Knowing Your RV’s Turning Radius


OOPS : Diana Leblanc
OOPS : Diana Leblanc

I bet many of you have recently purchased an RV that is new to you. Please take time to learn your new RV. Every unit is different and unique in it’s own way. Even if you’re like me and you have been driving a 20-24’ and you’re going up or down in size, you need to make sure you are aware of how your new RV handles. The most important thing is to “turn wide”.
Now, if I had only written this blog post last week, RV Nana wouldn’t have had the adventure and excitement when the weekend arrived.  I’ve written about knowing the height limits of your RV. I even went as far as to suggest that you keep it written in plain view on your dash so you can always see it. However, I’ve never written about getting comfortable with your turning radius, where to start your turn and when you should start it…until now. So, last weekend, RV Nana had a little close encounter with a yellow pipe bollard – and I must say, yellow is not my color. It doesn’t match my RV!
I was making a left hand turn when I heard it, and then saw it. I had just kissed the bollard and now RV Nana 3 was paying the price of my incorrect calculation of her turn radius. Of course, my first thought was to not tell a soul that this happened and just take it to the body shop. Bing-Bang-Boom, no one would ever know what happened. Then I thought, “Hey, RV Nana 3 is still relatively new to me and even RV Nana can make a mistake! Plus, this mishap may have just given me an opportunity to help someone else”.

Here is what I would strongly suggest: Practice!
It’s just like when you were learning to drive.  Of course, not all of us can remember back that far, so think back to when you taught your kids, or grandchildren to drive. Go out to an empty parking lot and mark off a couple soft turns. I should have done this and used a couple of pop-up trashcans and practiced. I should have practiced enough to where I felt I knew where to start my turns, both right and left, forward and reverse. Then I should have done it a few more times, just to be sure. Again, I should have done this and I wouldn’t have a big yellow mark on the RV.
I strongly recommend that you learn from my mistake.  Go out and practice this, especially when you get a new RV. I’ll tell you from experience, running over the trash can while practicing is way better that getting a giant yellow mark on you RV, big body repair expenses and a dented ego.
Of course, RVing is all in the name of FUN, so have a little and live to learn!





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