Tips for Driving a Class A Motorhome for the First Time

During the first times that you are behind the wheel of a motorhome, it is natural for you to feel a bit intimidated because of its size. You do not have to compare yourself to a salesman or an expert in handling the vehicle yet. The reality is that you only have to give more attention to certain situations so you can stay safe the entire trip. If your motorhome is on automatic transmission, has power brakes, and great chairs, you will realize that it’s not as hard as it you thought.

Motorhomes are longer, heavier, and higher than the cars you are used, but by following the tips in this post, you should not have a problem with it. You will also realize that they are fun and beautiful to drive because anyone can do it.

Make sure you are comfortable

This is the primary thing you need to know because it is the most important. What you need to do is to test the driver’s seat by sitting in it and allow some time to make proper adjustments making it easy for you to reach pedals and controls later on. The seat needs to be moved forward and backward so that it will be in the correct location. You also have to move it up and down, even tilt it to ensure that you will be comfortable in it even for long distance driving.

Consider your rig’s height

This is something that people fail to consider, which can actually cause problems in certain areas. You should know your rig’s height well because if you are about to enter a new area and there is a low bridge, that will be a problem. An RV GPS is what you will need to receive important information such as weight and height restrictions of an area prior to seeing any warning signs in the area.

Watch out for tree limbs and these are commonly found in parking areas and campgrounds. Always keep your eyes peeled for any trees while entering and leaving the campsite or any other situation.

Adjust the mirror

This is referring to the rearview mirror because it lets you know if the people inside the vehicle are in their seats or walking around. The side mirrors on both sides are what you look at for outside information in your rear. There are motorhomes that have built-in cameras for rear vision so that you will have a better picture of what is going on behind your vehicle. If you have this, you don’t have to keep on guessing if you are about to hit something with your bumper because side mirrors are not for this.

The Motorhome tail-swing

A tail-swing happens if your motorhome has a long rear and you make a sharp turn. If the vehicle’s front enters one direction, the rear will behave in a complete manner. If you are in a tight area like campgrounds or service stations, this could cause a collision. You can avoid this if you have a good spotter helping you or carefully use your mirrors. Situations that have high curbs, large boulders and rocks, and obstacles that are low-lying require you to be extra careful.

Overweight condition

This is another one that is overlooked by a lot of motorhome owners. If your weight gets out of hand, there are problems that will follow like you will lose control while trying to stop or even go through breakdowns caused by weight. This is why you need to make sure that the maximum weight does not exceed the GVWR. Keep in mind that because of the vehicle’s size, it could take some time before it slows down or accelerates. Prevent a sudden stop by shifting gears properly and allow more time to slow down to make a successful stop. If you there is busy traffic ahead, start to slow down to allow enough time to stop.

Follow the lines and stay between them

This is an awesome tip that will be important while on the freeway. Once you reach the freeway, do not stay focused on middle lines or the white lines on the side. By looking ahead, specifically 4 to 5 cars long, you are going to naturally move toward the middle lane. Before you know it, you will be joining them.

The semi-trucks are not a threat to you, except for their weight. You might meet at eye level, but the suction of wind whenever one of them passes you by might still have enough impact to pull you closer to them. If you are aware of these occurrences, you will be able to make the needed corrections. How much correction you need to make will depend on your motorhome’s weight.

Backing up

This could cause you trouble if not done correctly. A lot of people do this without care and fail to check what could be behind them. If you learn the habit of doing this slowly while looking at the side mirrors or cameras while doing minor corrections while steering, you will succeed.

The best thing to do is to get out of the vehicle and check everything behind your rig before backing up. You should especially do this if it is already after sunset. If it is already after dark, this is a time when you need to use a good spotlight to help you out. If you have a spotter that knows this, ask for their guidance. Remember to take your time when backing up because this is not supposed to be rushed. It is better to be careful than be held accountable for anything you might back into.

When you follow the tips given, you are sure to prevent any accident from happening while driving your Class A Motorhome. As an owner and vehicle driver, you are responsible for the safety of the passengers with you and also those you will encounter along the way.

Nancy McCoy

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