Unpredictable weather is always an issue, especially in Idaho and the surrounding States. From rain to snow to sunshine, we see everything. Knowing the right precautions to take when driving or towing your RV in any weather condition is a necessity.
Since it’s been raining a lot this season, here are 10 safety tips for driving or towing your RV in the rain that will help you arrive safely to your destination.
1. First and foremost, make sure to do a safety check around your vehicle. If you’re towing an RV, make sure to do a safety check around it as well. Check the headlights, rear lights, brake lights, and turning signals to make sure all lights are working on both your vehicle and RV. On your RV, make sure the following has been properly closed or put into place: slide outs, awnings, and steps. Also make sure your compartment doors and main entry door(s) are shut and locked. For both your RV and vehicle, check the condition of your tires and your tire pressure.
2. If it starts to rain while you’re driving, slow down. The rain mixes with the oil and grime on the road, causing slick conditions. Driving at a slower speed allows your tire tread to make more contact with the road which gives you better traction.
3. When it’s raining, drive with your lights on. Cloudy weather reduces visibility, and your headlights not only help you see the road, but they also help other drivers see you too. Also, keep a good distance from the car(s) ahead of you just in case they slow down or stop suddenly.
4. WIPER BLADES – Make sure you have a good set of windshield wiper blades! Wiper blades should be changed out twice a year or every 6,000 miles.
5. Rain Tires – If the area that you live in receives a lot of rain, you can purchase rain tires. These tires have wide center grooves and a tread pattern designed to remove water effectually. When considering which rain tires to purchase, make sure to do your research on which tire has better wet-traction handling and wet-braking distance.
6. Spray rain repellant (like Rain-X, Amsoil Rain Clear Windshield Protectant or Aquapel Glass Treatment) on your windshield before driving. This provides an invisible film that helps repel rain from your window.
7. If your vehicle doesn’t already have them, install WeatherFlectors. These are tinted-cast acrylic pieces installed inside the top of the window channel that are used on the outside to protect any elements from coming in. WeatherFlectors allow you to crack your window to allow more ventilation to come in while protecting you from getting soaked from the weather elements.
8. Avoid hydroplaning by always making sure your tires are inflated properly and that your tire tread is in good condition. Also, slow down and avoid puddles. Always replace your tires when it’s time and NEVER put it off. If you start to hydroplane, do not brake or turn suddenly. Ease your foot off the gas until the car slows down and you can feel the pavement again. If you need to brake, pump your brakes gently, or if you have ABS, then brake normal.
9. Avoid skidding or sliding by driving slower, and be really caution when taking curves or turns. If you do start to slide or skid, DO NOT SLAM ON YOUR BLAKES. Instead, take your foot off the gas, apply firm, steady pressure to the brakes, and turn the steering wheel the direction of the skid/slide.
10. If the rain becomes too heavy, STOP! If you cannot see the road or the vehicles in front of you, either take the closest exit or pull off the road. Make sure to pull off as far as possible so you are not making the road dangerous for other drivers. Keep your headlights on, and turn on your emergency flashers so other vehicles can see you.
If you have any questions about driving or towing your RV in severe weather conditions, Bish’s RV is happy to help. Call your nearest store for assistance.
You can read more information on this topic. Here are the following sources this article was written from:
“Driving Safety Tips: Skidding and Hydroplaning in Rainy Conditions” from the Weather Channel website.
“Driving Safety Tips: Weatherize Your Passenger Car” by Gary McCoy, Motor Matters.
“Rain driving tips” from the Goodyear website.