RV Driving Tips

A Diesel Pusher, a Hill and Summer Temperatures

There is a combination of events that can make your life as an RV driver exciting. Imagine this scenario, you’re driving your diesel-pusher motor home to Las Vegas and are climbing up the Baker grade. Its 114 F diesel_pusheroutside and as you start up the grade you notice the engine temperature is rising, what to do?


There is only one thing you can do if you want to keep going; first cancel your cruise control and slow your speed. Next, arrow your transmission to a lower gear until your engine is turning at least 2,000 rpm’s. Keep the speed that gives you at least 2,000 rpm’s and monitor the temperature gauge until the top of the hill. You’ll see your temperature drop.


Once you’ve crossed over the summit you can return the transmission to D and continue on your journey. The reason Pushers will heat up in high ambient temperatures is the engine has so much power that it can climb a hill in a high gear. This however does not cause the fan to turn fast enough to cool the engine and you have to give the engine a little help by going into a lower gear which will cause your rpm’s to rise. I know, it’s too simple!

An RV, a Toad and a Pot Hole

The word 'Toad' in the Motor-Home World means a 'Towed Vehicle'.

This is a story about how easy it to tow a car behind a motor home. Yes, it’s so easy, you don’t even know the Toad is there, but what if something goes wrong? The lady towing this car took her eyes off I-5 for only a couple of seconds, reaching for a piece of gum which was just enough time for the RV and Toad to slightly move over to the edge of the road and hit 4 or 5 large pot holes she would have avoided, had she been watching the road.

What she did not realize for over ten minutes was that the pot holes had bent the Toads front passenger side wheel, which caused the tire to loose air and disintegrate. Everything seemed the same; the only thing she wondered about was where all that flying rubber had come from. It was when she saw smoke in her rear view mirrors and a car pulled up along side and the passenger motioned wildly to the back of her RV that she thought maybe she had a problem!

toad_tireWhen she stopped to get out and look, this is what she saw. A new wheel, a new tire, a little body work and $750 later she was on her way.

What’s the moral of this story? First, always keep your eyes on the road, two hands on the wheel and remember the wheel base of the Toad tracks inside the wheelbase of your motor home. Just because you missed the pot holes with the motor home doesn’t mean your Toad missed them.

Our Tip of the Month is to take regular breaks and always perform a Safety Check before resuming your journey. Check tire pressures, compartment doors, lights and the connection between the motor home and the Toad. A Safety Check is the MOST important check you can do before beginning any journey.

Keep Safe and enjoy your travels!

Rail Road Crossing and Intersections Safety

Railway Crossing Safety Tip March 2011When approaching a rail road crossing or an intersection make sure there is enough room for your RV and tow car to clear the tracks or the intersection when you move out.

Be thinking ahead,don't get trapped and always, keep safe!

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Motor Home Driving Tip of the Month

Toll Booths & Border Crossings

This is the time of year when many Snow-Birds head south from Canada to find the California and Arizona sun.  It is also the time when many RV drivers are reminded what happens when they forget about “Off-Track” and “Rear Swing out”.

When going through a border crossing or entering a Toll Booth, always ensure you are lined up in the center of the lane or your mirrors or other parts of your RV can come in contact with the Toll Booth or Inspection Station.  This is because your RV will not bend and if your approach is not Straight-On you will hit something or get caught up on the K-rail.  

If you’re coming south from British Columbia, our trainer in Washington State would be happy to spend the day with you, getting your RV driving skills honed for the 1300 miles you have ahead.

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