7 Tips for How to Drive a Class A Motorhome

Traveling around the country in a recreational vehicle, otherwise known as an RV, is a dream many people hold for their retirement years. There are many types of RVs, from travel trailers to fifth wheels, and three classes of drivable self-contained models, including the Class A motorhome. However, you may wonder how hard it is to drive a Class A motorhome?

What is a Class A motorhome?

A Class A RV motorhome seen in 'Modern Family'
Class A RV motorhome in ‘Modern Family’ | Peter “Hopper” Stone/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images

RV Share tells us that a Class A motorhome ranges in length from 20 feet up to 45 feet and mentions a couple of times that “they are big” and weigh a lot since they contain everything you need to enjoy a camping trip or longer in some cases. They also report that a Class A motorhome is likely what many of us picture when thinking about RVs. 

Class A motorhomes may look like buses on the outside, but when you walk inside, you may forget that the space you just entered is on wheels. Most models feature fully equipped kitchens, including center islands, living areas complete with large flat-screened televisions, fireplaces, comfortable reclining couches, and bedrooms with king-sized beds, walk-in closets, and full-size dressers. Some models even have two bathrooms and a laundry room with a washer and dryer. 

7 tips for driving a Class A motorhome

Tip #1: While driving a Class A motorhome isn’t hard, Go RVing suggests watching videos on the subject to become familiar with the basics of driving a Class A motorhome. 

Tip #2: Prepare for the unexpected. Watch videos about handling a front tire blowout, as this situation is startling and dangerous. Knowing what to expect and what to do is critical if it ever happens to you. 

Tip #3: Follow a checklist. Go RVing reminds us of the pre-drive safety checks taught in driver’s education. Few people follow these when driving passenger cars, but it’s a good idea to check the tires and ensure you’ve stowed things, like stairs and awnings, properly before driving a Class A motorhome. 

Tip #4: Carry some tools. You don’t have to be a master mechanic to use a few simple tools. For example, a tire pressure gauge is critical to ensure your tires are correctly inflated before beginning or during a trip. If installed on your RV, a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) alerts if tires lose pressure or become overheated. Still, it’s not a substitute for manual air pressure checks and visual tire inspections. 

Tip #5: RV Share recommends getting some practice driving your Class A motorhome in a safe area, such as an empty mall parking lot before or after hours, before hitting the open road.

Tip #6: As an RV rental service, it’s no surprise that RV Share recommends renting a Class A motorhome for a weekend “staycation” or a short local trip before taking one on a more extended “dream trip.” Putting aside the marketing angle, renting a Class A motorhome is good advice for anyone considering purchasing such a large, expensive vehicle before spending the money. 

Tip #7: RV Share also recommends taking an RV driving course like the one offered by RV Driving School. While it may not be a legal requirement, the peace of mind you’ll gain will be worthwhile if you get on the road to adventure. 

How hard is driving a Class A motorhome? 

RV Share reports that driving a Class A motorhome does not require any special driver’s license or endorsements. As long as you are a legal driver with a valid driver’s license, all you need is an insured Class A motorhome to begin your adventure. However, laws change, so a quick call to your local licensing agent is a safe bet. 

Modern Class A motorhomes are easy to drive with power steering, automatic transmissions, and power brakes. The biggest obstacle is their size, including height, width, and length, because you’ll have to keep these parameters in mind and adjust your driving accordingly. A little knowledge and preparation will go a long way toward ensuring you have a great experience. 

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