A speeding ticket can ruin your mood and your travel budget! So, aside from not speeding, here are several smart ways to spot and avoid speed traps in your RV…
Back in the day, it was hard to get an RV up to the speed limit, let alone exceed it. But these days, with RV engines more powerful and quieter than ever, it’s sometimes TOO easy to speed.
Sometimes RVers find themselves pushing the gas pedal a bit harder to get to their destination sooner. Or they lose focus on their speedometer after miles and miles of driving. Either way, it’s no fun to see flashing blue and red lights in your rearview mirror.
Of course, it’s worth saying that we should always obey the speed limit. After all, speed limits are meant to keep us and others safe.
However, we all make mistakes sometimes, especially when driving in a new area. Cops love to set speed traps in areas they know people can easily lose track of speed. And as RVers, we drive in a lot of new areas!
So, here are some tips to save your travel budget from an unexpected hit!
The 330 Rule
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Driving burnout easily leads to speeding because we reach a point where we just want to get there! Speed limits be darned!
So, before I jump into the tips, I first want to recommend you follow Rule 330 on every road trip. The rule goes as follows:
Drive no farther than 330 miles in a day or past 3:30 pm local time.
I explain the many reasons this is a great rule in the video above. But the main point is it helps prevent driver fatigue… and the temptation to speed!
5 Top Tips to Spot & Avoid Speed Traps
I have to reiterate one last time that this article is not meant to help you get away with speeding. It’s meant to help you realize you’re speeding before you get a really expensive reminder in the form of a ticket.
After all, these traps are set in places where it’s easy to accidentally speed. That brings us to our first tip…
1. Know the Common Speed Trap Places
Speed traps are well named because they’re designed to trap you! They’re not in easy-to-spot areas or locations where people rarely speed.
They’re set in places where it’s easy to speed, like at the bottom of a big hill. Another common location is where the speed limit changes from one zone to the next.
One minute you’re going the speed limit on a freeway in city limits. The next minute you’re speeding (even though you’re going the same speed) because the freeway transitioned to a rural highway.
As RVers, we’re at a disadvantage when it comes to changing speed limits since we often drive through new places. The locals know when the speed limits change because they’ve seen the signs a dozen times. But we haven’t!
So, always be on the lookout for speed limit signs on the outskirts of cities and anywhere multi-lanes narrow down to fewer lanes. Those are key signs that the speed limit may change soon and a reminder that a speed trap may be set ahead.
2. Watch Out for the Spotter
Some speed traps are a one-officer endeavor. All they need is a clever little hiding spot, and they can catch you on their own.
However, in many cases, a speed trap is a team effort. One officer will often park on an overpass or in an unmarked car on the side of the road. Then another officer will be waiting about a half mile or so up the road.
Officer one will clock you on his radar gun and radio his buddy up ahead. Before you know it, you’ll see a cop car pulling out ahead before you even pass it.
As Admiral Ackbar would say, “It’s a trap!”
3. Get GPS Alerts
A few GPS systems, including Google Maps and Waze, can alert you when a speed trap is ahead. These “road alerts” are user-controlled.
That means whenever users see a road alert, like an obstruction in the road or a cop parked on the side, they submit an alert through the app. Then drivers behind them are alerted of what’s coming up ahead.
It’s important to note that drivers should not submit these alerts. They need to keep their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road! Passengers are supposed to submit them.
If you have a preferred GPS platform you use, but don’t receive these alerts, check the settings. Sometimes you just need to turn on “road alerts” (or titled something similar).
4. Get a Radar Detector App
Radarbot gives real-time alerts with an offline radar detection alert system. Plus, it shows you where red light cameras are… so, no more tickets for rolling through that right turn!
You also get speed limit alerts, which warn you when you’re going over the speed limit. That’s an especially useful feature to avoid speed traps even if you don’t typically speed. Remember, RVers often get tickets for speeding unintentionally when speed limits suddenly change.
5. Set Your Cruise Control
As RVers, we drive for hours on end, and sometimes, our foot just gets a little too heavy. That’s why cruise control is your best friend!
If you’re on a long, boring road with hardly any traffic, it’s easy to let your speed get away with you. Cops know that!
So, they park behind a billboard, around a bend, or on an onramp and just wait for that lone car driving by to catch them speeding.
Don’t let that be you! Set your cruise control and let that smart technology save you from a pricy ticket.
RVs are Big Targets
I want to end by saying that RVs are easy targets. We’re big, and we’re easy to clock with a radar gun.
Officers see us a mile away (even if we can’t see them!) and have plenty of time to get their radar gun ready.
So, don’t think that the red corvette that just blew past you is going to snag that lurking officer. That corvette driver probably knows all these speed trap avoidance tricks and more! Not to mention it’s easier for an officer to pull over an RV.
Plus, a highway patrolman once told me something that I’ll never forget and makes total sense. He said that if they have to choose between going after a high-occupancy vehicle, like a minivan or RV, or a sportscar or motorcycle, they’ll choose the HOV every time.
Why? Because that driver is directly endangering more people by speeding because they likely have more passengers.
This particular officer said he goes after minivans more than anything because he’s seen too many accidents involving kid passengers.
I’m sure RVs are at the top of lots of officer’s lists, too, since some states don’t require seatbelts for all passengers in RVs. If I were a cop, I’d want to help protect those unbuckled passengers, too. So, don’t think you’ll get away with speeding because you’re in an RV. The opposite can be true!
Do you have any tips to Avoid Speed Traps in Your RV?
Let us know in the comments!
Explore Florida's Gulf Coast with our RV Adventure Guide
We RVers may wander far and wide, but it’s true for most of us that we end up with some favorite “Go-To” places – places that draw us back again and again.
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