Driving an RV is an exciting experience, but it's a completely different pair of calicos compared to driving a car. You're dealing with a much bulkier vehicle (the weight remains under 3.5 tons which allows you to drive with a B license), which provides less control and precision on the road.
Many people have been driving RVs for years, so this is natural for them. But we should never be overconfident, as accidents can happen to anyone. The following tips for driving an RV will help any driver stay safe, whether they've been driving for years or are just getting started with caravanning.
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Don't overload your RV
This first tip leads to many others, but it is very important. Every RV is built to be able to carry a certain amount of weight. This usually includes all the water, cargo, passengers, and anything else stored in the RV.
Heavy and overloaded vehicles put a lot of stress on the frame, axles, engine, and wheels. You are more likely to have a tire blowout or serious vehicle failure if you regularly exceed the RV's weight limits. You will be able to protect your RV and your safety if you do not exceed the recommended weight limit. In fact, giving yourself about 15% less weight than the maximum is ideal.
Don't rush around corners
If you're looking for camper driving tips, this is probably one of the most common ones you'll hear. When cornering with an RV, you need to be careful about its turning radius and its weight because it's easy for a routine turn to turn into a disaster if you're not careful.
You will have to slow down before you try to turn. Turning while driving too fast is a great way to tip over! Make sure you pay attention to the drivers around you before you make a turn. Turn on your turn signal about 30 seconds ahead of time, as other drivers will need to know that you will be slowing down and are likely to make a wide turn.
Give yourself plenty of time to turn, as speeding through an intersection is one of the riskiest things you can do. You also need to consider the extra length and make a fairly wide turn.
This is another important tip for driving an RV! Since your RV on much larger in size and weight than a regular car, accelerating and decelerating will take much longer than you are used to. You need to plan ahead so you can slow down in time to avoid an accident
If you've ever driven on icy roads, you'll be somewhat prepared for this aspect of RV driving. In such road conditions, you have to take your time to either speed up or slow down. Driving an RV in such conditions without proper speed can be disastrous, as you can't just hit the brakes and expect all your momentum to stop immediately.
Accept help with parking
This is one of those RV driving tips that can be overlooked but can still be very important. Parking an RV is not an easy task, and you will have to watch out for vehicles/objects around you. In many cases, your mirrors don't give you the full picture, so you may hit something that was in your blind spot.
Help from an outside observer is very useful when you need to park. This could be a fellow passenger or even someone from the campground or street you are on. Have them stand beside you as you slowly move forward and backward. Lower the window to hear their instructions. With practice, parking will become easier, but it never hurts to have someone to help!
Stay at or below the speed limit
Adhering to the speed limit will keep you safe from various problems. It can be tempting to keep up with the traffic of surrounding cars that are likely to exceed the recommended speed limit. But when you're driving a large and bulky RV, you need to keep safety in mind. Excessive speed often leads to turning and swerving problems, so it's safest to just stick to the recommended speeds.
If you have a particularly large camper, you can even follow the recommendations for trucks. You should also stay in the right lane so that faster vehicles can overtake you without a problem. It's kinder and easier for everyone