RV ownership is a popular choice for families and individuals who want the flexibility to travel as often as they would like without sacrificing the comforts of home. Most people who drive vehicles of more than 26,000 pounds GVWR are required to have a commercial driver’s license and thus, complete a commercial driver’s test. However, Arizona law exempts RV drivers from having a CDL, instead allowing them to drive with a standard driver’s license. With no test to study for, that means that many RV drivers may be unaware of some of the safety hazards that come with operating a large recreational vehicle. At Imes Insurance, we feel like we’ve seen it all. Continue reading to learn a few of our quick beginner tips for increased RV safety.
As obvious as it sounds, RVs are much bigger than standard cars, trucks, and SUVs. Though you may feel better protected in such a large vehicle, you should also be aware of how this affects you as you drive and brake. Before you set out on your first road trip, take note of the exact height, width, and length of your RV. Write down your clearance and keep it in an area that is readily available if you need it. Bear in mind that you will require more space to merge onto highways, and you will also need to allow more time to stop if you suddenly need to brake. For this reason, always leave extra space – more than if you were driving a car – between you and the vehicle in front of you.
Maintain Your RV
RVs are much more complicated to maintain than a car, truck or motorcycle. Though the same basic principles apply, the maintenance process is much more involved. Many accidents involving RVs could have been prevented with better maintenance. The following list is not an exhaustive one, but it is a good starting point for better RV maintenance:
- Check your tire pressure and tread once a month and every 3,000 miles
- Check your tires regularly for debris and damage
- Check the oil and fluid levels before departing on a long distance trip
- Look for signs of fluid leaks
- Have your parking, tow, and air brakes inspected regularly
Have a Plan for Emergencies
Emergencies can happen any time, at any place. Fires, for example, are more common in RVs than you might think. Be sure to keep a fire extinguisher with you at all times and check the smoke alarms on your RV regularly. If you find yourself stranded on the side of the road, make sure you have access to emergency transportation, towing, and lodging.
Protect Your Belongings
Traveling in a recreational vehicle means bringing your personal belongings with you for the trip. From small appliances and clothing to personal electronics and valuables, what would you do if your RV was broken into or destroyed at a campsite or on the road? Be sure to install a deadbolt on your rig and make sure your insurance plan covers theft and other personal losses.
Now that you have a few ideas of what to expect when you’re on vacation with your RV, you can plan ahead for a safe and enjoyable trip.
If you have questions about RV insurance, be sure to give us a call, we’d be glad to help.