How fast do you drive when you’re towing your RV? This was the question posed to the campfire crowd a few nights ago. A robust discussion followed. My husband told the others that we usually stick to the speed limit or a bit below, depending on road and weather conditions.
We’ve not towed our rig on highways that post 75 mph like those in Nebraska, North Dakota, New Mexico, and others. Nor have we towed our RV through Nevada, Montana, South Dakota, or Oklahoma. Some roadways in these states post an 80 mph limit. Yowie! That seems really fast to me. Especially when I think about having to stop a 38+foot RV. Not everyone agrees, however. Everyone seems to differ on the speeds they drive when towing their RV.
Getting there fast
Friends from California commented: “The speed limit may say 60 mph, but if every other vehicle on the road is going 75+mph, we’ll go faster than the 60 mph posted limit. We don’t want to be a hazard to the speeders. We feel safer staying with the flow of traffic rather than chance being rear-ended.”
Sandy agreed: “If you drive the speed limit in California, you are a danger to others on the highway. If you don’t keep up with traffic, you’ll be pushed out of the way.” (I think she was exaggerating a bit, but we all understood her point.)
Another Western states driver said, “I will usually drive about 5 mph over the posted speed limit. But I keep my rig in top mechanical condition. I always install the best tires my money can buy and so far I’ve gotten along really well.”
Allen, from Georgia, joked: “How fast do I drive my RV? Depends on if I’m running late and in charge of bringing the beer.” (Always one jokester in the crowd, right?)
Bernie shook his head. “You all are going way too fast. Have you ever seen what happens when an RVer loses control of his rig? It’s not pretty. I try to stay 5 mph below the speed limit. And I never go faster than 60 mph. Ever.”
Retired and long-time RVers commented: “We take our time. We’re in no hurry. Yes, others pass us. But we like the ‘travel’ part of RVing just as much as being parked on our site.”
Candice and her husband are new to RVing. Candice offered, “I don’t feel comfortable exceeding the speed limit. I’d rather go slower and not tear up our new rig.” Others around the fire nodded at this rationale. We agreed that many of our nation’s highways are in very rough shape. Hitting a pothole at 55 mph as opposed to 75 mph could mean the difference between extensive damage and little to no damage at all.
Conditions, conditions, conditions!
Wet or snow-packed roadways called for slower speeds when towing an RV, agreed all around the campfire. Same goes for curves and turns. Wind speed and weather conditions also play into most RVers’ decisions on how fast to drive their RV.
One RVer commented: “If you are familiar with the road, and conditions are good, you might be okay to exceed the speed limit by a little. But you risk getting a ticket. The time lost talking to a Highway Patrol Officer cannot be redeemed. And the cost of the ticket is money you might have used for something else. It’s just not worth it.”
Several folks admitted to driving a little slower now that fuel prices are so high. By experimenting a little, you may be able to determine the speed at which your RV gets the best fuel economy. Most of the time, that speed will be at or below the posted highway limit.
“Why are we even discussing this?” an old-timer wondered out loud. “It’s the law. The speed limit is there to keep every one of us safe on the road. We need to obey the law.” He’s right.
What did the majority of folks conclude? Drive at a rate that allows you to have the greatest control of your rig, within the limits of the law.
How fast do you usually drive when towing your RV? Let us know in the comments below. And give us a reason for your speed decision, too, if you don’t mind.
- Around the Campfire: ‘Help! Our new RV has problems!’
- Reader poll: If the speed limit is 60, how fast will you typically go when driving/towing your RV?