Class A’s, commonly referred to as the “big guys” of the RV types, are, you guessed it, the largest motorhomes on the market! Driving a Class A RV is a bit like driving a bus. It can be intimidating, for sure, but not impossible. You don’t even need a special license to operate it! Here’s all you need to know before getting behind the wheel.
How To Drive a Class A
Driving such a big rig may be daunting, but it’s not impossible. Before you hit the road, let’s discuss three important factors:
- Making Turns
Know Your Mirrors
The first step to driving your Class A is being aware of its measurements, mainly its length. Then, sit in the driver’s seats and adjust the mirrors so that you can see behind and beside you.
RV mirrors are different than normal car mirrors. You’ll have two on each side of the coach. The top mirror is flat and will display the actual view. The bottom mirror is convex, making everything appear further away but also giving you a much wider field of view. Both are important to get an accurate view of the road and traffic around you.
Turning is probably the most intimidating aspect of driving a Class A. This is where knowing your rig’s length is especially important. The longer your vehicle, the more allowance you will need for turns.
In motorhomes, your tires are usually under you rather than right in front of you, so you’ll judge the distance of your turn differently. You also need to drive further into the intersection before making your turn. Practice some turns, right turns especially, to judge just how far out you’ll need to go to make the turn.
Backing your RV into a driveway or campsite isn’t as difficult as you think. All you need is some reflective tape and a tape measure. What do you do with this? Good question.
- Mark the centerline of the rear axle of the RV.
- Measure 8 feet in front of the pivot point (the center of the wheels on the rear of your coach).
- Add tape to mark 96-inches.
- Before backing into a spot, pull up so that the mark is lined up with the front corner of the driveway or campsite. It’s helpful to have a spotter for this.
- Get out and check the campsite for obstacles.
- Turn your wheel away from the spot and pull forward slowly until your spotter or the corner of the drive disappears in the mirror.
- Stop and turn your wheel in the other direction.
- Back up until your spotter or that corner is back in your mirror’s view.
- Follow the drive into the spot.
Follow these steps, and backing up will be a breeze, even for solo travelers without a spotter.
Hit the Road
Now that you know and can practice these techniques, you’re ready to head off into the sunset with your Class A RV. Safe travels!