Legal Considerations to Know Before Heading Out
This section will be brief, but it’s important nonetheless. Before heading out on the road, you’ll want to do your homework on some of the different state laws and statutes concerning RV’s. The last thing you want is getting pulled over, and ticketed, for a reason that could have been easily prevented. Every state has different rules, so you’ll want to read up on the state laws for the states you plan on traveling in. I posted a link above to a quick reference guide that will help.
You’ll also need to know whether you need an upgraded license for your RV, and the ins and outs of RV registration, RV insurance, RV warranty and RV roadside assistance programs. Things can vary by state, with some states considered to be more RV friendly than others. You’ll want to do some research on your own in order to get the right answers for your specific situation. Don’t forget to also find out how many hours you’re allowed to drive daily. There are restrictions about that.
If you’re going out on the road full time you’ll also need to know what state you’ll be using as your home residence. This is important for things like taxes, registering to vote, renewing your insurance, registration, and license.
If you’ve kept property then you won’t have to worry about it. However, if you don’t own any residential property, you’ll want to look into what state should be considered your home residence. This is an important and often overlooked thing by newbies.
Here’s a quick reference for individual state RV Laws:
Tips For RV Safety
Safety is the name of the game when out on the road. Ensuring you and your families well being is paramount. This section will discuss a few of my top tips for safe RV living. If you’re new to operating an RV, it can be difficult at first. It’s important to practice as much as possible. I recommend taking an RV driving course, if possible.
Top RV Safety Tips
Using the maintenance checklist above, I would always inspect your RV top to bottom before leaving any destination. Checking the brakes, tires, fluids and oil levels can save you from an unpleasant breakdown mid-trip. I would also inspect for any broken latches, damage to the body of the RV, and broken mirrors.
- Secure Your Interior – Make sure everything that needs to be secured and locked up is done so. That includes slide outs. I’ve made this mistake once before and it ended with broken dishes and glasses everywhere.
- Keep Essential Supplies Stocked – Always have extra batteries, water, and food on hand, in the case of any breakdowns or issues. It never hints to be prepared.
- Keep Propane Tank Maintained – This is very important! You need to understand everything about your propane tank and how to keep it functioning in tip top shape.
- Have A Route Mapped Out and Take Sufficient Breaks – There are few things worse than getting lost while on the road. Not only that, but it can leave you stranded in unfamiliar areas with nowhere to park come night time. You should also take breaks at least once every few hours. Driver fatigue is a common cause of accidents. Don’t let that be you!
- Follow 20% Rule – RV vehicles take more time top accelerate and slow down then normal vehicles. Therefore, you need to judge your distance and give yourself at least 20% longer to do these things in order to stay safe.
- Be Careful Cornering – Slowly approach any comers. Hitting corners hard in an RV is a recipe for disaster. With practice, you’ll become a master at hitting turns safely in no time.
- Go Easy On The Brakes – Your tires and brakes need to be treated properly. The better you treat them the longer they’ll last you.
- Know The Height Of Your RV – You’d be surprised at how many people crash into low bridges and overhangs because they didn’t know the height of their new RV. Don’t let that be you!
- Parking & Backing Up – When I first started this is the area I struggled with the most. You should practice this in open areas as much as you can until you’ve gotten the hang of it. Don’t rush, that’s how accidents happen. Always be sure that you can tell where you’re going and that others can see you.