Class A motorhomes are a great ticket to weekend getaways and camping excursions. Get all the comforts of a home without the high price of a hotel reservation! But before you can enjoy trips, you’ll need to drive the motorhome to your destination. Driving Class A motorhomes is a pretty different experience than driving a car. We gathered up the following tips to cover the basics. If you have any questions, or want to scope out some motorhome models, visit Krenek RV. You’ll find us in Coloma, Michigan.
Using Your Brakes
Many Class A motorhomes are built with air brakes. These are more effective than an ABS. But they are also more difficult to control when you want to break heavily.
This braking style is different than the one used in your car. With your car, you can add more pressure to the pedal to stop faster. Extra pressure won’t do anything on Class A motorhome brakes. Instead, you brake by holding the pedal down for a certain amount of time. Usually, it takes about a second holding the brake down before the vehicle begins to slow down. The longer you engage the pedal, the more the vehicle will brake.
Because of this braking style, you’ll need to drive more defensively than you do in your car. You want to avoid getting into a position where you need to stop quickly – you won’t have enough time to engage the brakes to bring the motorhome to a stop. Anticipate stops by monitoring several cars ahead of you. Plan ahead for sharp corners and slow down in advance. Scan frequently for pedestrians or animals that may dart out on the road. Get a co-pilot who can help predict stopping situations with you.
Leaving Enough Following Distance
You know the following distance you leave when you drive your car? Double it when you drive Class A motorhomes. You are driving a vehicle with much slower breaks and, in turn, need much more time to stop. Your vehicle is also much heavier, which also contributes to the slower driving time. Aim to leave at least five seconds between you and the car in front.
When you leave this much follow space, you’ll probably encounter an annoying situation. Other cars may take advantage of this space and cut you off. It’s a frustration all RV drivers encounter. When it happens, decrease your speed to get that necessary following distance back.
Compensating for the Wind
It’s no secret that your motorhome is significantly larger than your car. Many Class A motorhomes reach 13 feet tall and around 30 feet long. This extra weight and space will be heavily affected by the wind and gusts from passing cars. When you drive at higher speeds, you will feel this even more.
Take extra care when you start to experience the wind. Resist the urge to overcorrect. But do what you need to do to stay stable. Pay attention to high wind advisories. Sometimes the wind will be severe enough that you should keep your motorhome off the road. You can always wait for it to die down and then hit the road.
The size of Class A motorhomes results in a center of gravity that’s shifted upwards. This makes the vehicle more prone to tipping if you take a corner too sharply. You’ll need to proactively adjust your driving to compensate for this.
Start by reducing your speed before you enter the turn. Slow down 5 to 10 miles under the suggested speed limit. Let off your brakes when you begin to make the turn. Then accelerate slightly through the turn to shift the center of gravity towards the center of your motorhome.
For all your RV needs, visit Krenek RV. Check out our selection of new and used Class A motorhomes. Get a value for trading in your current motorhome, or update your motorhome through our parts replacement and maintenance options. Whatever you need, you can find it with us! We proudly serve those in Coloma, Kalamazoo, and Grand Rapids, Michigan. We also serve La Porte, Indiana.