Driving an RV is a new experience for many people. Even if you’ve owned campers for years, the feeling of navigating a huge trailer down the road is significantly different from driving a typical car. Consequently, preparing for a cross-country drive with your RV will also differ. Do you know what safety tips are necessary for your next trip?
Getting Ready for an RV Road Trip
Your RV needs to be checked for proper oil levels, tire alignment, and air pressure ahead of time before you can start driving. But that’s not the only type of preparation you have to worry about. Next time you’re getting ready for an RV road trip, keep these five steps in mind:
- Practice Defensive Driving
- Schedule RV Maintenance
- Make an Emergency Kit
- Plan Your Rest Stops
- Watch the Weather
1) Practice Defensive Driving
Depending on the size of your RV, the length of your vehicle could be 3X what you may be typically used to. This vast difference in size greatly affects your defensive driving skills, especially when considering lane changes, wide turns, and parking. If you’ve planned to make a trip with your RV, practice driving in empty parking lots or on roads with minimal traffic. It’ll be much easier to learn how to check for blind spots without the stress of highway speeds and traffic jams.
2) Schedule RV Maintenance
If you’re going to be traveling in an RV, it’s important to make sure all of the components are working properly. Make sure it’s ready to drive by getting an oil change, scheduling a service appointment, and ensuring that all of the roadside assistance supplies are packed. This might include jumper cables, a spare tire, and extra fuel.
Pro Tip: If you’re unable to schedule a service appointment at our main location, we have a mobile option available to repair your RV wherever you are.
3) Make an Emergency Kit
During road trips, the question isn’t whether issues will arise or not. It’s always a matter of when. You can prepare by making an emergency kit that contains the following items:
- First aid kit
- Insect repellant
- Paper and pens
- Cell phone and charger
- Waterproof poncho
- Latex gloves
- Utility knife
- Duct tape
- Emergency reflective triangle
- Whistle or blow horn
If you’re bringing children, make sure you have their favorite snacks and toys as well!
4) Plan Your Rest Stops
If you’re driving across the country, you’ll probably have to make a couple stops along the way for food, rest, or take a bathroom break. Unless you’re able to share the driving with someone in your group, it’s best to plan the stops before you start your trip so that you can arrive at your destination on time. Keep in mind that most states don’t allow overnight parking in an area not designed for RVs. If you’re able to drive through the night, you may have to reserve a spot at an RV campsite on the way to your final destination.
5) Watch the Weather
We all know how hard it is to predict the weather but it’s important to stay updated to ensure safety throughout your trip. If rain or severe weather has been forecasted, consider postponing your trip until it passes. In the probable cause that you may not be prepared as you’re driving, don’t hesitate to turn on your hazard lights. The safety of other drivers is just as important on the road.
Have a Safe Drive!
Even experienced RV owners should take care to plan ahead for a safe road trip. Never assume you know everything necessary for your vacation, and never assume that your RV is good to go immediately. It’s always better to prepare a little too much than to not prepare enough and be stranded.
Connect with us to learn more about road trip safety and preparations.