Traveling in the Snow

For this time of the year we experience colder weather, road conditions may be severe, and traveling could be a little harder than normal. Whether you are pulling a trailer or driving a motor home, driving safety is very important when driving on white roads.

Thanks to the The Fun Times Guide, here are some tips and hints on how to maneuver safely in snow, sleet, and ice.

Tires Are Important

Motor homes, when delivered from the factory, are equipped with summer or highway tread tires.

The reasoning behind this is to give you the quietest and most comfortable driving conditions.  A simple highway tread will not add the extra noise of a traction lug to your driving environment.  A highway tread tire will also provide better longevity — always a good thing with the high cost of replacement tires.

Of course, this leaves you at a distinct disadvantage when foul weather comes your way when you’re traveling.

To a small degree, you have the advantage of weight.  The heavier pressure applied per square inch of rubber on the road will help in maintaining traction.

However, this can actually get you into trouble though because while cruising along you may feel stable and under control — only to lose traction and slide as soon as you attempt to stop or slow down.

Rear Wheel Drive vs Front Wheel Drive

Most current passenger cars are now front wheel drive.  Over the past 30 years, the average driver has learned how to regain control in a skid with this configuration of drive train.

Motor homes are rear wheel drive, so all those new generation driving techniques go right out the window.  It’s back to steering with a slide and pumping the brakes lightly in order to attempt to regain control.

Applying power may actually make matters worse. Unlike front wheel drive vehicles, where adding power may allow you to steer out of a slide, adding power to a rear wheel drive vehicle may compound the skid.

Motor homes & RV Trailers Handle Differently

If a snow or ice storm is in progress, by all means, it’s wisest to get off the highway ASAP and seek shelter until the weather passes and the highways have been cleared and sanded.  Sliding off the road in a motor home may be much more expensive than just getting towed out of the ditch.

Motor homes generally aren’t constructed strong enough to withstand the stress and twisting that will happen during an unexpected off-road excursion.  Permanent structural damage is a real possibility.

Towing a trailer on an ice-covered highway can quickly lead to a jack-knifed condition, with the trailer pushing you out of control.  Even if you have snow tires on your pickup, the weight of the trailer can easily overcome the traction of the truck and take you places you don’t want to go!

Winter driving in an RV is best done on clear blacktop.  By scheduling the time to accommodate for bad weather, you will be more willing to drive conservatively.  If you recognize those times when continuing isn’t worth the risk, then you will be more likely to have a safe journey.

If you need extra cold weather driving tips, or help loading up for your winter trip, swing by the store. We are here to help.

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