Essential RV Driving Tips for Beginners
Driving an RV can be exciting but comes with unique challenges. Recreational vehicles are heavier and larger than most cars, requiring extra caution on the road. Heightened defensive driving is crucial when operating these behemoths. Let's explore several RV driving tips for beginners from experts and the Department of Transportation.
Know the Weight, Length, and Height of Your RV
Check your owner's manual for the height of your unit. Before any trip, determine the height clearance of bridges and underpasses of the roads you'll take. Stick to routes your RV can safely pass through. Also, be aware of length and weight restrictions on certain highways. Some roadways may restrict vehicles over a specific length or weight.
If you're new to RV driving, practicing before your first trip is vital. Find an empty lot where you can familiarize yourself with maneuvering your vehicle. Take the time to get comfortable with the size and weight of the RV.
Know the Regulations
Stay informed about specific speed limits, parking restrictions, and other regulations in your travel areas. According to the Department of Transportation, highways have a speed limit of 65 mph for RVs, while most roads may limit you to 55 mph. But rules may vary by state.
Stick to the Right Lane
Staying in the right lane is generally recommended for RVs. This position allows for an escape route if needed, reduces the risk of other vehicles merging into your path, and keeps the "weak" side of the RV clear.
Maintain at Least 400 Feet Distance
RVs require more time and space to slow down and stop. Maintain at least 400 feet or four seconds following distance to prevent accidents. This space gives you enough time to react to sudden stops or road hazards.
Make Wide Turns
Take wide turns to avoid hitting curbs, signs, or other vehicles. Watch out for the back-end swing, as the extended length of the vehicle can pose a risk. Take your time when turning. Holding up traffic behind you is better than damaging your RV or another vehicle.
Take Rest Periods
According to the Department of Transportation, RV drivers must take rest breaks of at least 15 minutes every two hours for trips over 150 miles. Rest periods help combat fatigue, allowing you to stay alert during your journey.
Secure Your Things
Before hitting the road, ensure that all loose items inside your RV are securely stored. Secure the cabinets and drawers to prevent objects from shifting during transit. Doing so will keep your belongings safe and prevent distractions while driving.
Follow these guidelines for a safe and smooth RV journey. If you’re looking for a recreational vehicle in Oklahoma or Texas for your road adventures, visit us at Genuine RV & Powersports. We are a trusted RV dealer in the area. Our experts will guide you in finding a unit that suits your driving abilities and travel aspirations!