Motorhome safety tips

Basic do's and don'ts with a motorhome

  • As with getting into any vehicle, check that your driver's seat is adjusted correctly for your feet to reach the gas and brake pedals. Move the back of the seat forward or back to allow a relaxed hold on the steering wheel.
  • Check your mirrors. With this unit being so much bigger you will need as full a range as you can gain with the mirrors. About 30% of the hazards you will encounter come from the rear. If your mirrors have long arms then make sure the inside edge of the mirror is flush with the side of the unit.
  • This unit is a lot bigger then a car or truck. You need more time to slow down or stop. It also takes longer to accelerate. When you need to merge onto a highway, brake or change lanes you will need to take this into consideration.
  • You need to know your "pivot point". A professional driver defines the pivot point as the fixed point on a vehicle at which the vehicle rotates around in a turn. For a two-axle vehicle this is the center of the rear axle. Why is this important? When you are looking at an object, a parked car for example, is located at the center of the rear axle or behind, you can turn toward the car and not hit it. If the car is ahead of the pivot point when you turn toward it you will hit it. When you make a turn you need to remember that you are in a lot bigger unit. Practice does help.
  • Passengers are to remain in their seats. There is a temptation for passengers to wander about. Nip this in the bud right away. You do not need to be worrying about what is going on in the motor home when you are focusing on traveling safely down an often-busy highway.
  • Try to travel with other adults who are capable of driving the motor home as well. It is better for you to have some driving relief on a long trip and important to have an emergency back up if necessary.
  • Check for weather warnings. Flash floods, high winds and tornado conditions can happen quickly.
  • Know the limits of your insurance coverage. Do you have break-down expenses? Do you have emergency towing? Talk to your insurance broker and know the routine for if you do have an accident and how to proceed with a claim.
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