RV Driving Requirements, Regulations and Tips
First off let's set the record straight. Driving or towing your RV, your RV trailer, your fifth wheel, your camping trailer or your toy hauler may be different - but it's not difficult.
If you can drive a car you can drive or pull your RV, because you already have the skills necessary to drive a vehicle. The most important thing to keep in mind is the weight of your RV or travel trailer, because breaking will take more time and cover a greater distance. Additional differences will be the RVs length, width and height, which if not keep in mind will result in a trip to the body shop. So take things slow to start and after you become accustom to these differences, driving your RV or pulling your RV trailer will become second nature and a truly enjoyable experience.
Whether you drive a motorized RV, tow a travel trailer or pull a fifth wheel or toy hauler, you should be aware of the following:
- Sit in the driver's seat and make sure all of your mirrors are set correctly. (There is no back window.)
- Keep in mind that RVs and camping trailers require a greater radius to turn.
- Again breaking will require more time and distance than your car. In addition RVs, fifth wheels and toy haulers take more time to accelerate when merging onto a highway.
- Make sure the vehicle you plan to tow your camping trailer or fifth wheel with meets legal requirements and will have the power to handle the job.
- Ensure you have the correct hitch and your RV trailer is hooked up correctly to the towing vehicle.
- Make sure that your RVs wiring harness is properly hooked up and that your trailer's brakes, turn signals, and taillights are synchronized with your vehicle.
- Always - Always - Always back up with care. (Here's a tip for reversing and backing up your RV trailer. Placing your hand at the bottom of your steering wheel, the trailer will move in the direction you turn your hand. So to move your camping trailer to the right, you move your hand to the right.) Slow movements are always your best bet!
- When backing up always ask someone to guide you back to prevent that horrible crunching sound. If you are alone first get out and inspect your path - then travel half way and re-check the path before completing your park.
- According to the National Safety Belt Coalition, the most important thing you can do in preventing serious injuries or death is to wear a seat belt - SO DO IT!
Canadian RV Regulations
Do you need a special license to drive or tow your RV? For the most part the answer is "NO", however regulations vary from province to province. So if you are planning to travel out of Alberta with your RV or travel trailer you might want to read over this summary of regulations prepared by the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association of Canada.
The Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association of Canada list safety chain laws, seat belt regulations, size restrictions, plus brake requirements for every Canadian province.
From you friends at Sunridge RV - Happy trails and happy camping!