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How to drive an RV? The best tips for beginners

Last Updated: 30.09.22



Believe it or not RVs are actually designed to be relatively easy to drive, but if it is your first time behind the wheel these large vehicles can be intimidating. There will be times when knowing certain driving techniques will come in handy, especially when you are trying to maneuver into a parking space, and the following tips will help give you the confidence you need to drive your RV almost anywhere.

2.How to drive an RV - The best tips for beginners


RV driving tips for beginners

Before you even put the key in the ignition it is important to thoroughly read the owner’s manual that came with the RV. There are several pieces of information included in it that you need to know in order to safely maneuver the vehicle around.


  1.  Length

Knowing the length of your RV is essential for safe driving. If you don’t know how long the vehicle you will never be completely sure that you will fit in a parking space, even if you are fortunate enough to own a rear view camera. It is also important to remember that the back of the RV will swing wide during turns, and if you don’t know the length chances are you will end up damaging the vehicle.


  1. Width

The width of the RV might take some getting used to. RVs are significantly wider than cars and most trucks, and this means that there might be some places that you can’t go. When you are looking for the width of the RV it is also important to take into account the rearview mirrors, and know exactly how far they stick out from the side. These mirrors are expensive to replace and can be easily broken if you try to maneuver the RV down some narrow roads.


  1. Height and weight

You need to know the height of the RV to avoid being stuck under a low overpass or bridge, and the weight is also important to know so you can plan your route around certain restrictions. The RV’s weight also affects how quickly it can stop and speed up, which should always be factored into any decision you make when you are driving.


  1. Reverse/backing up

If you are planning on parallel parking your RV, you will probably give that idea up after you see just how large the vehicle really is. You can safely back into a parking spot if you take your time and pay close attention to what is going on around round. Rear view mirrors and cameras can help guide you into a spot, and don’t be afraid to get out and check on your parking job.


  1. Driving in the city

Navigating city streets can be stressful, which is why it is always a good idea to have your route planned out in advance. Try to avoid high traffic areas and neighborhoods with narrow streets, and remember to turn from the outside lane to avoid clipping your bumper on streets signs and lamp posts.


  1. Mountain driving

Driving an RV in the mountains comes with its own set of challenges. The weight of the vehicle will slow you down going up steep inclines, and it can also cause it to take longer for the RV to come to a complete stop. Driving through the mountains can put strain on the engine so it is important to take it slow, especially going uphill. Try to avoid narrow and curvy mountain roads when you can, simply as a safety precaution.