Tips for Driving Safely in Your RV

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RVs can be an exceptionally fun mode of transportation. They allow you to be on the road for long periods of time without having to make multiple stops due to their spaciousness and comfort. Because of this, extended road trips and cross-country journeys are made possible without having to purchase an expensive plane ticket. RVs can also have a negative side, however. Because of their typically large size, RVs can be harder to maneuver and handle than normal vehicles. It is crucial to be very comfortable driving your RV before setting off on a road trip or vacation.

A few safety tips for driving your RV:

  • Know exact vehicle measurements— Because of bridges, underpasses, and narrow roads, it is vital to be familiar with all of your RV’s specific measurements. This includes the length, height, and average weight of the RV. Before passing underneath or over a bridge, a sign is usually provided informing drivers of maximum height and weight limits. Pay close attention to these limits and do not attempt to pass if your RV exceeds them. 
  • Know how to maneuver your RV— Due to the weight, height, and length differences that an RV has compared to a typical car, an RV cannot be driven and operated in the same fashion as a normal vehicle. Sharp turns should be taken with even more precaution and you should know the approximate distance it takes your RV to come to a full and complete stop after applying pressure to the brakes. 
  • Always wear safety belts— Even if your RV allows you the ability to get up and walk around, safety belts should be worn by all passengers for the majority of the time. It’s all right to get up and stretch your legs, but remember that you are still in a moving vehicle and being out of your seat for too long can become dangerous. 
  • Know what type of weather to expect— The added difficulty of driving such a large vehicle can become even more stressful and hard when you add nasty weather to the mix. Be prepared for bad weather conditions, and know how to safely drive your RV in the rain, sleet, and snow in case you are forced to do so. 

Many people wish to tow a separate car behind their RV to drive around when they reach their final destination. Towing can be easy and convenient as long as you know what you are doing. Towing a car behind an RV is different than towing one behind a normal vehicle, however, so be sure you know the differences.

Safety tips for towing another vehicle behind your RV:

  • Be certain your RV can handle the added weight of another vehicle, even under rough conditions like climbing steep hills and driving on uneven terrain. 
  • Check that all tail, brake, and turn signal lights are fully functioning on the car in-tow. 
  • Double check that all hitch attachments are secure before leaving. 

RVs are a wonderful and much less expensive way to travel long distances than many other forms of transportation. If you are thinking of renting or buying an RV, familiarize yourself with all safety precautions first.

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