How to Drive a Motor Home Safely: Tips from Other Motor Home Owners

Driving a motor home can be very difficult if you have little or no experience.
It is much larger therefore is not the same as driving your car. Read these tips from other RV motorists before hitting the highway:

  • "Unless you have driven an 18-wheeler professionally, take driving lessons. No matter how long you have driven a motorhome, you'll learn something new. Be sure your wife or copilot also takes lessons. Can you imagine being 25 miles from a town when you need medical help and your wife doesn't know how to drive your coach— Take turns driving, so you don't tire out. If you drive1-1/2 to two hours and then trade off, both of you arrive at your destination feeling pretty good."
  • "Stay on the “red roads” or at least the roads where conditions make it possible to maneuver a big rig. Sometimes you will end up in a place where the road is full of switchbacks, the bridge is too low, or a weight restriction prohibits passing through. Occasionally, you’ll need the help and patience of other motorists to get you out of a tight space. It’s best to try to avoid those situations but sometimes it just happens, so stay cool."
  • "If you are towing a car, when changing lanes, remember that you are towing a vehicle."
  • "Be alert at all times, stop often and limit your daily travel miles to a comfortable level."
  • "Be patient, don’t get in a hurry, drive safely and READ YOUR OWNERS MANUALS."
  • "Know how to drive a motorhome before leaving on a trip. Practice in large, empty parking lots and large cemeteries, not cutting corners, making sharp turns, etc."
  • "Never tailgate someone. Constantly check mirrors and rearview monitor if you have one. Make all turns wide. Know how long it takes to stop. Never go over the speed limit."
  • “Do not drive long distances at any one time. Schedule your time, retire early and never stretch your attentiveness while driving. No matter what you might think, you must always drive your coach; never let it drive you. Besides, retiring to a campsite early in the day allows you to truly enjoy whatever environment surrounds you."
  • "Patience! Be alert, scan down the highway and check your mirrors frequently. If you’re behind schedule, don’t hurry … that’s what cell phones are for."
  • "Take your time, have patience, and regardless of how much it may sometimes hurt your pride, give the other guy the right of way."
  • "Be patient and courteous. Slow down and don’t try to make the whole trip in one day. Take your time and enjoy life."
  • "If you leave early, and stop early, you are more apt to find a vacancy, and have time to relax and enjoy the surroundings. Use walkie-talkies to communicate when parking the motorhome, and also when traveling if one spouse is in the car and the other is in the motorhome."
  • "Slow down, smell the flowers. Take time to enjoy the area in which you are traveling. Don't drive 12 hours a day and get off the interstate."
  • "Ladies, learn to drive your motorhome; gentlemen, encourage your wives to drive. This is not really a tip, but our strong recommendation. It’s not very safe for one person to drive many hours in a row. When we got our first motorhome, we set a rule that neither one of us would drive more than two hours continuously, unless absolutely necessary. If one person suddenly becomes ill and the partner has to drive to a hospital or obtain other emergency help, it’s much better to be comfortable with handling your vehicle.”
  • "Be sure to use mirrors and keep all surroundings in sight."
  • "Use walkie-talkies to communicate when parking the motorhome, and also when traveling if one spouse is in the car and the other is in the motorhome."
  • "Keep a close eye out for low trees and underpass clearance signs."

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