Typical beginner's mistakes - we’ve all been there! They often even occur during your first camping holiday. In order to prevent anything from going wrong on your first trip with a rental vehicle or your own van or motorhome , we have come up with a few tips and tricks. We will show you the most common beginner’s mistakes and the best way to avoid them.
- Setting off without preparation
You’re excited and want to set off on your well-earned holiday immediately. But setting off without preparation can quickly spoil the excitement, particularly after the winter break. Take enough time to check the most important points on your vehicle before setting off. Check the tyre pressure, clean the water tank, charge the on-board battery and check the fill levels of the gas bottles.
- Haphazard van or motorhome loading
First of all, it is important to know the actual empty weight of the vehicle and the total permissible weight of the vehicle, since this is the only way to calculate the maximum payload. Also try to store your luggage logically and in a well thought-out way so that it can be found again quickly and easily. It is not advisable to load the luggage into the van or motorhome in a careless and disorganised way. General rules for weight distribution: Heavy at the bottom, light at the top – the vehicle is stabilised by having a low centre of gravity.
- Unsecured luggage
Important note before setting off: Your accommodation moves and rolls. You therefore need to stow your luggage away securely. In Malibu vans and motorhomes you have plenty of storage space for your luggage. Check that all flaps are closed and locked before setting off so that you are not distracted by falling objects while driving.
- Setting off with a full fresh water tank
People who are new to camping fill the fresh water tank as full as possible before setting off. Experts, however, only put as much water in the tank as they need for the journey. Each litre is additional weight for the vehicle to carry. The fresh water tanks in Malibu Vans and motorhomes hold between 80 and 125 litres. However, as a rule, 30 to 60 litres is sufficient for washing hands and using the toilet during the journey. The fresh water tank can also be refilled without problems at the majority of filling stations.
- Walking around in the van or motorhome while travelling
You have to wear a seat belt in a motorhome or van, like you would in a car. This doesn't just apply to the driver and the passenger, but all other passengers – regardless of whether it is a child or a dog. Passengers are also prohibited from lying in the bed while travelling. When you purchase or rent a vehicle, it must be ensured that the number of occupants corresponds to the number of seats with seat belts. Our vans have four seats with seat belts, and our motorhomes can be optionally equipped with five seats with a 3-point seat belt. Thanks to a special securing system for your four legged friends, they can also travel with you in the van or motorhomes without problems.
- Driving style similar to a car
Before setting off, you should take a short test drive with the motorhome or van. Even though some of our Malibu vans and motorhomes have compact exterior dimensions, you shouldn't forget that the vehicle has a different weight, particularly when loaded. Motorhomes and vans also require more caution than a car while driving. Correct rear-view mirror adjustment, cornering, braking behaviour with a fully loaded vehicle and manoeuvring in tight spaces are all things which need to be learned. Our tip: Before setting off on a long trip, practice in an empty parking space on a Sunday afternoon or take part in an organised driving safety course.
- Blindly trusting SatNav
Nowadays, it is difficult to imagine planning a journey and driving to your destination without SatNav. Time and time again, these small electronic helpers lead clueless motorhome drivers into winding alleys or bumpy shortcuts. There are also SatNav systems which allow you to enter the size and weight of your vehicle and take these properties into consideration during route planning. However, even with these SatNav systems, a healthy degree of scepticism is recommended. Our tip is therefore: don’t blindly follow SatNav instructions, but trust your own instincts and pay attention to road signs.
- Driving without breaks
Of course, we all want to get to our destination as quickly as possible. But a marathon journey can quickly become a feat of strength. Try to avoid driving excessively long distances during the day. The motto when camping is: “The journey is the destination.” If you can't avoid driving long distances all at once, you should plan to switch drivers. Our tip: Always attempt to reach your destination before sunset so that you can arrive while it's still daylight, convert your vehicle to sleeping mode and spend a relaxed evening next to your motorhome or van.
- Looking for a parking space in the sun during the height of summer
You can't get enough of the sun during the summer holidays. Although Malibu vans and motorhomes are well insulated, when you are looking for a parking space you should consider the fact that you won’t get the summer heat out of the vehicle easily if you’ve parked in the blazing sun all day long. If you can’t avoid direct sunlight, keep the blinds down during the day and ventilate well during the evening. If you’re still sweating, you can also turn on the air conditioning in our vans and motorhomes and choose your required temperature.
- Putting off waste water disposal
One of the less enjoyable tasks of a camping holiday is so called “dumping”, i.e. the disposal of waste water. A distinction is made here between grey water from the shower, the sink and the washbasin and black water, which is the waste water from the toilet. A touch of discipline is required: Particularly the black water needs to be emptied at regular intervals to prevent unpleasant surprises the next time you go to the loo.
- Overly hasty departures
Breakfast is over and you want to get to the next destination. A quick departure is particularly tempting when it’s raining. We can say from experience: Take sufficient time to tidy up the entire living area, otherwise something is guaranteed to fall to the floor when you turn the next corner. Take a good look around the interior: Are the cupboards, the fridge and the roof hatches closed? A tour of the motorhome will reveal whether the power cable is disconnected and the windows and the storage compartment flaps are closed. Is there a supply and disposal station on site? The unavoidable tasks are quickly sorted – and you can set off on new adventures in a much more relaxed way with some fresh water on board and an empty waste water and septic tank.