Recreational Vehicles (RVs), also known as motorhomes, offer the perfect blend of travel and
comfort, providing a home on wheels for adventurers. However, safety is a paramount concern
when it comes to operating these large vehicles on the road.
As with any mode of transportation, understanding motorhome safety is crucial for a smooth
and secure journey. Here’s a quick overview of what RV’s are, and whether or not they are safe
to drive and live in:
What Is Categorised as an RV?
When most people think of RVs, they probably imagine large, boxy vehicles that look like a cross
between a bus and a house. However, there is actually a wide range of vehicles that can be
classified as RVs.
The key factor is that the vehicle should be designed for recreation and/or camping purposes.
This can include everything from converted vans and small trailers to massive, luxurious auto
trail motorhomes. In some cases, even large SUVs or trucks with specially designed camping
equipment can be classified as RVs.
Ultimately, the classification comes down to the intent and functionality of the vehicle, rather
than its size or appearance. So, whether you prefer the cosy intimacy of a small trailer or the
spacious comfort of a luxury motorhome, there is an RV out there for you!
Are RV’s Safe To Drive? Things You Need To Consider
Though safety is one strict aspect, it can mean a different thing for different people. To find out
whether RV’s are safe to drive for you, here are some few key things you need to know about
RV’s, and then come to a conclusion (which we’ve provided down below):
Regular and proper maintenance is fundamental to the safety of any vehicle, and RVs are no
exception. Before hitting the road, conduct a thorough inspection of your motorhome, checking
the engine, tires, brakes, lights, and fluid levels.
Plan routine maintenance as recommended by the producer to quickly resolve any likely issues.
Driving an RV requires a different skill set compared to operating a regular passenger vehicle. If
you are new to driving RVs, consider taking a specialised driving course to familiarise yourself
with handling a larger, heavier vehicle. Practice driving in open spaces before navigating busy
roads to gain confidence and skill.
Be Mindful of Wind and Weather Conditions
RVs are susceptible to crosswinds, especially on open highways and bridges. Exercise caution
and reduce speed during windy conditions to maintain control.
Additionally, be aware of weather conditions, especially rain and snow, as they can affect driving
visibility and road traction.
Due to their size and weight, RVs require longer stopping distances compared to regular cars.
Allow for more space between your RV and the vehicle ahead to account for the increased
stopping time. Avoid sudden braking whenever possible to prevent skidding or loss of control.
Consider the Height and Length
RVs can be significantly taller and longer than standard vehicles, making them more prone to
Pay attention to height restrictions when driving under bridges or through tunnels. Additionally,
be cautious while turning, especially in tight spaces, as the rear of the RV may swing out wider
Safe Parking and Levelling
When parking your RV, choose level ground whenever possible to ensure stability. Use levelling
blocks to create a flat surface, especially if you plan to extend slide-outs. Properly level your RV
to prevent appliances, doors, and drawers from swinging open while parked.
Electrical systems in RVs can be complex, and faulty wiring can pose a safety risk. Regularly
inspect the electrical connections and ensure they are in good condition.
Consider using surge protectors to safeguard your RV’s electrical components from power
fluctuations at campgrounds.
Driving an RV can be a rewarding and adventurous experience, but safety should always be the
top priority. Remember to conduct regular vehicle maintenance, be mindful of weight
distribution and tire safety, and practise safe driving skills. Stay vigilant of wind and weather
conditions, allow for longer stopping distances, and be aware of the height and length of your
RV to avoid clearance issues.
Safe parking, fire safety, and electrical precautions are also vital aspects to consider. By adhering
to these motorhome safety measures, you can create lasting memories on the road while keeping
yourself, your passengers, and others safe.