Whether you’re driving a Motorhome or towing a Travel Trailer, driving an RV in the snow and on ice can be difficult if not a dangerous task.
Here are some things to think about when driving in snowy and icy conditions.
Sometimes Stopping is your friend
You should prepared to stop, either braking to slow down well before the car in front of you or to make the stop at a Truck Stop/Rest Stop until the road is safe to travel on. Don’t fool yourself to think the conditions are not that bad. In a storm it takes time to seek shelter and conditions can progress sometimes more quickly than we can think. Traveling is not worth the risk of damage which can be frustrating, time consuming and expensive. Not to mention the possibility of yourself in danger physical harm.
Rear Wheel Drive
People tend to think that there is has been advances in RV driving performance. However, almost all Motorhomes are still rear wheel drive. This means that when you hit a patch of ice it is much harder to stay on the highway and if you increase your speed to pull out of the slide, you may make matters worse. The opposite, front wheel drive allows you more control and if you increase your speed, it can pull yourself out of the slide more safely. Almost all new cars are produced with front wheel drive. The best defense to driving an RV in icy conditions is to drive at an extra distance, drive slowly and take sure paths.
New Motorhomes come already equipped with summer or highway tread tires right from the factory. The treads are designed to give the driver a comfortable, quiet ride and add life to your RV tires. Although, having highway tread can be deceptive to the senses when driving in icy conditions because the extra tread can make you feel in control when you may slipping. However, the weight of a Motorhome and the pressure applied per square inch of rubber to the road can help you stay stabilized in the snow. Take it slow.
Handling an RV on the road
When its snowing or icy on the roads, the best advice is get off the highway, find shelter until the weather passes and wait until the roads have been cleared. Understand that most Motorhomes are not built to withstand collision or to be spiraled off road and towing a trailer can bring the possibly of a Jack-knife situation. This is true even if you have the best snow tires.
Winter Driving Wisdom:
-Driving on a clear asphalt road way is always best. Keep that rule.
-Schedule in a margin of time so you are not rushing to your destination.
-Factor in bad weather. Be prepared.
-Be OK with stopping your trip if the weather gets bad. Find shelter and find an activity until the road is clear. Remember, you have a whole living quarters already with you, use it.
-Keep a great distance between you and the car in front and drive slowly until you can stop somewhere for shelter.
-Don’t try to push through the bad weather.
-Don’t pretend the conditions are not that bad. If there is Ice or snow, you are at risk.
Edited by: R. Norman