If you are thinking about hiring a motorhome for your next holiday, you may want to consider hiring a GPS sat nav unit to go with it, too (unless you already have one).
Getting lost in a larger vehicle is much more stressful and awkward than in a car – places where you can turn a car around easily magically shrink when you try to do the same with a family-sized motorhome…
Using a sat nav will also help you work out the time required and distance along unfamiliar routes and will enable you to specify preferences for toll motorways and so on.
It is important to be a little careful, however, especially if you usually use a sat nav in a car. The reason for this is simple – size. If you are driving a coachbuilt, 4-berth motorhome – typical for a family holiday – your vehicle will not only be longer than you are used to but it will be higher and wider.
This will mean that routes that would be passable in a car are impassable in your motorhome. In particular, 6′ 6″ width restrictions – common in the UK – and very low bridges will be out of bounds. Even some panel van conversions won’t fit through 6′ 6″ gaps – so don’t try. We’ve all seen news stories about lorry drivers following their sat nav directions into small villages and getting stuck – the same thing can happen with motorhomes.
The lesson here is that it’s vital to know the dimensions of your motorhome – height, width and length. In Europe you’ll need to know these figures in metres, in the UK you might want to know the feet and inch versions, too.