Learning to drive your RV properly is one of the big challenges that many new RV owners face. There is something of a learning curve when it comes to driving an RV, but you should be able to get the hang of it after a period of time spent practicing and learning about your specific RV. For example, it is a different process to drive a Motorhome as compared to a camping trailer pulled behind your truck, so get to know your vehicle closely so you can gain in confidence with each trip that you take.
One of the important elements to your driving experience is understanding how to be courteous to other drivers out on the road. We all have been stuck behind an RV or semi-truck who just won’t seem to get out of the way – and we all know how frustrating that is. You don’t want to be in the way of everyone else on the road while you are heading to or from your destination. By using proper etiquette and paying attention to your surroundings, you can avoid that situation and have a pleasant experience on the roads and at the campsite.
On the Freeway
Staying out of the way while driving on the freeway is pretty simple. As long as you stay to the right whenever possible, you should be doing a good job of allowing faster traffic to go by you. This is especially true when you are heading uphill, as heavier RV’s often have a difficult time maintaining speed when going up a hill. Keep your eyes on the road and notice any uphill stretches that might be coming ahead so you can plan accordingly and make sure you are in the proper lane.
If you are traveling for an extended period of time on a road that only has one lane traveling in each direction, it can be a little bit harder to stay out of the way of smaller cars. To some extent, there is nothing you can do but maintain an appropriate speed and wait for the road to add lanes so you can move to the right. However, if you notice a long line of cars starting to form behind you, and you see an opportunity to pull off to the side of the road (safely) for a moment to allow them to pass, that is considered good etiquette. It really won’t cost you more than a minute or two of time, but it can do a big favor to those with smaller vehicles behind you. Make sure the spot you choose to pull out it safe, large enough for your RV, and will allow easy access back onto the road after you let those behind pass.
In Parking Lots
Another challenge that comes with traveling in an RV is maneuvering in and out of parking lots safely and properly. Depending on where you are trying to get in and out of – maybe a fast food restaurant, or even a rest stop – you might not have quite as much space as you would like to make your turns. As far as etiquette goes, make sure nothing you are doing interferes with anyone else and their ability to get in and out of the parking lot. Try to park your rig on the edges of the parking lot so those with smaller vehicles can still get in and out with ease. In some instances, you may need to park somewhere else entirely and walk to the business you are trying to visit. There is nothing more frustrating for you or others to get into a parking lot that isn’t large enough for your RV. Pick your spots carefully, and make sure not to block anyone in.
In general, good driving etiquette when traveling in your RV comes down to common sense and paying attention to your surroundings. By thinking about the needs of other drivers on the road, you can avoid almost all situations where you will be inconveniencing someone else. Try to use the right lanes on the freeway whenever possible, and don’t park in places that will clog up parking lots at stores or gas stations. Following good etiquette makes the roads better for everyone, and will allow you to relax and enjoy your trip.