How fast can you drive a Class A motorhome? (7 tips)

In this short guide, we will discuss: How fast can you drive a Class A motorhome? We will explain how hard it is to drive with a Class A motorhome and give you the ultimate seven tips for a safe journey. 

How fast can you drive a Class A motorhome?

How fast you can drive a Class A motorhome will depend on the size of the vehicle, and frankly, on which state you are driving in. On average, the recommended speed for a Class A motorhome is between 60 to 65 mpg. 

Please see the table below for the recommended speed according to the size of your Class A motorhome. 

The recommended driving speed for Class A motorhomes

Size of the RV(ft)Recommended Speed (MPH)
2855
2960-65
3263
3560
36 65
3762
3862
3965
4055-65
4575

How difficult is it to drive a Class A motorhome?

Class A are not the easiest to drive motorhomes. You must take into consideration the dimensions of the vehicle, besides the usual precautions. 

Travelling with an RV is a unique experience as it provides a fantastic feeling of freedom. But driving a car that pulls one of these houses on wheels is not trivial. 

Differences in the vehicle’s response to acceleration, braking and cornering speeds due to the extra weight and increased aerodynamic drag make it necessary to drive particularly cautiously.

Tips to drive safely with a Class A motorhome

Before getting your new Class A motorhome on the road, there are certain aspects you must consider. 

  1. A new way of driving. Neither user manuals nor dealerships dare to address the subject of driving. From the first moment you get behind the wheel of a motorhome, you must adopt a new way of driving and you must familiarize yourself with a higher seat and a different touch on the pedals than those you are used to with a car.
  1. Attention to height. The first thing you must do before turning the ignition key is to place a sticker on which you will have written the height, width and length of the vehicle. 

This will prevent you from leaving the nasturtium on the roof of the first underpass you find, but you should also know that the risk can come from the branches of trees, the sides of a mountain road or the balconies that line a narrow street and that are not marked on the panels.

  1. Attention to blind viewing angles. Despite having large rear-view mirrors and a panoramic windshield, visibility is far from perfect. There are always dark areas on the sides. At some crossings, only the passenger, next to the driver, will be able to tell you if the road is clear. 

Nor is it easy to appreciate the entire length of the motorhome. Also, to carry out a manoeuvre (reversing in particular), it is necessary, in the absence of a backup camera, to be guided by someone who, outside the vehicle, watches the rear and everything that is outside the field of vision of the vehicle. 

  1. Learn to turn. When executing a turn with a motorhome whose weight is close to 3,500 kilos, it is necessary to take into account the following criteria:
  • The first is basic: the greater the wheelbase, the greater the turning radius and, therefore, the greater the risk of mounting the rear wheel on the curb. When you make a turn, feel free to widen the trajectory.
  • The second is the rear projection of the body on the axle. If this is important (more than 1.70 meters), it is necessary to monitor the trajectory, especially in left turns, so that the rear of the vehicle (right side) does not rub against a pedestrian, a cyclist or a parapet. Not forgetting that the upper part of the vehicle can rub against a traffic indicator panel.
  • The third is the centrifugal force. This increases in proportion to the mass, speed and radius of gyration. To control the trajectory of a motorhome measuring about three meters high, in which the centre of gravity varies depending on the load, it is better to avoid braking in full turn. Anticipate turns by decelerating before entering the curve and accelerating as it exists.
  1. Control speed. It is essential when you are behind the wheel of a vehicle that weighs 3,500 kilos. It is necessary to know that this weight thrown at a speed of 90 kilometres per hour corresponds to a mass of 112 tons. For this reason, it is necessary to be more aware of the safety distances than with a car, because, at the same speed, sudden braking will be much less effective.

On descents, excessive use of the brakes will cause the brakes to warm up and lose efficiency. In this case, it is necessary to use the engine brake in advance, setting a lower gear. It runs better in third with a high engine speed than in fourth with a lower speed. In the event of the engine overheating, you can open the heating flap.

  1. Attention to high winds. We must not be surprised by the blow of air that occurs every time a truck passes us. Likewise, it is necessary to be wary of the slap you will feel every time you pass a truck or coach, especially when there is wind. In these cases, it is enough to have the steering wheel well attached.
  1. Review the highway code. We must not forget that in many countries, vehicles over 7 meters long cannot invade the third lane from the left on motorways. Also, in the roundabouts, in the direction of the turn, the motorhome is considered an uncomfortable vehicle that must necessarily take the right lane. It will remind us that parking in the proximity of intersections, curves, summits of ports or level crossing is considered dangerous and strongly sanctioned

The bottom line

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 fast can you drive a Class A motorhome?

How to drive with a motorhome?

To drive with a motorhome, you have to know the following tips:

  1. Know its dimensions. It is as basic as it is fundamental.
  2. Spread the load evenly. 
  3. Avoid overtaking.
  4. Drive at a steady speed. 
  5. If there is a strong wind, slow down. 
  6. Use the side mirrors. 
  7. Do not leave loose items inside.

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. 

References

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