RV Driving Tips
- Written by Gary Lewis
Summer time and the roads they’re a paving...
We’ve all been there when the two lane freeway goes into construction mode.
No shoulder, a precipitous drop-off on one side, barrels or K-rail on the other. What do you do?
The easy way is to use Reference points to keep you centered in your lane and out of Harm’s Way. As you can see in the picture above, there is a dark line in the middle of the lane and it’s called the Oil Patch.
If you will let your brain tell you when it feels like your foot on the accelerator pedal is over the middle of the oil patch, you will find that you are centered in your lane! This is called the Bus Driver’s Trick and it works on any vehicle. Look ahead, concentrate on the oil patch and keep centered, it’s that easy. Also, it’s always a good idea to slow down in Construction Zones.
- Written by Gary Lewis
You never know what you’ll find when you do a pre-trip. During a recent training session with a brand new RVer who had purchase a low mileage, used motor home we did the tire check. You remember the drill, I – inflation, C – condition of the tire and D – depth of tread and date of manufacture. First we checked for inflation, all tires were good. Next we checked for the condition of the tires; once again they looked good. Last, but not least we checked the depth of tread and that was more than adequate.
What caught my attention was the Date of Manufacture on the “driver-side” tire, 4603 and on the “passenger-side” 0604. This means the driver-side tire was manufactured the 46th week of 2003 and the passenger-side tire was manufactured the 6th week of 2004. Given that the coach is a 2005 model; it meant the tires were original equipment! Every tire has a box on the side, near the rim with four numbers. The first two numbers are the week of the year the tire was manufactured and the last two numbers are the year the tire was manufactured. Do you know the week and year when your RV tires were manufactured?
It is now the 25th week of 2015, those tire are over 12 years old! Why is this important, tires have a shelf-life of 5 to 6 years on your vehicle.
After 6 years you have no guarantee of the safety of that tire and if you’re driving in hot weather conditions, you can expect a blow-out!
I am happy to report that Allita went back to the RV dealer and I just received this email from her:
I wanted to let you know what has transpired regarding the tires, as I know you were very concerned about that. I called the Sales Manager and found out that new tires were supposed to have been put on the motorhome before I picked it up.
They work with a tire contractor rather than doing it themselves, and when he got my message he called me right away to assure me they would take care of it. He was very angry on my behalf that it hadn’t been caught. So tomorrow on my way from here to my next parking place, I will take the coach in and it will get taken care of. I never would have known without you being here yesterday, and I shudder to think what might have happened. My guardian angels are surely watching over me, and I believe they sent you to me. So God bless you, and thank you again.
Allita now has six new tires, has completed her RV Boot Camp and is ready to begin her RVing adventure across America.
- Written by Gary Lewis
What does a 102” class A motor home, driving on a 12’ freeway lane and a Freighter, going through the 120’ wide Panama Canal locks have in common?
They each have less than two feet of clearance on either side of their respective vehicles!
When driving a vehicle that is 102” wide, (a Class A motor home) on a road that is 144” wide, (a freeway lane or any new road construction) simple math tells you that if you’re perfectly centered in your lane, there will be 21” on each side of your vehicle. Add to this information the fact that your mirrors are allowed by law to be 10 inches away from the side of your vehicle and you can see that it is tight!
The first thing all new Class A motor home drivers experience is a feeling of being too far to the left in their lane. This is because when driving your car, you experience a feeling of space alongside your car as a result of your peripheral vision. When driving your motor home you lose that feeling, so how does a driver go about knowing where they are in the lane. A simple answer, REFERENCE POINTS!
One great reference point is The Bus Drivers’ Trick. When looking up the road you will most often see a “dark” patch in the middle of the road. This is known as the “OIL PATCH” The Bus Drivers’ Trick has your brain telling you that your foot on the Gas Pedal feels like it is on the middle of the Oil Patch as you look up the road. Really, it’s that simple!
Now you can verify your position in the lane by checking your convex mirrors and noting that you have the same amount of room on each side of your vehicle. This is great tip when you get into construction zones and have K-rail on one side of you and barrels or cones on the other.
Keeping centered and using reference points are just some of the Tips you will learn when you take RV Boot Camp. Sign up today!
- Written by Gary Lewis
No one would overload their vehicle like this, right?
Well before you answer that question, let’s examine what you need to know about loading your RV or Mobile Clinic and how overloading can affect your SAFE operation.
- GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) is the MAXIMUM permissible weight of your vehicle, FULLY LOADED and includes liquids, passengers and cargo. (GVWR=NCC) Important because you are unsafe operating near or above this weight.
- GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating) is the MAXIMUM allowable combined weight of the motorhome and the attached tow vehicle. Important because exceeding this weight places stress on the vehicle’s engine, cooling system and transmission, that exceeds the designed and engineered limits. GCWR assumes the towed vehicle has its own braking system.
- GAWR (Gross Axle Weight Rating) is the MAXIMUM permissible weight each axle assembly is designed to carry, as measured at the tires (including tires, wheels, springs and axle). The GAWR assumes that the load is equal on each side of the vehicle. Important because you want your vehicle to be weight-balanced.
- UVW (Unloaded/Unladen Vehicle Weight) is the weight of the RV AS BUILT at the factory with full fuel, engine oil and coolant, but otherwise empty. (GVWR=UVW+NCC). Important because this number is needed to calculate what you may safely store aboard the vehicle.
- NCC (Net Carrying Capacity) is ALL YOUR STUFF; including all occupants, food, tools, LP gas, fresh water, personal belonging, after-factory installed accessories and the tongue weight of any towed vehicle. Weight Distribution also plays a role in safely loading your vehicle. (GVWR=UVW+NCC)
- CCC (Cargo Carrying Capacity) is the GVWR MINUS each of the following: UVW, full water tank (including not water tank), full LP Gas weight and the SCWR.
- SCWR (Sleeping Capacity Weight Rating) is the manufacturer’s designated number of sleeping positions multiplied by 154 pounds.
It’s easy to have your vehicle weighted and this will give you the peace of mind that comes from knowing that your vehicle is balanced and properly loaded.
For more information, visit RVweigh.
Did you know water weighs 8.3 lbs per US Gallon, Gasoline weighs 5.6 lbs per US Gallon, Diesel Fuel weighs 6.8 lbs per US Gallon and Propane weighs 4.2 lbs per US Gallon?