Driving an RV is intimidating especially if it is the first time a person is doing it. Even if a person has been driving cars for years, if it’s the first time driving an RV, it is important to educate yourself on the vehicle and how it differs from a traditional vehicle. You must not just believe some of the information that is out there that an RV just drives like a car. There is a big difference and that is not only with respect to size. What RV driving tips does a person need if he is required to drive an RV for the first time?
- Know the Rules of the Road for an RV
Safety should be the first concern of the first time RV driver. To be safe, the first thing you have to learn is the details of the RV itself. For instance, you should know the width and the height of the RV that you are driving or renting from RV rentals such as URentMe. If you fail to do this, it may lead to accidents on the road. Streets and roads have length and width limitations. Different states have vehicle size limitations. This regulates the types of vehicles which can be driven in their streets and roads.
- Safety should be the foremost consideration
In that sense, a person who wants to drive an RV for the first time needs adequate practice in driving it before taking the vehicle on the road. One of the more important RV driving tips that a new RV driver should remember is that when you press the brake pedal down to stop the vehicle, there will be a slight delay before it starts to slow down, and that the vehicle will not slow down as quickly as a typical car or SUV because of the size.
Usually, the delay could take up to one half second. This will feel like it is much longer when the vehicle is running at 60 miles per hour. An average car could take 150 feet of distance to stop at that speed. Therefore, a new RV driver needs to learn how to give more distance or space for safer stopping.
Other drivers on the road may cut off an RV too thinking that there’s enough room for them to do so. A first time RV driver must take this into account and just yield to other drivers if that driver wants to pass. For safety reasons, the new RV driver should always remember to:
- Give more distance between the RV and the vehicle that is following
- Yield to other drivers trying to pass and then give the same safe breaking distance
- It is better to arrive late, than never to arrive at all because of an accident
- Practice First
Since you may just be learning to drive an RV, you practice driving in a safe environment until you have mastered the driving mechanics. You need to have the feel of the vehicle as it handles in different road conditions and situations before taking it on a road trip. For instance, an RV requires more maneuvering space when parking. The same applies in negotiating street corners especially through narrow streets.
Turning big vehicles require maneuvering into the intersection or corner before even starting to swing the vehicle around. If this is not done, it is possible that the wheels of the big vehicle will run over the curb. It is recommended that new RV driver practice maneuvering (including backing up) the vehicle in an empty space or parking lot. The driver needs to practice backing up, parking, cornering and of course navigating on streets. Practice will give you the confidence you needs to take the RV on a road trip.
- Plan the trip
If the trip will require crossing several state borders, it is important to know the state limitations regarding the vehicle, the road conditions in the states and other related issues pertaining to driving an RV including licensing. A good resource for finding out more about RV licensing can be found here.
Finally, we recommend using a GPS device to help safely navigate the distance from beginning to end of your trip.