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How to Drive in Harsh Winter Weather in an RV

Dec 28, 2017

Not many people choose RV rental in Seattle during the winter or anywhere in the north during the colder months for that matter. There are so many magical destinations to head to in an RV during the winter, even if you are renting an RV to migrate south like some of our fine feathered friends

One thing that has renters apprehensive about RVs is driving or towing them. This is a top concern of RV renters not just during the winter, but all year long. Winter can bring about harsh driving conditions, but don’t let that stop you from taking a great RV adventure this time of here.

How to Drive in Harsh Winter Weather in an RV

Here are some tips for traveling the roads in an RV this winter.

Make Sure You Have Tire Chains

This is standard winter weather equipment to be prepared for any road conditions during the winter. If you end up in an unexpected storm and don’t have chains you may find yourself hanging out at the nearest rest stop, truck stop, or restaurant for a while until road conditions are better. Many mountain passes will require the use of studded tires or chains in inclement weather.

Have a Full Tank of Gas and Extra in a Can

It is always a good idea to be prepared for a worst case scenario any time of year. One way to be prepared is to make sure you are traveling with plenty of fuel. It is a great idea to have a can of extra fuel with you to ensure you have enough should you be stuck somewhere. Make sure you also have plenty of propane in the tank when you begin your travels into snowy territory.

Drive OVERLY Cautious

Operating an RV is a bit different than driving standard vehicles when its icy. Many smaller vehicles used for daily travels are front wheel drive and operate very differently when they skid on ice than an RV that is rear wheel drive. Take time to get acquainted with driving a motorhome before you take it out on your vacation.

If you are driving a diesel motorhome, shut off the exhaust brake to avoid the back end of the RV swerving and pulling you into a ditch.

Drive much more slowly than you would normally and leave a TON of space between you and other vehicles an RV needs more stopping time. If you begin to slide on the icy road slow down gently do not abruptly hit your breaks.

A Few General Safety Tips

  • When driving in the dark and the snow, use your low beams to avoid the reflection of bright lights reducing your visibility.
  • Take it super SLOW. Speeding up, braking, and steering slowly and steadily will help to minimize skidding and keep you safe on the road.
  • Know the weather forecast before you head out and be sure to check it several times during your trip so you are prepared for what lies ahead.
  • If you can delay your trip a day or two the best way to stay safe with icy roads is to wait and travel when conditions are safer or more comfortable for you to drive in.

The best driving strategy for any vehicle in harsh weather is to not drive unless you absolutely need to or to be more alert and cautious than you feel you need to be. It is always better to be too safe than sorry.

Looking for a Seattle area RV rental? Northwest Adventure Rentals has a fleet of great RVs and a friendly staff to get you on your way for your next adventure.