Modern motorhomes are not difficult to drive, with an automatic transmission, power brakes, and plush captains’ chairs, an RV can be just as easy to drive as other vehicles. Experienced drivers will have little trouble adjusting to the greater size, weight, and height of an RV. Being alert, planning ahead, and using your defensive driving skills will help you have a great Alaska road trip.
Be Aware of Your Width and Height
Your RV will likely be wider and taller than your normal day-to-day vehicle. Some of the routes you are familiar with may not accommodate your motorhome rental. Consult a specialized road atlas such as The Milepost to find appropriate places to drive. It is best to avoid trying to use drive-throughs such as fast food restaurants and ATM machines.
With the additional length and weight, you will need to make some adjustments when turning. Avoid parking lots with only one entrance/exit. These often have narrow aisles that will not give you adequate room to maneuver. Cornering will require a larger turning radius, so pull a little further in to the intersection before starting to turn.
One golden rule for parking is stop when you reach the point where you no longer have a clear vision of where you want to go and the possible hazards. If you have a second person available, call on them to be your spotter. You will have to rely on your mirrors for backing up, so make sure they are adjusted correctly before leaving the rental lot. If you’re at all uncomfortable with backing up, look for drive through spots at the campground.
Braking Will Take Longer
Because a motorhome is significantly heavier than your normal vehicle, braking will take longer. Increased following distances will improve your ability to react to situations and stop safely. Some other drivers may not understand the need for you to take the extra space and will react with more aggressive driving. Exercise your patience and remember that you’re on vacation.
Driving in the Wind
Often in your everyday vehicle you won’t notice a breeze while driving. The wind will become much more obvious to you while driving an RV. The degree of influence will depend on the exact aerodynamics of your rental, but there will be an affect. Make sure to maintain your grip on the wheel and slow down. This will help you avoid a dangerous situation.
With a little bit of patience and practice, you’ll be having a great time driving your ABC Motorhome down the Alaska road ways.