The average person is only used to drive ‘average’ sized vehicles – meaning coupes, sedans, pickup trucks, SUV’s, and the like. Most people, unless they are professional truck drivers or work in another transportation-related field, never pilot anything with more than four wheels. If you buy an RV, however, you will quickly need to learn how to safely and efficiently operate an RV which is likely the biggest thing you have ever put in motion.
One of the considerations that you have to make when driving your RV is the other cars around you on the road. Not only do you want to help everyone stay safe, but you also want to make sure you are being courteous to others. You are taking up a large portion of the road in your RV, so it is only right that you should be aware of your positioning and do what you can to keep traffic moving freely. Following are a few points of etiquette to think about while driving your RV to and from your next vacation.
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Get out of the Way!
The main rule of thumb regarding RV etiquette on the road is simply to get out of the way of faster, small vehicles. That means using the right lane whenever possible, and maybe even using a pullout along the side of the road to allow cars to pass on a one-lane highway (when safe). If you are traveling significantly lower than the speed limit – which is likely going to be the case when going up a long mountain pass, for example – you are responsible for allowing everyone else to maintain their speed successfully. Pay attention to cars coming up behind you and share the road in a friendly manner.
Don’t Follow Too Close
Nothing will make a driver nervous faster than a large vehicle coming up quickly from behind. If you are piloting an RV, make sure to maintain a safe following distance from the car in front of you. Even if the car is going slower than they should be going on a given road, you still don’t need to move up within a few feet of their bumper. You don’t have the flexibility in an RV to stop as quickly as you could in a small car, so stay back to provide yourself with more time to react should they stop suddenly for some reason.
Park Well Away from the Entrance
When you stop to park your rig at a store or restaurant, make sure to use parking spaces that are well away from the entrance to the business. You shouldn’t be blocking several spaces right up front with your large vehicle, as you will be getting in the way of several other customers. It is proper etiquette to park out away from the store, even if that means a longer walk to get inside. Your big RV will make it hard to people to get around the parking lot, and the visual obstruction that it provides could even cause an accident. Do the right thing, and park near the back of the lot for the benefit of those around you.