Driving an RV can be a great experience for most people, but it is something that should be taken seriously. Whether you drive a truck camper or a luxury motor coach, remember that your vehicle is probably larger than most others on the road at any given time. That said, there are special considerations you need to take while driving, especially on state and interstate highways.
Here are some rules for the road, to help make your next road trip a safer and more enjoyable:
- Stay in the right-hand lane – When you drive a sedan or SUV, you probably drive exactly how you want to drive: You can hop into the left lane, punch the gas, and pass slower folks whenever you need to. RV driving is quite different, in that your top speeds won’t match those of other smaller vehicles, so driving in the passing lane isn’t a great idea. It’s best to stay in the right lane as often as possible and maintain a reasonable speed, somewhere between 50 and 60 miles per hour. Doing so will not only help keep you and others safe on the road, it will also help you conserve gas.
- Pay attention to your mirrors – An RV is a large vehicle with multiple blind spots, so you should be aware of what’s going on around you, especially if there are other vehicles driving behind you. It will be difficult to see anyone who is tailgating you in your RV and sudden moves by either party could cause an accident. Use your mirrors at all times to keep an eye on what’s happening behind you.
- Make sure there’s plenty of space in front of you – Yes, it can be dangerous if other drivers tailgate your rig, but it’s just as dangerous, if not more so, for you to tailgate other vehicles. The bigger your RV, the longer it will take for you to brake and come to a complete stop. So, make sure that there’s lots of space between you and the vehicle ahead of you. A good rule of thumb is for you to stay behind another vehicle one second for every 10 feet of your RV. For example, if your rig is 40 feet in length, you should travel about four seconds behind the vehicle ahead of you.
- Have patience in traffic – Getting stuck in stop-and-go traffic isn’t ideal, but it will probably happen at some point during your trip. Impatient drivers will cut you off and zoom around you on all sides, so just remember to keep your cool in those situations and continue maintaining distance between your rig and the vehicle in front of you.
- Follow truckers – Truckers are some of the most experienced highway drivers out there, and they know the ins and outs for big rigs. It can be helpful to pay attention to the lanes truckers use and even where they stop for gas or breaks. Also, you can buy a CB radio and to listen to truckers talk to each other while on the road. They often relay information about accidents, weather updates, and road conditions to each other, all around the country.
You don’t have to be afraid of RV driving, you just have to be smart about it and follow a few simple rules. With these tips in mind, you’ll be navigating the highways like a pro in no time.
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