What to look for on a motorhome test drive
Taking a motorhome—or any vehicle for that matter—for a test drive can be an exciting but unfamiliar experience. You’re on the brink of making a big decision, you’re driving a vehicle you’ve never driven before, and you may be on roads you’ve never traveled before. Talk about sensory overload.
But everything is a little easier and a little more comfortable when you’re prepared, right? So, we thought we’d share a quick list of things to consider when you’re in the captain’s chair of a motorhome for the first time to make sure the experience pays off like it should.
Of course, safety first always, so adjust your seat, steering wheel and mirrors and let’s go.
This is something that you get so used to when driving your everyday vehicle that it almost fades into your subconscious. This is actually easier said than done, so make a concerted effort to have it on your mind during your test drive. Notice how you can see when you turn, the range of vision in your mirrors and how closely you can see to the front of the unit. We use seamless panoramic windshields, including huge, 120-inch windshields on our Luxury Diesel models that wrap around the sides of the unit for added visibility.
Bonus tip: In addition to what you can see, take a minute to get used to the dimensions of the cabin. Things like your distance to the windshield and the passenger seat can be a little disorienting at first.
In-cab monitoring systems
These super handy, safety-enhancing features found on almost every new car are starting to find their way to motorhomes. All of ours feature rearview cameras, and most feature sideview as well. Once you settle in, get comfortable with when they engage, how they work and what you can and can’t see.
Monitoring systems aren’t the only modern conveniences making their way to into motorhome cabs. Passive start, multi-function touchscreen displays, power adjustable, well, everything basically, USB ports, the list goes on and on. No reason to be overwhelmed though. Just get a feel for where everything is and how to reach it before taking to the road.
This is another one of those things that you kind of lose track of on your everyday drives. Pay attention to sound while driving—at different speeds and while stopping and starting. On your long hauls, even a small rattle or hum can add up and be distracting, so pay attention before you get to that point.
Just as an example of what goes into this behind the scenes: sound dampening wood in our floors, the same kind of fiberglass found in sound absorbing theater rooms in our walls, and vinyl padding in our ceilings are just a few of the quiet-riding features we build into our Luxury Diesel models. Watch this video or read more about it here.
Grades and turns
Mix some variety into your test drives. As long as you’re comfortable, ask the dealer if you can try some highway driving, some slower driving and find a hill or two to go up or down. Get a feel for turning as well, both sharp and wide, while you’re at it.
Not all dealers offer test drives, but if you’re working with one that does, do not miss the opportunity to take advantage. It can be one of the most valuable parts of your shopping process. You can find your nearest Entegra Coach dealer here.