How hard is it to drive a Class A RV? (7+ helpful tips)

In this blog post, we will answer the question: “How hard it is to drive a Class A RV?” We will discuss the importance of understanding a few Class A RV driving terms and talk about a few driving tips to consider, We will also talk about the importance of preparation and practice when it comes to driving a Class A RV.

How hard is it to drive a Class A RV?

Driving a Class A RV for the first time might be a tough challenge due to the size and length of the vehicle. When compared to Class B and Class C RVs, a Class A RV might be can be hard to maneuver. However, it’s just a matter of time and practice to get familiar with the length and weight of a Class A RV.

Class A RVs are not only huge, but they are also heavy. Just like any other vehicle, a Class A RV will need more practice before getting on the road. Driving a Class A RV requires skill and it can be dangerous for those who do not know how to drive. Make sure to get help for a professional and learn how to drive a Class A RV properly.

License requirements

You will also need a commercial driving license if your RV is more than 26,000 pounds. In some states, you will require an (NCDL) non-commercial driver’s license. Be sure to look up the licensing rules according to your state. For example, California requires a non-commercial Class B license for RVs over 25,000 pounds and a Class A license for RVs above 10,000 pounds.

Class A RV driving terms

Class A RVs have a few driving terms that you will need to know even before you start to drive one. Keep in mind that these RVs are generally long and are way bigger than a Class B or Class C motorhome. It can be easy to tow a trailer than drive a Class A RV. Be sure to understand the driving terms and learn how to drive a Class A RV from a professional.

Rear overhang

  • The term rear overhang refers to the total length of the Class A RV behind the drive axle. It is essential to understand the length of the vehicle that is behind the drive axle.

Steer and drive axle

  • Steer Axle refers to the front axle that is controlled by the steering wheel. The drive axle is the rear axle if there are two axles in the vehicle.

Wheel cut and wheelbase

  • Wheel cut is understanding how sharp the front wheels can turn and the wheelbase is understanding the length from the front axle to the rear axle.

Pivot Point

  • The pivot point is the spot on the drive axle where the RV will pivot during a turn.

Swept path

  • The swept path is a separate path that is taken by the rear wheels while turning. This is also known as off-tracking.

While those are a few common terms to know, the most important part is understanding how a Class A RV functions. You will need to know the length of the vehicle and understand your pivot point. The rear overhang is where people make mistakes and it is extremely important to know the rear overhang of the vehicle.

Class A RV driving tips

Any vehicle that is large and heavy is going to be hard to drive. A Class A RV is no exception, but there are a few tips that you can follow to provide you with a smooth driving process. These are basic tips that you might already know, but some of them can come in handy when driving a Class A RV. Here are a few Class A RV driving tips mentioned below.

Turning radius

  • The turning radius is probably the first and most important thing to learn while driving a Class A RV. Remember that a Class A RV is not like any other vehicle and the length of the vehicle must be considered. 
  • Sharp turns and turning at corners are not going to be easy. Be sure to know the length of the vehicle and understand the turning radius.

Width

  • The width of a Class A RV is also different and you must understand if your RV can fit through a particular road. Certain highways have a narrow and legal minimum width which is usually eight feet and six inches.

Road view

  • The road view is also different in a Class A motorhome. Unlike a car or truck, you will have a limited road view. Ensure to keep your eyes on the road at all times.

Speed

  • Speed is crucial and it is extremely important to stick to the speed limit. This is especially applicable for a Class A RV since they can get out of control easily. 
  • There are speed limits for RVs on freeways and highways. In some places, Class A RVs need to follow a particular speed limit. Be sure to stick to the right speed and never go beyond.

Parking laws

  • Parking laws vary for RVs in each state and you cannot park your Class A vehicle anywhere you, please. Since Class A RVs are huge, they are not easy to park in tiny spots. RVs are allowed to park only at a designated parking area.

Weight

  • A Class A RV comes with amenities and equipment. Hence, they are always a little heavy. Avoid overloading your vehicle while driving and be sure to keep it light. A heavy vehicle is going to be hard to drive.

Height

  • The height of the vehicle is also important to consider. Be sure to know the height since some bridges and tunnels allow vehicles only with certain height limitations.

As long as you know your vehicle well, there is no need to worry. Understanding the height, weight, and length of the RV is always crucial. Avoid overspending on highways and be sure to keep the acceleration light when driving downhill. Heavy vehicles pick up speed easier when going down a slope.

Preparation

Preparation and practice are important for driving a Class A RV. Before heading out on the road be sure to inspect your RV and find out if everything is functioning properly. Take your vehicle to the mechanic for regular maintenance. Before pulling your RV on the road, ensure that the tires and other systems are in good condition.

You might need a few extra things like a tire pressure monitor to check the pressure of the RV tires. A Class A RV is huge and so are the responsibilities. Create a checklist and be sure to do this before heading out. The more you prepare, the easier your trip is said to be. Feel free to get help from your family members while preparing for a trip.

Practice

Practice is the most important part and will determine if a Class A RV is hard to drive on not. The more you practice, the easier it becomes to drive a Class A RV. Be sure to watch some videos online and learn a few tips for safe driving. Brush on your driving skills and focus on things like backing up and taking sharp turns when needed.

If you are confident enough, try taking your RV to a large parking lot and parking it there for a while. Try reversing and driving up and down on slopes. It is also advised to take your vehicle out in traffic before you plan on making a road trip. Preparation and practice are the key to efficient driving and remember to take it slow.

Driving a Class A RV can be tricky and hard if you are not sure about the functions and size. These vehicles are huge and you must follow certain rules and regulations. Learn all the controls of the vehicle and be sure to understand the steering and the radius. Those were a few tips that can help you but it is always recommended to get help for a professional.

Your Class A RV becomes a part of you when you start driving on the road. Keep in mind all the dimensions of the vehicle. You should know the length, height, and width. Most of all, be sure to use mirrors while driving. Once you are confident and comfortable, take the Class A RV out for a long drive.

Conclusion

In this blog post, we have answered the question: “How hard it is to drive a Class A RV?” We discussed the importance of understanding a few Class A RV driving terms and talked about a few driving tips to consider, We have also talked about the importance of preparation and practice when it comes to driving a Class A RV.

Citations

https://www.campanda.com/magazine/driving-class-a-motorhome/
https://www.gorving.com/tips-inspiration/expert-advice/helpful-tips-driving-class-motorhome
https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/file/recreational-vehicles-trailers-handbook-pdf/
https://www.mhs2go.com/do-i-need-a-special-license-to-drive-a-class-a-or-class-c-motorhome/

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