If you're like most of us, an RV is probably the largest vehicle you've ever driven. Whether you're new to the motor home lifestyle or it's just been a while since you've been on the road and you need a refresher, use these safety tips to reduce your chances of a mishap on your family's next adventure.
Practice Makes Perfect
When you first learned to drive a car, you likely spent hours behind the wheel with an experienced teacher. Create your own version of driver's ed by taking your RV to an empty parking lot. Practice maneuvers like K-turns and both parallel and perpendicular parking until you feel like you have a decent command of the vehicle's handling.
Mind Your Blind Spots
Because your RV is much larger than most other vehicles on the road, you need to be especially mindful when passing and turning. Before switching lanes or merging in your RV, check your blind spots carefully--then check them again. Adjust your mirrors carefully and don't be afraid to tweak them if you need a better view.
Leave Enough Time To Stop
Give plenty of following distance to other vehicles so that you have time to stop; keep in mind that stopping a large, heavy RV takes longer than stopping a car or even a sizable SUV. Conventional wisdom says you should stay at least one second behind the car in front of you for every ten miles an hour you're traveling. Increase that to five seconds per ten miles when driving an RV. In addition, most RV experts recommend never exceeding 63 miles an hour. Patience is the order of the day when it comes to driving a motor home. Stay to the far right lane when on the highway so faster drivers in smaller vehicle can pass you safely.
Take Care on Hills
An RV can be challenged when climbing steep hills. It's not impossible, but you need to move slowly and carefully in a low gear. Watch the temperature gauge to prevent your brakes from overheating, especially when going downhill.
Know Your Height Clearance
When driving a taller vehicle, you need to ensure that you can safely travel under bridges, overpasses, and other obstacles. Low-hanging tree branches can cause a big problem if you aren't keeping an eye out above your RV as well as all around it. Plan your route carefully by consulting a road atlas made specifically for truck and RV drivers. Most motor homes are between 11 and 13 feet tall.
Avoid Bad Weather Travel
When weather conditions aren't optimal, plan to park your RV and take a break. Watch the weather forecast and plan your trip accordingly. Wet and slippery conditions, fog, and poor visibility can all make it much more hazardous to pilot an RV. Strong winds are also a danger as they can cause your motor home to rock and sway.
To chat with our friendly team for more tips and browse our showroom of motor homes, visit Reliable RV today. We'll be happy to help you find the best RV for your needs.