Many Americans own an RV, or a recreational vehicle, that is ideal for camping with solid walls (as opposed to a tent). Many RVs are trailers, meaning that they have wheels but no motor, and are towed with a powerful SUV or pickup truck. Others are motor homes, which indeed drive themselves and are shaped like a bus. And as with any other motor vehicle, it is important that the owner keeps their RV running smoothly and safely while driving it on the road. For example, RV shocks should be inspected and kept in good shape, and the same is true of trac bars, steering control parts, and more. New RV shocks can get an RV back in driving shape, and steering control springs are essential for preventing accidents. Towed RVs, meanwhile, need electronic brake systems that link to the truck’s own brakes.
Checking Up on RV Shocks and Springs
Who owns RVs? For the most part, it is older Americans who own them, as these older adults have had time to save up money to purchase them. Many RV owners are retired and have free time to go on trips with those vehicles, and a select few even live in their RVs full time. A study done by the University of Michigan in 2011 found that some 10 million American households own an RV. That study found that most often, Americans aged 35 to 54 (at the time) were RV owners, being the single largest group of owners. They typically came from households that earned $62,000 per year or more.
Whoever an RV owner may be, they are advised to check regularly on the mundane hardware of their vehicle. RV shocks, for example, might be worn out and need replacement, especially on a used RV that the owner purchased. And what about steering control systems? As with other vehicles, a motor home will have tough metal springs that are tense and keep the forward wheels in the neutral position. Thus, the front two wheels “want” to face forward. When the driver turns the steering wheel, the vehicle will resist the springs and turn the wheels either left or right. Once the steering wheel is returned to neutral position, the springs will naturally allow the wheels to align forward again, quickly and smoothly. Without this system, a vehicle’s wheels would get out of control and face odd directions, and that could cause an auto accident. So, a motor home driver may get hardware such a this looked over regularly.
Towing and Brakes
A motor home can tow and brake itself, but what about a trailer RV unit? In this case, the RV has wheels, but the brakes need to coordinate with those of the truck driving it, or an accident might occur. The solution is to install an electronic brake system, and such products are widely available. They come in two types, those being inertia and timing based. Either way, once the towing truck applies its own brakes, this sends a signal to the RV’s own electronic brake system, and the two systems can coordinate their efforts.
Timing based brakes are easy to program and use, and they are ideal for use on smaller RV trailers going relatively slowly. When the towing truck applies its brakes, the brake system will apply the trailer’s brakes based on timing parameters that the user programmed in. By contrast, inertia brakes will sense the movement and speed of the towing truck, and when the brakes are applied, the inertia brakes will smoothly apply their own brakes accordingly. This brake model is best for towed RVs that are large and/or traveling fairly quickly.
Either way, brakes can adjust for inclined planes, as incorrect brake usage may mean the trailer tugs backward on the truck on an incline, or rushes forward on a downward slope. Most often, inertia brakes are best for this sort of uneven terrain.