RV Driving Etiquette – The Basics

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.

Proper RV etiquette is essential on the road.
Proper RV etiquette is essential on the road.

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.

RV Driving EtiquetteGet 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.



    • Normal, unloaded cars need to know this too. Too often, on the highway some jerk will pass “us”, pull in too close then hit the brakes…LIKE WTF?? Idiot..

    • You have that right. I can’t count how many times people pass and cut you off and slow down. Really is scary to do that to a 32 foot rolling M/Home or any other camping unit…

  1. When keeping a safe distance from the car ahead if traffic begins to slow give yourself more distance watching your mirrors for what I call “Lane Divers” these dangerous drivers will make a sudden illegal move to squeeze between you and the vehicle ahead of you without any warning and signal forcing you to lock up your brakes to avoid a serious collision. Safe Travels my Friends.

  2. their is always the person that is going to beat you out when the right lane ends.That will make you clean out your shorts.

  3. On interstate highways, be aware of what the trucks ahead of you are doing in terms of lane changes. If they move a lane to the left, most of the time the lane they were in ends or exits ahead or is obstructed. Following their lead will avoid changing lanes at the last moment.

  4. “you are responsible for allowing everyone else to maintain their speed successfully” – Really? I am responsible for their speed? Too general. Right lanes are for slower moving traffic. If I’m in the right lane, they have the left lane and can use it. Also, when entering highway, people should use the acceleration lane to get up to highway speed. Many times they stay beside me, and then get angry that I don’t slow down to let them on the highway. Not my fault.

  5. Having a pair of 180db air horns which always helps in getting people’s attention, especially with folks who no clue how to merge into ongoing traffic….


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