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How difficult is it to drive a motorhome?

How difficult is it to drive a motorhome?

How difficult is it to drive a motorhome?

The Summer is just about over!

Can you believe that summer is about over? Doesn't it feel like it just flew by! As the weather begins to change camping outside in a tent will become less comfortable due to the much cooler climates. It’s at this point more and more people begin to look at a Recreational Vehicle as an appealing option, especially those who camp year-round.

If you're looking to get a new RV the process can be a daunting task! One big speed bump on the road to outdoor freedom can be concerns about driving the RV or motorhome. This is especially true when maneuverability and ease of use are your top priorities.

Many people starting out ask; “Are Recreational Vehicles difficult to drive?” To that, I would say it really depends. Do you have any experience driving large vehicles? If not, You may need some help. RVs and  motorhomes handle differently. The main difference I’m sure you’re aware of is its overall size.

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Enjoy beautiful sunsets in your motorhome!

Most motorhomes are much larger and heavier than your family car (in fact, your RV may be able to tow your family car, no problem), and this can pose the most stress for you, the driver. When it comes to driving something longer and heavier than you’re used to, your safety should be the number one priority.  

There are many Recreational Vehicle types out there. Today, I want to focus on motorhomes. There are three different classes to consider, Class A, Class B, and Class C. The main difference between these classes is the size of the coach, along with the amount of weight on the suspension.

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Class A motorhomes are the large, bus-like motorhomes you see on the road, often towing a more fuel-efficient car behind it. They are often 20-45 feet in length.

Class B motorhomes are the smallest of motorhome options but are usually vans and other easy-to-drive options. They are no longer than 23 feet and are fairly basic.

Class C motorhomes are your in-between option, ranging from 20-30 feet.  

All motorhomes have a different driving learning curve. This is especially true if you’ve never driven anything larger than a standard sedan.

Class A's can be the most difficult option to drive given the length, weight, and chassis type. Most Class As tend to sway and wander going down the road. At times it can even feel like a whale on wheels. If you choose to tow an extra vehicle behind you, you need to be extra careful. Make sure your Class A can handle the weight, especially if you’re driving over any mountain passes.

Class C's are great if you need a little bit of space. If you’ve rented a moving truck before you will feel more comfortable. The average moving truck weighs similarly but the difference is the weight distribution. Class Cs can be difficult to drive just like a Class A.

How Can I Make My RV Easier To Drive?

If you are a first-time Recreational Vehicle buyer hopefully you’ve narrowed down the type of RV you’re looking for. Now you may be asking “How can I ensure my RV is less difficult to drive?”  

From our many years of experience here are a few safety tips to consider.

  • Drive Safe!

No matter the size, type, or weight of your motorhome, the one way you can guarantee more control while driving is your speed. You may be thinking, “Well that’s obvious!” The truth is over the years we’ve seen many people get rocked and swayed by passing vehicles because they’re determined to maintain the same speed as all the other cars on the road.

  • Minimize Distractions

Do you have music blasting? Are your passengers up and moving around? Some of these things are unavoidable while on a road trip, but if you’re in the driver’s seat of your new motorhome, the last thing you need is too much going on. If you’re able to have a passenger, this can make all the difference in the world. Have your passenger check your blind spots. You should just be focused on getting everyone there safely.

  • Plan Ahead

Go online! May phone apps and websites now offer RV-specific routes and tips to help you out even before you hit the road. Looking for a rest stop with pull-through parking so you don’t have to worry about backing up? Need a gas station that will fit your long motorhome? Check online before you go! Planning ahead will make your trip easy peasy!

  • Know Your RVs Steering and Suspension

If you want to take the most stress out of your driving experience you need to understand how your coach handles on the road. The steering, suspension, and braking systems of your motorhome are composed of many different components, each of which must work correctly to ensure the proper function of the system as a whole. That’s why we recommend people to put their RV through a Road Performance Assessment (RPA®). The RPA process was created and designed by Henderson’s Line-Up after working on 1000's of RVs. The RPA is a systematic, diagnostic road test that reveals steering and suspension problems over a variety of road surfaces.  Click here to learn about the RPA

 

If your travels happen to take you close to our shop in Grants Pass, Oregon please stop by and see us! You can make an appointment for your very own RPA by clicking here!

No matter where your RV takes you, we wish you a Safer and Happier Driving experience! God bless you!

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