15 SET 2023
Driving a motorhome is within everyone's reach, as long as you respect certain rules and get into the “mood” of becoming a motorhome owner. The aim is not to arrive at your destination as quick as possible, but to relax and take pleasure in visiting the places you pass. Then there are the technological aids, available most of all in the Ducato Camper Van, which make it easier to drive a recreational vehicle.
The first consideration – which might seem obvious – is that a motorhome is larger than a car. It's a longer vehicle, with an increased “wheelbase”, i.e. the distance between the front and rear wheels. Handling therefore suffers when driving in the city and in the mountains. There’s a simple solution: don't take corners too quickly and pay attention to whether the rear wheels have passed over the obstacle resulting in the corner itself. The width also requires attention on narrow roads: slow down and keep the vehicle on the driver’s side as much as possible. It’s also important to bear in mind the vehicle height: pay attention around underpasses and low bridges, but also balconies, protruding canopies and the branches of trees protruding over the road. If you can't always remember, write the width and height measurements on a piece of paper and display it clearly on the vehicle’s dashboard. .
Also consider that a motorhome is heavier than a normal car, and has a higher centre of gravity. An appropriate driving style is therefore needed, including consideration of braking distance and stability when cornering on a case-by-case basis.
If it's the case that you can never be cautious enough, it's also true that advances in technology have progressively increased the safety of motorhomes. To see this for yourself, consider the various safety and driver assistance systems (ADAS) offered in the Ducato Camper Van. To make for a safer drive, the vehicle includes the Full Brake Control System, which automatically brakes the motorhome when it senses other vehicles that could constitute an obstacle. The device now comes with Pedestrian Detection, which also detects pedestrians and cyclists. A major safety feature is Lane Centring, which identifies the road markings and autonomously acts on the steering to keep the motorhome in the middle of the lane.
Drivers are provided with invaluable assistance by the system that automatically switches off the high-beam headlights if necessary (High Beam Recognition), as well as the Rain and Dusk Sensor, which automatically activates the low beams when it senses the light fading, and turns on the windscreen wipers when it starts raining. The utmost safety is ensured by adaptive cruise control: when there isn't too much traffic, it maintains the set speed, but brakes the motorhome to maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front, then returns to the set speed. And you can go even further, with level 2 autonomous driving (combined with automatic transmission), which adds Traffic Jam Assist to the Lane Centring feature. The former acts on the adaptive cruise control and on the lane centring system to enable the vehicle to be manoeuvred automatically, to stay in lane, as well as autonomous braking, acceleration and steering depending on the other vehicles detected nearby.
The Ducato Camper Van also offers solutions to improve safety during a range of vehicle manoeuvre. Rear Cross Path Detection helps to avoid collisions when on the move, by signalling oncoming vehicles when reversing. Even when travelling on the road, you can maintain 360° control over the motorhome by using the Ducato Camper Van’s various systems, such as fog lights with cornering function (to light up the side you're turning the vehicle towards); Blind Spot Assist, to provide an alert of an oncoming vehicle that cannot be seen in the wing mirrors; Digital Central Rearview Mirror, which projects images from the wide-angle camera in the rear of the vehicle onto a display in the rearview mirror in the middle of the cabin.
Are you ready to experience the thrill of driving a motorhome? Don't be afraid, exercise a bit of caution and if you can, rely on the technology included in the Ducato Camper Van!