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Essential Truck Camping Advice

Truck Camper Driving Safety 101

Avoiding Common Accidents

The most frequent types of accidents are lane change accidents and backing accidents.

To avoid causing these types of accidents, make sure you properly adjust your mirrors prior to driving your rig.  While seated in the driver’s seat, find a natural sitting position and find where your blind spots are.  Then adjust the side mirrors until these blind spots are mitigated as much as possible.  Most trucks have extendable mirrors.  Use this feature as it adds a huge safety advantage with your camper on board.

It’s likely that you won’t be able to eliminate all blind spots with your mirrors.  However, knowing where your blind spots are will help you to avoid lane change and backing accidents.  A typical blind spot can exist from the back of the driver’s or passenger’s door to the rear axle.

When your camper is mounted on your truck, you need to adjust your mirrors so you see just the corner of your camper in your right and left side mirrors.  If you have your mirrors adjusted correctly, you will know that someone is passing you.  I look in my mirrors approximately every five seconds when I’m driving to make sure that I know what’s going on around the rig.  Adjust them and know how to use them.  Yes, it is really that important.

When driving on a highway, entrance lanes and ramps can be an issue.  When driving in a congested area, I suggest avoiding the right lane unless you are entering or exiting the highway.  Stay in the middle lane and go with the flow of traffic.

The Danger of Fatigue

It’s not rocket science that people get tired when driving long distances.  You also get fatigued when you face extended work hours, stressful family issues, worry over health concerns, eat the wrong foods, or take certain medications.

These same factors can also have a direct impact on the quality and quantity of our sleep patterns making a driver even more fatigued.

Being fatigued while driving is very dangerous because it slows reaction time to potential hazards, hinders cognitive function and judgement ability, and dramatically increases the likelihood of falling asleep behind the wheel.

Be aware of the indicators of fatigued driving including yawning, heavy eyes, and blurred vision.  Recognize these symptoms and don’t drive when you’re tired.

I also recommend avoiding driving when the human body is naturally most drowsy; between 12:00am and 6:00am.  The middle of the afternoon, or right after lunch, is another time to pay attention to fatigue.  This is referred to as our “Circadian Rhythm”.  Go ahead and Google it.  It happens to many of us two times in twenty four hours.  For others it only happens one time.

If you’re tired, pull over and take a nap in your truck camper.  That’s one of the biggest benefits of having a truck camper; you have your own bed, ready for rest, at any time.

The Importance of Seat Belts

I have heard many excuses as to why people won’t wear seat belts.  Folks have told me that seat belts are too uncomfortable, that they don’t really work, that they’re not driving that far, that they won’t be driving too fast, that the seat belt might trap them, that they’ll brace themselves, or that the air bags will save them.

People often believe that accidents happen to other people and that they don’t need seat belts because they’re good drivers.

Well, I’ve driven over two-million miles and I wear a seat belt everywhere I go.  In my car I require that everyone wears a seat belt.  They’re that important.

Please make sure you put your seat belt on properly.  Both straps should be snug against the body to transfer the energy of an accident to the right areas as safely as possible.  Always untangle a rolled up seat belt and wear them correctly.

Backing Up Your Rig

I recommend practicing backing your truck camper in an open parking lot to learn how the rig behaves in reverse, and to gain confidence when backing up your rig.

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