There’s nothing quite like taking a road trip in an RV. There is only one full month of summer vacation left so you better make sure you enjoy it with family and friends! Whether you’re headed to somewhere nearby in Kentucky or somewhere across the country this summer, we at Bradshaw & Weil, Inc. want you to get the most out of your travels. But before you take your RV across country, we want to remind you about RV travel safety. As with any vehicle, maintenance is important. After all, even though you can hang out in your RV if it breaks down, who wants to spend their road trip on the side of the road?
First, know your ride — even if you’re just along for the ride
Of course, knowing the features (and limitations) of your RV is the first step to safely driving it. Are you towing a car? Be mindful of how that will affect your stopping power and maneuverability. Know the dimensions of your vehicle to help with parking and any tight spots you might encounter on the road. Make sure you know that you can fit under the overpasses and bridges on your route.
And even if you’re just a passenger, it’s a good idea to learn how to drive the RV as well. You might need to take over in an emergency or other situation.
Maintenance, maintenance, maintenance
Just like a car, keeping your RV well-maintained is extremely important. Are your tires in good shape and properly inflated? If you’re towing a car or boat, do you need additional braking power? Are your mirrors angled correctly? Is your safety equipment (for example, your fire extinguisher) in good working order? Doing a walk-around and conducting some quick checks before you leave can save you a lot of frustration down the road.
Down the road!
Your RV is much bigger than a car, of course, and that means you need to act more carefully when you’re driving it.
- Know your blind spots and use caution when changing lanes, merging or turning.
- Be patient and aware at all times. Consider installing a rear camera to help give you a complete picture of your surroundings.
- Other vehicles may act aggressively to get around you, and sometimes will cut you off once they have passed. Prepare for these situations and understand that many drivers don’t realize that you need additional space in front of the RV.
- Because your vehicle is far heavier than others, it picks up speed faster when going down hills or mountain passes, so keep an eye on that speedometer.
What about parking?
It’s best to have someone to guide you into a parking spot. If you don’t have anyone with you, check out the area before you try to pull in. Practice turns and backing up before you leave on your trip. Of course, never park for the night in an area unless you have approval or know that it’s safe.
Need to learn more?
Consider taking an RV driving safety course, if possible. At the very least, practice in a large parking lot before hitting the road. Taking a little time to learn how best to drive your RV or improve your skills can have a big impact for you and your family!
You’ll find a lot of helpful resources online for RV travel safety. We like:
- Good Sam Club at goodsamclub.com
- Family Motor Coach Association at fmca.com
- The list of RV clubs at rv-clubs.us/rv-clubs.html
- Great safety tips at safeco.com/rv-insurance/rv-safety-tips
Remember to give us a call at Bradshaw & Weil, Inc. when you need coverage for your RV or anything else. We’re here to help!