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TOWSON, MD (Thursday, August 13, 2020) – Summer vacations are looking different this year as a result of COVID-19. While there is a pent up demand for travel, many Americans remain cautious as they explore options. As a result, recreational vehicle (RV) purchases are soaring as travelers view this option as providing a safe place to eat, sleep, shower, and relax, as well as enjoy some of the lowest gas prices seen in the past four years. The RV Industry Association estimates 46 million Americans will take an RV trip in the next 12 months with almost 51% of those planning to travel via RV doing so because of health concerns.

“If you’re not experienced at driving an RV, spend plenty of time practicing before hitting the road,” says Kurt Gray, AAA Director of Driver Education. “This will allow you to get accustomed to the vehicle’s size and handling characteristics.”

Caravan car travels on the highway.

AAA RV Driver Safety Tips

  • Conduct a pre-drive “walk-around” visual inspection to check for any obvious issues with tires, leaks, tanks, straps, etc. before each drive. 
  • Large vehicles accelerate slower and take longer to come to a full stop, so increase your following distance to 5 to 6 seconds at highway speeds. 
  • Always stay to the right to allow faster traffic to pass on the left.
  • Be sure to manage your speed properly and stay within the posted speed limit – remember, speed should always match conditions.
  • Reduce your speed before turns (while vehicle is going straight) and accelerate out of the turn.
  • Avoid distractions and always keep both hands on the steering wheel at 9 and 3.
  • Always communicate your intentions by using your turn signals.
  • Try to avoid backing up when possible. If you must back up, use a spotter to help guide you. Develop hand signals or use walkie-talkies to communicate. 

“Buying or renting an RV can lead to some wonderful vacation memories out on the open road,” said Welaine Memenza, Territory Manager, Retail Insurance Sales. “Whether you decide to buy or rent an RV, insurance is an important piece of your travel plan and should be considered carefully.”

Drivers must remember that an RV is more than a vehicle, it’s a home for you and your family while you’re traveling.

Couple looking at digital tablet near campfire.

Insurance Considerations when BUYING an RV

  • Insurance coverage differs depending on whether you use the RV as a full-time residence or if you use it for travel purposes.
  • RV insurance should provide liability coverage for bodily injury and property. This covers costs if you cause damage another vehicle or cause an injury during a crash.
  • RV owners can be liable to claims from guests – make sure your policy covers injuries and property damage that occur in your RV as well as on your campsite.
  • Consider how your policy determines replacement value – look for a policy that provides you with a new, comparable RV if yours is totaled within the first few years of ownership.
  • Ask if your policy covers emergency expense allowances – if your RV breaks down, AAA has you covered for roadside assistance, but will your policy cover hotel and meals should need a place to stay while your RV is repaired.

Insurance Considerations when RENTING an RV

  • Your car insurance will cover you for liability and bodily injury when you rent an RV.
  • Comprehensive and collision coverage will be provided by your auto policy provided you have this coverage on your auto policy.
  • An umbrella policy will be helpful if you have a crash and the rental company charges you for lost rental value while the RV is being repaired and/or it’s depreciation in value.

Insurance Considerations for a Travel Trailer (not a self-powered vehicle)

  • Most homeowners insurance policies provide minimal coverage for trailers.
  • Your automobile insurance will provide liability coverage for usage of the trailer while attached to your vehicle.
  • If renting a travel trailer, review insurance coverage options with your agent and the rental company.
  • If owned, it should be insured with the most comprehensive coverage available and including vacation liability coverage.
  • Older trailers and vehicles may not be offered the extensive coverages available to newer trailers and vehicles.

AAA RV Membership – Roadside Assistance

AAA members can add RV coverage to existing AAA Plus or Premier memberships to expand covered vehicles.  With RV coverage, all of the roadside assistance coverage that you get as a Plus/Premier member extends to your RV.

AAA RV membership includes:

  • Extended Towing Service: You can have your RV towed anywhere you want up to 100 miles with no charge for towing. (Any toll fees are extra.)
  • Tire-Change Service: On dual-rear-wheel RVs get a flat tire replaced with your RV’s spare.
  • Extra Stuck-Wheel Service: If a second tow truck is needed to get your camper or motor home out of a ditch or mud, you’ll get the second truck for 1 hour (Plus)/2 hours (Premier) at no extra charge.
  • Free Gas: If you run out of gas, you can get enough to reach the nearest open service station. No charge for the service call or the gas. (Diesel fuel is not available.)
  • Jump Starts & Battery Service
  • Trip Interruption Expense Reimbursement: If your vehicle becomes disabled on a covered trip, AAA will reimburse you for certain expenses, such as car rental fees, lodging, or associated meals.

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