How do I back up my Class C motorhome?

In today’s article, we will discuss: How do I back up my Class C motorhome? We will explain how to back up with a Class C motorhome step-by-step, and we will give you a few key points to always keep in mind when manoeuvring a Class C motorhome. 

How do I back up my Class C motorhome?

Backing up or making a U-turn with a Class C motorhome has intimidated more than one knowledgeable driver. And it can be quite intimidating, especially when there are people staring at you, when the parking space is tight, etc. 

  • The first and most important thing to know is the size of your vehicle well, which can be learned with experience. The mirrors will be your only link to the outdoors, unless you get help.
  • Ask for help and guidance. The only miracle method to make things easier for you is a lot of composure and great complicity: the driver remains the sole master of his vehicle, but he must also be able to have blind trust in his guide. Obviously, we will be advised to move our vehicle as slowly as possible.

 To help motorhomes overcome this difficulty (and couples to pass this delicate test), accessory manufacturers have developed the reversing camera.

  • The reversing camera. This is an external equipment consisting of a camera and a remote screen on the dashboard. This third eye complements what you see in the rearview mirror, not a replacement. The camera offers a view directly from the rear and over a sufficient length for safe maneuvering. 

Equipment that is more and more widespread, which can be supplied as standard on certain motorhomes, ordered as an option or added after-purchase to your Class C motorhome!

How to back up a Class C motorhome step-by-step

To back up a Class C motorhome start by familiarizing yourself with the RV. Don’t wait for a real situation: instead look for a large, flat area where you can sit quietly to practice – without an audience! – until you are able to “feel” where you are going. Try not to overthink it but just take action.

1. Start by moving carefully so that the entire roadway is straight and aligned. At this point, half the job is done.

2. Keep in mind that the steering wheel IS the caravan: the top of the steering wheel is the front end, the bottom of the steering wheel is the rear end.

3. Grasp the lower edge of the steering wheel (= rear of the caravan) and start reversing while maintaining a straight path.

4. Ride a little at a time. If you want the motorhome to go to the left, point your hand to the left. Small movements of the steering wheel. If you want her to turn right, point your hand to the right.

5. Wait for the caravan to follow (the longer the caravan, the more it is done with a delay). Watch in the outside mirrors.

6. Straighten up by coming back in the opposite direction. Small fixes.

and to the right> caravan to the right. Hand to the left> caravan to the left.

If you turn around and look back as you turn the steering wheel, still be sure to keep an eye on the front fender of the towing vehicle. You don’t want to accidentally push aside an expensive 4×4 while backing up.

The longer the motorhome, the longer it takes for it to “follow”. With a short motorhome, the movements of the steering wheel are transmitted quickly to the rear.

The most common mistake is to stress, which translates negatively into the steering wheel. In the worst case, the caravan folds up like a folding knife. However, all you have to do is move forward, straighten the road system and start from scratch.

Ask for help if needed.

Don’t hesitate to have a few assistants check the front of the car and the back of the motorhome. It is much less of a problem to ask for help than to crash into another car. Make sure your assistant remains visible at all times and makes clear signs or gestures.

If the combination is long and the opening you need to enter is narrow: make the final adjustments manually. If you don’t feel comfortable, let someone who knows how to uplift and give you a hand.

How hard is it to drive a Class C RV?

Driving a Class C RV can be difficult, especially for new drivers. With Class C RV travelling at a speed of 55 mph, the brakes will provide the same force as if they had to stop a load of 320,000 kg. It is as if the weight of the vehicle is multiplied by 32.

To stay on the safe side while driving a Class C RV means to always keep your distance. It should be remembered that the reaction time decreases as the speed increases. 

From a calculation that the instructors teach, you will be able to determine the distance to keep with the vehicle in front of you. It is obtained by dividing by three the total length of the vehicle if it is in meters and by ten if it is in feet. It is mentioned that for a vehicle of 12 meters or 40 feet, the gap to keep will be four seconds. 

Just take a visual cue on the side of the road and start counting the seconds as the vehicle ahead passes in front of you. You stop counting when you pass the marker. This is an example of a perfect pavement. 

Bad weather conditions, traffic density and road conditions are also factors that can influence the distance to keep. Finally, it is better to keep more than less.

A few tips for successfully manoeuvring a Class C motorhome

  •  The mirrors are essential. They can protrude up to 20 cm. the width of the motorhome. The further apart they are, the better.
  • It is advisable to periodically check the fastening of the hitch and the emergency grips.
  • Before leaving it is advisable to check the tire pressure and the tread wear. It is also important to check the water, oil and brake fluid levels of the towing vehicle.
  • The operation of the rear lights must be monitored (whoever has them). Red lights, stop lights, patent lights and blinkers are mandatory.
  • It is necessary to ensure that the drag never pushes the vehicle, but the car is the one that pulls: it is the golden rule to keep the whole stable.
  • Avoid dry braking, as well as abruptly reducing speed.
  •  When the weather conditions are adverse (rain, wind …), adjust the cruising speed.
  • Ideally, ride at a regular speed, and overtake only when it can be done safely and without danger.
  • When driving with a motor home, sharp steering turns and sudden accelerations should be avoided.
  • If an obstacle on the road other than a person (for example, a dog or another animal) suddenly appears, break as much as possible …, but without taking excessive risks. In no case should the driver swerve in a pious impulse, since the consequences for the people travelling in the vehicle could be more regrettable?
  • In the city and especially on a narrow street – which should be avoided on our rural routes – never stick to a parked car when you have to leave space for another vehicle to pass in the opposite direction because it will be much more difficult to get out.

Conclusions

Each driver has his way of driving and his cruising speed with which he is comfortable. Do not change these habits by riding near a fellow traveller. Safety is even more important than the company!

Please let us know if you have any suggestions or questions on the content. 

FAQ on How do I backup my Class C motorhome?

Is it hard to drive a Class C RV?

Driving a Class C RV can be difficult, especially for new drivers. With Class C RV travelling at a speed of 55 mph, the brakes will provide the same force as if they had to stop a load of 320,000 kg. It is as if the weight of the vehicle is multiplied by 32.

Which is easier to drive, Class A or C?

When it comes to driving comfort, Class C RVs are definitely easier to drive. The difference in size between Class A and Class C RVs really makes the difference in this case. Class A motorhomes can be 40 feet long (thus harder to manoeuvre) while Class C motorhomes generally cut around 28 feet!

How fast can you drive a Class C RV?

You should be driving a Class C RV faster than 65 miles per hour (105 km/h). The ideal speed is between 63 and 65 mph. Don’t drive your RV over the recommended speed, as its size and load reduce the braking time and increases the risks of overturning, especially in high winds. 

Is it hard to drive an RV?

Experienced motorists tell us that it is not hard to drive an RV, however, for a newbie, it could pose a challenge. It is recommended that before driving an RV you familiarize yourself with its dimensions, as you must quickly get used to the vehicle and know in what space you can park or if a road is wide enough to fit on it.

Is it hard to drive a 31 foot RV?

It is not that hard to drive a 31 foot RV. Still, you will have to practice before hitting the road. ​The aspects for which driving a motorhome is different are obvious. Currently, this type of leisure vehicle usually: exceeds 20 ft (6 m) in length.

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