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Driving Safety Tips in Your Motorhome.

Updated on March 19, 2020
Don Bobbitt profile image

Don has been an avid traveler and motorhome owner for most of his life. He shares his experiences along with valuable tips for RV owners.

Looking down the road in a motorhome.

The driver's view of the Road in a motorhome.
The driver's view of the Road in a motorhome. | Source

Purchasing an RV is easy

It's so easy to do.

You decide that you want to get into camping or that you would like to travel the country in style, or as often happens, someone you know has an RV they want to sell and they contact you.

Regardless of ow it happens, you get the idea, the purchase of an RV is ridiculously easy.

And sad to say, once you decide to buy an RV, the initial requirements for anyone who has the urge to own one are;

  • do you have a checkbook, and
  • do you have a driver's license.

That's right, the guy living down your street or across town, you now, the one who has trouble pulling his car in and out of his own driveway, can simply write a check and bring home a thirty-five to forty foot, RV weighing as much as five to ten tons.

And guess what;

  • He didn't have to take any kind of special driving test.
  • He didn't have to show any certifications that he was mentally competent.
  • He didn't have to certify that he wasn't on medications that could impair his driving capabilities.
  • He didn't even have to read a book or pamphlet on driving an RV.

Most dealers are satisfied when they give the buyer a "test drive" around the block and then they hand the buyer the keys.

Just a Checkbook? Really?

OK, that was a long lead in to the point of this article, but don't go away, I’m back on track now.

Like so many people today, I use my Smartphone for a lot of things, and one of them is to make a lot of audio notes to myself throughout the day, These notes help me keep up with my personal priorities and they are often inspirational ideas that I use in my articles on my web site and blogs.

Anyway, I was looking through my notes recently, and there was one I had to do a double-take over. I had said, simply; “If you can’t drive it, don’t buy it!”

It was morning time, so I took another sip of my coffee and wondered what I had been thinking about. I racked my brain for several minutes and nothing obvious came to mind.

Well I thought to myself, there was the world of RV’s. But I try to write positive articles about RV’s and RV owners. I tell people how to make their trips easier, and their stays in campgrounds more fun. I write positive articles, and I don’t try to discourage people from being RV owners.

But, I realized as I sat there, there really are some people who shouldn’t own an RV.

A Motorhome at a rest stop in Texas

My old Monaco Camelot sitting at a rest area on I-20 in Texas, with my Jeep Toad hooked up.
My old Monaco Camelot sitting at a rest area on I-20 in Texas, with my Jeep Toad hooked up. | Source

The best advice for a potential Motorhome Owner.

If you can't Drive it,

Don't buy it!

The RV and the Boat

The whole industry of RV's is not very different from the industry of Boating, as far as how easy it is to own one of either.

You see, although we had been campers from the time our children were in diapers, my wife and I actually got out of RVing for around ten years when our kids were in their teens.

Suddenly, camping wasn't cool to them, and we got into boating for our entertainment. Like everything we do, while we owned boats, we were avid boaters.

I won’t go into that part of my life other than to say there was an old adage thrown around then by serious boaters, and that was;

All you need to own a boat is a checkbook, a minimum IQ is optional in most states.

And, it was a true statement. I can’t tell you how many times I would be out in my boat, on a wonderful cruise going nowhere in particular and see really stupid people doing really stupid and dangerous things.

Often, these unknowing, and uncaring, boat owners were doing things that were a danger not only to themselves, but to everyone else on the water near them. I can’t tell you how many times I watched really stupid people running around on the water in an expensive boat, operating the boat at speeds and in areas that made them obviously untrained boat owners.

RV ownership demands some level of training

The reality is, in the world of RV ownership, this adage is also very true.

All you need to own an RV is a checkbook and a drivers license. In fact, you don’t even need a drivers license to own a boat in many states.

Take an RV Driver’s Course.

If you drive one of those big Tractor Trailer rigs on the highways of America, you must have been trained, and you must have a special driver’s license to indicate you are a qualified driver of such large and dangerous vehicles.

In fact, even a limousine driver needs to have a special license to operate one safely.

But, pretty much anyone can go out to the local RV dealer and purchase a motorhome that is nearly as big as those commercial tractor-trailer rigs. They can then write their check, get their receipt and hit the road without any real idea of what they are driving, what the dangers are, or what they should be doing to be a safe driver while on the road.

Actually, there are RV driving classes available around the country that are offered for new and inexperienced RV drivers.

Some of the larger RV dealerships will offer some kind of a driving class for their customers where you and your spouse can learn some of the intricacies of operating such a large vehicle.

In fact, most of them will even include an hour or so of hands-on driving with a professional sitting beside you, as you are taken through different common driving situations.

If you feel that you might be more comfortable if you had some formal RV driver training, i suggest that you search for one located near you or contact one of the schools I have listed here.

RV Driver's Confidence Course - Tampa Florida

FMCA RV Safe Driving Course

There are a number of local RV Driving Confidence schools, some just one day long, and others as long as 2-3 days. Each can be helpful in some way, I am sure, so I suggest that you get a good description of what they offer and their price, before you sign up.

Watch Driving Videos to learn more

Another thing that might be a big aid for you when driving your RV are online videos.

I recommend that you check out some of the very good driving videos that are available on YouTube. You can pick up a number of interesting tips and facts about driving an Rv from these videos, so they are worth your time.

In fact, I have included several of the better ones in this article. Check them out!

LazyDays new RV Drivers Confidence lessons

RV Driving Tips - Tail Swing and Side Swipe

More RV Driving Tips

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.


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