Travel

Good plan­ning be­fore a hol­i­day in an RV will help make it mem­o­rable... for all the right rea­sons

Reader's Digest Asia Pacific - - Contents -

IF YOU’RE LOOK­ING for a fun way to ex­plore the coun­try, trav­el­ling in an RV (recre­ational ve­hi­cle) is the way to go. In a sense, you get to take your dwelling with you, but you can stop any­where along the way.

Be­fore you hit the open road, how­ever, it’s a good idea to make a few prepa­ra­tions. Driv­ing an RV is dif­fer­ent from driv­ing most other ve­hi­cles, and be­ing aware of those dif­fer­ences can make your jour­ney safer and more en­joy­able. Here are some things to keep in mind be­fore you cruise into the sun­set.

HAVE THE RV SER­VICED AND IN­SPECTED

No mat­ter what kind of ve­hi­cle you’re driv­ing, you need to make sure it is road­wor­thy be­fore you pull out of your drive­way. If you are rent­ing an RV, al­ways in­sist on a pre­trip ser­vice and full in­spec­tion. Once the RV gets a clean bill of health,

you can pack it up and hit the road with con­fi­dence. The last thing you want is to have your long-an­tic­i­pated road trip come to a pre­ma­ture end be­cause of a pre­ventable main­te­nance is­sue.

PRAC­TISE DRIV­ING THE RV BE­FORE YOU HIT THE ROAD

Chances are you won’t have a lot of prob­lems driv­ing a mo­torhome on the high­way, but nav­i­gat­ing smaller city streets in such a large ve­hi­cle can be a real chal­lenge. Put in plenty of driv­ing prac­tice be­fore you leave home and learn how to use all of your mir­rors to de­ter­mine your po­si­tion and re­verse the ve­hi­cle safely.

CON­SIDER IN­STALLING A RE­VERS­ING CAM­ERA

If your RV doesn’t al­ready have one, con­sider in­stalling a re­vers­ing cam­era. It’s a handy ac­ces­sory that will make back­ing into tight park­ing spa­ces a lot eas­ier and give you ad­di­tional peace of mind. Al­ter­na­tively, if you’re trav­el­ling with pas­sen­gers, you can al­ways ask them to check be­hind the ve­hi­cle be­fore you re­verse.

BE AWARE OF HAN­DLING DIF­FER­ENCES

Driv­ing an RV is dif­fer­ent from driv­ing a car or even a large ute, for that mat­ter. The higher cen­tre of grav­ity means you need to take turns wider, and the large size of the RV means you’ll need a big­ger turn­ing ra­dius. Again, prac­tis­ing ahead of time can help you get used to han­dling the large ve­hi­cle.

You will also need to be cog­nisant of the wind speed as you drive. When the winds get strong, it could cause the RV to drift un­ex­pect­edly. Take a tighter grip on the wheel when it’s windy and give other driv­ers more space.

CON­SIDER FORM­ING AN RV CAR­A­VAN

Chances are you’ll meet other RV driv­ers on your road trip, par­tic­u­larly if you’re trav­el­ling a pop­u­lar route. If you are all head­ing in the same di­rec­tion, con­sider team­ing up with them. Ar­range to meet at camp­grounds, at­trac­tions and restau­rants or even form an RV car­a­van. Trav­el­ling with other RVs is fun, and can en­hance your sense of safety: a con­voy of RVs will be eas­ier for other driv­ers to spot.

Ad­just the mir­rors for an op­ti­mum view of what is be­side and be­hind the RV

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