Safe Driving Tips For Driving an RV With Confidence
Just bought a newer, larger RV? Well, first off, congratulations! New RVs and motorhomes are very exciting purchases that offer incredible opportunities for their owners. When you put that key in the ignition, you get to kick start any number of adventures. However, as exciting as driving an RV may be, it can also feel a touch overwhelming as you learn to navigate a significantly larger vehicle than your normal sedan or two-door pickup truck. The following is a look at a few key safe driving tips that can help you take better control at the wheel of your RV:
3 Safe Driving Tips for New RV Owners
- Adjust your mirrors and consider upgrading. Backing up, passing other cars, and making wide turns are all more dangerous in an RV because you will have more blind spots — especially if you don’t keep your mirrors properly adjusted. Always check before setting off in your RV, even if you’re only going down the street. Additionally, consider upgrading your mirror setup with aftermarket products like side mirrors that reach out further to offer more comprehensive views of both sides. You might also consider having a wireless rearview camera system installed.
- Be proactive with your brakes. Braking in a large RV or motorhome is not the same as braking in a sedan. The average midsize camper weighs about 5,200 pounds and is frequently loaded down with another 1,500 pounds of gear. That’s several thousand pounds more than any general consumer car or truck and getting that much weight to securely stop doesn’t happen easily. You will need to leave significantly more space between you and the vehicle in front of you in order to give your vehicle more time to make a quick and secure stop, should you need it. When going downhill in a manual-shifting RV, downshift and allow your engine to do as much braking as possible.
- Be smart about the weather conditions. Driving in poor weather is a common factor in RV accidents. Rain, ice, sleet, fog and high winds can all make RV driving harder and more dangerous. High winds can be especially problematic here in the Southwest, as with so much drag on your RV, you may feel the vehicle tilt out of your control before you can correct it. Because of this, new RV owners should avoid ever driving during inclement weather. Instead, pull over to a rest stop, move to a camp at a closer location or stay an extra night before heading out into bad weather, at least until you feel more comfortable with driving your RV.
Practice Driving Safely and Keep Your RV Well-Maintained
As with all other things, becoming a better driver takes practice. Work on your safe driving techniques by going out in an empty parking lot and practicing maneuvering around the lines to understand your tail swing, and try parking in and out. Additionally, always follow your RV’s recommended service calendar and be proactive by scheduling a preventative maintenance visit before big trips to sure everything is in proper working order. If you need preventative maintenance performed on your RV, Premier Coach Works can do the job. Contact us today.