A safe and memorable RV Trip takes time to plan to ensure that it is a good experience. Whether you are a first time RV'er or not, these tips will help to make sure you are as safe as possible on the road!
1.) Pick The Right RV:
If you are new to RV'ing, make sure you rent or purchase an RV that you feel comfortable driving or towing. Practice parking, backing up and turning corners in your new rig.
Driving a motorhome for the first time has a learning curve, make sure to use your mirrors!
If you are towing for the first time make sure to have your towable properly hitched and that you have all the lights working properly.
2.) Weather Conditions:
When planning your trip make sure to check weather conditions for your destination and your planned route. Also make sure to check for construction areas or road closures. You can view weather conditions on these websites:
- Road Trucker Weather Forecast
Make sure to stay under the legal weight limits for your specific rig, you can weigh your RV at weigh stations, DOT Checkpoints or commercial truck stops.
4.) Safety Checks:
Before hitting the road make sure to double check all of these items:
- All doors, storage compartments, windows are firmly closed and locked
- Sewer lines are disconnected
- Check air brakes, tow brakes and parking brake
- Check Tire Pressure
- Double Check Safety Cables & Tow Bar
- Retracting steps, jacks and awning
- Check propane tank for leaks
- Make sure slide-outs are completely retracted
- Check under your rig for possible leaks
5.) The 20 Percent Rule:
Most rigs have a slower acceleration and braking rate, follow the 20 Percent Rule which states to add 20% to everything you do in driving, from increasing your following distance, to judging how much clearance you have while braking, to merging into traffic while driving your rig.
Remember the size of your RV! Many RV accidents are caused from the lack of remembering your actual RV size, for example, many drivers have accidentally went under an overpass with not enough clearance because they forget the actual height of their rig.
Tip: Get a sticky note and write your clearance size and put it on the dash board of your rig, that way you never have to question it!
7.) Emergency Plans:
In case of an emergency, always notify a family member or friend of your travel route and destination. Always carry your cell phone or an emergency contact list.
8.) Seat Belts:
Laws don't require seat belts in all areas where passengers can sit, but it is recommended for every passenger to be seated and buckled in their seat at all times during transit. If your child must be in a car seat, make sure to consult with your sales rep or local dealership on which seating area is safest for the car seat and how to properly install it into your rig.
Make sure your phone is in an easily accessible area for emergency purposes but do not ever use your cell phone while driving, if you have to make a phone call or text, have a passenger make the call for you or if you are alone, make sure to safely pull over.
10.) Look Out For Other Drivers:
Make sure to pay attention to other drivers on the road, check your mirrors and drive safe and slow. Focus on the road when other drivers are passing you, depending on your rig size you may not have much space on the road to move freely.
We hope these RV Safety Tips were helpful, do you have any tips or RV driving experiences that you would like to share with us and other readers?
Leave your responses in a comment below!