RV driving requires extra safety precautions, as the vehicles are large and may also involve towing either a trailer or a tow behind car. There are reported cases of RV towed vehicles snapping out of the towing system to cause major accidents. Poorly parked RVs can also roll away into other vehicles or structures. You therefore need to ensure that all safety precautions are adhered to so as to ensure that you enjoy your RV trip with no incidences.
Below are 8 towing tips for safe RV driving that can help you have a safe and fun trip.
1. Get the History (if used), Read the Reviews (either way)
Whether you’re buying or renting, it is important to ensure that you are driving a well maintained vehicle. Get a good referral from a mechanic or RV tech, and perform due diligence to ensure that the vehicle’s in good condition RVs – especially before embarking on a road trip. This will ensure that the unit is in good condition and helps avoid breakdowns that can really mess up your trip and cause potential safety hazards to yourself and/or others.
Even if the vehicle is new you can go online and talk to owners to assess potential weak spots in the RV that may cause problems in the future.
2. Weight Distribution
When using an RV with a towed car, managing the weight is very important. You must carefully manage the extra fuel you carry, the water you will load and the weight of your other luggage.
Ensure that the total weight of the RV and the towed car does not exceed the legal weight capacity for the specific RV. If you are taking a trip to a dry-camp location, it may also be advisable to fill out your water containers as near to the camping site as possible. This ensures that you carry fewer loads and avoid the swaying and the “sloshing” of water that could pose a safety risk. You should also ensure that the RV sway control assemblies are adjusted appropriately.
When managing the weight of cargo, ensure that you place the heavier loads below to keep the center of gravity as low as possible. You will also want to distribute the load evenly across all sides of the RV to ensure balance.
Ensure that the tire pressure is correct and that the luggage is tied and locked to a position to avoid weight shifting.
3. Towing Requirements
Ensure that all the safety towing requirements are adhered to. There are various legal and safety requirements when towing a vehicle; some of these rules differ from state to state and so it’s advisable to confirm the requirements for the specific states that you will be traveling to. Some of the laws include having separate braking systems and lighting for the towing and the towed car.
It is also important to counter-check and ensure that all towing locks are well fastened and that the towed vehicle is firmly attached to the towing system.
One of the important towing tips for safe RV driving is clear visibility. Once you have attached the towed vehicle, it is important to ensure that you have clear visibility using the side mirror and that the towed vehicle does not block your view.
It is advisable to try out the RV before the actual trip. This is especially the case for first time RVers or those with a recently purchased unit. Perform some acute turns and some back-ups to ensure that you are comfortable with the RV truck. Avoid rushed acceleration or fast braking, especially if you are new to towing.
6. Insurance and Road Service
It’s of course essential to ensure that you have proper insurance coverage in place. A road service coverage package may also make your trip more enjoyable. Confirm that your roadside service provides cover RVs, as not all service providers provide this specific service.
7. Confirm the Road Conditions
Truck drivers will tell you to confirm the conditions on a route before taking a long trip. This can save you much time and frustrations. The US DOT Federal Highway Administration website updates the maintenance programs and road conditions and this can help you plan your road trip.
It is also important to ensure that you confirm the expected weather before your trip. Though there is nothing much you can do about the weather, knowing beforehand what to expect will ensure that you are better prepared. If the weather is unfavorable and you are not so confident about driving the RV in such weather, you can always consider postponing your trip for a day or two.
It’s my hope that you’ll have confidence, peace of mind, and above all a safe RV trip.
Bernard Naylor is a Passionate Blogger and Writer. He likes blogging about Home & Garden, Health & Fitness, Online strategies that are related to SEO, Content, PPC & Lead generation.