Avoid Hydroplaning in Your Minnesota Motorhome, Travel Trailer or Fifth Wheel

Have you ever been driving during a rain storm or shortly after and hit a semi-shallow patch of water causing you to skid? Odds are, the majority of you have seeing how we spend a lot of time on the road in our RVs. This is known as hydroplaning, and in my opinion, it’s one of the scariest instances an RV driver encounters.

What is hydroplaning? The skidding or sliding of a RV’s tires when they come across a wet surface and occurs when a tire encounters more water than it can scatter. Water pressure in the front of the wheel pushes water under the tire, and the tire is then separated from the road surface by a thin film of water losing traction and causing the driver to experience a loss of steering, braking and power control.

When and where exactly does hydroplaning occur? According to SafeMotorist.com, hydroplaning can occur on any wet road surface, and the first 10 minutes of a light rain is usually the most dangerous time. Slippery conditions arise when light rain mixes with oil residue on the road surface. It’s especially dangerous to vehicles traveling over 35 mph.

Tire manufacturers specifically aim at creating tread patterns, or grooves, on our tires to channel water from beneath the tire creating higher friction with the road surface. This helps to prevent or minimize instances of hydroplaning. If your tire tread is worn, you will likely be hydroplaning more than others.

The best way to avoid hydroplaning is proper tire maintenance. I’m sure the tires on your RV are in great condition already since you know how important tire maintenance on RVs in particular is, right? You need to keep them properly inflated, rotate them at the recommended times and replace them when your tread starts to become worn. In rainy conditions, slow down. The faster you drive, the harder it is for your tires to scatter water. Avoid puddles, standing water and driving in the outer lanes because water tends to accumulate there.

If you can see the tire tracks left by other vehicles in front of you, try to drive in them. Most likely, they have already pushed a large portion of the water out of the way. Never use cruise control and avoid hard braking and  making sharp or quick turns.

As I mentioned before, hydroplaning is a scary thing for drivers. So when driving your Minnesota RV through the rain, remember these tips and avoid hydroplaning as much as possible!

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