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SLOW DOWN! 5 Reasons RVers Should Take It Slow

| Updated Jun 9, 2023

It’s hard to fight the urge to drive as far as possible as quickly as possible, but here’s why RVers should take it slow…

735 miles. That’s my record for driving the RV in one day. Yes, in a single day. 

I set that record not long after Jennifer and I started RVing. I had the mindset that the more we drove, the more we could see and the faster we could explore the country. 

Jennifer did not share that mindset, and let’s just say she knocked some sense into me. She finally convinced me to take it slow and to focus on the journey, not my next destination. 

Boy, was she right!

I know others struggle as I did with taking it slow in an RV. So, we want to share what we’ve learned and how slowing down changed our RV lifestyle for the better. 

First, I want to share the rule that we’ve adopted, and then we’ll jump into why….

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How Far Should You Drive an RV In One Day?

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Jennifer finally got through to me, and we have since adopted the 330 rule. It goes: Stop when you have driven 330 miles or it’s 3:30 in the afternoon.

You can read more about the 330 rule and why we’ve adopted that specific rule over others (like the 3-3-3 rule). The above video expands on it as well. 

But now, let’s jump to the many reasons slower is better. 

**By the way, we understand that everyone travels differently, and some people really prefer (or need) to get to their destination quicker. There are always exceptions, but we just want to share our personal experiences to, at the very least, get people thinking. 

It’s always good to consider how other RVers do things. You’ll either end up more confident in your way of doing things or discover a better way for you.** 

5 Mind-Changing Reasons RVers Should Take It Slow

happy couple outside

A Top Contributor in our RV Lifestyle Facebook group recently posted on this very subject. Max shared his argument for taking it slow, and boy, did he sum it up nicely. This is what we wrote:

“My argument for taking it slow. Trish and I are on day 220 of this year’s Magical Mystery Tour.

My typical drive day is less than six hours and my speed is between 55 and 65. Depending on traffic and the road.

At 60 mph I burn about 20% less fuel than if I’m doing 75/80. That equates to $45./$50. On a drive day. So basically paying for my overnight stay.

At 60 MPH I have a much better reaction time for Pot Holes and Aholes.

At the end of the day I feel a lot better at 60. Less fatigued.

60-65 MPH is a lot easier on me, my truck and the camper.

The down side. On a typical 6 hour drive day I arrive 30 minutes later. So instead of arriving at 3:30. I arrive at 4.

Being retired means I’m never in to much of a hurry. Proper planning means I can keep to under 6 hours. Enjoying the ride.”

His post received over 250 comments. Some commentators challenged his method, but most agreed (or at least respected) his strategy. Let’s break down the key points Max makes.

1. Slower Conserves Fuel (& Saves Money)

money in gas tank

Max has clearly tested and done the math on this. By going 60 miles per hour, he typically saves enough money in one drive day to cover the costs of his campsite.

Of course, results will vary based on the rig you drive and how expensive the campground is, but the point remains. Driving slower saves money.

As they say, a penny saved is a penny earned. So, though it may be counterintuitive, you can travel more by slowing down. You can spend the money you save on gas on other travel expenses.

2. Slower Usually Means Safer

Now, hear me out before you fill the comments on how a slow RV blocking traffic is not safer. It’s true, slower is not always safer. And I do not mean that the slower you go, the safer you are. 

For instance, slowing down to 20 mph on the freeway is not safer. But going a slower, acceptable speed is usually safer. 

Max hit it on the head as to why slower is usually safer. It all comes down to reaction time. As he put it, “At 60 MPH I have a much better reaction time for Pot Holes and Aholes.”

Lots of comments applauded him for his ‘pot holes and aholes’ phrasing. It really does sum it up quite nicely. 

Going slower, gives you more time to react to unexpected occurrences and obstacles on the road. Plus, it gives you more time to react to *ahem* bad drivers.

3. Slower Means Less Fatigued (& Less Grumpy)

We wonder what RV travel looks like for the rest of the year

Max also pointed out that he’s less fatigued when he doesn’t push himself to drive too hard. I added the “less grumpy” part because tired people tend to be more irritable. 

Which, by the way, was one of the reasons Jennifer insisted we not drive 735 miles in a day. Whenever I pushed us too hard, we ended up bickering and getting more frustrated as we set up camp.

By slowing down, our relationship is stronger, and we enjoy each other's company more. That’s really important when you’re traveling and living in a small space together!

Plus, no secret that driver fatigue is dangerous. The CDC even states that the danger is equivalent to driving drunk.

4. Slower Means Less Wear & Tear on Vehicle

Taking it slow also has the added benefit of ‘going easy’ on your RV and tow vehicle (if applicable). You’ll experience less wear and tear on your engine and tires, and spare your RV from excessive jostling that leads to all kinds of wear and tear.

Like I’ve said many times before, driving an RV down the road is equivalent to an earthquake. Slowing down, brings that earthquake down on the Richter scale.

Speaking of tires, we also highly recommend reading When to Replace RV Tires and The Danger of Underinflated RV Tires.

5. Slower Means You See More

view

Remember the mindset I had in the beginning? When I thought the further I drove, the faster we’d see the country and, therefore, the more we’d see. 

I was wrong.

When I finally slowed down, we saw so much more! When I stopped pushing to go as far as possible, we suddenly had time to stop and smell the roses, so to speak.

We see more roadside attractions and stop in more tiny towns rich with charm. We enjoy more local diners and more time chatting with locals. We learn about sites and things to do in the area that we would’ve flown by before!

We have time to pull over on the side of the road and just take in the beauty surrounding us. We see more when we slow down. 

So, Flip on that Cruise Control…

Maybe the 330 Rule isn’t for you, but maybe there’s another rule that’s perfect for you. Hopefully, this article has opened the door for you to consider adopting a new rule of your own. 

Maybe, you’ll give that cruise control a try.

Speaking of which, Is It Safe to Use Cruise Control While Towing an RV? Keep reading to find out…

Check out this Southwest Adventure Guide Bundle (Arizona, Utah, & Colorado)

SLOW DOWN! 5 Reasons RVers Should Take It Slow 1

When Jennifer and I travel to the southwest, we are continually amazed at the majesty and beauty this country has to offer. And it's really hard to stay in just one state! So we created this Bundle for you in case you like to travel as we do. 

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Mike Wendland

Published on 2023-06-09

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.

2 Responses to “SLOW DOWN! 5 Reasons RVers Should Take It Slow”

June 09, 2023at10:31 am, Ed Shapiro said:

We have been on the road for 2 years and have adopted the no more than 3-3.5 hours a day driving. No place to be .
We plan out a month in advance and then just take a 200 mile trip to the next town
No stress no mess!!
5 dogs and they love the smells in each new park

Reply

June 09, 2023at4:48 pm, Team RV Lifestyle said:

Sounds like a wonderful way to go! Thanks for sharing what has worked for you – Team RV Lifestyle

Reply

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