Is driving a Class C motorhome difficult?
In this blog post, we will answer the following question: Is driving a Class C motorhome difficult? We will give you the ultimate advice and safety tips for driving a Class motorhome like a pro!
Is driving a Class C motorhome difficult?
Driving a Class C motorhome can be difficult compared to manoeuvring other types of RVs. As welcoming as the interior of a Class C motorhome can be, it is easy for new RV drivers to feel a little intimidated.
RVs are the largest vehicles many people will ever have to drive, and even long-time drivers are likely to need some adaptation time. This adjustment period can go smoothly if drivers take steps to feel more comfortable behind the wheel before embarking on their trips:
- Take your time. A Class C motorhome trip is a dream of many people, but drivers must learn to crawl before they can walk. RVs are much larger and heavier than cars and trucks, and field trials can help drivers get used to this size. Do not start a trip without taking note of the dimensions of the vehicle!
- Bring a companion. Drivers behind the wheel of a car or truck may not be thinking of backing up or pushing their way through a parking lot. But these situations require some forethought, and even a little help, when riding an RV for the first time. A traveling companion can direct drivers to parking spaces until they become accustomed to driving a Class C motorhome.
- Use levelling blocks. Leveling blocks help RVs stay level when parked on inclined surfaces. RVs must be level for the equipment to function properly. This is a problem if you park in a campground with uneven ground. Even though the equipment is functional when parked on gently sloping surfaces, navigating an RV parked on such ground is inconvenient.
Leveling blocks can also keep jacks from digging into soft ground, making them an inexpensive but useful accessory for any Class C travel.
- Practice emptying the RV tanks. Drivers whose RVs are equipped with toilets will have to empty their garbage one day or another. Drivers should practice doing this before their first trip so that they are well trained when the time is right to do it on the road. Tutorials on YouTube can teach drivers how to empty their tanks. Drivers can also invest in a thick, high-quality sewer hose to avoid being sprayed with trash during the trip.
RV trips are a great way to experience the road. First-time RV drivers can try a variety of strategies to get used to what it is like to be behind the wheel of these unique vehicles.
More advice and precautions to take when driving a Class C motorhome
If you do not have experience in driving a motorhome at all, we recommend you rent a Class C RV to try it out. It often happens that people rent a Class C motorhome for their holidays and head off on the road, without any adaptation and acclimatization time.
We advise you to rent a motorhome for a weekend, to try and get used to the imposing size of the vehicle. Take the time to walk around the vehicle and examine it from all angles. Record the volumes, remember it is long here, straight there, the height is such etc.
Be aware of the length of the overhang. This is the length between the rear wheel and the rear of the vehicle. You will notice that it can be important. As you turn, the rear swing of the vehicle can be way beyond what you imagine. This is why you have to keep it in mind so as not to hit an obstacle or another vehicle while turning.
Often the manufacturers remind you of the dimensions by placing a sticker on the windshield. But really walk around the vehicle, take your time.
Then get behind the wheel, at a standstill. Make yourself comfortable, adjust your seat correctly, in height and depth. Then adjust the position of the steering wheel, and finally those of the mirrors. The adjustment of the mirrors is fundamental, they are your eyes where you cannot physically see.
Look around you. Take a look at your surroundings first in the cabin, then outside. The cabin is huge, that’s a lot of a Class C motorhome. It is large and spacious and gives you a pleasant feeling of security. But you just have to keep your feet on the ground. Make sure you can reach all the controls without twisting.
Understand your driving position. On the outside, see how you dominate your surroundings. You see the other vehicles from above, from very high. Take the opportunity to adjust your mirrors to have the entire length of the motorhome on the interior side of the mirror. You have to see for ⅓ your vehicle and for ⅔ the road. Avoid having a blind spot. You should see the lower rear angle.
Imagine yourself behind the wheel in a driving situation. Imagine vehicles beside you, to the right and to the left. You see them from above, and sometimes you only see the roof in your rearview mirror.
Drive on low-traffic roads. Remember that you are much bigger on the road than you were before. You are also much heavier. You will therefore have to review your driving habits to adapt them to the size and weight of the Class C motorhome.
Try to find an accessible parking lot for your motorhome. A truck stop parking is ideal. Get someone to help you if you are not sure. Once in the parking lot, take a seat in the driving position, make all the necessary checks (mirrors, etc.), and fasten your seat belt.
Switch on the ignition. Go first and get started! Don’t go beyond 2nd gear at first. Go straight, take turns, stop, restart, turn, turn around etc. See how the motorhome behaves and what its dimensions mean in terms of driving.
Also manoeuvre to park, in particular the niche that you will be brought to practice regularly during your career as a motorhome operator. It’s easier than it looks. Don’t hesitate to get out of the vehicle, remembering to apply the handbrake, to see for yourself how much space you have in the back.
Now is the time to hit the road!
Ride peacefully. You will see that on the two-way national road, you take up space. Ride quietly, 5-10 mph below the speed limit. Don’t stick to the middle line. Stay in place in the centre of your lane. When you pass a vehicle, slow down and swing slightly to the right to leave as much space between you and the other vehicle. No need to apply the brakes, just slow down by releasing the accelerator pedal.
Motorhomes have large motors with lots of torque, which allows them to slow down well when you release the accelerator pedal. Feel free to downshift from 6th or 5th gear to 4th gear.
Test the brakes. One thing you learn in driving school is emergency braking. You can imagine that with a Class C motorhome, it’s a different story. The brakes of the vehicle are obviously adapted to its weight, with advanced brake assist systems. Nevertheless, the braking distances must be adjusted and increased.
Don’t take unnecessary risks. Once you gain confidence, you can try your hand at other types of roads, especially expressways. You are subject to the same speed limit applicable to all light vehicles.
But if you ever have any doubts about your route (bridge, tunnel, dead-end, etc.), do not go ahead. It’s better to detour a few miles than to find yourself stuck in a winding situation that you will have a hard time getting out of. Making a U-turn with a Class C motorhome is a manoeuvre you can forget about. So, be careful and don’t take unnecessary risks!
A good way to solve this problem without difficulty is to use a GPS specially designed for motorhomes and their oversized dimensions.
By driving a Class C motorhome you will become more and more confident. And the best way to start driving a Class C motorhome is still to get to the heart of the matter. We advise you to go through the rental as a first step in order to test your skills and gain confidence.
If you have any questions or comments on the content, please let us know!
FAQ on Is driving a Class C motorhome difficult?
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 increase 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.
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.
Other FAQs about Class C Motorhome that you may be interested in.
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