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Everything A New RVer Needs To Know

Everything A New RVer Needs To Know

The summer months are a time when families take to the open roads, especially by automobile. Traditional cars may seem more economical when traveling across the country, but they aren’t always the most comfortable and accommodating. When you want to enjoy your vacation, you are likely to rent hotels along your route or rent a van to try and make the trip more spacious. Instead of spending money on hotel accommodations and restaurants, many families invest in recreational vehicles (RVs).

Imagine traveling the country in your own mini-hotel. You don’t have to make as many bathroom stops, you can cook dinner in-house, and you can save money by sleeping at campgrounds. An RV is different than a car, though. Learning how to drive one and maneuver one on the road is an entirely different story. Luckily, learning how to handle an RV can be a simple task.

Driving and Sharing the Road with Other Cars

In most circumstances, we learn to drive at the age of 16. We can’t wait to get our license and hit the open road. As we get older, our priorities change. When we have a family, we tend to get excited about things that we would never have in our younger years – like an RV. Part of the responsibility of owning an RV is learning how to operate the RV on the road, especially with other vehicles.

Tips for Driving Your RV

Learning to drive an RV can take a lot of practice. That is why practice is always the first step to learning how to drive one. You can’t just get in and drive – you have to learn how to handle it. To help you, we are giving you the tips you need to get to know your RV.

Practice Makes Perfect

You are likely to feel awkward when first getting behind the wheel of an RV. You may not want to plan a big cross-country trip right after starting to learn how to drive one either. It would be best if you started by driving it for a little while, practicing fundamental maneuvers. These include focusing on turns, parallel parking, perpendicular parking, and other tricky driving moves.

The Mirrors are Important

Seeing behind you when driving an RV is complicated. It can be complicated even with mirrors, but adjusting them to produce a maximum vantage point is necessary. You will have to sit and adjust your mirrors, adjust your seat, and adjust your mirrors again. Until you find the perfect position, you may find yourself adjusting the mirrors at different intervals until they are correct.

Battle Fatigue and Resist Driving Tired

Just like driving a car, you should never operate an RV when fatigued (tired). Being tired behind the wheel of any vehicle is a recipe for disaster. Drift left of center, and you end up in oncoming traffic. Drift right of center, and you could end up in a ditch. Don’t drive tired, or you could ruin your new RV – and your vacation.

Be Courteous and Drive Slow

These vehicles are smaller than you are and can sustain a lot of damage. As the larger vehicle, you have an obligation to be respectful of other vehicles on the road. It also means that you need to be using your turn signals and all of the road rules. Always use the best road etiquette to ensure you are safe when driving on the road in an RV. Going too quickly can also cause many problems, especially with the long stopping distance needed for the RV.

The Laws of the Road for RVs

Much like driving a car on the road, an RV has laws it must adhere to. These laws are for the safety of the RV driver, the passengers inside, and everyone else on the road. From the use of trailer lights on pull campers to properly using turn signals.

In most states, passengers cannot ride in a pulled camper, RV, or fifth wheel. These rules make it hard to have a long road trip, so most people purchase the type of RV driven (aka mini-hotel). Some states may have restrictions on where your RV can be parked overnight. When going on vacation, it is best to check with the state you are going to and any states you may pass through.

Do Not Overlook Maintenance

We get it; traveling in an RV is exciting. Your family gets to spend quality time together, and you will get to see the sights in style. One thing that gets overlooked is a pre-trip inspection. I’m not talking about only making sure the fridge is stocked or that everyone packs sunscreen – there are certain things you need to do to ensure your RV is in the best shape to take the road.

Your Pre-Trip Inspection Checklist

If you want to keep your RV in tip-top shape, you need to do these before you take your family on the road:

  • Turn on the headlights and walk around the RV. Ensure that all running lights, clearance markers, and lights are working the way they should be. Turn on your hazard lights to make sure your turn signals are in working order. You should replace any bulbs that need to be replaced or show signs of needing to be replaced soon.
  • When packing up, double-check that the compartments are closed and secured. It is easy to get sidetracked and forget to secure one.
  • Stand back and look at each of the vents are closed and covered. Make sure antennas and satellites are lowered for driving.
  • Visually inspect the tires for any signs of problems. It is easier to notice tire problems before you begin driving because it can be catastrophic on the road.
  • Make sure mirrors are clean and properly adjusted.
  • Check the windshield wipers to make sure they do not have any cracks or need replacement.

Doing a small pre-trip inspection like this can change how a trip plays out. Sometimes we get so excited about our trip that we overlook simple items – causing potential danger. Handling proper RV maintenance and inspections makes it easier for you to keep your RV on the road longer.

Protect Your Drive with a Dash Cam

The open road can be a jungle. Keep your RV and your family safe with a dash cam. As the name implies, the dash cam is a camera mounted on the vehicle’s dashboard to capture events that are happening on the road ahead. Dash cams make it possible for you to record your trip and keep your family safe with motion-activated cameras, great for preventing vandalism or theft. Many dash cams go much further to act as driver assistance and emergency response systems.

If you are looking for a dash cam to capture your ride and watch over your RV when you’re parked, we strongly recommend getting a dual-channel system. Dual-channel dash cams typically come with the standard 6m (20ft) coaxial cable for the rear camera, which could be problematic as most RVs and trailers are longer than that. But no worries, as many manufacturers do offer extended cables of up to 20m (65.61ft) upon request - just let us know if this applies to you, and we will do our best to assist.

And for those who want to capture activity inside their RV or trailer, we recommend the IR (infrared) dash cams. These come in both dual-channel and triple-channel variations. With the dual-channel IR systems, you get a front-facing camera and an interior-facing camera, and a triple-channel system means you get the front-facing camera and the interior-facing camera as well as a rear-facing camera for the traffic behind.

An Exclusive 10% OFF Offer to all RV-travelers

Owning an RV is supposed to be fun. You get to take your family on trips with the convenience of home right at your fingertips (literally). With that said, BlackboxMyCar makes it possible for you to keep your RV and your family safe with top-of-the-line dash cams. Talk to us today to help you find the best dash cam for your road trip needs.

Ready to purchase a dash cam for your RV? We are excited to offer you an exclusive 10% OFF discount code.

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