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Over The Network

RV driving tips

by Jerry Fitzgerald, 2/22/2000

Stay in the center of your lane. Put two 1/4 inch wide strips of white tape about six inches apart on the defroster vent so you can quickly glance down to see them without moving your vision very far from the road ahead. Place the tape so your MH is in the center of the lane when the painted center line in the road is between the two strips of white tape. You may not use them all the time but when you need a quick check of your position in the lane as in heavy traffic or a construction zone the tape marks will tell you if you're centered in your lane faster than checking your mirrors. Another idea is to imagine your right foot on the dark streak in the middle of most lanes where the tires don't run.

On the highway look 15-20 seconds ahead (15 seconds is a quarter of a mile at 60 MPH). Stay 4 seconds behind the vehicle in front of you. The California Class A drivers handbook says to add 1 second more if you are driving over 40 MPH so maybe 5 seconds behind the vehicle in front of you is better. To determine this watch the vehicle in front of you pass a post or sign and count the number of seconds until you reach the same post or sign.

In city traffic look ahead one block.

If a vehicle is stopped alongside the road move over a lane to give them room.

Cover the brake if a traffic light is "stale."

Cover the brake if you feel something is wrong.

Plan ahead, notice roadside signs, changing traffic patterns, traffic slowing, lane merges or splits, turning lanes and so forth.

When there are 2 left turn lanes, use the right-most lane for your left turn.

When there are 2 right turn lanes, use the left-most lane for your right turn,

Left Turn: Drive until the front wheels are even with the center line, turn it full & fast, and go slow.

Right Turn: Drive until the front wheels are even with the curb or left side of a parked car, turn it full & fast, go slow.

Mirrors: Scan your mirrors (both flat and convex). Look for shadows. For perspective, adjust mirror so about 1-inch of your coach shows in the mirror.

As you pass another vehicle, when you can see the passed vehicle's tires on the road surface in your flat mirror you can safely move back into your lane.

As you approach freeway ramps look 3 times. (1) Check the exit lane as you approach. (2) Look at the top of the overpass. (3) Check the incoming merge lane as soon as you can for entering vehicles.

Backing & Turning: Drive close to the edge of the road or curb. Then back until the rear wheel is where you want to start the turn, turn it full & fast, and go slow. If you're not making it, stop, turn the wheel in the other direction and pull forward as in a Y turn. Then turn the wheel back the other way and continue backing. You may want to tip your flat mirror or mirrors down so you can see better.

Backing straight: Choose a high easy-to-see object in your flat mirror (left mirror is best for this) and keep it in the same location in the mirror as you back up.

Campground maneuvering: Watch for tail swing, overhead branches, and look down low for short tree stumps, large rocks and electrical/water hookups. You may want to tip your flat mirror or mirrors down so you can see better.

Streaks of rust coming from the lug nuts may be a sign of loose lug nuts.