Do you remember those days after you got your first learners permit? Were your parents sitting next to you with a constant monologue of safety tips and reminders? Sometimes those voices still repeat in your head with warnings about using signals, checking mirrors and watching your speed. If you’re driving an RV for the first time, all those little pieces of advice take on an even greater sense of importance. Along with your regular safe driving habits, there are a few more special pieces of advice just for RV drivers.
Braking takes longer.
An RV is a big vehicle and the laws of nature dictate that big vehicles takes a longer time to stop. Keep this in mind while driving and try to keep one vehicle length for each 10 mph between you and the vehicle in front of you. Be patient and calm because being a little late isn’t worth running into someone.
Watch Your Head.
RV’s are not only heavier and longer, but they are taller as well. A familiar route of tree lined streets, drive-thoughs and even bridges can become unexpectedly hazardous with just the added height. Check your vehicle specifications to find out exactly how tall you are, and remember to look up! If you store anything on the luggage rack, remember to add that on top of the regular vehicle height.
Wind is Not Your Friend.
The tall, solid height of an RV is like a ship’s sail on the open seas. Every strong gust of wind, or wake of a passing truck will buffet the sides of your RV, pushing you around the road. Sometimes this is helpful, like when the wind is at your back going down the road and saving you gas money, but most times it is just dangerous and something you need to stay aware of. One uncorrected swerve could put you into another lane or even off the road.
Everything’s Bigger, Including Your Blind Spots.
Cruising down the interstate may actually be the easiest part of driving an RV. When you’re trying to park, back up, or even navigate narrow, busy city traffic, it is a different story. If you get to thinking you are the big rock star of the open road, don’t forget to remember ‘the little people.’ Take extra time and precautions to check your blind spots and avoid damages to not only your vehicle, but others as well.
In conclusion, be alert, be patient and don’t be afraid to ask for help. RV’s are an easy and fun way to vacation, and if you do your best to be a safe driver, you’ll be able better able to enjoy the places the road leads you to.