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10 Tips on Driving a Motorhome In Scotland

Johnny's Back Yard Blog -Driving A Motorhome For The First Time In The UK

10 Tips on Driving a Motorhome In Scotland

Familiarize yourself with the size and handling of your motorhome

Be sure to familiarize yourself with the size and handling of your motorhome before setting off on a trip, especially if you are not used to driving a larger vehicle. Motorhomes can be more challenging to drive than smaller vehicles, especially on narrow, winding roads, so it’s important to take the time to get used to the handling of your vehicle before you start your journey. Make sure you are comfortable with the size and handling of your motorhome before setting off and be prepared for the possibility of encountering narrow bridges and low overhead clearances on your trip. Understand C1 licence permissions for vehicles over 3500kg. Know your vehicle weights, In 2022 80% of motorhomes and campers stopped by the DVSA were over weight!

Be Prepared

It’s important to be prepared for the possibility of encountering narrow bridges and low overhead clearances, especially in rural areas of Scotland. These types of obstacles can be especially challenging for motorhomes, which are often taller and wider than smaller vehicles. Before setting off on your trip, it’s a good idea to check the dimensions of your motorhome, including its height and width, to ensure that you will be able to safely navigate any narrow bridges or low clearances you may encounter on your journey. When driving under low bridges, be sure to pay attention to any warning signs, and take care to ensure that your vehicle will fit safely through the clearance. If you are unsure whether your motorhome will fit under a particular bridge, it’s best to err on the side of caution and find an alternative route.

Observe The Speed Limits

Average Speed CamerasPolice Scotland is strict when enforcing speed limits. Speed cameras and Average Speed cameras are abundant, especially on the A9 and it’s important to observe the speed limits at all times when driving in Scotland, as the speeding fines are steep. Speed limits in Scotland are generally lower than in other countries, so it’s important to pay attention to the speed limit signs. In addition to observing the speed limits, it’s also important to be prepared for the possibility of encountering road works and temporary traffic lights on your journey. These are common in Scotland, especially during the summer months, and can cause delays or require you to adjust your speed. Be prepared for the possibility of encountering these types of obstacles, and allow extra time for your trip if necessary.

Take extra care in built-up areas

Yes, that’s correct. It’s important to take extra care when driving through towns and villages, as pedestrians and cyclists may not always be easily visible. In residential areas, be on the lookout for pedestrians, especially children, who may be crossing the road or playing near the street. Slow down when driving through these areas, and be prepared to stop if necessary. In addition, watch out for cyclists, who may be riding on the road or on a dedicated bike lane. When passing a cyclist, allow plenty of room and be prepared for the possibility of them swerving or changing direction unexpectedly. By taking extra care when driving through towns and villages, you can help ensure the safety of pedestrians and cyclists, as well as other road users.

Drinking Alcohol

The drink drive limit in Scotland is lower than in the rest of the UK and many other countries, and the penalties for drunk driving are severe. In Scotland, the legal blood alcohol limit for drivers is 50 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood, so be aware of this if you are planning to drive in Scotland. Even a small amount of alcohol can affect your ability to drive safely, so it’s best to avoid drinking any alcohol at all if you are going to drive. If you do choose to drink, be sure to plan ahead and arrange for a designated driver or alternative transportation. The penalties for drink driving in Scotland are severe and can include fines, imprisonment, and a driving ban.

Be aware of the weather

2 person walking on snow covered road during daytime

Scotland can experience harsh and changeable weather, with fog, rain, and snow being particularly common. It’s important to be aware of the weather conditions when driving in Scotland and to take extra care in poor visibility or adverse weather. In fog, reduce your speed and use your headlights or fog lights to help you see the road ahead. In rain, be prepared for slippery roads and take extra care when braking or turning. If you are driving in snow or ice, be sure to use winter tires or all-season tires, and reduce your speed to account for the reduced traction. It’s also a good idea to keep an emergency kit in your vehicle, in case you get stranded due to adverse weather. By taking extra care in fog, rain, and snow, you can help ensure your safety and the safety of other road users.

Use your headlights

car on snow during daytime

It’s a good idea to use your headlights at all times when driving in Scotland, even during the day, to make your vehicle more visible to other road users. Headlights not only help you see the road ahead, but they also help other drivers see you, which can help prevent accidents. In addition to using your headlights, it’s also a good idea to use your turn signals when changing lanes or turning, to let other road users know what you are doing. By using your headlights and turn signals, you can help improve the safety of your journey and reduce the risk of accidents.

Driving a Motorhome for the first time

Garmin Motorhome Satnav

If you are driving a motorhome for the first time, or if you are not used to driving in Scotland, a GPS device can be a useful tool to help you navigate. A GPS device can provide turn-by-turn directions, alert you to potential hazards, and help you find your way to your destination. Many rental companies offer GPS devices as an optional extra when you hire a motorhome, but you can also purchase your own GPS device or use a smartphone app. If you do use a GPS device, be sure to follow the directions carefully and pay attention to any warnings or alerts. Remember, a GPS device is not a substitute for your own judgment, plan and know your route beforehand using a map, and it’s important to use common sense and follow the rules of the road when driving.

Planning to stay overnight

Wild camping, or camping on unoccupied land without the landowner’s permission, is generally not allowed in Scotland. If you are planning to stay overnight in your motorhome, it’s important to look for campsites or designated motorhome parking areas (aires/stopovers) rather than attempting to wild camp. There are many campsites and motorhome parks available throughout Scotland, offering a range of facilities and services. Some campsites may have restrictions on the size or type of vehicle that can stay overnight, so it’s a good idea to check the campsite’s policies before booking. In addition to campsites, there are also many designated motorhome parking areas available, which offer overnight parking for a fee. These areas are generally well-maintained and offer basic facilities, such as waste and water disposal. By staying at a campsite or designated motorhome parking area, you can help protect Scotland’s natural beauty and respect the rights of landowners. Phone Apps that can help with this, Park4night, Search4sites. There are also many Facebook Groups that cater for stopover/parkups.

Hiring a motorhome

Open Road Scotland
There are numerous hire companies in Scotland, (we recommend Open Road Scotland Based at Glasgow Airport) check their reviews to see what experience previous hirers have had. It’s important to read the terms and conditions of the rental agreement carefully when hiring a motorhome, as some rental companies may have restrictions on where you are allowed to drive the vehicle. For example, some rental companies may prohibit driving on certain types of roads, such as off-road tracks or unmade roads, due to the potential for damage to the vehicle. If you are planning to drive on these types of roads, it’s a good idea to check the rental agreement before setting off to ensure that you are not in violation of the terms of your rental. In addition to road restrictions, the rental agreement may also have other terms and conditions that you need to be aware of, such as restrictions on the number of miles you can drive, or rules about smoking or pets in the vehicle. By reading the terms and conditions of the rental agreement carefully, you can help ensure that you are aware of any restrictions or obligations that apply to your rental.

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Driving A Motorhome For The First Time

Johnny's Back Yard Blog -Driving A Motorhome For The First Time In The UK


Driving A Motorhome For The First Time In The UK

Everything has its first time, and when it comes to driving a motorhome there are a few things you need to keep in mind when driving a motorhome for the first time.

No matter who you are, any ability you have now, whether it is cooking, driving, or even walking, was acquired at some point. The notion of driving a motorhome for the first time may seem intimidating, but, like everything else, it won’t take long for you to get used to it, and you’ll enjoy the feeling of being behind the wheel as much as the freedom it provides.

However, if you need a little more assurance, we’ve put up a list of items to bear in mind before your first time driving a motorhome.

Why It’s easier than you might think to drive a motorhome?

The vast majority of motorhomes do not require any special skills or training to operate. Although they are larger than a car, anyone who can drive a car can drive a motorhome. This depends on your driving license, basically, if you passed your driving test before January 1997, you have a C1 entitlement which means you can drive a vehicle over 3500kg up to 7500kg. That said the vast majority of motorhomes are 3500kg or under. We will cover this in more detail in another blog.

Anyone with a regular driver’s license can drive a motorhome because the controls are the same as in a car. They’re a little bigger, but the controls are the same, so you shouldn’t have any trouble setting them up.

The wing mirrors are larger – your rearview is limited, but the wing mirrors are massive, giving you plenty of visibility down each side of your priory Rentals motorhome.

The driving position is superior — a motorhome’s cab is much higher than your car’s, giving you a fantastic view of the road ahead and all around you.

Long-distance van drivers want a comfortable place to sit, so motorhomes take top-of-the-line van seats and add luxurious upholstery and additional driver amenities.

You don’t feel the weight as much as you might imagine – motorhomes are much larger and heavier than your car, but they’re built on the foundations of heavy-duty commercial trucks designed to transport large cargo. The steering and other controls were created with the goal of making moving items significantly heavier than a motorhome body.

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How to Get the Most Out of Your Motorhome

If you let it, driving a motorhome may be a soothing, almost serene experience. Allow your driving ability to change and the stress in your body to dissipate with each passing hour.

You’re not in a hurry, so don’t rush. When you’re driving your car, you’re probably going somewhere for a certain reason, usually at the same time as everyone else on the road, and you need to be somewhere at a specific time. With a motorhome, however, this is not the case. You’re not on a timetable; you’re on your own schedule, so relax and enjoy the ride. Take it slowly, steadily, and comfortably.

Allow each maneuver to be a special occasion – motorhomes do not dart in and out of traffic; instead, they move slowly and thoughtfully. Plan ahead of time, signal early, and sweep gracefully from lane to lane.

Don’t be hesitant to ask for assistance when parking — you’re unlikely to be traveling alone, so use your passengers to assist you. When it’s a group effort, there’s less tension.

Driving A Motorhome For The First Time In The UK

The Best Ways to Drive a Motorhome

Driving a motorhome is similar to driving a car, with the exception that you must account for the extra size, weight, and length when driving and parking.

Reverse into parking places — it’s usually easier than driving forwards, and it makes driving out a lot easier and less stressful – pedestrians don’t seem to notice you’re not looking!

Take corners and bends much wider – It’s simple to get your motorhome’s front wheels around a corner, but you’ll need to make sure the back wheels do as well, so drive a little past the corner while turning.

Gently accelerate and brake – motorhomes aren’t designed for quick 0-60 times, and their weight means that 60-0 takes longer as well. Gradually increase your speed, and use your enhanced driving position to prepare in advance and brake sooner when necessary.

On vulnerable routes, be extra cautious — motorhomes are high-sided vehicles that are quite lightweight for their size. This means you’ll be more aware of crosswinds, so take it easy if the weather changes.

Know how much height of your motorhome  – There should be a note in the manual or in the cab of the Motorhome telling you how tall it is. Keep an eye out for signs that say “max headroom” or “low bridge.” Many sat-navs can also be programmed to keep away from low bridges.

Pull in to passing places on single-track roads — Do you remember being caught behind caravans for miles, hoping the driver would pull over to allow others to pass? Now’s your time to show those motorhomer’s how it’s done and earn some extra positive energy!

Don’t ever be frightened to give driving a motorhome.

When it’s all said and done, there’s nothing stopping you from climbing into the enormous plush chair that serves as the driver’s seat and taking the wheel of a luxury motorhome. Driving a motorhome will be far easier than you might imagine, and we’re confident that when you’ve done it once, you’ll want to do it, again and again, to enjoy life at a slower pace, both on the road and at the campsite.

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