As the approaching cold weather firms its grip on the northern landscape and holidays with family and friends begin to wind down in the coming weeks, snowbirds take flight, many via road trip in their RV, and escape to their winter destinations far away from the ice and snow. With so many of you preparing for this upcoming journey, we wanted to share some of our safe RV driving tips while traveling during and after the holiday season when many winter snowbirds flock the roadways on their way south for the winter.
Conduct a Checklist
We know that there are loads of things to remember when you’re packing up for the winter season. One way to help is to have a checklist prepared and go through it before you leave. This way nothing will be left behind, especially an unforeseen oversight of something essential. With today’s technology, you can quickly download useful apps, such as RV Checklist, as a helping hand to make this process even easier!
Check Your Tires
Typically when you buy a new RV, or even a gently used one, the tires that come with it tend to be ones equipped for summer. While these tires are great for making your cross-country adventure smooth and comfortable during the sizzling summer months, they’re not so great during snowy and ice covered roadways. Make sure before you migrate out of the cold that you check your tires to ensure there’s a sufficient amount of tread, or you may want to consider simply replacing them with snow tires.
Also, don’t forget to check your tire pressure before you depart. As temperatures begin falling a few degrees (okay… maybe more than a few), tire pressure will naturally drop and will need adjusting. After all, incorrect tire pressure can compromise cornering, braking and stability, so the last thing you would want to do is forget this little task and start your winter getaway with a blown out tire or even worse, an accident.
Slow and Steady Wins the Race
While we’re all excited to travel in order to escape the cold, rushing during the holiday season is neither the time nor the place, especially when you’re driving in an RV. Not only are the highways jam-packed with smaller vehicles whose drivers are trying to get where they’re going as quickly as possible, but the unforeseen winter conditions also contribute to a more dangerous travel route.
One thing that could help is to buy some convex mirrors for your RV. These spherical mirrors, sometimes referred to as fish eye mirrors, reflect light outward and have a wider field of view allowing the driver to see more of the rear of the vehicle. They’re inexpensive, available at most auto stores, and can make a world of difference, especially when trying to see in those blind spots. These will help a great deal when other motorists are trying to pass.
Another driving tip to remember is that it’s okay to pull over when the road ahead gets tough. Pulling over at a rest area is a much safer option when weather conditions get scary. After all you have your bed and kitchen right behind you, so what more could you ask for during a snowstorm? Due to the larger size of RV’s it can be exceptionally dangerous to travel in high winds or icy roads that are difficult to stop on, so save yourself the risk and pull over until the weather passes.
Make sure to take frequent stops to rest when driving long distances. We suggest driving in six to seven hour increments, then stopping to find a place to park and rest for the night. While this might seem tedious, it’s a much better option than falling asleep at the wheel. Plus, the journey is half of the fun! Stopping each night allows you explore new areas and experience different RV parks and campgrounds along the way, which can give you a broader understanding of what’s available out there. Make sure to check out our list of Sun RV Resorts before you start your journey in case one is en route to your final destination!
We hope these RV driving tips prove to be useful during your upcoming journey to your warm winter escape. Safe and happy travel to all of our snowbirds and winter travelers!