Whether you’re hitting the road or staying put in an RV park, here are some tips and tools to help you stay safe on your journey.
RVing is an adventure – and part of that adventure involves some risk.
Storms, flat tires, possibly stranded on the roadside waiting for a tow truck or overheated engines can turn the trip of a lifetime into a stressful experience.
But if you take some precautions by being prepared for the unexpected, hopefully, give you peace of mind knowing you have taken steps for a safer journey.
1. Carbon Monoxide Alarms
Carbon monoxide poisoning is the biggest and most underappreciated danger in RVing. Make sure you have working batteries in your carbon monoxide alarm before you go anywhere.
If you’re not careful, a malfunctioning oven can be a whole lot worse than just a nuisance. Most RV’s come with them installed, if yours doesn’t, please install one yourself. This is a MUST HAVE!
2. Weather Alert Radio
Every RVer should have a battery-power NOAA-certified weather alert radio. Click here for the current price. Storms can come quick, and they can be hard to predict – especially when you’re traveling.
Getting a heads-up on when one’s about to hit can help make sure your trip isn’t too dangerous.
There are also weather apps for your phone you can install. I have both, an NOAA-certified Weather Alert Radio and the NOAA Weather Radar app on my phone.
3. Engine Fluids
Before you drive anywhere, check your fluid levels in your motorhome or tow vehicle. The last thing you want to do is run your RV while the oil or coolant is low. Your RV is an investment. It’s something you want to keep in good condition. And that means you need to take care of it.
4. Tire Pressure
Anyone who’s driven cross-country has seen all those torn-up tires sitting on the side of every highway. The number one cause of early tire failure is low pressure.
It’s very important to maintain proper pressure in all tires. If towing a fifth wheel or travel trailer be sure to check your truck tires also.
Check your tire pressure before and even during a long road trip. It might add a minute to your plans, but it’s a whole lot better than becoming a roadside disaster. There are also Tire Pressure Monitoring systems you can install to give your accurate and continuous readings.
5. Torque Wrench
Check the torque of your RV’s tires on a regular basis (Use your RV manual for guidelines). A trailer is easier because the torque isn’t as great. A motorhome requires much more torque. Invest in a Torque Wrench that is rated twice the amount you will need.
6. Fire Extinguishers
Most RVs are full of flammable materials. Even if you don’t have an oven, there’s a good chance you have a diesel or gasoline tank somewhere on your RV.
You’re surrounded by stuff that could start a fire – and nothing is going to ruin your trip faster than a fire.
Two fire extinguishers are recommended, one for kitchen (grease) fires and another for engine fires. Be sure they are up to date. That little red can could save your life. Well worth the investment. For current prices of fire extinguishers Click Here
7. First Aid Kit
Make sure you have a fully-packed first aid kit before you hit the road. A lot of stuff can happen when you go camping, and the nearest hospital isn’t always as close as you’d like it to be.
Keep bandages, wound closure strips, tweezers, scissors, safety pins, sterile gloves, antiseptics, medical tape, burn cream, medicine, and a first aid instruction booklet with you whenever you go RVing. And if anyone in your family has special needs, make sure you’re ready to deal with them.
8. Emergency Pack
A good RV Emergency Pack can save your trip – if not your life – if something goes wrong on the side of the road. Have a pack with jumper cables, tow ropes, work gloves, utility knives, light sticks, ponchos, and emergency reflective triangles and a couple cones.
Being prepared for breakdowns is critical, especially if you have kids and pets. Whether your RVing or just long road trips. You won’t regret it.
9. RVer Survival Kit
Have a snack pack easily accessible like protein bars. peanuts and other instant emergency rations that can really help you out if you get stuck.
Especially when you’re going RVing across the country or camping in a place where you’re expecting to be alone, you’re going to want to make sure that you have food and water if you get stuck in one place.
A couple of high-calorie ration bars can make things a lot easier while you wait for help.
10. Cell Phones
Even if you’re one of those people who likes to disconnect from the technological world when you go RVing, a cell phone is a useful safety tool to keep on hand. If there’s an emergency, you’re going to need a working cell phone with an active battery to call for help, so always make sure you have one handy.
11. Battery Charger
That cell phone isn’t going to do you any good if it’s dead and you can’t charge it. I always have a car charger along with a fully charged battery pack for emergencies. Make sure your cell phone is always charged and ready – because you never know what might happen.
12. Electrical Loads
An RV isn’t a house. We have a surge protector that we plug our fifth wheel into before plugging into the RV park power source. Click here for a current price. RV parks power supply can fluctuate causing electrical problems. It also protects your electronics from being fried.
It might be tempting to plug in every electronic you have at once, but RVs just aren’t wired to run that much power.
Figure out how many amps your RV can handle and make sure you’re not going overboard. Most RVs can only handle 30 to 50 amps at a time, so you’ll need to be careful about how many things you’re running at once.
Don’t forget to pack some cash before you go anywhere. Even if you’re just going to an RV Park, it’s worth your while to make sure you have a little bit of money on hand in case something goes wrong.
Gas, food, flat tires — all kinds of things can pop up that you don’t expect, and you’ll regret having left your wallet at home.
Make sure you have insurance that’s going to cover everything in your trip. Not every insurance service is created equal, and a lot of them will flat-out refuse to cover the cost of towing a trailer.
Try to find an insurance service that specializes in RVs. You want to make sure that, if something goes wrong, your insurance is ready to take care of everything – and that they understand what that means to an RVer.
No matter how prepared you are, you can’t predict everything. Just plan ahead, and enjoy the journey!
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