Friday, June 4, 2010

Eliminate white knuckel RV mountain driving

The mountain passes in the western United States are breathtaking for beauty and breathtakingly dangerous for unprepared RVers. If you're not accustomed to driving or pulling your RV through mountainous terrain you could be in peril. I live in the western United States and have traveled extensively through the mountain states with every type of RV. Safe driving technique and proper equipment is a must if you want to arrive at your destination safely.

For all RV's it's important that your brakes and tires be in top notch condition. Traveling through mountain passes you will often encounter high winds. So, if you're pulling a travel trailer I highly recommend a load leveling system with anti sway control. If you have a diesel truck or a diesel pusher motorhome you absolutely must have a compression braking system. If you don't have a compression braking system you will burn up your brakes and have repeated white knuckle experiences.
The biggest safety tip for RV mountain driving is, "don't be in a hurry." Allowing your rig to gain excess speed on a downhill run is just asking for trouble. When you're plummeting down a hill in your multi-ton RV it is extremely difficult to stay in your lane when you encounter a sharp turn at the bottom. I've seen RV rollovers and collisions from this common mistake.

When you are climbing through a mountain pass, be sure to stay in the right hand lane as much as possible. Take your time and don't overtax your engine. Gear down and enjoy the scenery.

Be prepared and drive defensively at all times. Give yourself plenty of room to slow down and stop when following other vehicles. During summer months you will encounter a lot of road construction on mountain roads. You will encounter many controlled stops where road construction is being conducted on mountain roads, so if you're limited on time, be sure to check your route with the various state departments of transportation when you plan your trip.

Finally, be sure you have adequate fuel to make it up and over the mountains because fueling stations are few and far between in mountainous regions.

Helping you make it over the hump - Jim Twamley, Professor of RVing

6 comments:

Beth said...

Thanks for this post. I plan to take my rig west this summer on my own and am a bit nervous. Appreciate all the tips.

Here's hoping my Knutsen are in good condition after the trip.

Larry said...

We're taking the US 191 Flaming Gorge route from Utah to Wyoming on Monday. With F450 and 39' 5th wheel, I wanted to be sure what we were facing so I drove it with my truck first.

Looks like mainly 8-10% grades with several sharp switchbacks. Even so, quite doable with our setup. Pays to be careful.

Anonymous said...

Just fyi, it's spelled "knuckle." :)

isa said...

"If you have a diesel truck or a diesel pusher motorhome you absolutely must have a compression braking system. If you don't have a compression braking system you will burn up your brakes and have repeated white knuckle experiences".

I don't know where this person gets his experience from but most of us keep gearing down until we get to a point where our rigs will not runaway or increase speed while descending the steepest of mountain passes.

Used Cars said...

When you are overtaking from other lane, slowly blink your lights on and then off, so let the other driver know, slow down on the narrow lanes or on the mountain roads to maintain control from slippery surface

Scooters For Sale said...

While driving in the mountain kindly check your brakes and transmission fluid, whether it is working properly or not, check your tires in some intervals, make sure that they are properly inflated.

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