There are many ways to travel across the country, but few are as fun and rewarding as traveling in an RV. If you’re just getting started with the RV lifestyle, you’ll quickly discover that there’s more to preparing for a travel day than just packing a bag and loading the fridge. You need to make sure your RV is legal and ready for the journey before you can hit the road. If you’re not sure where to start, don’t panic. Here are a few critical tasks to take care of before you leave so you can travel the road with confidence.
If you’re like most people, you likely financed your RV and car purchase with your trusted bank or lender’s auto financing department. Before you hit the road, review your loans and make sure you’re current on payments. If you have a scheduled payment due while you’re traveling, consider making it early so you won’t have to worry about missing it. If you’re late on payments or missed one in the past, call your lender as soon as possible. They’ll help you figure out a way to get current on your loan so you won’t have to worry about your RV or tow car getting seized while you’re on vacation.
of being a responsible RV owner is making sure your RV has the right type of insurance
place. Every state has minimum coverage requirements that you need to have before
registering your RV, but those requirements can change each year. Before you
hit the road, review your insurance policy in detail. Call your agent and make
sure the coverage satisfies your state’s minimum requirements. If it doesn’t,
buy the appropriate coverage before you leave on your trip. The last thing you
want to do is get into an accident with too little insurance in place. Even if you don’t get a ticket, you risk high out-of-pocket expenses to cover repairs on the road.
Whether it’s a motorhome or a towable, every RV must be registered with the state before you can legally drive it off your property. Most states allow you to register your RV one year at a time. Once the registration period is over, you need to renew the registration with the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles. If you don’t and you get pulled over, you will get a ticket. Before you leave on your trip, make sure the registration is current on your RV, car, and any other vehicle you’re traveling with. If it’s not, renew the registration before you head out.
Part of being a safe driver means making sure the lights work on your RV before you pull away from your house. Turn the lights on and make sure each bulb works like normal. Check the headlights, turn signals, brake lights, and any other exterior lights for signs of damage. If you notice anything out of the ordinary or see that a bulb won’t turn on, replace it before leaving. Remember, you can get pulled over for driving without lights. Even a burned-out tail light can get you in trouble with the highway patrol and puts the safety of your RV at risk.
Like your RV and car’s registration, your driver’s license will expire eventually. Driving with an expired license is illegal and will get you in trouble with the law. Before you book a campground for your upcoming vacation, look at your driver’s license. Make sure it won’t expire while you’re away. If it will, head to the DMV and renew it as soon as possible.
Making sure your RV is legal and road-worthy is critical. Use and review this checklist before each trip and make any necessary changes or improvements to ensure you comply with the law when you leave.
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