Is it hard to drive a 31 foot RV? (7+ essential tips)

In this blog post, we will answer the following question: Is it hard to drive a 31 foot RV? We will tell you what to pay attention to when driving an RV. We will also share a few tips for new drivers, so they can feel confident once behind the wheel. 

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, except for a few occasions such as the Challenger Combo x150. 

Even models that are around 18 ft (5.5 m) long have a width of between 6.5 and 7.5 ft (2 and 2.35 m), added to a height of up to 9.8 gt (3m). All this implies weight, inertia and calculations to take into account.

To begin with, we will not be able to enter any tunnel or parking lot without first looking at the height reference. We get tired of watching funny videos about trucks and motorhomes that lose their roofs but we will not laugh so much if it is ours, something that also includes trees and various structures. 

We must also have that extra width to access narrow streets, something that we discourage from the beginning. Fortunately, motorhomes offer enough space to carry bicycles and even motorcycles to handle our most difficult journeys.

On the road with a 31 foot RV

Once we are clear about the possible threats, a journey begins that must be unforgettable. For the driving to be pleasant, it must be more or less balanced in terms of weights, something that we will compensate by placing the utensils in the middle and the luggage in the back. 

Don’t worry about the water tanks and gas cylinders, the manufacturers themselves take care of distributing them in a way that is as even as possible.

If we do this first step well, the rest will be a matter of miles. We will soon realize the swaying and inertia involved in carrying such a heavy vehicle. For this reason, you must maintain a higher safety distance than usual, since braking will not be as effective as usual with your day-to-day tourism. In addition, you do not want to leave the entire cabin strewn with broken junk due to sudden braking.

On the highway, we will have the wind factor, something that manufacturers already work with electronic systems and sensors that compensate for its impact. For example, if we are going to overtake a truck on the highway, the effect of the side current will be much greater than when we go by car, for that we carry more bodywork and weight. 

For this reason, it is better to grip the steering wheel firmly but relaxed and not to overtake the other vehicle.

On the curve things get interesting. We have a vehicle of more than 5.5 meters and attacking the vertex very soon can mean putting the rear wheel in the ditch. It is best to open and take the turn from a more central lane position, as long as traffic and visibility allow. Tips that you will soon make yours and that will strengthen your experiences at the wheel of a motorhome, becoming one more fan of this exciting lifestyle.

The main differences in driving between a 31 foot RV and a car

Acceleration. The greater weight and the greater aerodynamic resistance of RVs will make accelerations slower and more progressive than those of a car, regardless of how powerful the motor of the motorhome is. 

This must be taken into account mainly when overtaking on the road, since being slower we have to better calculate the spaces with respect to the rest of the vehicles.

But the greater progressivity in the acceleration of the RV is, in turn, an advantage, since they are more complicated vehicles to stop due to their volume and weight so that taking high speeds in a short time would imply a greater risk than in a car since that needs more space and time to stop. That is why you have to anticipate the braking and do not rush the braking.

Top speed. The modernization of motorhomes with all the mechanical and security systems acquired from conventional passenger cars, allow them to circulate at higher speeds without jeopardizing safety. 

Therefore, as long as they do not exceed the MAM  of 3,500 kg, their speed on motorways and motorways has risen to 120 km / h, and on conventional roads to 90 km / h, just like conventional passenger cars. But as we say, its weight must be taken into account when stopping the vehicle, so we always recommend going at an adequate and safe speed.

Turns. Perhaps this is the most different section with respect to a car since the main difference between the two is the size. When making a turn, its measurements must be taken into account, since we will need greater spaces and angles than with a car. 

For this reason, when taking a curve it is advisable to start the turn a little later than with a car whenever possible, since otherwise if we close the steering too much we run the risk of rubbing the vehicle on the inside. 

You also have to be softer and more progressive with the steering at high speeds as it is more difficult to lose control of the vehicle due to its heavyweight. In addition, if we swerve very severely, we will make all the elements inside it move.

Parking. But without a doubt, the most complicated task when driving a motorhome is to park. Its large size and complex visibility make it much more difficult than parking a car. Fortunately, the most modern campervans have a multitude of driving assistance systems, such as parking assistants with cameras and sensors, which help us to carry out this manoeuvre successfully.

But apart from all these indications, the truth is that driving a motorhome or camper is not very different from a car, so it will be easy to adapt quickly to its size and weight, thus being able to enjoy the vehicle without problems during the summer vacation.

Our top tips for driving a 31 foot RV

  •  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.

The bottom line

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.

Please feel free to share your thoughts and questions on the content. 

FAQ on Is it hard to drive a 31 foot RV?

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.

How many people can fit in an RV?

RVs can be better than a hotel. Depending on their size and style, you can find them with a bathroom, kitchen and space to accommodate a maximum of eight people or take your pet with you.

How does a camper work?

The camper has a 200 amp auxiliary battery that can be recharged in the following ways: By starting the vehicle’s engine. Through the charging cable, in conventional power outlets (campsites, motorhome areas, etc.). 

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. 

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