Winter driving technique, or how to master a motorhome or a car with a trailer?

Winter driving technique, or how to master a motorhome or a car with a trailer? – main image

For many users of caravans and motorhomes, winter is a time of lethargy and the pursuit of other passions. Most of the leisure equipment is spent in the cold months under the shelter or in the garage.

Fortunately - some enthusiasts also decide to go on an interesting journey in winter. However, let's remember about the significant differences in winter driving technique, because without knowing them, even a gentle curve may turn out to be the last one.

First: preparation

Before we hit the road, apart from getting to know the driving technique, it is worth taking care of the equipment. I do not think you need to make anyone aware of the need to use winter tires , both in a caravan and a motorhome. The tire pressure recommended by the manufacturer also determines the correct and predictable behavior of the entire set on the road. An efficient braking system and suspension will only support us while driving safely.

Second: fluency and anticipation

We all remember that a heavy motorhome, as well as a car with a trailer, drives completely different under ideal road conditions. The arrival of winter aura only intensifies the initial differences.

In order to get to your destination without adventures, first of all, we need to maintain the smoothness of movements - planning each decision well in advance. Otherwise, we can easily lose control of the vehicle.

Let's move slowly , trying not to break the grip - the boxing wheels only "slip" the surface underneath them, effectively hindering the start. Another source of problems with proper traction is the uneven weight distribution and the length of the entire car + trailer set. The relief of the front drive axle of a motorhome is noticeable on steep climbs and turns. In the case of these first obstacles, there will be a reasonable momentum. When taking any bend, we must bear in mind the curb weight, the side surface, and the contours of the road.

When towing a trailer, you should also look carefully for road obstacles, which may turn out to be troublesome to overcome. Taking the appropriate run-up, we should pay attention to the traffic intensity, and thus - to the possibility of emergency braking. Otherwise, if we stand during the climb, there will be a risk of the set rolling or even sliding - which will certainly end in destruction.

Third: brake and overtake sensibly!

Even the perfect technical condition and branded tires will do little to little in critical situations on a winter road. The curb weight will do its job, drastically increasing the braking distance, and worse - increasing the risk of skidding when overtaking. Braking, regardless of the situation, should be smooth , with utmost care for maintaining traction - this also applies to users of vehicles equipped with driver assistance systems .

We should follow similar rules when overtaking another vehicle. Adequate space is of course a key condition for the safe execution of this maneuver. In winter, the already mentioned fluidity comes into play. Every sudden movement of the steering wheel, aggressive throttle or strong side wind can cause a skid in the blink of an eye that we will not be able to cope with.

When traveling in winter, the driver's priorities should be slightly different than in summer conditions. Not time, economy and pace of driving, but safety should come first.

Maciej Mokwiński
Maciej Mokwiński

I follow the latest trends in the automotive industry, not only in caravanning

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