Johnston RV Country Blog

  • Published on Aug 03, 2021
    Johnston RV Country's 10 Tips for Driving Your New Motorhome

    Hey there RVers!  

    If you’re in the market to buy a motorized RV then there are a few things you should know.  

    Knowing the different types of motorhomes as well as their driving styles can help you decide what is right for you. Let’s break it down. 

    Class A

    These are the biggest of all the motorized RVs. Think of a large travel bus. They’re almost like a home on wheels and they can seem especially daunting to drive. Class A motorhomes are capable of towing vehicles and trailers behind them so this will make them extra-long. One of the best perks of driving a Class A motorhome would be the large panoramic view of the road since you’ll have an enormous windshield and you would be sitting up high off the road. Another Class A perk is all that space! You and your family won’t feel cramped while driving since everyone can spread out. Seat belt laws for RVs vary in each state so please keep this in mind as well. Before traveling in a Class A motorhome, it’s important to know what the roads and campsite will look like and what RV size limits they might have. Since they are the largest of the RV family, between 26’ to 45’, you’ll have to check the campsite regulations. Thin and winding roads can also pose a challenge for inexperienced drivers. 

    Class B 

    The smallest of the RV family, Class Bs are built on van chassis so if you can drive a van, you can drive a Class B! This means you can get to those remote campsites down winding roads. You definitely won’t have the interior space like a Class A would but you also don’t have to tow your car behind you. Prepping for a trip is easier, gas is cheaper, and you can roam where you please. 

    Class C 

    In between a Class A and a Class B, the Class C is similar in size to a motorized U-Haul. Class Cs have a cab-over area for sleeping or storage which frees up room in the back for anything else! Driving a Class C is much like driving a truck. You’ll be elevated with a large windshield but still small enough to fit just about anywhere.  

    Now let's get down to the driving tips! 

    1. Do your Preventative Maintenance Inspections 

    Check those tires, brake lights, turn signals, and mirrors before heading out on a trip. Trying to find a repair shop in the middle of a trip can be a hassle. (If you’re in the Rochester area, our Johnston RV Country service department will come to you! Contact us at either our Webster location (585-787-4600 ext 212) or our Palmyra location (315-597-5388 ext 106)! 

    2. Know your turning radius 

    Class A and B motorhomes require you to drive out a little further before making a turn, as to not cut any corners. You may be comfortable behind the wheel of a large truck, but driving a vehicle this size requires extra care. Same goes for backing up and parallel parking. 

    3. Secure your belongings 

    You know when you get on an airplane and the flight attendant comes through and checks the overhead compartments. DO THE SAME! Check your cabinets, drawers, and strap down anything that could roll. These free moving objects can become dangerous and distracting if you were to take a sharp turn. Make sure your outside compartments and awnings are secured tightly as well.

    4. Brake early 

    Since motorized RVs are larger and heavier than your average car, you’ll need to give yourself extra time to brake. Experts recommend braking 6 seconds before the vehicle in front of you. Also make sure you are leaving enough distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you while driving. Chances are they will be able to brake a lot faster than you, so you want to give yourself enough time to react and brake appropriately.  

    5. Give yourself plenty of time to merge

    Since your RV is longer (and slower) than the traditional car you’ll need to give yourself plenty of time to merge. It may take you longer, but that is okay. Safety of the driver, passengers, and other vehicles on the road comes first. Blind spots are a new challenge that you’ll have to adjust to, blind spot mirrors and cameras are a great tool for beginners. 

    6. Slow down 

    Driving slower will give you more time to react to a turn, merge, or stop. It also gives other motorists more time to get out of the way.  

    7. Plan your rest time

    You’ll be putting more focus and effort into driving a larger vehicle and this can wear you down quickly. Find rest stops along your route to give yourself a few minutes to relax and refuel if you need to. 

    8. Know your size

    It’s important to know your height, width, length, and even weight before hitting the road. Low bridges and wires can cause a huge problem for an unsuspecting motorist. Your weight will become important if there’s a weight limit to a bridge. If you encounter road construction, lanes may be thinner and harder, or even impossible, to navigate. Detour around construction if you’re unsure. 

    9. Get cameras and proximity sensors

    Some motorized RV packages include options for backup, 360, side cameras, or proximity cameras. It’s worth spending the extra money! 

    10. Practice! 

    Go find an empty road or parking lot and practice turning, parking, backing up and anything else. Once you feel comfortable, get on a road with light traffic and somewhere you know well. 

     

    Hopefully these tips will help whether you’re thinking about buying or have already purchased a motor home. You have a huge responsibility when driving one so it’s best to be prepared.  

    Ride Digital
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