You cannot drive your RV or motor home like you are driving your car. There are lots of requirements that you need to comply with. You also have to observe safety measures while on the road. Safe operation of RV or motor homes will make your camping experience enjoyable. While not everyone can drive an RV, it is not an impossible task with little preparation. If you are driving an RV for the first time, having a little trouble with driving an RV is normal. Here are some safety tips so you can drive the vehicle successfully.
Things to keep in mind before driving an RV
It is essential that the vehicle is in excellent mechanical condition before hitting the road. You will need to perform a quick check to find out if there is any problem with the RV. Check the coolant, tire pressure, oil and other essential parts of the vehicle, especially after long winter hiatus. Aside from the regular checks that you perform, you should also check other components like your satellite dishes or TV antenna, awnings, jacks, lights, and more.
Once you have checked these components, the next thing you need to consider is following the best driving practices.
Driving Tips for RVs
Make defensive driving your primary weapon: The difference between a motor home and a regular car is that the former cannot be stopped, accelerated and turned quickly. If you are going to apply an avoidance tactic, it will inevitably fail. The two-second rule does not apply in driving an RV. You will need to increase it to 5 seconds or even more. You can anticipate the situation if there is a large gap between you and the car ahead. It will enable you to buy time when you increase the distance. Be sure to pay closer attention than you used to. Defensive driving prevents accidents and keeps you and your passengers safe at all times.
Use the mirror: Mirrors are one way for drivers to have a view of the rear when driving motor homes. Learn to use the mirrors regularly because RVs have blind spots and there are instances when you cannot see other traffic. If you are changing lanes, you should also use the mirror and turn on the turn signals before changing lanes. You cannot easily see cars as they hide in your blind spots, so you need to be very careful.
Slow down on steep hills: RVs are not good at climbing steep hills as they will overheat. You need to slow down or switch to a lower gear. Do not forget to watch the temperature gear as well. If you are on downhill slopes, you will also face another challenge in using the brakes because they fail and overheat. You will need to slow down and switch to a lower gear again. If trucks are slowly going downhill, you should also follow them.
Use backup camera: Aside from using both mirrors, you should also utilize your backup camera when you are pulling anything behind your RV. Be sure to take your time and avoid rushing. One idea you can consider is to walk the area before you backup so you will be able to understand it. For sure, with a little practice, you can become a pro. If you need to turn while backing, you have to turn to the left as this is where you have better vision.
Check brakes and air suspension: For RVs and motor homes which are equipped with air ride suspension, you need to check if it has enough air pressure. Do not drive your RV unless the air pressure is normal. For first-time RV drivers, you can use air brakes. They come in different types and may require braking techniques. You will have to undergo training to make sure that you are equipped with knowledge in using air brakes.
Driving with children
If you are bringing your children along, you should also keep them in their seat belts. While RVs are stable, there are still many reasons that kids can get out of the seat. You need to keep them safe, especially if you are traveling for long miles. Whether they want to turn the TV on or lie in bed, you need to go with them if it means letting them out of their seat belt. Children should not also move around except when accompanied by adults. You can make a stop for lunch or a bathroom stop if needed, but you should keep them in their seats. Get to know more about driving an RV by speaking to a Dallas RV dealer.