6 RV Tips for the First Time RVer

Are you hitting the road for the first time in a new or used RV? Here are some RV tips for the first time RVer to help you gain confidence behind the wheel, drive calmly, and avoid beginner mistakes.

Take it for a Test Drive…or Three

Test drive, test drive, test drive! Pulling or driving a new or used RV comes with its own set of challenges, and requires acclimation to get used to the difference in length and weight over simply driving your usual vehicle. Find an empty parking lot, borrow some traffic cones, and practice maneuvering. Make left and right turns, practice backing up, and getting the general hang of it.

RV Tips

Don’t Rush the Road Trip

Give yourself extra time to complete the drive. You might usually zip along just under the speed limit in your everyday vehicle (we know you never speed!), but slow down a bit when towing a new or used RV. Plan to take it at a bit more leisurely pace and be patient with yourself. Rushing to get there will only result in making risky or dangerous mistakes while driving – which can be enormously costly or even deadly. Play it safe. Slow it down.

Speaking of Slowing Down…

Practice putting on the brakes. Every vehicle’s brakes feel differently, and this is doubly true when you’re towing something heavy. When you’re out taking the test run, pump the breaks to see how it feels.

Another advantage of practicing your breaking – as well as driving a touch under the speed limit – is it gives you more reaction time if there’s a collision or dangerous situation in front of you. Don’t be zooming at a speed that results in not enough time to react or slow down.

Life in the Slow Lane

“Keep right unless to pass.” It’s not just courtesy, it’s common sense. Stay in the right lane unless you’re passing a slower or pulled over vehicle.

Cut Out the Distractions and Impairments

Obviously, never ever drive while under the influence of illegal substances – including medications that may impair your driving ability or reaction time. And eliminate the distractions as much as you can. We know that’s virtually impossible when traveling with children, but don’t text or use social media or check email while driving. Common sense? Yes – but gentle reminders can save lives! Wait to check or respond to your messages until you stop to fuel up. Stay focused while you drive!

RV Tips

Watch the Weather

If the elements are unexpectedly harsh, it’s worth delaying your road trip by a few hours to let it pass. This includes both high winds and heavy storms that can decrease your visibility. Again, pulling an RV is very different than simply driving your everyday vehicle, and a shift in familiarity with what you’re driving or pulling can make a huge difference in navigating harsh weather safely. Check your weather radar for the hourly (or even quarter-hourly) forecast and make your decisions accordingly.

RV Tips

By taking these RV tips into consideration, you can increase your confidence, maximize the enjoyment you get from your vacation, and minimize the stress that can come from being an inexperienced driver. Contact us today if we can help answer any questions about picking out the perfect new or used RV for your family’s vacation needs!

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