I am sitting here drinking my morning coffee and thinking about what the subject should be for this weeks article. As you know I have posted a lot of things on here about inspecting and lately about the maintenance. But today a post on the web got me thinking that most of us have no idea how to safely drive our rigs. Face it, we spend most of our time in a car or light truck and then when we want to go camping, we just behind the wheel and off we go. We have gone from a 4 wheel 2000 lbs vehicle to as many wheels as an 18 wheeler with weights approaching 40,000 and maybe more. Some of these are air brake equipped just like the big rigs. Then we hit the road and maintain speed with everyone else and the following distances just like a car.
So I started to do some research on braking distance in an RV. First some perspective. A car traveling at 60 MPH takes about 200 ft to stop. That is according to a couple of posts I found the average big rig takes about 40 percent longer to stop than a car. So the Class A’s should take about 280 feet to stop. This does not include the reaction time which is another 1 to 1.5 secs. At 60 MPH that is up to another 135 feet or more than a football field. All totaled the car will stop in about the football field from the time the driver see the problem until the vehicle is stopped where as the RV will take almost 1.4 football fields to stop.
So basically, you need to slow down and increase the distance between you and the vehicle in front. If someone pulls in front of you, remember that you still need over a football field to stop and it will take 135 feet before your foot is even on the brake to think about stopping.
Camping is not about the race to get there, it is about relaxing and enjoying life. Start the camping trip when you leave home and relax and enjoy the trip.