More and more Americans are shifting away from traditional vacations by buying an RV and hitting the open road. Recreational vehicle sales increased by more than 17 percent in 2017, according to the RV Industry Association.
That trend continues to grow as the freedom of the open road calls retiring Baby Boomers and Millennials, among others. Why get on a plane and stay in a tourist resort when you can see the country’s incredible beauty and meet everyday people like yourself?
But climbing behind the wheel of an RV is quite different from an SUV, pickup truck or economy-class vehicle. Driving an RV requires specialized training and enhanced skills. That’s why Southwest Truck Driver Training offers an RV course that equips travelers with the necessary practical skills, and knowledge to start your journey.
Learn Tips about How to Drive An RV
While operating a recreational vehicle presents more significant challenges than smaller vehicles, adapting to the larger size and handling can be learned relatively quickly with proper instruction. Resources for RV handling and driving tips from the DMV emphasize increased defensive driving when operating a large vehicle.
It stands to reason that you will be occupying a greater amount of space and will not have the advantage of looking through a mirror positioned to see out your rear window. Operating an RV for the first time can be a significantly different experience. Smart, planned, defensive RV training skill will be a key to maximizing safe travel. These are some skills that can be refined by taking an RV training course:
- Handling: Negotiating multi-lane roadways requires a clear understanding of the size and abilities of an RV. To safely change lanes, come to a full stop and make turns requires newly acquired driving techniques.
- Tight Spaces: Zipping in and out of parking spaces and gas stations with a passenger vehicle is a world of difference than doing the same with a recreational vehicle. RV operators must learn to recognize problematic landscapes. A well-trained RV driver can negotiate spaces without being put in an awkward situation.
- Braking Considerations: Drivers learn how to moderate their driving speed and effectively use RV braking systems.
- Turning and Backing: RVs are generally longer and wider than passenger vehicles. Operators would be wise to practice and hone their ability to make wide-radius turns and back into often narrow camping spaces.
- Height Consideration: One of the most often-overlooked aspects of driving an RV is that they tend to be considerably taller than many cars and trucks. Being mindful of height limitations when traveling under things such as low railroad bridges can prevent your RV from getting wedged.
Maximizing the safe, pleasure operation of a recreational vehicle also entails understanding how to manage systems such as wastewater disposal, storage, and fuel consumption among others. Drivers are also tasked with learning pre-trip safety standards.
Learn How to Conduct a Pre-Trip RV Inspection
If you have ever seen a film where an airplane pilot runs through a pre-flight checklist, that is similar to what an RV training course teaches. There are many moving parts that must be functioning at a high level for a road trip to go smoothly. These are some of the RV checklist items drivers learn to routinely inspect.
- Belts and hoses
- Headlights, turn signals, brake and tail lights
- Tires air pressure and tread health
- Hitch and towing equipment
- Fire extinguishers
- Smoke alarms
- Cooking and air ventilation
- Load weight capabilities
- Side out compartment functions
- Food storage and refrigeration
While RV owners gain immeasurable satisfaction from the scenic landscapes such as national parks, sandy beaches, and majestic mountains, those priceless moments require care, patience and enhanced operational skills.
Contact A Certified RV Training School
Along with the peace of mind you will enjoy by taking an RV training course, insurance companies may also offer discounted premiums for drivers who earn a Southwest Recreational Vehicle Training Certificate of Attendance. The decision to sign up for RV training or not comes down to whether you want to risk the safety of you and your loved ones to trial and error or by starting your journey with appropriate RV training. Contact Southwest Truck Driver Training and learn the skills you need.