicle, at the campsite source point and also damage your lead. Are any windows open? Check all windows, including roof lights, are closed before you make your journey. These can be very expensive to replace. At high speed, the wind can damage an open window. Are stabilizers down? Most motorhomes come with rear stabilizers to steady the van and reduce rocking motion, whilst the van is parked.
Driving off with these down will ruin both the campsite ground and possibly your stabilizers. Is gas switched on? Most vehicles have safety mechanisms that cut off the flow of gas when driving, but I’m old fashioned, I like to switch off the gas supply, at source, before driving off. Is fridge on battery? Most motorhome fridges are 3-way i.e. they can be powered by gas, electricity or battery (when driving). Make sure you are set to battery before your journey or else your fridge contents may not be cold for your journey. Is my awning attached? I guess the top tip here is look in your mirrors before driving off. Better again, walk all the way around your vehicle before taking off, to inspect is anything attached to or resting on (e.g. bicycles) your van. Are any object likely to slide? Pack up all items inside the van, prior to take off. Is there a DVD case or Nintendo DS on a table or worktop that will slide off, at the first turn you come to?