The family of eight draws everywhere they go. With three children of their own and two adopted children from Guatemala, it often takes both parents and the grandmother to get the crowd in and out of the van. Although the three older children can be of some help, the two youngest who lived in Guatemala just a year ago are still young enough that they need help getting out of car seats. And if going to church on a Sunday morning is a production, vacations and long weekend trips can be even more of an adventure. For this reason, the family recently decided to purchase a recreational vehicle (RV).
Instead of constantly trying to find the best hotels and restaurants when they travel, the parents decided that a traveling set of beds and a kitchen made much more sense. Instead of trying to keep the children from racing through long hotel hallways at the end of the night, the RV has allowed the family to select campgrounds with swimming pools, playgrounds, hiking trails, and campfires. Finding the space for the children to relax and unwind before they drop their exhausted bodies into bed is much easier at a family friendly campground than at a pricey hotel. Varied morning wake up times are a hassle in a hotel room where others are sleeping, but with the RV the early risers just step outside under the canopy for breakfast.
The Recreational Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) estimates that nationwide there are as many as 30 million RV enthusiasts, including the people who rent rather than own the RVs they use. And while traveling by RV has its many comforts, this mode of travel also comes with an added measure of responsibility for the driver. Most family vacations include some kind of drive, but an RV vacation or long weekend comes with the added responsibility of traveling with a large vehicle. As a result, the most conscientious owners and drivers insist on three specific features to help insure safe travel: electronic brake controllers, an RV sway control system, and a weight distribution hitch.
Understanding RV Brake Controllers Makes Travel Much Safer
Brakes are always important. In the case of a pulled RV, however, knowing that you have the best options for brake controllers is key to a safe vacation. Purchasing the best level of brake controller and properly connecting the electronically controlled wires is an important first step for any trip. The trailer feed, which is most often blue, connects the brake controller to the six-way or seven-way trailer connector at the back of the towed vehicle. Proper instruction in the understanding of specific brake controllers helps drivers travel with confidence.
Understanding the need for proper brake maintenance also makes RV travel more reliable. For instance, brake drum surfaces should be turned whenever an inspection shows excessive wear or heavy scoring. If, for instance, the wear marks are worn more than 0.020 inches, or the drum has worn out of round by more than 0.015 inches, the drum surface should be turned.
RV Sway Control Systems Are Essential for Save Travel
Obviously, one of the challenges of pulling a large motor home, or driving a large RV, is the danger of sway. Fortunately, sway control systems help drivers with this possible problem. Available in two different types, the first reduces sway once it happens. The second more advanced system that is often significantly more expensive, eliminates sway altogether.
In addition to having the best sway control device, RV drivers who are properly trained and have more driving experience will find that they are more likely able to stay both calm and in control in possible sway situations. Another key component to controlling sway is examining road and weather conditions and understanding when it is a time to stay off the road and wait for improved driving conditions.
Weight Distribution Hitches Also Increase Safety
In addition to the brake controllers and the sway control systems, another key safety feature can be a weight distribution hitch. These upgraded hitches are especially important when the towed vehicle ways more than 50% of the towing vehicle.
Merely having all of these safety devices means little if the driver does not take the time and practice to understand how they work.