Whatever type of RV you own, there is a need to practice RV travel safety. That’s because RVs usually weigh more than passenger vehicles. And that means there is more that can wrong fast when you are on the road.
And the bigger and more heavy the rig is, the more attention is needed to operate them safely.
So, with that in mind, here are my top ten tips for RV travel safety:
#1 – Carry Extra Oil And Coolant
Regardless of the type of RV that you have, it has an engine somewhere that propels it.
And that means that some kind of oil and coolant is needed for safe operation of that engine.
So if a problem develops on the road, you will be glad that you have some extra engine fluids on hand.
And if you do, it can help you get where you need to go to get help and the proper repairs.
#2 – Carry Traffic Cones For RV Travel Safety
If you have a breakdown on the side of the road, traffic cones are an essential safety item. And if you have the collapsible kind, they don’t really take up much room either.
By deploying them out in back of your rig, you are warning approaching drivers that a problem is ahead.
That means that they can begin to move over before reaching you, keeping both your rig and their vehicle safe. And of course, it makes the whole situation more safe for travelers as well.
Some prefer warning triangles instead. And that’s fine too. Just make sure that you have some kind of warning system with you for roadside breakdowns.
#3 – Tire Pressure Check
This is one of the most important safety checks you can make on your rig.
After all, your tires are what actually touches the road as you travel. And if you experience a blowout, it often is not a very good thing in an RV.
So regularly check the pressure in your RV tires and any other tires in use if you are towing.
Here is a link to an article I wrote on tire pressure safety.
It’s better to solve any tire problems before you get on the road than deal with them while traveling!
#4 – Have Roadside Assistance
These days there are some very good choices for roadside assistance for RVs.
Truthfully, any of these roadside assistance providers can do a great job for you. And you will be very glad to have them when a breakdown occurs.
So compare their features and what they cover first, and then make your choice.
The only really bad choice you can make is not having some form of roadside assistance at all.
#5 – Use A Departure Checklist For RV Travel Safety
A lot of problems happen on the road because someone forgot to do something before leaving.
And honestly, nobody can remember everything at all times. There is just too much to do to get an RV ready for travel.
So make a checklist of all of the items that you will need to accomplish while departing. And then carefully follow that departure checklist every single time before you leave.
#6 – Perform A Final Walk Around
Even if you have a reliable departure checklist, make sure to perform a final walk around anyway.
It’s amazing how something important can still be left untended even when using a checklist.
So your best defense against omitting something important is to carefully review the entire rig before you leave. If you have a towable RV, this means both the RV and the tow vehicle.
Most of the time, you won’t find a problem. But on those occasions where something was missed you will be glad you did the final walk around!
#7 – Make Good Use Of Rest Areas For RV Travel Safety
Driving an RV rig on the road can wear on you fast. There is a lot that you have to keep track of while on the road.
And it’s easy to become weary and lose your focus when you spend a lot of time behind the wheel. Especially when you don’t take a break!
So try to plan rest stops in your travel schedule to take a break and freshen up.
Maybe get out and take a walk, have a snack, and check over your rig before leaving again.
If you do, you will feel much better and be more alert while piloting your rig.
#8 – Maintain A Safe Driving Distance
We are all taught to maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front while using our passenger vehicle. But that distance needs to increase even further when driving an RV.
There is usually a lot more weight and bulk in an RV as compared to a personal vehicle. So it takes much longer to bring that much weight to a stop.
And if you haven’t allowed enough room between your rig and the vehicle ahead of you, it can be trouble.
I highly recommend allowing much more room than you think necessary to be safe on the highway.
To accomplish this, I like to drive 5 – 10 MPH below the flow of traffic and well within the speed limit. By doing this, most vehicles will pass you on the left and go far ahead if they return to the right lane.
Whenever there has been a need for a sudden stop, this practice has always kept us safe on the road. Besides, RVing isn’t about hurrying and rushing around.
So drive safely!
#9 – Use Main Roads For RV Travel Safety
The larger your rig, the more important it becomes to stay on main roads. Getting off onto secondary roads can introduce all kinds of challenges.
For instance, many secondary and smaller roads have little to no paved shoulders on the road. This means that you have a much smaller margin for error when driving on them.
And traffic is much easier to negotiate on larger roads and highways too.
But you also have to consider that on smaller roads you could run into unwanted surprises as well. These could be low bridges, low-hanging limbs, or low-hanging wires.
None of these issues are usually found on main roads and highways. So it pays to keep your rig on main roads as much as you can.
#10 – Get Diesel Fuel At Truck Centers
It may be tempting to pull into a regular fuel station to fill up. But if you have a larger rig, this is often not a good idea.
You may be able to get into the station, but getting out can be another thing altogether.
Instead, there are many large truck centers like Loves, Petro, T/A, etc. that are better choices.
That’s because they are usually located very close to a main highway with easy on and off ramps. And once inside, you usually have plenty of room to drive around safely without damaging your rig.
And if you use the diesel fuel discount card that I mentioned in this article, it will also save you money.
These 10 RV travel safety and road trip tips have worked very well for us. We use all of them on a regular basis.
And we can confidently say that these RV tips have saved us often in time, money, and much more.
So be sure to stay safe on the road with your rig by using the tips that I have shared with you!