Going on a camping trip is one of the favorite things of people around the world. When it comes to RVing, it becomes more convenient and easier as you don’t need to worry about any living arrangements. RVing with your loved ones also requires prior planning and preparation.
When it comes to planning, you need to carefully consider various aspects of the journey. One of the aspects that needs special attention is the weather and the route of the journey. It’s easy to drive on regular days than on rainy, snowy or hot dry days. You need to be extra careful while driving in an RV on a snowy or desert road.
There are various essential factors to consider while planning an RV route in winters and through a desert. In this article, I will explain various tips and guidelines that I keep in check while traveling through the mentioned terrains. Let’s start !!!
Driving Tips for Snow Roads
Know the difference between RV and Car
When it comes to RV, it is a way much different than driving a car. Car is a balanced structure to drive at any speed but its not the case with the RV. Driving an RV and that too on a snowy frictionless road is a lot tougher than a car. When driving an RV on a snowy road, it becomes very necessary for you to keep a safe distance from the vehicle ahead of you. As the surface is frictionless, if required to go slow and apply brakes prior hand and slowly. Sudden braking may lead to disorientation of the trailer or motorhome. Before starting your journey, it is required to check the braking system manual to make sure they are meant for snowy weather.
Take care of the RV pipes
Similar to your house, your RV pipes can also freeze in cold weather. Hence, it is required to make necessary prior hand arrangements for your winter RV trip. Many of the new RV models in the market have heated water duct systems. You need to make sure that the one you have has some similar facility or not. Consult a local RV professional to be certain and make contingency arrangements as required. Consider using heat tapes for covering the pipes along with antifreeze portable water systems for your RV. This will help you save money on expensive repair and will also offer you convenience out there in the cold weather.
Packs all the essential Gears
This is one of the most indispensable aspects to take care of whenever you plan to go on a winter outdoor trip in your RV. Not just the winter trip, you also need to be stacked up with all your necessary gear whenever you go out. In the snowy season, there is always a possibility that you may get stuck due to the bad weather. Hence, it becomes essential for you to carry all the necessary things with you for convenience. Some of the important items that need to be carried along are bottled water, extra clothing, food, and other important gears to beat the heat. In addition to this, do carry a windshield ice scraper for clearing the glass. All these items will serve you better and for a long time during your journey.
Check the tires and batteries
Another thing that needs planning before you start your journey is to check the RV trailer tires and batteries of your RV. Check if the tires are worn out or not. If yes, you need to get them upgraded for the trip. While choosing the tires for the RV, make sure that they have the required grip and design to handle the snowy roads. On the other hand, keep a close check on the batteries as the cold weather can affect your RV’s battery performance. Make sure that the batteries you have are charged enough to sustain you through the entire journey. Also, carry some extra batteries for contingencies before leaving. Along with batteries, do remember to carry enough propane. Being properly stocked with fuel power will always work in your favor during the trip.
Use low beams
If you have experience of walking in the snow with your flashlight in hand, then you would be knowing how well snow reflects light. Hence, when you are traveling through snowy terrain, it becomes extremely necessary to keep the light beams of your RV low. High beam lights of the RV disrupt your vision while driving and may even lead to fatal consequences. It is also advised to avoid driving at night as the snow is enough to deal with. Combining late-night driving in snowy weather may prove to be a wrong move in your voyage.
Use chains for grip:
As we have already discussed taking care of tires in one of the sections above. It is also necessary to check what else can you do in order to drive your RV safely on a traction less road. Going slow is the best option as it does not involve any risk but in order to prepare for a worst-case scenario. You need to add tire chains to the list of gears you need to carry. They are best suitable for situations where the snow is more than required. They can be wrapped around the wheels to obtain the required friction and balance in the snowy areas. You can easily stay away from being stuck in the snow using tire chains. Some of the states even require chains by law.
Be slow and steady
This is one of the points that totally involves human psychology. Whenever going on a winter trip with your family through snowy terrain, be slow while driving. It doesn’t matter what your plans are? How much more time will add up to your journey? Or how important is it to reach on time. Nothing is above your life. In case stuck in the adverse condition, it is not at all bad to wait for the situation to get better. One of the key features of RV is that you don’t need to make any prior living arrangements. If you are carrying all the necessary supplies with you, it becomes more convenient while waiting. Also, don’t ever be afraid of changing the plans, your destination will not switch places in a day or two.
Apart from snow, hailstorms are also a drawback that you can encounter during your journey. In order to be safe in a hailstorm, it’s better to let the hailstorm pass or become less severe. In case, you want to keep driving keep the speed of the vehicle slow as it will avoid accidents. Also, keep a check on the distance that you keep between the front and rear vehicles. As your carrying heavyweight, be extra careful while making turns on the road.
Driving Tips for Desert Roads
Driving through a desert area in an RV is a bit different as compared to the snowy weather. Let’s go through the essentials tips that will help you have a safe and convenient journey through the desert.
Carry all the essential gears
Being stacked up with all the essential gears on a journey will offer you immense convenience. Hence, while traveling through the desert area, be very specific with the gears that you need to carry. Although the desert area has tremendous heat during the day, in contrast to that it also gets a lot chilly in the evening and night. So, it becomes crucial for you to carry enough clothes and warming fabrics (blankets) along with you. Being on the safe side, carry enough power for your phones and other gadgets in the form of power banks. It will be best if you have a satellite phone, if not consider buying or renting one. It will be most helpful in the areas where there is no mobile network. In case of an accident or if you need medical help, a satellite phone will be helpful for carrying communication. In the end, keep a list of all the helpline numbers along with you.
Cooling system ready
Planning an RV trip through a deserted area is not a simple job. You need to make your RV ready for any contingency. One of the factors that can leave you stranded in the deserted place is your RV’s radiator. The engine of your RV can run hot in deserted areas so it is very important to check the coolant fluid before starting your journey. The vehicle is heavy, fuel consumption is more, heat produced will also be more. Hence, it is advised to carry additional coolant or water of appropriate volume (five gallons). Do a close check on the belts and hoses of the RV also, they may get cracked up in the hot weather.
Water: the magic liquid
The most crucial item for any trip and especially for a desert trip is water. Being dehydrated on a trip is not a new thing. Even if you are not traveling through a deserted location, you need to be stacked up with the appropriate volume of water. While travelling through hot and humid conditions, the reliance and need of water for the body increases. Hence, it is advised to carry packed water bottles and also fruit juices to keep your body hydrated. Make sure you carry enough of them so you don’t run out of reserves.
Check the batteries and tires
This is a point that is similar to acknowledge in case of traveling through desert roads or snowy roads. You need to carefully inspect the batteries of your RV before you head out for your trip. In contrast to the snow road scenario, the batteries in the desert areas can die all of a sudden without any prior signs or activity. To prevent such a situation in your journey, you need to check the fluid levels in the battery prior to hand. Get them tested from a professional and clean the corrosion of the connecting wires. Also, keep some extra batteries along with you in case of any emergency.
Tires are equally important as compared to batteries. In hot climates, the heat produced due to friction is more and so is the damage due to friction. The tires may lose traction due to damage and die more quickly than usual. Hence, it is advised to keep a close check on the traveling wheels for any rubber smell or cracks. For extreme cases, carry some extra tires with you.
Dust storms are frequent in desert areas and if you find yourself in such a situation, it’s best to pull over. Dust storms have the ability to produce high dust walls (around 3000 feet) which can reduce your visibility. They can also add pockmarks to the windshield of your vehicle. Hence, it is better to pull over and sit in the RV with yourself buckled to the seat. In case, it’s tough to pull over, use the centerline to guide you while driving at a reduced speed with lights on.
In extremely hot weather, the tar used in making the road sometimes melts and bubbles up on the road. This creates a dark, slippery surface on the road. You need to be very careful while driving over it as it may cause the RV to lose traction with the surface. Go slow, don’t steer and avoid heavy braking.
As we have examined all the essentials tips and guidelines for a successful journey through the snow and desert roads. Now, It will be pretty easy for you to plan for the trip beforehand. Do make sure that you follow the tips and guidelines very closely and prepare for the worst situation. I hope you will get the best out of this article.
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