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Useful tips for first-time campervanners

The idea of jumping in the next best thing to a mobile home is great, but do you really know what you’re in for when that beast hits the road? It’s probably a sound idea to prepare for the journey, know what kind of vehicle you’re dealing with and that means you can jump in the drivers seat, buckle up the beloved next to you and relax with the peace of mind that you’re organised and know what you’re doing.

Most importantly, remember that everyone in a campervan were first timers once too. Here’s a few tips to make life on the road in a campervan easier:

1) The turn. The key thing to remember when you negotiate turns, or go around corners, is to give your rig enough breathing space to get the back half around the corner OK. It’s simply a case of swinging out a bit wider when you take the corner. Fail to do this and find yourself swinging the wheel the second you near a corner and you’ll be bumping your way over the curb or smacking into something. It doesn’t require much at all, just going that extra metre or two wider when starting the turn.

2) Seat and mirror positioning. Probably the most important one to remember. The minute you pop into your camper, make sure the seat is in a comfortable position. Just make sure you can see the road clearly, your hands are comfortably within reach of the driving wheel and you can easily access all of the controls. The seats in campers these days are adjustable in multiple ways so play around and get it right. The mirrors? Pretty simple really, but very important. Get your seating right, adjust the rear vision mirrors accordingly. They play a big part in your journey.

3) Parking in busy shopping areas. Don’t kid yourself and think you can park close to the shopping centre doors – go the extra distance where there’s hardly any parks and it will make life easier later on when it’s time to go.  A lot less stress and you don’t want to be negotiating tight spaces between car parks.

4) Driving on an open road or freeway. Keep your eyes fixed on the road about 15-20m ahead. Don’t focus on the middle line. You’ll be a natural before you know it.

5) Go slow at the start. Who cares if grumpy road warriors start beeping you. Take it nice and slowly until you harness up enough confidence, it’s the only way. If you encounter someone with a litte road rage problem just remember – it’s their problem, not yours. Don’t let it affect you.

They’re simple tips, but useful ones. I hope they help if you’re just starting out in the wonderful world of campervanning.

AUSTIN BONHAM

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