In the UK we have a unique road system which combines smooth, flowing motorways with narrow, gnarly country lanes and pretty much everything in between. This winter has been extremely tough on the roads, however, and the recent snow and ice has caused real deterioration. The press is billing the road situation as a ‘pothole crisis’ and for motorhome owners potholes are becoming a real problem.
The weight and size of a motorhome means that it can absorb most shocks from uneven road surfaces, but when pothole damage does hit it often causes serious damage. Punctures from potholes are a very common reason for a motorhome insurance claim and they can be immensely expensive if the damage goes through to the wheel.
Suspension is also at risk on winter roads and constant battering from potholes can severely weaken the springs that keep the ride smooth. Older vehicles are more likely to have been damaged in the past and so will be more at risk, but quite an impact is necessary to completely dislodge a suspension unit.
Many drivers take the evasive approach when it comes to potholes, trying to line up the wheels away from the actual hole and avoid it all together. This can prevent the initial damage from hitting a hole but often results in drivers swerving which can cause a skid and potentially an incident. Avoiding potholes also becomes habitual and very often it’s safer just to approach the hole slowly.
Unfortunately the roads in the UK are only likely to get worse for the next few months until warmer weather makes repairs possible. Even then, heavy rainfall and latent drainage problems could cause further difficulties and worse damage. Until then motorhome owners are advised to take extreme caution on country lanes and make sure to keep details of their breakdown cover provider handy, alongside a charged mobile phone, just in case of the worst.