The chances are that if you’re an RV owner, a day will come when you eventually have to drive your RV in the rain. If you’re new to driving an RV or you already feel some discomfort driving your RV, this can be a scary experience. After all, driving an RV can be challenging even under the best road conditions. But if you know a few tips, you can have a much better chance of safely arriving at your destination.
We’ve collected our best tips for driving in the rain below. Read on to learn what you might be missing. When you need parts or services for your RV, don’t hesitate to stop by Ryan’s RV Town. We’re located in Everett, Washington, and we proudly serve the Seattle area as well as Tacoma, Bellingham, and Vancouver, Washington.
Before you head out, you should always perform a quick pre-trip inspection of your RV. This advice isn’t limited to driving in the rain, but it becomes even more important when the road conditions are subpar. Make sure to walk all the way around your RV and look for anything that’s standing out. Make sure your engine fluids are full and look for any parts that could be broken or out of place.
Monitor Tire Pressure and Tread
Part of your inspection should include checking your tire pressure and tread. Tire pressure is extremely important because if your tires aren’t all at the same pressure, it could cause a blowout. The tires should be inflated to the psi listed on its side and recommended by the manufacturer. Tire tread is another important thing to consider. The old rule most people use with car tires involves putting a quarter into a groove in the tread and seeing how far up the nickel it goes. This is a fairly crude way of checking the tread considering that most motorhome tires are specially designed and don’t necessarily follow the rules of normal car tires. Instead, consult your dealership and ask their advice for your specific model of motorhome. If you see obvious damage, make sure to get that fixed before you take a trip.
Watch for Low-Traction Areas
Some areas will be much more slippery than others when driving in the rain. On-ramps and off-ramps tend to collect water at their bases, so watch for any large puddles that are building up. Any low-lying area will tend to collect water, too. Sometimes the inside of a banked corner will have major flooding problems. Intersections may or may not collect large amounts of water, but they can be more slippery than your average stretch of road because cars idling at the intersection will drop oil and engine fluids. This will build up into a smooth surface that becomes very slippery when wet.
Increase Follow & Braking Distance
When the road is wet, it will offer substantially less friction, which means you can get less traction with your vehicle. Braking becomes especially risky on wet roads because they can easily cause a skid. To mitigate this effect, make sure to increase the follow distance you put between your RV and the car in front of you. With RVs, you’ll need to double the number of car lengths you put between yourself and the car in front of you, but when the road is wet, you should add a few car lengths on top of that, too. If you need to brake for a stop sign or stoplight, give yourself extra room to slow down.
Use the Inside Lane
Most roads use crown construction, which means that they have a rounded shape that’s designed to channel water towards the outside and away from the driving surface. The inside lanes will be the highest lanes, so they’ll be the most likely to be dry.
Turn on Your Headlights
Rain tends to reduce visibility, so it’s important to turn on your lights whenever driving in the rain. This will help for two reasons. First, it will allow you to see more of the road in front of you, especially if it’s night time. Second, it will help other motorists see your RV.
Replace Wiper Blades
The difference between a new, high-quality wiper blade and an old, low-quality wiper blade is vast. Since all wiper blades will start to degrade over time, it’s worth changing your wiper blades as soon as you see their quality start to drop.
If you’re planning a big RV trip in the near future, stop by Ryan’s RV Town for some routine maintenance and check out our selection of new RVs for sale while you’re at it. We’ll make sure your RV is set up to handle whatever circumstances you encounter. We’re located in Everett, Washington, and we proudly serve the areas of Seattle, Tacoma, Vancouver, and Bellingham, Washington. Give us a call today to see what we can do for you!