Sierra Nevada Airstreams -|- Owner's Guide

Enjoyment of the whispering winds, the zephyrs, the airstreams of the Sierra Nevada and Great Basin areas of the United States in a recreational vehicle.

The RV Driving Experience

We all just want to get along - after all, the 'R' in RV is for recreation! Some of the rules of the road are written into statute, some are matters of habit and custom, and others are simple matters of implementing the Golden Rule. Here are some ideas for the RV driver to keep in mind.

Mountain Driving

Courtesy on the road

The Golden Rule - do to others what you would have them do to you - is a good place to start when driving your RV. Put yourself in the shoes of the other person and think of how they would feel. Avoid casting judgment or speculating about the motivations of others on the road. Be courteous. Let others be who they want to be and not what you want them to be.

Speed traps and traffic tickets

Traffic tickets are intended to promote safe driving but they are also a significant source of revenue for many localities. You should know your rights and responsibilities and what you can or should do if you are subject to citation for violation of traffic laws.

The physics of RV motion

Most RV's are big heavy things that are hard to get moving, hard to stop, and hard to see around. What does this mean to the driver?


Plowing the road, running over curbs, and similar ills can befall you if you don't keep in mind the geometry of your rig.

Backing your trailer

Its easy going forward as the trailer just follows along. But when trying to go backwards, the trailer seems to take on a mind of its own.

Running the road

Highway hypnosis, Blood clots, fitness, alertness, distractions and all those things that make a road trip something special.

The Other Driver

We aren't always alone on the road and many times it is this sharing of the road that can create hazardous situations that require our most careful attention. Failing to judge other driver's path or speed is one of the top ten causes of accidents.

Hits and Tips

A collection of hints and tips for safer and more comfortable driving


The Sierra Nevada Airstreams News Bulletin archives for driving related topics.

Be Safe - Follow UPS's Five Seeing Habits

  1. Aim High In Steering: Look as far down the road as possible to uncover important traffic information to make appropriate decisions.

  2. Get The Big Picture: Maintain the proper following distance so you can comfortably determine the true hazards around your vehicle. Don't tailgate others.

  3. Keep Your Eyes Moving: Scan - don't stare. Constantly shift you eyes while driving. Active eyes keep up with changing traffic conditions.

  4. Leave Yourself An Out: Be prepared. Surround your vehicle with space in front and at least on one side to escape conflict.

  5. Make Sure They See You: Communicate in traffic with your horn, lights and signals to establish eye contact with motorists and pedestrians. Be reasonably sure of people's intentions.

Causes of accidents re Motercycle Action Group

· Transport Research Laboratory Report No. 323: "A new system for recording contributory factors in road accidents", found that 'on-the-spot' analysis carried out by police officers at some 2,800 road accident scenes showed that only 4.3% of these accidents had excessive speed as the primary causal factor - usually accidents involving loss of control in built up areas.

· TRL323 delves deeply into road accident causation, and goes on to establish that "excessive speed" represents only 7% of the (up to four) contributory factors per accident. It also concluded that in accidents in which pedestrians were seriously or fatally injured, the primary responsibility for the accident lay with the pedestrian in 84% of cases.

· TRL Report 323 also showed (as is already well established) that the vast majority of road accident causes are observation-, and judgment-based: road users either failed altogether to observe a potentially hazardous situation developing, observed its development but did not perceive the hazard, or perceived the hazard but reacted too late or inappropriately to it.

The Top Ten Causes of Accidents

1. Failure to judge other driver's path or speed 10.7%
2. Behavior - careless, reckless or thoughtless driving 8.8%
3. Not paying attention 8%
4. Looked but did not see 7.5%
5. Excessive speed 7.3%
6. Lack of judgment of own path 6.3%
7. Failed to look 6.2%
8. Following too close 4.1%
9. Drink driving 3.8%
10. Slippery Road 3%


Million Mile Secrets - Roadside Assistance Tips for Your Next Road Trip provides a rundown of state towing laws.
California's Defensive techniques for all drivers -
Dashboard Dining -
Gas Buddy - latest gas prices - (03sp10) provides an index for stations that can weigh your rig.
Nevada Topographic Maps -
How To Tow a Trailer By Miles Cook Date Posted 02-16-2001 (Edmunds)
Safety Tips by Interstate West
RV and Trailer Safety from the California DMV
Hitching up your Trailer by Not Just Parts
Tow Tips by Discount Hitch and Truck Accessories
UPS Gives Tips on Safe Driving To Motorists . how to emulate the safety record of those big brown trucks:
RV and Tow Vehicle Weights Concealed Carry (CCW), Concealed Weapon Permit, Concealed Weapon Law : Home
ESD Journal - gas pump fire hazards
Refueling Fires - ESD Journal - The ESD & Electrostatics Magazine
Speedway SuperAmerica: Refueling Guidelines
Speedway SuperAmerica: Static Electricity Hazards
ExxonMobil Recommends that Consumers Observe all Posted Safety Warning while Pumping Gas
ESD Journal - The ESD & Electrostatics Magazine
Car and Driver Magazine : Regular or Premium? : November 2001
Trailer Hitch Hidden Hitch  HOW TO TOW SAFELY
fuel fire
Dodge Towing Guide - Terms & Conditions
Foremost Insurance Group
Recreational Vehicles and Trailers-Loading/Overloading Information for RVs and Trailers
Dashboard Dining
Recreational Vehicles and Trailers-Defensive Driving Techniques for All Drivers

Weapons transport

There are paranoid activists who a pushing very hard to eliminate anything that might possibly be considered a weapon. You do not want to have a firearm in your vehicle if you travel to Canada or Mexico and, even in the United States, you will want to make sure any weapons you carry are properly stowed. A resource to check is

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note: all photographs on this site are for personal, private, and non-commercial use only. All other copyrights are retained by the individual photographers. See our policy. Disclaimer: any advice or suggestion presented is provided for informational purposes only and is correct and accurate only to the best of our knowledge at the time it was written. Anyone using such information does so at their own risk. Errors or omissions may exist and additional sources of information or appropriately licensed or qualified personnel should be consulted in deciding a course of action. We assume no liability or obligation by providing this information and warn any users of this information that they do so at their own risk. All links or references to commercial vendors or other sources of information and equipment do not intend or imply or convey any endorsement of that source or the product. They are provided strictly for informational purposes to illustrate the topic at hand. Sierra Nevada Airstreams Enjoyment of the whispering winds, the zephyrs, the airstreams of the Sierra Nevada and Great Basin areas of the United States is a personal, nonprofit, noncommercial web site intended for educational and recreational use only. This site is supported by volunteer effort and contributions.