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Techno Chronicle | Pleasure and freedom, the bliss of VR in complete safety



Anyone who has experienced recreational vehicle (RV) travel has their repertoire of happy memories. Mine brings me back to my grandfather, and particularly to the very last journey made with him before his death.

This RV trip, we did it last summer, my grandfather, my father, my son and I. Going around Gaspésie with the men in my life was rich in emotions, a four-generation adventure that will remain etched in my memory forever.

However, for the pleasures of RV to be part of the chapter of happy memories, it is imperative that safety is part of the trip and that the limits of the machine are respected by a driver who knows how to remain humble. Passionate about speed that I am as soon as I find myself on a track, I totally transform my criteria into VR.

Safety first, right from the start

Driving an RV requires constant attention to observe and anticipate other road users, to detect the reaction of your own vehicle and to scrutinize the road surface.

Anyone who thinks driving an RV is like driving a car should think twice. The differences are great, and it will take a few trips for new drivers to learn the basics.

That said, it would be unfortunate to be discouraged and miss out on the joys of VR.

Give yourself time to overcome the fear that can come with driving so big and so long. All you have to do is take the necessary precautions, starting with those that are necessary even before the start.

A quick reminder on this subject: never forget to fill up with gas, of course, but also to check all fluid levels – brake fluids, engine and transmission oils, coolant and windshield washer fluid. For that matter, check the lights on the dashboard to make sure they’re all working.

In the same vein, it is important to clean the mirrors, to secure the objects and to inspect the tires. These should not be too soft or too swollen, and above all not too worn. With an overloaded RV, they will be at risk of bursting. Let’s never forget that tires are the cause of 70% of RV insurance claims, that is to say.

big and tall

Do you know the weight of your RV’s rear axle? And its height? This information is not to be despised. The larger the size of the RV, the more effect it will have on its performance and braking speed.

Always beware. In fact, the best way to compensate for the increased weight is to keep an extra distance from the vehicle in front of you. Let’s say 20% more than the distance respected while driving a car.

But still, he would also be happy to make sure not to leave with the railings that line the road when turning a corner. To do this, you need to know how far the rear of the RV deviates from the pivot point. This is called the back swing. This is the measure you need to know when you turn into a busy street to properly judge the space you will have to save, otherwise you could offer an unfortunate spectacle to people seated at the corner terrace…

The same goes for the specific height of your RV, very practical information so as not to hit the top of your car on a bridge that is too low and to avoid the cries of the occupants of the vehicle following you.

Another trick to save face: if you could visit a few gas stations to find one that fits the size and height of your RV… I say it like that. In the same spirit, if you have the opportunity, checking the width and quality of the secondary roads that you will have to take can be a good idea too.

For the rest, the law of common sense applies. Avoiding objects that may fall into the vehicle while driving is part of the a b c of the RV driver. Watching out for blind spots is also a given, as they are more pronounced in VR. Finally, it is strongly advised to adopt the right lane on a motorway, just to allow motorists to overtake. Come on, a little compassion for these people who go to work…

Still a little worried? It’s normal. There’s nothing stopping you from practicing with a more experienced driver before setting out on your own. Or invest in an RV-specific driving course. You’ll be all the more relaxed on departure, ready to fully savor the joyful caravanner lifestyle.

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