Spring is in the air, Kamloops! And you know what that means. Whether you’re pulling your beloved rig out of storage, trading it in for something new, or just buying your very first travel trailer or motorhome, there’s no better way to explore our great nation than with an RV road trip. That being said, whether you’re a seasoned RV vet or not, the matter of safety can often remain an oversight. From securely hitching your RV to underestimating its size to keeping up with maintenance, a lot can go wrong on the open road if you’re not careful. Thankfully, the team here at South Thompson RV has learned a thing or two after over 40 years in operation! Here are 10 things to keep in mind to stay safe in your RV as you gear up for spring camping in beautiful British Columbia!
Take your RV out for a test run (or 3). If you’re new to the world of RVs, it's important to know that driving a motorhome or camper is different from a car, truck or SUV. Be sure to take it out for a couple of practice spins in a safe space before heading out on your journey to get a feel for how it drives. Even if you’re already used to the #RVLife, we still recommend taking the ol’ rig out for a little reminder run!
Have your RV inspected. Not only is it important to have your RV winterized and de-winterized, but having it inspected before taking it out for the season will ensure everything is up to code so you can avoid potential risks or breakdowns while on your journey.
Load your RV correctly. Every unit has a maximum cargo carrying capacity (CCC) that shouldn’t be exceeded. You also need to load your RV to distribute the weight properly.
Stick to the pavement. While you may find some, very few RVs are meant for off-road driving. Try your best to stick to paved or semi-paved roads rather than navigating narrow, gravel or pebble-strewn roads.
Keep the windows closed. This helps to improve the aerodynamics/fuel consumption and will keep the fumes outside and prevent dust from entering the vehicle/living area.
Take Wider Turns. Regardless of your RV’s size. This is particularly true of right turns because you’ll be up against the curb. A sharp turn could find your rear tires up on the curb or tracking over someone’s lawn.
Adjust the convex side mirrors accordingly. This helps both you and your co-pilot see down the sides of your unit. These mirrors increase the field of vision, particularly in the blind spot area, so you can see passing vehicles and tires in motion. Remember that things are closer than they appear, so don’t use convex mirrors to judge distance!
Check for weather updates. Regularly visit or tune into Environment Canada for provincial updates for any weather alerts. Sure, unexpected rain or snow can lightly affect your road trip plans, but you also want to keep an eye out for even more serious alerts like wildfires, mudslides, fog, and avalanches.
Drive safely. This can mean numerous things, but among the most important is to drive slowly and take your time, especially since RVs are more susceptible to crosswinds than passenger vehicles. Pro tip: Keep the RV between the highway/road lines (closer to the centre line is advised) and use gradual acceleration and braking. Be sure to also leave plenty of room between vehicles in case of unexpected braking.
Use a spotter when backing up. If you’re travelling solo, you’ll need to depend on your rear camera and get in and out. But if you have a co-pilot, they can help guide you to maneuver your RV in and out of its spot safely.
Here at South Thompson RV, we want you to be as prepared as possible before takeoff so that you can experience the optimal level of enjoyment on your RV getaway. For peace of mind, contact our service centre and schedule an appointment to have your current RV de-winterized and inspected before heading on your next adventure today!