Motor home and trailer season starts in earnest
Well prepared for the big road trip
Motor homes and travel trailers strike the perfect balance between freedom to roam and feeling at home. However, to ensure that a breakdown or accident does not spoil the experience along the way, it is important to be well prepared. “Very few people would consider it a sensible start to their vacation to pick up a motor home or travel trailer, pack it up, and set straight off on a big road trip,” says Markus Egelhaaf, an accident researcher at DEKRA.
- Vehicle health check before setting off
- Driver training for greater safety on the road
- Important to balance loads evenly
Tires are an often underestimated weak point on motor homes and trailers. Long periods of disuse and high vehicle weights frequently combine to yield a greater likelihood of defects, especially when coupled with heavy loads and poor maintenance.
Loads that are too heavy or wrongly distributed can easily throw motor homes and vehicle-trailer combinations off balance. With that in mind, a vehicle should not exceed its gross weight rating, nor should a vehicle-trailer combination go above the gross combined weight rating. Here, too, the permissible trailer load and nose weight need to be considered. Fines may be issued to violators.
Anyone switching from an uncoupled car to a trailer combination or motor home must be prepared for significantly reduced rear visibility. Adjusting the exterior mirrors is an absolute must. Additional trailer mirrors are required for most vehicle-trailer combinations.
Careful route planning also helps camping vacationers reach their destination safely and quickly. “Be on the lookout for special speed limits, overtaking bans, and road-based limits on weight, height, and width that may apply specifically to motor homes and travel trailers. In Germany, for example, the vehicle width includes the mirrors,” the DEKRA expert observes. “If you are traveling abroad, it is important to find out about the rules in force there before you start your journey – even for countries you are just passing through. And remember, self-inflicted stress is one passenger you don’t want along for the ride!”