When Driving Near a Motorhome…

After taking the long way back to Minnesota from California, Andy and I came up with a few things vehicle drivers may want to note when driving near a motorhome — especially if they don’t want to upset a larger vehicle driver.

Andy was pretty adamant that we share these tips. I have tried to write them as nicely as possible, hopefully making them constructive tips, while still listening to my husband rant his feelings about other drivers. Here we go!

A few words to all vehicle drivers who drive near a motorhome (or semi, truck hauling something, bus, etc.):

1. We cannot stop or adjust quickly. Please do not cut us off. We are nearly 20,000 pounds barreling down the road, and we really don’t want to run over you. You will lose that battle.

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This beast is huge — and we aren’t the largest thing on the road! 

2. If merging onto a highway, please pick up your speed before cutting in front of a motorhome. Your job on the entrance ramp is to get up to speed and find the gap. We should not have to slam on our brakes because you are not accelerating enough and cut in front of us (see number one). At the same time, please understand that when we are getting onto a highway, we are flooring it to get up to speed. We are not like other vehicles, and we can only accelerate so quickly. Please be courteous. We will need to merge eventually, preferably before the pavement ends.

3. If I have my turn signal on, it’s because I intend to turn or move over. Please don’t accelerate to block my move because you have to get in front of me. Understand that we follow the “slower traffic in the right lane” rule unless we actually need to move from that lane.

4. I leave myself a gap in front of and behind my vehicle in case I need to stop quickly. This is not a gap meant for a bunch of cars to cut in front of me as close as they can (please see number one).

5. Whenever possible, don’t drive right alongside me and stay there — especially in a windy area. A gust of wind can push our rig nearly half a lane over, especially at highway speeds. I will do everything I can to stay put, but please move away when possible.

**The moral of the story is that everything happens slower in an RV. It takes longer to brake, accelerate, merge, change lanes, etc. If we are on a single-lane road, and I see you behind me, I will try to pull off to let you pass me. I will look for the soonest turnout I can safely take.

***It seems dumb to have to repeat this so many times but DO NOT CUT ME OFF. It is dangerous for everyone.

A note to motorhome drivers (or semi, truck hauling something, bus, etc.): 

Please use turnouts or move to the right lane whenever possible. Be courteous of those sharing the road with you and understand that although you are large, you are also slow, and there are other drivers. These other drivers can get frustrated when you don’t follow those rules and courteous behaviors — just because you’re big doesn’t mean you can do whatever you want. If you want other drivers to consider the rules above, you need to play your part.

If you are new to driving a motorhome, practice before you take a long drive. You weigh a lot and can do some major damage.

And to everyone: Happy Travels!

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