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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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Connecting Your Motorhome to the Internet

Connecting Your Motorhome to the Internet

Connecting Your Motorhome to the Internet

Connecting Your Motorhome to the Internet

Examples of How to get WIFI in your Motorhome or Camper 
How to get internet and Wi-Fi and mobile on the road
Are you looking for a way to receive wireless internet in your motorhome or camper?
Do you need a 4G antenna, a Wi-Fi dongle, or a router?

Everything you need to know about getting the internet into your motorhome.

Connecting Your Motorhome to the Internet

There are a few alternatives for internet connectivity in a motorhome.  If finding a cafe or restaurant with wifi is not an option then here are a few options that are available, one of which you probably already have.
A mobile phone or iPad/tablet with a SIM card for connection to a phone network.
Wifi dongle (all the UK phone network providers sell these).
A dedicated internet system/satellite is installed in your motorhome.

But don’t worry if this sounds a bit too difficult it’s actually quite easy.
Using a phone, iPad/tablet for mobile wifi or internet
Your mobile phone should already be set up to utilise data if you’re in your own country. You should be able to connect to the internet on your phone providing you have a mobile signal. When using your mobile phone you can set your phone up to act like the router you have at home and allow other devices that do not have sim card access to a phone network to connect to it. This is done by way of using your phone as a ‘wifi hotspot’.

O2 Sim only dealsSim Deals From O2

Setting up your phone as a ‘Wifi Hotspot’

The Hotspot setting will be in the phone’s settings menu and
When it is first activated you will need to set up a name for it and a password, this will prevent other devices nearby from connecting to your data stream and consuming all your data allowance. On your device search for your phone hotspot as you would when connecting to any wifi network, enter your password, and bingo! you’re connected.

Using Mobile data abroad

If you are heading outside of your home country, ensure sure your phone supports data roaming and that you have a plan that allows you to access data in other countries at a lower cost.
Things have changed since Brexit so you need to check that your network provider will not send you a massive bill for roaming charges, also be aware that the UK networks may say you have free or cheap roaming charges but there will most certainly be a data cap on how much you can use and you may still rack up a big bill at the end of your holiday if you exceed that data cap.
Keep in mind that Apps like Netflix, Facebook, TV, and radio will use up much more data and you will reach that cap limit quicker than you expected.


How to use a wifi dongle to access mobile internet in a camper or motorhome

The disadvantage of using your phone for the internet is that if you’re not careful, it may quickly deplete your mobile data, leaving you without any for the rest of your vacation.
A wifi dongle is a very convenient way to connect to the internet. All the major UK phone networks (O2, Vodafone, EE, and Three) sell dongles with options of Pay as you go or a  contract, Occasionally you will find really good deals with unlimited data, so shop around!
As with the phone, the dongle will connect as long as there’s a phone signal.

Purchasing a mobile wifi dongle’s SIM card

To utilise a mobile wifi dongle, you’ll need to get a SIM card. Prepaid ones are excellent, but check the fine print: once they’re activated, you usually only have a certain amount of time to utilise the data before it expires. Some Pay as You Go offers will give unused data rollover to the maximum of the plan monthly allowance, again shop around.

How many devices can you connect to a motorhome wifi dongle?

The number of devices that can connect to one dongle varies. But remember in areas of weaker signals the more devices using the dongle the quality of the internet will reduce and lead to movie pixelation and buffering, so films that you are used to watching in 4k could drop to 1080p or even 720p.

Recommended Motorhome Wifi

The Netgear M1 MR1100 4G Router is popular with seasoned motorhomers, the router is unlocked meaning any network sim card will work in it, the MR1100 has download speeds of up to 1 Gbps and will connect up to 20 Devices. Just what you need to keep the kids happy and family evening viewing.


Kuma Motorhome Wifi Internet Booster

Kuma Motorhome Wifi Internet Booster

A motorhome wifi booster is an antenna or tiny box that attaches to the roof or exterior of your Motorhome or camper and amplifies whatever wifi signal it receives. This allows you to connect faster but it needs a wifi signal to amplify and not a phone network signal.
It can be secured permanently or with suction cups as this method does not require making holes in your camper roof/wall and most can be powered by either 12v or 240v perfect for boosting the wifi signal while you are on campsites.

#motorhome #accessories #vanlife #caravan #campervan #selfbuild #scotland #motorhomewifi

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