Tips for Transporting an RV. So you’re ready to go off-grid and enjoy some “me” time, hear the night sounds in the wilderness, and gaze into the starry night sky. But before you jump into your RV and drive off to the best camping grounds you can find, did you check if your RV is ready?
You may be thinking that since your RV is new, you’re not going to have problems along the way. The truth is that’s not always the case. Even the newest vehicles can do with these 10 tips.
Best Practices for Transporting an RV
1. Tick off items in your safety checklist.
Transporting an RV requires owners to check for issues as they would with any vehicle off for a long drive. You need a checklist that reminds you to make sure your tires, engine, exterior lights, turn signals, and mirrors all work. Equipping your RV with a fire extinguisher, ample water supply, a first aid kit, and a satellite phone in case of emergencies is also recommended.
2. Get insured.
Also, like any other vehicle, you need to insure your RV. You should know that insurance coverage depends on the type of RV you own. Research is thus crucial.
There are three RV classes, and each may require a different kind of insurance. Several factors also affect coverage, including the cost of the vehicle and how often it gets used. Part-time insurance is an option for those who may not have that big a budget.
3. Plan your route.
Even if you know where you’re going, you still need to check out the campgrounds on Google Maps and study the various routes you can take. For example, consider the height, width, and load capacity of the bridges, roads, and tunnels along the way.
If your RV comes with a built-in navigation system, program the route you plan to take in advance. If it doesn’t, and you’re not that good with directions, it may be wise to get one. Even the most adventurous may not appreciate getting lost.
4. Balance the weight inside your RV.
Most people, especially first-timers, are tempted to take everything that fits into their RV on their trip. But each RV has a weight capacity, and the load should be well-distributed inside.
If you plan to tow a trailer, a water tank, or other cargo haulers, take their weight into account. Read the owner’s manual thoroughly to see what should go where to ensure weight is evenly distributed so you won’t have issues.
5. Travel light.
While it’s true that the longer your trip is, the more things you need, but that doesn’t mean you should bring your entire home. Overloading your RV, as we said earlier, is a bad idea. Whatever you do decide to take along, though, make sure you have the essentials, namely:
● Maps, IDs, insurance documents, emergency numbers, money, and camping ground reservation docs
● First-aid kit, a fire extinguisher, a smoke detector, emergency or hazard lights, fuses, oil and coolant, jumper cables, tire pressure gauge, the RV toolbox, power adapters, emergency water bottles, and a compass
● Mobile phone, laptop, Wi-Fi extender, solar panels, solar batteries, a generator, chargers, and extension cords
● Camping gear, tents, sleeping bags, flashlights, binoculars, matches, and cooking gear
● Toiletries, toilet paper, and outdoor camping clothes
Bring only what you need and choose materials that are quick to dry and easy to wash and store.
6. Test your brakes.
If your RV is towable, it usually has a built-in electric brake controller. You need to adjust this so your trailer tugs your towable vehicle and won’t lock the brakes. They should slow down at the same time and move as one vehicle. Check the instructions that come with your RV or the controller if it is an add-on.
You can test your brakes by practicing towing the trailer on a paved, flat surface at about 25mph. Try hitting the brakes fully using the manual lever. If the wheels lock up, you’re either doing it wrong or didn’t set it up right. If you can’t feel the trailer’s weight, you need more power. Check its weight and load and adjust accordingly.
When you use your brakes, the RV shouldn’t pull hard on the tow vehicle or depend too much on it to stop. Instead, manage the brake control well, so the trailer responds accordingly to a slow or quick stop.
7. Get a backup camera.
Use a backup camera, so you know how to handle blind zones when driving or parking. You can also ask a friend or companion to stand outside and help you park on reverse.
8. Buy spare tires or the trailer before the tow vehicle.
Buying spare tires or the trailer first is a good strategy because you know how much load you need to tow. Only when you know the total load can you determine how powerful the tow vehicle should be. Doing that will cause less trouble in managing brake controls or reducing your gear each time you go on a trip.
You can check out the types of RVs and trailers and what it takes to drive them. Review laws on towing requirements, too.
9. Hire an RV transport service.
If you’re not the best driver, you can opt to hire an RV transport service to deliver your vehicle to your vacation spot. Service providers like RV shipping by A-1 Auto Transport can ensure your RV and tow vehicle get transported safely.
Once delivered, check your RV. It should be in the same condition before shipping. Perform safety checks before shipping to ensure everything is as it should be.
10. Practice driving your RV.
Practice makes perfect, which is true when it comes to driving an RV. Try driving on busy roads and don’t forget parking. Slow is the best way to go, especially since you’ll have a lot of extra weight to pull.
Practice parking in a nearly full parking lot, too, to get used to the length and load of your RV.
Enjoy the Outdoors Safely
Many love the outdoors and the idea of going off-grid, but you have to agree that the ability to bring all the comforts of home with you is better. Taking an RV is thus a great idea. It’s not that easy, though. So make the best out of your RV trip by keeping the 10 safety tips we listed here in mind.