RV parks and campsites offer an ideal outdoor getaway for families. However, a lot of drivers are new to handling these massive machines, which leads to mistakes. The most devastating type of RV accident is a rollover. Fortunately, by learning to avoid a few common mistakes, it is possible to prevent such devastation.
Proper Tire Pressure
Those who have experience with towing or hauling know that one of the most important things to check before hitting the open road is tire pressure. Weight distribution and the size of the RV are major contributors to the risk of a rollover accident.
All motorhomes have an ideal tire pressure that you need to follow. Overinflating or underinflating the tires will cause uneven weight distribution across all of the ground points. Driving at highway speeds with uneven weight distribution increases the risk of a tire blowing out, thus leading to rollovers.
It is best to check the pressure in all of the tires in the morning when the temperature of the tires is not affected by sunlight. You should also check the pressure once your RV has been parked for a minimum of two hours. Pressure levels should always be between the minimum and maximum provided by the manufacturer.
Take Care to Prevent Over-Steering
Driving a motorhome means that you are in control of a substantial amount of weight. Accelerating, turning, and stopping must always be done with care to prevent rollovers.
A common mistake when driving a motorhome is to react in the same manner to road conditions as if you were driving a small vehicle. However, over-steering or over-correcting will cause the weight of the RV to shift quickly, which will cause a rollover.
Avoid Road Debris
Regular debris on the road is not usually a major concern when operating a car. However, when you are behind the wheel of a large motorhome, you will need to be much more careful. Debris in the road or potholes can cause tire damage that will lead to a blowout.
Take Special Care in Unfavorable Weather Conditions
Unfavorable weather conditions increase the risk for accidents in a motorhome because of limited visibility. In order to reduce the risk of a rollover during bad weather, take extra care, be patient, and stay alert. Remember to be slow enough to provide enough reaction time.
Practice Makes Perfect
The best way to avoid an accident when driving a motorhome is to practice driving until you can comfortably operate the vehicle. Prior to taking your first big vacation, take the time to drive locally on the streets you know well. Become comfortable with the feel of braking and accelerating. Learn to listen to the RV and get a feel for handling such a large machine.
As you become familiar with your motorhome, you will be able to better detect when something is not right. You will be aware of any strange smells, imbalanced weight, or unusual noises. This will go a long way in preventing an accident.