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Drive Your RV Safely – Don’t Forget These Tips

Canadians Love RVs

RVMore Canadians than ever own RVs as prices drop while features increase. Whichever type of RV you own or are considering purchasing, keep in mind that half the fun of RV travel is getting there, and getting there safely is your top priority.

Skilled RV drivers realize that operating a large recreational vehicle is different in several ways from driving a passenger car. Increased length, height, width and weight mean an RV cannot maneuver as quickly as a car. Driving an RV is not particularly difficult, but it requires practice and a more prudent mindset.

Mind Your Distances

Because of the additional weight of an RV, braking distance increases. A good rule of thumb is to maintain 10 to 15 seconds of distance between you and the vehicle ahead of you. Additionally, post the overall dimensions of your RV on the dash to avoid having to consult the manual as you approach a service station canopy or a low bridge.

Avoid Fading Brakes

Increased weight can lead to brakes fading due to overheating of the braking surfaces. On long downgrades, avoid brake fade by shifting to a lower gear, which takes advantage of increased engine compression to slow the RV.

Built for Comfort, Not for Speed

The first priority for RV design is maximizing interior space for the occupants. Streamlining is a secondary concern. More bulk and flat surfaces on the outside increases wind resistance, and crosswinds can surprise you. Drive your RV more slowly than you would a car to increase fuel efficiency and increase your margin for driving error in windy conditions.

Courtesy Pays a Safety Dividend

RVs are difficult to pass due to their length and lower visibility of the road ahead for cars behind them. RV drivers must be sensitive to those difficulties. Help other drivers see the road ahead by not driving close to the centerline. Utilized turnouts and passing lanes to let other drivers by.

Likewise, bear in mind that your visibility, especially to the sides and rear of the vehicle, is impaired. Learn where your blind spots are and practice extra caution when making maneuvers that affect vehicles around you. A rearview camera is more than convenient when motoring down the highway as well as when backing up.

Allow a few extra seconds of warning when stopping or turning than you might in your car to signal other drivers of your intentions. This is especially true when making tight turns, since the RV’s turning radius is greater than a passenger car and may require that you use a second lane to execute the turn.

Prepare for Emergencies

Just like any vehicle, RVs break down on the road. Flat tires, overheating or engine failures are just a few of the possibilities for which you must prepare. Carry quality emergency equipment, such as flares, reflective triangles, fire extinguishers and a first aid kit. Adding RV roadside assistance to your insurance policy is a good idea.

Increase Safety with Proper Off-Road Care

Caring for your RV’s mechanical and structural condition is also a safety issue. Furthermore, an RV is a large financial investment and needs to be treated as such. Since most RVs spend more months off the road than on, it is critical that they be maintained and stored properly.

Choose a storage facility that provides protection from sun and inclement weather, snow removal and around-the-clock security. When looking for RV storage, keep in mind that 10 Mini Storage offers the protection your vehicle requires. Contact us now!