If you’ve owned a motor home long enough and live in an area of the country that experiences snowy and icy conditions in the winter time, then chances are you’ve found yourself in the potentially dangerous position of having to drive your coach through a wintery mess. There’s also the probability you were traveling from point A to point B and got caught up in some weather you weren’t expecting. Whatever the case may be, make sure that you’re able to keep your family, your coach, and the other drivers on the road safe by understanding the do’s and don’ts of driving in poor weather conditions.
For starters, if you know that the forecast is calling for snow, ice, or heavy rain, stay off the road! If it’s not an absolute life and death situation, stay put and wait the weather out. There’s no point in risking your life for a road trip. These days, there isn’t much of an excuse for not knowing weather and road conditions prior to your trip. Resources like weather.com and traffic.com are available for a reason. Take advantage of them.
Conduct a thorough safety check of your motor home. Check to make sure your windshield wipers are working properly and aren’t streaking, check your brake lights and headlights, make sure you have plenty of gas (which also helps to add additional weight), and also make sure your tire pressure is right to avoid hydroplaning.
A couple things that may seem obvious to some folks, and maybe not so much to others, are to drive slowly and to never use your cruise control when driving through wet/icy stretches of road. If and when you begin to hydroplane and your tires lose grip on the road, the cruise control will begin to accelerate so when you do regain traction your coach will spring forward like a rocket and all types of bad things can go down when that happens. Also, make sure to use steady pressure on your brakes when attempting to slow down or stop, do not pump your brakes to reduce the risk of sliding. Long and short, forget about that cruise control button when you’re driving in inclement weather so you don’t end up like this guy…
Make sure to carry tire chains with you at all times. Even if your coach is brand new or you just got new tires, protect yourself anyway. The treads used for a quiet drive on a nice smooth highway in the Spring time will be of no use when the snow and ice start to pile up. Check out this video for instructions on how to put your snow chains on, or seek the help of a professional. If you do end up putting them on yourself, don’t forget to keep a pair of thick gloves with you.
A good way to ensure some level of safety when driving a diesel pusher in the snow is to load up as much weight as possible on the drive axle in the rear of the coach. The heavier your motor home, the less likely you are to lose control and begin sliding. However, regardless of how much additional weight you’re carrying, ice is still ice so don’t think for a minute that you’re in the clear until you’ve parked safely.
Use technology to assist you. It’s 2014 people, if you own a coach that doesn’t come equipped with a fancy GPS, buy one! The Rand McNally RV specific GPS system is a pretty awesome gadget that will give you the heads up on road conditions, traffic, the closest RV parks, and more that can help you navigate your way to a safe place to wait out any unsafe driving weather.
Ultimately, don’t drive when it’s nasty out if you don’t have to. Your coach is a beautiful home on wheels filled with all the luxuries you need to keep yourself occupied for a few hours (or days for that matter), so get the most out of them and protect your family and the other drivers on the road.
Do you have questions about purchasing a new or pre-owned motorhome or just about the RV lifestyle in general? If so, please contact us so we can answer all of your questions and concerns!