Depending on the person, living in an RV may be a dream or a nightmare. However you feel, living in an RV is different than living in a stationary home. Here are some simple safety tips to help you be at home on the road.
Check the Oil and Don’t Skip the Maintenance
Because the RV functions as both your home and your vehicle, it is especially important to keep it functioning. Everyone should check their oil and tires regularly, as well as make scheduled maintenance appointments. Checking the oil can help you figure out if there is a leak before it causes damage, and checking the tires can help prevent a collision. The oil should reach the minimum line on the dipstick at all times, and changes in the level between checks should be noted. Tires should be looked over for wear, including cracks and low tread, as well as checking the pressure. Ideally this is done at least once a month. If you have questions about your specific RV model, contact a company like Orangewood RV Center for help.
Look Out Above!
RVs are taller than anything most people have driven. All of the signs on underpasses, parking garages and other low objects that you’ve been ignoring are now important to notice and obey. A surprising number of people don’t know exactly how tall their RV is, and knowing that will let you determine whether you can safely pass under a given object.
Corner Like You’ve Never Done it Before
When you were learning how to drive a vehicle, learning to corner safely, especially at freeway speeds, was an important topic. When driving an RV, extra attention should be paid to cornering at low enough speeds and wide enough angles. Learning where the back of the RV is when the front is turning is a matter of experience as well as skill, so practice at low speeds and stay slow for safety.
Accelerate Like a Turtle and Stop Like a Train
Reaching cruising speed safely in an RV takes a lot longer than in a car. Stopping takes a similarly long time, in part due to the type of brakes and in part due to the sheer size of the vehicle. Learn how your brakes feel and give yourself plenty of time and space to slow down gradually. When accelerating and braking, a good rule of thumb is to give yourself at least 20 percent more time than you would in a car.
Adjusting to the New Safety Norms
It can be tempting to ignore safety issues because they make the transition to RV living look somewhat daunting. Remember, though, that it took a while for you to learn how to live on your own in a stationary home. Safety while living in a RV is a similar, if much smaller, learning curve that shouldn’t be neglected but need not be feared either.