Tips for trouble-free RV travel

Buckeye Farm News

So you’ve been looking forward to spending time out on the open road with family? The Great Smoky Mountains or Yosemite National Park may be the perfect option for your next destination – it’s just a matter of getting there. With a recreational vehicle (RV), your travels can be both cost-effective and trouble-free with proper planning.

You may be surprised to find that the low cost of RV travel has driven many Americans to rent or purchase an RV for their vacations. RVs range from luxury motor homes to towables such as truck campers and expandable trailers. A study conducted by PFK, an international travel and tourism consulting company, found that traveling in an RV can save a family of four anywhere from 28 to 59 percent compared to combined cost of hotel rooms, restaurant dining and other expenses. RV travel has consistently been a less, if not the least expensive method of travel, according to a study conducted by the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association.

If you own an RV or are considering renting one, be sure the vehicle is road ready to avoid costly repairs or an unexpected trip delay.

Of the RV claims filed, nearly 60 percent were for tire issues. Many of the incidents may have been prevented with better tire maintenance or packing techniques when traveling.

Traveling in a recreational vehicle is fun, but following a few safety tips can make the difference between “delight and disaster,” said Dawn Stoppelmoor, powersports product director who leads RV insurance products. “We have patched many RVs on the road to salvage a vacation, but some pre-trip maintenance and reminders can help keep consumers on the road and out of the repair garage.”

Improper packing that leads to uneven loads can have harmful effects including restricted braking, blowouts and even breakdowns. It is important that drivers be aware of their surroundings and familiar with the vehicle’s size when maneuvering in close quarters. Size includes height too. One of every 10 claims being filed is for roof damage caused by drivers miscalculating their RV’s height.

Crowded areas can be tricky to travel through with a large vehicle like an RV. One in seven claims occurred in areas such as gas stations where it can be hard for the driver to see other vehicles, awnings, poles and other hazards.To prevent these issues, the solution may be as simple as verifying the height of your RV and adjusting your trip accordingly or leaving behind unnecessary and heavy luggage that may weigh down the vehicle to make your trip as successful as possible.Here are a few more tips to ensure your trip is trouble-free:

  • Check the RV’s tire pressure and wear prior to departure, as well as occasionally during the trip
  • Be sure to pack the vehicle so that weight is distributed evenly
  • Give the RV the space it needs for braking and turning, especially around other vehicles. RVs need about 20 percent more distance to stop than the average car. For braking, allow a three-second distance between your RV and another vehicle
  • Be conscious of the RV’s clearance in terms of height, length and width.

Whether you rent or own an RV, be safe on your summer trips!Ohio Farm Bureau members are eligible for up to a 10 percent discount on RV insurance. Contact your local Nationwide agent, call 1-877-OnYourSide or visit Nationwide’s website for Farm Bureau members.  

Lynn Snyder 

Lynn Snyder is senior director of communications for Ohio Farm Bureau.

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