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Have a Safe Journey with These Important RV Driving Tips

Lisa Boynton June 08, 2021
Two couples sitting by a lake and a Class B motorhome at dusk.

Every year more and more Canadians are enjoying the freedom of RVing. And now more than ever, it’s a particularly great way to take a much-needed holiday.

An RV vacation allows you and your family to easily travel within the provincial border and safely adhere to the current social distancing guidelines. RVs also provide everything you need in one, self-contained vehicle which usually includes a kitchen, bathroom and sleeping accommodations - giving you complete control of your environment. 

Before you hit the road

If you’re considering an RV getaway this year, check out the great selection of RVs and motorhomes from our NEW CAA Rewards Partner CanaDream and save! 

As a CAA Plus or CAA Premier Member, you can upgrade your existing membership to cover your RV rental so you can enjoy your travels, worry-free. Your upgrade will also cover trailers for snowmobiles, boats and utility, as well as campers.

Not a Member? Join Now

Preparing for your RV expedition

Anyone who has driven an RV can tell you that being behind the wheel of one of these larger vehicles is quite different than driving a car.

Whether you’re new to RVing or an experienced driver, those differences are something you need to keep top of mind. Here are a few important tips for you to consider before you head out.

Keep your eyes on the road

Operating a motor vehicle demands your complete attention. Whether you’re crossing a flat open stretch of highway or making your way through rush hour traffic on the 401, your full attention must be focused on the road.

Maintaining that focus involves more than simply paying attention to what’s directly in front of you. In fact, even though your RV is probably larger than most vehicles around you, you’d be surprised by how often other drivers will act as though you’re invisible. Ask any driver of a large transport truck about this and you’ll get the same response – people often treat large vehicles with less respect than others of their own size.

As a result, you’ll want to maintain a clear view of the road, preferably remaining 12 to 15 seconds behind traffic at highway speeds. If your RV is equipped with rearview cameras, make sure to make use of them while driving and not simply while in reverse. Stay aware of other cars around you and the flow of traffic at all times.
Man driving Class C bunk over motorhome.

Road communications are key

RVs are equipped with many of the same communication offerings as trucks and cars for you to notify other drivers of your intentions.

Before you set out, make sure that all of your lights and signals are in good working order. Keep in mind that your size prohibits you from making snap decisions so be sure to give other drivers a few extra seconds of warning before you turn or change lanes.

Be prepared to pull over if needed

No vehicle is immune to breakdowns. Be prepared and bring along an emergency kit to help you if you’re stuck on the side of the road. If your vehicle doesn’t already have roadside assistance, be sure to purchase it before you leave home (and make sure that you have the type that covers RVs.) If required, pull over to the side of the road and turn on your hazard lights immediately. When it is safe to do so, place traffic cones or emergency markers around your vehicle to warn other motorists that you are no longer part of traffic. And, of course, be sure to pull over as far to the side of the road as possible to increase your own safety.

Drive with extra caution

Driving an RV will feel much different than driving a car. With larger units, crosswinds can often make you feel as though you’re a sailboat on water, so keep both hands on the wheel at all times.

The size and weight of an RV also mean that your braking distance will be increased, so you’ll need to keep your distance from the cars in front of you. Slow down in wet weather and drive at the appropriate speed for the conditions. Remember that driving along at 50 km/h in the rain is not the same as 50 km/h on dry roads on a sunny day and your ability to react or come to a sudden stop varies greatly in different conditions.

Above all, use your common sense and remember that the journey can be as much fun as the destination. 

Drive safe! 

Get covered and enjoy the journey

If you’re already a CAA Member, don’t forget to upgrade your existing membership to cover your RV rental so you can enjoy your travels, worry-free. 

Not a Member? 

Join Now

You can also give us a call at: 1-844-563-2658