Skip to Content

Are YOU a NERVOUS RVer? Drive with Confidence: 7 RV Driving Tips

| Updated Sep 14, 2023

Here are some RV driving tips for EVERY TYPE OF RV to help you drive with confidence…

We started our RV lifestyle with a campervan, so driving wasn’t as intimidating for us as it is for most RVers. However, there was a learning curve even for that small RV! (Blindspots, anyone?!)

More recently, we purchased a large 5th wheel, and THAT was definitely more intimidating. Even as experienced RVers, we needed to build our confidence with this new type of RV. 

So, we decided that it’s time for an article that shares RV driving tips that ALL RVers can benefit from. Whether you have a small or big RV, towable or motorhome, the following tips will help you hit the road with confidence.

If you buy something through our links, we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. It helps keep our lights on so we can continue to provide helpful resources for RVers. Read our full affiliate disclosure here.

7 RV Driving Tips for EVERY Type of RV

Trying to give you specific RV driving tips would be difficult (and even bordering irresponsible) without knowing what class or type of RV you have. Driving a 5th wheel, for instance, is very different than driving a Class A.

The purpose of this article is to give RV driving tips that EVERY RVer can apply. Then you can take these tips and dig deeper with your specific type of RV. 

1. Train Like a Teenager

Are YOU a NERVOUS RVer? Drive with Confidence: 7 RV Driving Tips 1

This advice kicks off several of the tips on this list. Think back to when you were a teenager, learning how to drive and practicing for your license. 

How did you feel? What did you do? 

You were excited and nervous at the same time, right? Just like how you’re feeling about setting out on your RV adventures. 

But you didn’t let your nerves stop you, right? You took lots of deep breaths, listened to your parent or driving teacher (even if begrudgingly), and practiced until you could do it on your own.

Now, you’ve been driving for YEARS and those nerves are a distant memory. It will be the same with learning to drive your RV. So, take some deep breaths and humble yourself to train like a teenager. 

Here’s more tips on how to do that…

2. Practice in a Parking Lot

open parking lot rv driving tips

We’d bet that your parent didn’t take you straight onto the freeway when teaching you to drive. Chances are, they drove you to an empty parking lot, switched seats with you, and instructed you on different turns, parking, etc.

You should do the same with your new RV. Remove a lot of the stress by giving yourself an open training ground. You can even set up orange cones to help you practice turns and parking.

Then, just as you did as a teenager, gradually move on to quiet streets and work your way up to more trafficked areas. 

You can practice on your own, however, we strongly suggest the following…

3. Practice with an Experienced RV Driver

Are YOU a NERVOUS RVer? Drive with Confidence: 7 RV Driving Tips 2

Your parents didn’t toss the keys to you and send you off on your own. They got in the passenger seat and coached you through it. 

Granted, not all parents were the best driving coaches, but, as an adult, you can carefully select yours. You can ask an experienced RVer (preferably with the same Class of RV as yours) to help.

Trust us, most RVers jump at the chance to share their expertise. So, even an RVer you don’t know very well would likely be happy to help. 

You can even ask a neighbor whose RV you’ve seen parked in their backyard. Or, drive to your local campground and talk to some of the campers. If you meet an experienced, calm, and confident RVer, ask them for help! 

If you don’t know anyone or are too shy to ask someone…

4. Go to RV Driving School

Like what you see in these videos? We'd appreciate it if you would Subscribe to our YouTube Channel (easy to do right here) and consider “ringing the bell icon” to be notified of any new video from us. 🙂 Thanks!

When we bought our 5th wheel, we signed up for RV driving school. Yep! After a decade of RVing, we humbled ourselves and signed up for a class.

It helped so much! We learned how to hook it up, back it up, and steer around tight corners and obstacles in a safe environment.

RV driving school built our confidence a remarkable amount in such a short time. It was well worth the investment, especially because it’s important that both of us could confidently drive it…

5. Every Travel Companion That’s Driving Age Should Learn

rv driving tips

As we’ve warned many RVers, the biggest pitfall of splitting RV duties down the middle is not knowing how to manage your RV individually. It’s very common for one travel partner to do all of the driving.

But that’s dangerous! 

What if something happens to the driver and you need to get to medical services? What if your driver passes away? Will you have to stop RVing and give up on your travel dreams?

Unfortunately, those situations are more common than you think. We’ve heard many stories of being stranded in an emergency or suddenly having RV dreams cut short because of a loss.

Even if one traveler does most or all of the driving, the other should AT LEAST KNOW HOW to drive the RV. We’d go as far as to say all of your regular travel companions who are driving age should know how to drive it.

6. Spend Extra Time Practicing Tight Turns

Tight turns are one of the biggest concerns for newbie RV drivers. And for good reason, as you have to take them differently than you do in a car. Your front bumper is no longer the indicator that it’s time to turn.

Plus, it’s different for every type of RV, too. The front wheels of a Class A, for instance, are usually behind the driver.

So, you need to watch YouTube videos on how to take tight turns for your class of RV. For instance, search for “how to drive a Class A motorhome” or “how to make tight turns with a travel trailer.”

Here are a few helpful articles and resources:

One piece of advice we’d give you here is to not feel pressured by other drivers to rush. Nor feel bad if you need to make other drivers wait while you correct a turn. You’re bigger than them; they’ll wait! Do what you need to do to be safe (and keep others safe).

7. Always Take Backing Up Precautions

If you ask a newbie RVer what they’re most concerned about, they’ll likely say backing up their RV. This is especially true for Class A and travel trailer owners, though it’s a common concern for all RVers.

Knowing this, we’ve already written a few articles on the subject:

Never take backing up for granted! Even once you get the hang of it, always take precautions like looking for low branches and using a backup buddy. 

Backing into things is on of the Dumbest RV Camping Mistakes that even experienced RVers make! Here’s proof…

See Mike’s Big Blunder

Like what you see in these videos? We'd appreciate it if you would Subscribe to our YouTube Channel (easy to do right here) and consider “ringing the bell icon” to be notified of any new video from us. 🙂 Thanks!

We told you that even experienced RVers make mistakes! We’re proof, as you can see in this video about Mike’s big blunder. 

How to Build Confidence as a New RV Owner

Getting behind the wheel for the first time and setting out on your first trip can be nerve-wracking. And the truth is, that feeling usually remains for the first few trips. 

We were in your shoes before, but now it’s like second nature.

So, have no fear because I have helpful tips for you to build your confidence in no time… KEEP READING…

Are YOU a NERVOUS RVer? Drive with Confidence: 7 RV Driving Tips 3

Get the Home Study Course today and worry about the road, not the repairs!
Every time you move your RV it's like driving through a hurricane during an earthquake. Parts break and many items need to be maintained, this program will show you how you can save time and money by gaining the confidence to take on the majority of the issues you’ll come across. Don’t get caught with your RV in the shop! Learn how you can maintain and repair your RV at your own pace and at the most convenient time for you! This course is produced by the National RV Training Academy.

Are YOU a NERVOUS RVer? Drive with Confidence: 7 RV Driving Tips 4
Mike and Jennifer Wendland

Curious about the gear, gadgets, accessories, and RV products Mike & Jennifer use and recommend?

On this RV Lifestyle Travel blog, our RV Podcast and our RV Lifestyle YouTube Channel, we mention all sorts of RV-related products and gear that we use, So we created a special page that links to them. We update this all the time.  CLICK HERE to go to it directly. Have you caught one of our Amazon LIVE events yet? Just go here and Follow us – to be notified every time we go live.

Mike Wendland

Published on 2023-09-08

Mike Wendland is a multiple Emmy-award-winning Journalist, Podcaster, YouTuber, and Blogger, who has traveled with his wife, Jennifer, all over North America in an RV, sharing adventures and reviewing RV, Camping, Outdoor, Travel and Tech Gear for the past 12 years. They are leading industry experts in RV living and have written 18 travel books.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top