Become the master of driving your motorhome
Driving an RV comes with many new challenges. Reduced visibility, height restrictions and route planning are just some of the obstacles RV drivers face on the road.
1. Make sure your route is RV friendly. Consider using an RV-specific GPS unit or a Trucker Atlas to avoid low bridges and other restrictions on your route.
2. Give yourself plenty of room when making a turn. Whether you’re driving a motorhome or towing a trailer, you need to pull further before you start your trip. Take the time to practice turning and reversing before your big trip. A large, empty parking lot is a good place to test how your RV handles a tight turn.
3. Write down the height of your mobile home. Secure a note card with your RV̵7;s exact height and weight on your dashboard. Pay attention to the signs posted at most crossings when driving. Keep in mind that some gas stations and restaurants may be shorter than your RV.
4. Check your state’s licensing requirements. Some states require special non-commercial licenses to drive certain classes of RVs.
5. Be aware of the traffic conditions on your route. Avoid delays to your trip by checking traffic and construction updates. There are several free apps and websites that provide real-time traffic updates.
6. Take a course in motorhome driving. Before you get behind the wheel of your RV this year, check out one of the many websites devoted to RV safety, like the RV Driving School website, for driving lessons.
Include safety details on your RV packing list
The freedom and autonomy of RV camping means you have to prepare (and pack) for the unexpected.
7. Don’t forget to include these safety items on your RV packing list:
- First aid box
- Fire extinguisher
- Starter cables
- Duct tape
- Electrical tape
- Engine oil/fluids
- Tire pressure gauge
- Spare batteries
- Battery charger
- Wheel chocks/blocks
- Guide to driving your RV in cold weather
- Campsite(s) contact information
- RV registration
- Insurance papers
- Warranty document
- List of emergency contacts and medications
- Folding shovel
- Surge protection and extension cords
- Water bottles
For more RV packing lists, check out these free lists from Outdoorsy.
Encourage child safety in your RV
It is important to know what safety features your RV may or may not have available.
You’ll also want to research car seat laws in your state and the states you’ll be traveling to during your trip. You can see a complete list of car seat laws, for each state, from Safe Ride 4 Kids.
Although each state has different laws regarding car seats, there are basic child safety rules that every family should follow:
8. Ask all passengers to wear seat belts. All passengers, especially children, should wear seat belts when the vehicle is in motion.
9. Identify the safest riding seats available. Children should always sit in designated, forward-facing travel seats, not side-facing seats. If you’re traveling with a baby who requires a rear-facing car seat, check your RV’s owner’s manual for the best place to secure the car seat. Some motorhomes may not have the correct mounting for a rear-facing child seat so it may be best to also drive a vehicle for children who need a child seat.
10. Make sure the seats are free of large objects. Children should never ride in an area where appliances or furniture could fall or become detached in the event of a collision.
Get RV insurance specific to your RV and travel plans
11. Talk to your local, independent agent about RV insurance. Adding an RV to an existing policy is generally a simple process. Some issues your independent agent can discuss with you are:
- What is the year, make, model, type, length and value of the motorhome?
- How many days per year is the motorhome used?
- What is the value of the camper’s personal contents?
- Does the motorhome have extensive modifications?
- Is the RV in an RV park or campground? If so, is it mobile or permanently attached?
Speak to your local Bolder Insurance adviser to discuss the best way to add your motorhome to your personal car insurance policy.
*Products referred may not be approved/available in all states. Restrictions and conditions may apply. The premium will be based on selected benefits and available policy rates at the time of application.
Disclaimer: This article is not expert advice. The analysis of coverage is in general terms and is superseded in all respects by the insurance agreements, endorsements, exclusions, terms and conditions of the policy. Some of the coverage mentioned in this material may not be applicable in all states or may need to be modified to conform to applicable state law. Some covers may have been removed or modified since the publication of this material. Discounts may not be available in all states. Restrictions and conditions may apply. Premiums will be based on selected benefits. Please contact your local Independent Auto-Owners Insurance Agent for details.”
This article is courtesy of Auto-Ownerws Insurance, a Bolder Insurance partner.