Driving a motorhome is a bit more complicated than traveling around in a passenger car. It mainly comes from rigs being much larger, which makes them unequipped to deal with specific scenarios. We did some research and found a few situations where pulling over your motorhome would be the right choice.
- The driver's feeling tired
- Something feels wrong with the RV
- Running low on gas
- Your trailer is swaying
- Strange noises
- Mirrors need adjusting
- Harsh weather
- Dealing with an aggressive tailgater
Of course, listing them out like this might seem a little vague. We intend to fix this issue by going into more detail about each situation in our following sections. These discussions will make ensure you feel comfortable about deciding whether it's time to pull over.
The Driver's Feeling Tired
This situation might seem like common sense. But some people think fighting through their sleepiness is a better option than pulling over. After all, most of these people have a schedule and want to follow it as much as possible.
It's common for people to brush off their fatigue and continue towards their destination. This action can be hazardous. Driving a motorhome is something that requires a driver's full attention, especially for new RVers.
Honestly, it only takes one moment of fatigue to create something tragic, like a car accident. It's a better idea to be smart and listen to what your body's telling you.
If your body's telling you it needs some sleep, give it some. This doesn't mean reaching for some coffee or an energy drink either. Those jittery feelings associated with those drinks can also make driving dangerous.
You should instead proceed to take one of two options. The first one is pulling over to the nearest truck stop and getting some much-needed sleep. If you think it's necessary, take the entire night and wake up rejuvenated.
People driving with others can use the second option of asking someone else to drive. Either way, you're taking responsibility and ensuring the roads stay safe.
Something Feels Wrong With the RV
If a driver feels something is wrong with their RV, it's best to pull over and check it out. There's no reason to try and finish your trip before addressing the situation.
Powering through the issue could lead to some dangerous situations for the drivers around you. You must account for the safety of other drivers, especially when you're driving in a large RV.
One of the most common possible issues is your tires being over or under-inflated. These situations tend to affect the feel of your driving experience much more than a person might imagine.
For instance, under-inflated tires can build up excess heat and cause a blow out to occur. Overinflation can lead to reduced braking, tracking, handling, and even cause uneven tire wear.
In these situations, you should pull over onto the shoulder or into the nearest truck stop. Proceed to check your tire's pressure and make sure everything's at the proper levels.
Other potential issues could be problems with your motorhome's braking system or engine troubles. No matter what is making your driving experience feel off, pulling over is the right option.
Running Low on Gas
Any vehicle running low on gas is a nightmare for a driver. But this scenario rings more true for a motorhome owner. These large vehicles stalling out in the middle of a road isn't an ideal scenario for anyone involved.
It's best to deal with a low tank as quickly as possible. You'll want to pull into the nearest gas station or truck stop to deal with it. We suggest right around when your rig hits a quarter of a tank. This action will ensure you never end up having a stalled out motorhome impeding the movement of other drivers.
A truck stop would be a better option as gas stations tend to be a little crowded for larger motorhomes. Many RVers have ruined their sides, roofs, and fenders when trying to pull up to a pump at gas stations.
But if there isn't a truck stop nearby, please use a gas station. Dealing with a crowded place like these is much better than stalling out in the middle of a road. It's a safer choice for both you and the other drivers.
Your Trailer is Swaying
A person who's towing a trailer will have to be on alert for an issue that other RVers don't, trailer sway. This issue occurs when the side forces on your trailer cause it to move side to side behind your vehicle.
Trailer sway sometimes can even occur when the driver's done everything right. These actions include installing properly adjusted equipment to ensuring the load remains balance.
As a result, a driver must always be aware of what their trailer's doing behind them. Trailer sway tends to start small and will continue to increase as it's ignored.
Your reaction needs to happen quickly to keep the sway from building up. These steps should ensure you get pulled over to the nearest shoulder or truck stop safely:
- Lower your speed by removing foot from the tow vehicle's accelerator.
- Make sure to hold the steering wheel completely straight.
- You mustn't try to manage the sway by turning your steering wheel.
- Don't speed up or brake
- If you've got an electronic trailer brake controller installed and time allows it, manually activate the trailer's brakes.
- Pullover to the shoulder or nearest truck stop and examine what may have caused the sway.
- Perform the proper corrections to get rid of your trailer's sway.
- Cautiously get back on the road and continue at a slower speed.
- If the trailer sway keeps happening, it's time to call the experts.
RVs tend to be a lot more complicated, then first-time rig owners realize. These large vehicles have a large number of parts that regular cars don't have. Due to this, strange noises occurring will happen more frequently during driving trips.
Drivers should compensate for these extra parts by listening more intently to their rigs. If you heard a strange noise like a weird scraping sound, pull over and find the issue.
You should also check your mirrors more often than you'd with a regular car. It'll ensure everything's safely in place. If you do see something flapping in your rearview mirror, pull over and secure it.
It's important to remember that these vehicles are large and often come with more substantial problems. It's why you must always be on alert and proceed with caution. RVs aren't something to mess around with when talking about these types of issues.
Mirrors Need Adjusting
RV drivers must be very cautious when it comes to their mirrors. It might not be as easy to see what's behind the rig, but you must have an eye on it at all times. If you don't know what's going on behind your RV, pull over and adjust them.
You'll need to have the capability of reacting to a dangerous situation like trailer sway. Having your mirrors adjusted incorrectly makes it almost impossible. It ends up being a safety issue and could result in something tragic.
Driving an RV in severe weather isn't a wise move. It's a much more difficult task than you'd have with a regular vehicle, which is already tough. As you can imagine, these larger vehicles have a tougher time breaking in slippery conditions.
The weather conditions to avoid when driving an RV would be heavy rain, fog, ice, hail, strong winds, heavy snow, thunder, and lightning. Rig owners who encounter these issues should find somewhere safe to pull over until the danger subsides.
It's a situation where playing it safe becomes the right move. Otherwise, you might find yourself paying repairs costs for a rig that's been in an accident. This repair costs a lot more than you'd see with a standard vehicle.
Dealing with an Aggressive Tailgater
Some drivers tend to get a little aggressive towards RVs. This issue usually comes from them needing to go slower than a regular vehicle. These people often end up tailgating right on a motorhome's bumper. It's not an ideal situation for anyone.
If this person doesn't proceed to remove themselves from your bumper, you should pull over. It's best to avoid the situation, then letting it happen for an extended period.
You don't want to stop short, and brake check them either. It might seem like a good idea for a split second, but it could lead to some awful consequences. Pulling over and letting them drive by you is a much better option.
We hope this article highlighted some situations where pulling over your motorhome would be a wise move. But if you do have any more questions, feel free to leave them in our comment section. We'll answer them as soon as possible.