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Old 02-23-2020, 10:46 AM   #1
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Sharing the road with big rigs

I have a question about RV driving etiquette sharing the road with big rigs. Driving through NM there are many long uphill grades. I set my cruise control at 65 and it pretty much holds this speed. Driving in the right lane, a big rig will start to pass me and while going up a hill, they will start to lose speed. Sure enough, their blinker comes on when they are still beside me and Iíll slow down to let them in ahead of me. Now the problem.. the big rig has slowed down and all vehicles that have been waiting for the big rig to pass me are now passing me.
ASAP, I get in the passing lane and pass the big rig. Once weíve started going back down hill or on an even road, it starts all over again.
The big rig starts to pass me only to slow down on the next hill!!! DOH! This has happened many times!
What is proper here?
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Old 02-23-2020, 10:55 AM   #2
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If my vehicle holds its speed but theirs does not, they are the ones that will need to adjust position within the traffic. Going uphill in the right lane, the passing, but slowing slowing truck will just need to fall in behind me. In the scenario you described, I would continue to hold position and let them deal with me. If they speed up in the right lane on the way down, let them pass on the right and then fall in behind.

The larger problem is all the smaller, anxious speeding vehicles that will try to weave through between you and the trucks.
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Old 02-23-2020, 10:58 AM   #3
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If you are maintaining your speed I would stay in right lane at all cost never moving over unless I had to and let the others be mad at them. It's not your job to help them. I don't move over for people merging in either. I'm not getting in the fast lane going at a slow speed. they can either slow down or get on the gas.
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Old 02-23-2020, 11:05 AM   #4
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I would think the semi is building speed and momentum for the climb... thatís what I do with my RV. He will pull over when his speed bleeds off. What I hate are the ones who pass you at the bottom of the hill, pull in front of you, then slow way down effectively washing my planned momentum down the drain.
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Old 02-23-2020, 11:19 AM   #5
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I wouldn't slow going up hill to let someone in. I'd do my best to maintain constant speed in the travel lane and let those in the passing lane do as they wish. If you maintain speed, how soon will you be past him again so he can fall in behind you?

If they have their turn signal on when on your side, maybe they're just telling cars not to be in the travelling lane, so they can fall in behind you. Maybe they're not trying to tell you they want to be in front of you.

If that doesnt work and if it's not too busy, I'd bump my cruise up to 70 to get more separation if possible. (With my old set up, I would have had to drop to 60 to get some sepertion.)

The scenario, I'm more familiar with is a little different. They usually go barrelling past me on the downhill and then slow to a crawl on the uphill. That gives enough separation to allows the cars to sneak by. We end leapfroging each other, which is ok.
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Old 02-23-2020, 11:28 AM   #6
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Yes! That is what is happening!!!
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Old 02-23-2020, 11:44 AM   #7
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Dealing with semis and RVs in hill country is just frustrating period. Doesn't matter what we are driving. Don't think there is a right or wrong way to deal with drivers going your same speed up a hill. I will speed up or down to avoid the clog when someone gets beside me on a hill and can't complete the pass. I don't trust the drivers to stay in their lane. I will flash my lights at them when they can pull in front of me. I try to be courteous to all traffic, but if one particular driver is bugging me, I will get away from them asap.
Patience wins the day.
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Old 02-23-2020, 02:20 PM   #8
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I do not know what the right answer is, but I am on vacation and the big rig is working to make a living. For the driver, time is money, for me if I am 15 minutes late no big deal. I give them pass and let them go.
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Old 02-23-2020, 02:29 PM   #9
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x2 on Big Bird.

I'm on vacation. The big rig is making a living. I make it as easy on them as possible, even if it inconveniences me.

I'll go so far as to put on my right blinker, move over 2 feet, and as the big rig starts to pass, slow down to help them get on around me.
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Old 02-23-2020, 02:30 PM   #10
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Patience and courtesy will always win the day - and get there with more safety.
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Old 02-23-2020, 02:43 PM   #11
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Here's what a old road dog can tell you what I do. When I have the speed going up hill I will try to maintain my speed but since I’m usually running at 75,000 to 79,000 lbs once I start to loss my speed and if I’m along side of a vehicle I will let traffic behind me know I need the right lane. So what I can tell you maintain your speed most driver’s will merge behind you. Now for some of the rookies I wouldn’t hold my breath. 20 Years behind the wheel. Hope this has help.
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Old 02-23-2020, 02:47 PM   #12
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He is expecting me to maintain my speed and I do
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Old 02-23-2020, 03:00 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by NMWildcat View Post
Dealing with semis and RVs in hill country is just frustrating period. Doesn't matter what we are driving. Don't think there is a right or wrong way to deal with drivers going your same speed up a hill. I will speed up or down to avoid the clog when someone gets beside me on a hill and can't complete the pass. I don't trust the drivers to stay in their lane. I will flash my lights at them when they can pull in front of me. I try to be courteous to all traffic, but if one particular driver is bugging me, I will get away from them asap.
Patience wins the day.
I agree completely. I hope to never be on the road with those posters who say they never change speed to let a vehicle merge. Aside from being discourteous, that type of aggressive driving can also be dangerous if the merger is also aggressive.
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Old 02-23-2020, 03:22 PM   #14
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Share the Road

Courtesy and safety is my policy. I donít have any idea the frustrations my fellow travellers are experiencing or even if they are armed and dangerous. I try to help everyone merge, get by me and lots of times Iíve lost my hill climbing momentum to let a big rig back into the right hand lane. On two lane roads I watch for a build up of traffic behind and will pull off when possible to let them by. Other people can be frustrated with my size and speed (about 65 feet over all and cruise set at 67 mph) so I try hard to reduce that frustration by being as courteous as possible. Finally I give a thank you flash of the 4 ways or a wave when folks are courteous to me. The last thing I want to to be involved in, or cause an accident or road rage incident. At any rate thatís how I drive.
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Old 02-23-2020, 03:50 PM   #15
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When I am in the right lane I never slowdown for somebody in the left lane. You're supposed to be in the left lane when you are going faster, if you change your mind or want to zigzag or whatever you can pull in behind me. I watch for trucks that come up the left lane, pass and then pull in front and die on the hill. For them I speed up so that they can pull in behind me.
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Old 02-23-2020, 04:18 PM   #16
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I agree completely. I hope to never be on the road with those posters who say they never change speed to let a vehicle merge. Aside from being discourteous, that type of aggressive driving can also be dangerous if the merger is also aggressive.
Merging traffic (merging onto interstate) puts the onus on the person merging. Obviously, I will move over a lane if I can but if I can’t I maintain speed and the vehicle merging either speeds up or slows down to merge into traffic, that is their decision. If I start trying to help them and slow down and they start to slow down at the same time then they get hung in the merge lane.

When I merge it upsets me when the vehicle in the right lane tries to help me by slowing down or speeding up. Maintain your speed and I will decide what is best for me to do...
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Old 02-23-2020, 05:15 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Fletch77 View Post
Here's what a old road dog can tell you what I do. When I have the speed going up hill I will try to maintain my speed but since Iím usually running at 75,000 to 79,000 lbs once I start to loss my speed and if Iím along side of a vehicle I will let traffic behind me know I need the right lane. So what I can tell you maintain your speed most driverís will merge behind you. Now for some of the rookies I wouldnít hold my breath. 20 Years behind the wheel. Hope this has help.


Thank you for being a professional. Iím seeing less of this on the interstates lately.
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Old 02-23-2020, 05:28 PM   #18
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If the big rig is beside me, I don't slow down to let him get in front of me. He's usually signalling the people behind me that he's intending to merge behind me. That usually eliminates the 'leap frogging' because by the time he gets to the top of the hill, I'm much further ahead.

Now if he's partially in front of me and looks like he's about to run over me, I'll slow down and flash my lights when he's got clearance to pull into my lane.

However, there are situations where leap frogging is almost impossible to avoid. Drives me nuts and I'm sure the big rigs feel the same.
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Old 02-23-2020, 05:34 PM   #19
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Merging traffic (merging onto interstate) puts the onus on the person merging. Obviously, I will move over a lane if I can but if I canít I maintain speed and the vehicle merging either speeds up or slows down to merge into traffic, that is their decision. If I start trying to help them and slow down and they start to slow down at the same time then they get hung in the merge lane.

When I merge it upsets me when the vehicle in the right lane tries to help me by slowing down or speeding up. Maintain your speed and I will decide what is best for me to do...
Maintain your speed. Depending on the situation, I'll pull over a vehicle that slows down to let somebody in the merging lane merge unless there is a serious backup and the right lane isn't leaving any room for a merging car to get in.
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Old 02-23-2020, 05:35 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by DavidJ View Post
I have a question about RV driving etiquette sharing the road with big rigs. Driving through NM there are many long uphill grades. I set my cruise control at 65 and it pretty much holds this speed. Driving in the right lane, a big rig will start to pass me and while going up a hill, they will start to lose speed. Sure enough, their blinker comes on when they are still beside me and Iíll slow down to let them in ahead of me. Now the problem.. the big rig has slowed down and all vehicles that have been waiting for the big rig to pass me are now passing me.
ASAP, I get in the passing lane and pass the big rig. Once weíve started going back down hill or on an even road, it starts all over again.
The big rig starts to pass me only to slow down on the next hill!!! DOH! This has happened many times!
What is proper here?
Well, as a semi driver myself, let me strap 14K of trailer onto your ride, with 46K in the trailer and letís see if you slow any going up hill and speed back up going down hill.

You can always stay behind the semi going up the next hill and not pass them, then after capping the hill they will open the gap between you and them on the down side. Quit the leap frogging.
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