Renting Travel Tips

Tips for First-time Motorhome Drivers

Written by Rachel Simpson

As automotive technology improves, driving larger vehicles safely on most roads becomes easier every year. That being said, driving an RV for the first time still requires some practice and a little study in advance. It doesn’t matter if you are buying an motorhome or just renting one, preparation and practice matter. To make your first time driving a motorhome a positive experience, here are some tips for first time drivers:

Always Take a Practice Drive

Hop into the cab or driver’s seat of your motorhome. Get comfy. Adjust the mirrors, seat belt height, lumbar support, and armrests. Make sure you can easily turn your head to see in all directions. Check your view in the mirrors. Then start up the vehicle and take it for a drive around a big carpark. Practice backing up, turning in both directions, braking, and parking in a space. All of these activities are going to look, feel, and happen differently than in a car, minivan, or SUV. Then try a drive on the motorway or road. If you want to be in full control of your motorhome before your trip, definitely take that practice drive under controlled conditions.

Familiarize Yourself With Your RV’s Height

Generally, the average height of a Class A RV is 10-14 feet, which is 2 feet shorter than the average overpass height. Here’s the tricky part: fast food drive-thrus,  and most parking buildings have only 10 foot clearance. There are also some railroad bridges and traffic bridges that have 10 foot clearance as well. Find out the exact height of your motorhome and tape it to the dash in numbers large enough to see clearly while driving. This little trick may just save you from a very expensive and dangerous accident.

Plan Out Your Fuel Stops Carefully

Stopping off for fuel at a regular gas station is generally a bad idea when driving an RV. It is far too easy to cause or be involved in a dangerous accident, and maneuvering in the tight spaces of a small gas station can be challenging even for experienced motorhome drivers. As you plan your trip, try to find larger fueling stations that can accommodate your motorhome. It’s also a good idea to have someone outside the motorhome guiding you as you pull up to the pump too for safety’s sake.

Choose Your Route To Minimize Stress

Driving is half the battle when it comes to making your first trip in an motorhome. The actual execution of a travel plan on a timeline can be nerve wracking if you’ve never done it before. Prepare in advance to keep yourself from stressing out or panicking along the way. First, always reserve spots in campgrounds where you plan to make your stops. Reservations day to day can fill up fast, and if you’ve been driving all day and you don’t want to be stuck without power in a freedom camping spot, you need to make sure your space is saved where you stop for the day. Book online from your smartphone, and make sure that when you stop for the night that you can rest easy with all of your amenities available.


Your first time in an motorhome can be smooth and easy if you practice and prepare in advance. Follow the tips above to get yourself ready, and get the most out of your first motorhome adventure. And when you’re ready to go, rent an motorhome with Mighway, and let the journey unfold!

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