What to know about off-roading in an RV

Adventure 3 min read

A lot of RV enthusiasts love the idea of camping off the beaten path, and completely off-grid, but what if you’re traveling or looking to purchase an RV that doesn’t have four-wheel-drive? Will you still be able to camp off-grid? The answer is, yes!

If you buy an RV with two-wheel-drive you will absolutely still be able to get out onto those dreamy off-road campsites, you just have to be prepared!

Of course, there is a limit you will have to understand about your RV and how capable it is. It may take some practice while learning how to best maneuver your home-on-wheels off-road, but a good place to start is by knowing basic off-roading tips and accessories that will help you while traversing rougher roads than you’re used to!

Quick tips

Always scout ahead

This is one of the most important tips to practice while off-roading in your RV. If you’re headed down a new road, take the time to walk it or bike it before you drive it. If you’re towing a smaller vehicle behind your RV, this is a good time to unhook it (this will also make it easier to drive down a rough road as well), but you’ll be able to quickly assess how bad or good the road is.

Check the weather

Be sure to check the weather for the days you plan on trekking down dirt roads! Off-roading in your RV can take you to some incredibly beautiful destinations, but a hard rain can drastically change your route, and may make a road that was once accessible by your RV no longer passable. If it’s forecasted to rain for several days on end, it may be best to skip that five-mile dirt road!

If you do find yourself in bad weather, be sure to check out these tips for using your RV for a weather evacuation. 

Use Google Maps satellite

If you’re unsure about a road you plan on taking your RV down, try looking on Google Maps with the satellite view to get a look at what you’re getting yourself into. This will give you a small amount of insight into the terrain you’re trying to travel through.

Sometimes you can use Google Maps satellite view to find really beautiful campsites tucked away from other campers. It can’t hurt to take a few extra minutes to get a bird’s-eye view of your path!

Take it slow

If you’re planning on off-roading in your RV, prepare yourself to cross paths with vehicles that are much more capable than any two-wheel-drive RV. You’re in the four-wheel-drive territory after all!

Don’t feel the need to rush down these bumpy roads, just be courteous to other vehicles that may be able to move at a quicker pace than you. Move on over and wave by that Jeep, and then continue on slowly. If you’re traveling with another person, it may be a good idea to have them hop out of the RV and help you maneuver through some of the sketchier spots.

Useful accessories

All-terrain tires

Depending on how often you plan on off-roading in your RV, it may be a good idea to look into all-terrain tires. They’ll make a huge difference in your RV’s capability on some tougher roads.

Recovery tracks

Recovery tracks are used to help your tires regain traction when they may have lost it. There are several different brands of recovery tracks out there, so shop around and find what suits your needs. You may not need the world’s best set of recovery tracks, but having a pair on board can give you some peace of mind!

Tow line

Carrying a tow line is pretty important if you plan on off-roading. We all make mistakes and if you find yourself in a situation where you can’t get yourself unstuck, a passing traveler may be able to pull you out of your situation. When looking for a tow line, be sure to buy one that is rated for your RV’s weight, or else you won’t get pulled very far before the tow line snaps!

Portable air compressor

Lowering the air pressure in your tires will help you on sandy roads, or beaches, as well as how your RV will handle some rougher roads. Carrying a portable air compressor will give you the ability to lower the air in your tires and refill them without having to drive to the closest gas station once you’re back on asphalt.

Whether on the road or off, always remember to keep everything protected with Progressive. To learn more about comprehensive RV insurance, click here. 

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