If you are new to RVing, specifically motorhomes, you may wonder whether RVs are difficult to drive.
Motorhomes are not difficult to drive and do not require a special license to drive. The size of the motorhome can affect its driveability, but some practice and common sense driving skills will make any motorhome easy to handle.
Here are some motorhome driving tips for new motorhome owners –
- Be aware of everyone around you. According to the DMV, motorhomes can actually be easiest to handle when you’re driving down the interstate. Shockingly to most new motorhome owners, the real test of your driving skills is maneuvering an oversized vehicle through city streets or in the mountains, where road-side trees and narrow, unpaved paths can make the size of your motorhome all too clear. Be conscientious of everyone around you—especially in your blind spot.
- Pull through parking spots. Try not to pull into any parking spots behind another vehicle. Motorhome blind spots are bigger than those of smaller vehicles, so you want to avoid backing up as often as possible. Try to pull through parking spots so you can leave the lot without backing up and risking any damage to your vehicle or someone else’s.
- Keep a good distance between you and the vehicle in front of you. This one is very important. The bigger the vehicle, the longer it takes to brake. If the car in front of you has to stop suddenly and you’re riding its bumper, you probably won’t be able to stop in time. To avoid fender benders and more serious accidents, keep a safe distance between you and whatever vehicles are in front of you.
- Be ready to brake when necessary. Once again, your motorhome’s breaks will not stop your vehicle as quickly as those on your Honda Accord. While this might seem obvious, many drivers forget to take your motorhome’s size into account. You have to be extremely vigilant and ready to brake at all times, just in case someone cuts you off and you have to slow down abruptly.
- Travel in a group. If you have friends with motorhomes, consider “caravaning” when you travel. This isn’t necessarily a definite principle, of course. Some drivers are exceptionally aggressive and won’t shy from a group of motorhomes. You’ll still want to remain extra vigilant and aware of the drivers around you, but cars tend to give groups of motorhomes wider berths than they would a single RV.
- Pay attention to the wind. Just as the wind can affect your abilities when driving a car, it can greatly impact your safety when driving a motorhome. Driving slowly when the wind is strong, and keep a good grip on the wheel. Keep in mind that the wind might even affect your motorhome more so than it would your car. Try to compensate for this extra danger with extra-precise driving skills.
- Remember how tall your motorhome is. Don’t just take familiar routes because they’re familiar. Your car might not have had any trouble fitting under that bridge, but your motorhome might. Take your motorhome’s height into account as you drive.
- Watch your acceleration. Heavy vehicles pick up speed on a downslope more quickly than light vehicles and cars, and they’re more difficult than cars to regain control of once they’ve gained speed. Keep your motorhome’s speed in check, especially when you’re going downhill.
- Watch out for distractions. Passengers especially pose a great danger to motorhome drivers. Not only do they talk, but they watch TV, they play cards, they cook, and they do anything else one might do in a regular home. Try to be aware as you drive your motorhome that you are infinitely more susceptible to distraction than you would be in a car.
- Be courteous to other drivers on the road. Not everyone on the road is going to adhere to your same rules of etiquette, so you can’t always control whether or not other drivers drive safely. You can, however, drive safely yourself and hope other drivers will follow suit.
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