Flights of Fancy Mom

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4 Road Etiquette Tips For the RV Owner

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Are you an RV owner or looking to become one?  Do you travel with your RV on vacations only? Or do you drive one full time? I am hoping to become a full time RVer and have been diligently doing my research on what to expect, and how to handle different scenarios. One of the things I researched was rules of the road.  There isn’t a whole lot of information, but, this post is my takeaway on groups I’m involved with and other reading that I’ve done.

There are road etiquette rules you should always abide by as an RV owner.  We all know that left lanes are for passing traffic. People don’t always follow that general rule of the road, but, as an RV driver, your space is usually double, if not triple what the average driver takes up.  RVs, plus a vehicle?  You’re taking up about 16′ – 40′ of road space. And let’s face it. With that cargo? You really can’t ‘safely’ go past someone. Unless of course, they are doing 25 in a 55.

As someone who has never driven a truck, and plans to get an SUV to drive the RV around instead, (My RV will most likely be no longer than 21′) I know that I will be following these rules to the T!

Pick Your Lane Carefully: Typically, you want to stay in the right lane. People are going to be passing you. If you’re a left lane dweller, get out of that habit quick if you become an RV owner. It’s not safe for you to drive in the fast lane, and it’s not fair to the other drivers who are going faster.

If you’re on the highway and it has more than two lanes, being in the middle lane is good too. This allows the people coming onto the highway the chance to come on in the right lane safely and they can still pass you. If you’re on a back one lane road, and you notice a line up behind you?  Be courteous and pull over when you can, let them pass and then get back on the road. That’s not really a rule if you’re going the speed limit.  That’s just being nice :).

Watch Your Speed: You want to try and maintain the speed limit. But, in regions that have 70 MPH spots on their highway? Doing that speed in an RV is not safe or logical. One, you have a lot more volume to slow down. You are not able to stop on a dime with the weight you’re carrying. Two, you’re already spending a lot on gas. You don’t want to lower your gas mileage even more by going faster and dragging the weight behind you. You’ll be lucky to get 15 – 18 MPG, why take that down to 10 MPG?

The safest speed to go is generally 50 – 55. But, definitely less than 60 mph. On the highway, you may be going lower than the posted speed limit, but going any faster than that just isn’t safe when taking into account breaking when traffic suddenly slows down. Driving over a bridge on a windy day?  That’s hazardous enough in a car. I suggest getting a feel for your cargo and what you feel comfortable with.

Watch Your Distance: The car in front of you now has limited vision of what’s behind him. As a result, driving too close, you will make them nervous because that limited vision just became no vision, as your vehicle is taking up their entire rear view mirror. Plus, if you have to stop quickly?  You just took out their back end. Because stopping quickly and RVs probably do not go in the same sentence. I would suggest keeping at minimum, one and a half car lengths between you and the car in front of you.  Preferably, two to three car lengths.

Parking: When stopping for meals, and / or stopping at an attraction site, you want to be courteous and park well away from the entrance of the building. You’re going to be taking up more than two or three spots. More like 6 – 9 spots! And hey, there’s your exercise :).  Best spots may be against the far curb, or in larger parking lots, in the back corners where there are no cars, or join your other friends where they’ve parked. Giving Kudos to my friends Karen & Drew in the picture below on the day they got theirs.

What other tips would you suggest for road etiquette? Have you seen another RV owner not following these tips?

21 Comments

  1. robin masshole mommy

    These are all great tips. I have never driven an RV myself, but I truly appreciate it when RV drivers respect the rules of the road.

    Reply
  2. Heidi Dee

    Great tips! Living in Florida, there are a massive number of RV’ers and the majority would be well off to read this lol!

    Reply
  3. Risky Ladies

    My husband and I want an RV so much. We can’t wait to get one. These are great tips/
    Risky Ladies recently posted…My Pillow…Is It Worth It?My Profile

    Reply
  4. Joely Smith

    Oh nice thank you I am going to share this with the husband. We do not own an RV YET but want to one day and I love your tips! Always assumed there were some rules like this but just never knew what they were until now.
    Joely Smith recently posted…Stop Bladder Leaks and Incontinence Before It Happens With FinessMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Jacqui (Post author)

      Great! I am hoping to have mine in the next few years :). Daughter will be off to college and I’ll be able to hit the road. Make sure to check out my other RV posts! There is a lot of information I’ve been gathering 🙂

      Reply
  5. Dee

    I have never thought about owning an RV, but if I did have one I really would appreciate your advice. Specially about driving down a winding road.

    Reply
  6. Chubskulit Rose

    It would be awesome to have an RV but I think the cost of maintenance is high. That’s one of my dream though, to have an RV and travel even just locally around US.
    Chubskulit Rose recently posted…Simple Hacks for Hosting a PartyMy Profile

    Reply
  7. Vera Sweeney

    These are great tips for RV owners!! I am not sure if we will ever own an rv but they look like a great way to travel.
    Vera Sweeney recently posted…Twitter Party Alert: @MonsterTrucks 1/19 At 9PM EST #MonsterTrucksMy Profile

    Reply
  8. Jeanette

    I have never traveled an RV that I thought it would be fun to do at some point you have so much room to stretch out and and just enjoy the road trip. At some point I would love to take a whole trip in an RV.

    Reply
  9. candy

    One more thing I would add about driving is when there is a long line of traffic behind pull over and let them pass by. Some of those roads are long and windy and hard to pass on. RVing can be loads of fun.

    Reply
  10. Terri Beavers

    These are really great tips, I can’t think of any to add to them. I’ve never driven an RV myself, I think it would be difficult but fun to do.

    Reply
  11. Christy Maurer

    I’ve never driven an RV, but I have been around them while driving. Some of them need to take a tip or two from this list! I hate it when the pass me and I’m already going 70! I’m like, how are you even able to keep that thing upright lol.
    Christy Maurer recently posted…Happy Anniversary iRead Book Tours $50 Giveaway WW Ends 2/4My Profile

    Reply
  12. Pam Wattenbarger

    I haven’t been on an RV trip in forever. These are great tips for RV drivers who are on the road.

    Reply
  13. ricci

    I can’t see myself ever driving an RV (too scary!!) but these are all great tips for someone who is going to!! Great post!!

    Reply
  14. Annemarie LeBlanc

    I dreamed of owning an RV when I was a little girl. I guess my love for traveling started early on in life. I would still love to own one, but leave the driving to someone else. How cool is that, going everywhere you wish with your house in tow? 🙂 Thanks for these road safety and road etiquette tips.

    Reply
  15. Carol Speake

    I have always wanted to take a trip in an RV but haven’t had a chance to yet. These tips are really helpful.

    Reply
  16. Coralie

    I haven’t been on an RV trip but would love to go on one someday. Thanks for these tips! I know they will come in handy.

    Reply
  17. Bonnie @wemake7

    Great tips. I would love to have an RV and travel someday. I think it would be great.

    Reply
  18. Stephanie Pass

    These are great tips to remember. Nothing drives me crazier than when 18 wheelers and RVs get in the left lane and won’t pass anyone. We live right off I-35, which is a huge freeway from texas all the way up to the north, so there are many RVs along the way.

    Reply
  19. Garf

    These are great tips. I like the idea of having an RV but since we seldom travel, it doesn’t make sense to buy one.

    Reply
  20. Anosa

    I really like this article! I’ve recently just got on to the road myself, so knowing that people such as yourself are taking extra precautions to be safe and aware feels me with loads of delight!
    Anosa recently posted…Kitchenware WishlistMy Profile

    Reply

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