In this article, we will answer the following question: How fast can you drive a motorhome? We will discuss how to safely drive with a motorhome and what are some basic rules to follow.
How fast can you drive a motorhome?
How fast you can drive a motorhome will depend on the size and type of vehicle you are driving. Please see the table below for the recommended speed limits when driving a motorhome.
|Motorhome size (ft)||Motorhome Type||Recommended Speed (MPH)|
|31||Travel Trailer||speed limit|
|38||Travel Trailer||speed limit|
|42||Class C||speed limit +5-8|
How difficult is it to drive a motorhome?
Driving a motorhome is not too difficult as long as you take some basic precautions..The motorhome is bound by the same rules as all other vehicles under 3.5 tonnes. It is therefore not subject to special speed limits except when it is towing a trailer weighing more than 750 kg and its GVWR exceeds 3.5 t.
Conversely, a motorhome over 3.5 t must comply with different speed regulations. They are from:
- 65 mph on highways,
- 62 mph on two carriageway roads separated by a central median,
- 50 mph on other roads.
They must also follow a few other specific rules. Comply with weight-related prohibitions or bypass obligations: prohibited city centres, overtaking or safety distances … It is, for example, not a priority when crossing difficult with a light vehicle. On roundabouts, he must stay in the right lane. He must keep 50 m of distance from the vehicle in front.
The motorhome operator should keep in mind that he is driving a vehicle that does not weigh or build up to a passenger car.
The motorhome cannot drive on the leftmost part of a road with more than two lanes (article R 412-25) if it is more than 7 meters long or if it is a heavy vehicle.
As we all know, the heavier the vehicle, the longer the braking time and distance. It is therefore imperative to always respect the safety distances from other vehicles.
It is prudent to anticipate manoeuvres as much as possible and to always use the engine brake on descents (especially if they are long) because the motorhome often approaches the limit of its authorized laden weight.
Who says height says catch in the wind. The vehicle may wobble when passing a truck or in windy conditions. Be careful. Monitor your speed by adapting it to weather conditions.
Consider the dimensions of your motorhome when you are riding. Always remember the height limit before entering under a bridge, in a tunnel, in a car park, at a toll gate… A motorhome is on average 3 meters high!
How to drive safely with a motorhome
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.
Experts in these areas give some tips to make an RV vacation both safe and fun.
- Check the vehicle: before starting the trip, it is necessary to verify that the operating conditions of both the car and the motor home are optimal.
The tire pressure of the RV is the first point to check. Fuel, water supplies according to the number of passengers, radio and spare batteries are, among others, elements that cannot be lacking.
- If you are towing a caravan, level the weight between both vehicles: above all, it is important not to increase the weight in the trunk of the car, as this would cause the height to drop and, consequently, problems in coupling with the trailer. This will give you a balanced centre of gravity that makes cornering easier.
- Safety on the journey: during the journey, all passengers must use seat belts and not go in beds. People who get dizzy easily should ride in the front seats of the motorhome or car.
- Don’t forget to check the emergency equipment, such as the fire extinguisher, first aid kit, and signalling tools before leaving.
- Be careful when braking: the extra weight of the motorhome modifies the minimum distance that the car requires to brake safely. It is recommended to maintain a distance equal to three cars with respect to the vehicle in front. And in overtaking, it must be taken into account that more meters will be necessary to carry out the manoeuvre.
- Reverse gear, slopes and crosswind: these are three events to which you must pay the utmost attention. On a slope, you have to use the first track or the slow track so as not to obstruct traffic.
When descending slopes, try to maintain a constant speed and use the engine brake as much as possible (engaging). And as for the reverse gear, the suggestion is to practice it as much as possible before the trip.
The most advisable thing is to try to follow the behaviour of the trailer: if you turn to the right the driver of the car should do the same.
Crosswinds are a big problem for vehicles that are very tall in relation to their width. To avoid accidents, the secret is to keep a low centre of gravity and distribute the weight proportionally between the two vehicles.
- Use the apps: GPS applications or those that help to find the easiest route or services of interest, such as restaurants, medical centres, hotels or police, are a good ally when driving with a motor home safely.
Some rules to follow when driving a motorhome
There are just a few rules when driving a motorhome, all intended to help you have a safe journey:
- Avoid travelling in a convoy when travelling with several motorhomes.
- Make it easier for following vehicles to pass.
- When parking, ensure that you only occupy one space like other vehicles.
- Think about local residents, avoid parking in front of an inhabited house so as not to risk obstructing visibility.
- Do not hesitate to drink small amounts of water often and have some fruit for snacks.
- Do not hesitate to stop frequently to combat stiff neck, itchy eyes and back pain.
- Avoid alcohol and large meals.
- The abuse of coffee and vitamin C artificially activates alertness without eliminating fatigue.
Some additional tips:
- Remember to turn off the water pump, even at this stage, if you are not using it, to avoid problems with a broken collar or other leaks.
- Some motorhomes are equipped with a boiler (water heater) with an automatic “frost-free” drain system that engages at + 5 °.
- If the pump is not turned off, all the water supply spills onto the floor. In winter, before leaving, heating the water will prevent this safety from triggering.
- The gas cylinders must be closed when the vehicle is in circulation, with the exception of vehicles equipped with newly approved systems.
The bottom line
A motorhome weighing less than 3.5 t is subject to the same driving rules as light vehicles. A motorhome over 3.5 t must comply with special regulations: speed limit, driving rules. In all cases, take into account the weight and height which require particular vigilance. Respect the rules of common sense like all motorists.
If you have any comments or questions about driving a motorhome, please let us know!
FAQ on How fast can you drive a motorhome?
How to drive with a motorhome?
To drive with a motorhome, you have to know the following tips:
- Know its dimensions. It is as basic as it is fundamental.
- Spread the load evenly.
- Avoid overtaking.
- Drive at a steady speed.
- If there is a strong wind, slow down.
- Use the side mirrors.
- 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.