Is it just us, or does it seem like everyone’s hiring a house-on-wheels and embarking on their own great COVID Camper Road Trip 2020?
While the borders remain closed, the roads are open, and adventure still awaits. But unless you’re a grey nomad who’s used to spinning the big motorhome wheel, driving a vehicle two or three times larger than usual on long dirt roads in the company of roos, might take some getting used to.
We’ve pulled together a few travel tips to help you avoid those fun-bursting incidents and stay safe in your rented camper / motorhome.
1. Be prepared
In addition to clothes, you’ll want to make sure you pack essentials, like a torch and spare batteries, water tanks, and provisions. Safely secure all your belongings to prevent any dangerous escapees on the highway and minimise your stress on the road.
2. Confirm your trip details with the hire company
When picking up your vehicle from the hire company, you’ll want to discuss your travel plans and make sure your vehicle is set up and equipped for your requirements (for example, correct tyre pressure), and has some insurance cover.
Confirm if there are any restrictions on your chosen vehicle, such as:
- where you can drive (for example, unsealed roads or sand),
- adverse weather,
3. Stick to the legal speed limit
This one might seem obvious, but it’s important when driving a heavy vehicle that you maintain a safe speed and distance from other road users. This includes knowing when and how to brake > there are no sudden stops.
4. Plan ahead
Heading to a rural or regional area? Minimise your risk of running out of fuel or breaking down in the middle of nowhere without food or water. Queensland’s outback can be pretty harsh! Mark your trip on a map, including rest breaks and town stops to stock up on supplies. Regularly check the weather, so you can avoid high-risk situations.
5. Don’t drive while tired
While you might be eager to reach your destination and crush the ‘average drive time’, as a first-time driver, your bulky home-on-wheels requires your full attention. When fatigue strikes, pull over or tag team driver duties with a passenger.
6. Factor in the heavy vehicle load and higher centre of gravity
Don’t expect to have the same manoeuvrability, stability, and braking distance you’re used to in a smaller car. When driving off-road, the vehicle weight can shift to one side or one end which could mean trouble if you’re driving onto a steep, soft, or slippery surface.
7. Know your limits
You’re likely driving a vehicle that’s taller, longer, and wider than your suburban street crawler. Take your measurements before leaving, so you don’t stress out or find yourself stuck under a low-lying bridge or reversing into other vehicles. Repairs can be costly.
Enjoy your trip!
The more prepared you are for your journey, the safer and more enjoyable it will be.
However, not all adventures go to plan. So, if something happens on the road and you find yourself out of pocket when not at-fault, you can talk to our team of compensation lawyers for an obligation-free case review to help understand your situation and what claim options could be available to you.