While traveling, we have kept a running list of tips and tricks for driving a Class A motorhome. As we learn and travel more, we promise to update this post so we can continue to make other's motorhome driving experiences better.
1. Create a checklist to use for every trip that details the sequence of packing up and preparing for the road. Include in that checklist, taking time to pack everything away, emptying all the tanks, clearing debris from the slides before bringing them in, check tire pressure, ensure all bikes are hooked up correctly and the car or toad vehicle is hooked up properly.
2. Know your brakes! If they seem off in any way, i.e. taking too long to stop, get them checked! Trust me, we know from experience! And, learn how to use your engine brake system. It could save your life!
3. Maintain your RV and your tow vehicle. Make sure to do regular oil changes, tire rotations, check your tires' air pressure and fluid levels. Always make sure you are driving in the best possible condition.
4. Properly secure bicycles and trailers or tow dollies. Make sure everything is secure inside and out. We've had our propane tank door fly open in travel. Thankfully nobody ripped the bay door off and thankfully we were able to pull over and secure it properly. Check every outside door before you leave.
5. Have snacks and lunches prepped on travel days so that you can keep stopping to a minimum. And prepare any electronic devices and activities for the kids to keep them happy while on the road! Also, put these items in a place the kids can access them and secure them if needed. We have a plastic lattice bin for each child we load up with snacks and attach to the table with bungee cords so that the kids can access them while we travel and they don't fly off the table on the first turn (yep, that was one of our first rookie mistakes... snacks and crayons everywhere)!
6. Know your travel route and plan any potential stops for any larger gas stations/travel stops that may be on your way. We enjoy stopping at a new state's welcome center to get some information, free stickers and souvenirs for the kids and to take a usually much needed break. Other good places to stop are Flying J or Buccees or any place we feel like we can comfortably fit our RV.
7. Get as much sleep as you can the night before and get an early start. The earlier you start, the easier it is to get there on time. The more rested you are, the more able to adapt and deal with the frustrations of driving.
8. Always add at least two or three hours to your travel time. Driving an RV means driving slower than you would in your car or truck which means it will take longer. Plus, you have to factor in breaks to stretch your legs. We have two younger kids who stay in their car seats while we drive, so they have to have a chance to go to the restroom and walk around a bit while we travel.
9. Don't risk it if there are any reservations about driving, due to weather or road conditions. Always be aware of current and possible wind, rain, snow, sleet, hail, construction hazards that may be on your path. It's your family's safety you are risking if you choose to drive in unfavorable conditions. It's better to stay an extra day or two, or even a week if it means everyone arrives safely to their next destination.
10. Enjoy the scenery! Sitting up so high while driving allows a wonderful view of the changing landscapes. While traveling can and will be somewhat stressful, enjoy it and take in as much as you can!