Hitting the open road, no schedule or calendar to rule your days and unlimited exploring potential. Such is the life of an RV enthusiast. However, as with all things in life, a bit of preparation and common sense will help make sure you enjoy yourself trouble free.
When it comes to safety and RVs, it pays to educate yourself. You might feel as though you have nothing to worry about and that safety isn’t a big issue in an RV, but did you know that according to the fire marshall in Yuma, AZ, there are more RV fires during snowbird season than there are in all other homes during the entire year?
BBC show Top Gear, The Caravan Holiday, Series 8, Episode 6, 2006
The threat is real and preparation is your best line of defense. According to Henry Kozminski, who does RV Life and Safety Seminars, you should have a minimum of three fire extinguishers in your RV; one by the door, one in the kitchen and one in the bedroom. Make sure you check your fire detectors and replace the batteries yearly.
Make sure you have an emergency exit plan and that you and every member of your family has practiced what to do in the event of a fire.
Make sure you are familiar with and understand how your propane system works and have it inspected regularly.
But fire isn’t the only safety issue when using your RV. It is important to take basic precautions such as paying attention to the weather and know when you should be seeking another type of shelter. Trying to make it through very severe weather in an RV is not always a very good idea.
Do you know how to disconnect both shore power and battery power? It is important that you know where the electrical distribution panel is and that all the circuit breakers are labeled. These are the types of things you don’t want to be trying to figure out in the middle of an emergency.
A full tank is safer than an empty tank. An empty tank is more likely to explode from an internal spark. If you have a fuel spill, make sure to shut off all sources of fire from pilot lights, but first make sure everyone is evacuated from the area.
Do you use a generator with your RV? If you do, make sure you have a carbon monoxide detector installed and never sleep in the unit while the generator is running.
RV tires are like Goldilocks and the Three Bears. They can’t be too hard or too soft, they have to be just right. Under inflated, over inflated or old tires can be the cause of blowouts. Maintain your tire pressure just right and keep checking them on a regular basis.
Another problem with tires can be an RV that has its weight either unevenly distributed or overloaded. Make sure you weigh your RV and not exceed the manufacturers suggested weight ratings. Visit Good Year RV Tires site for more information on weighing your RV.
If you develop some good safety habits and spend some time getting to know your RV, you will be out on the open road safe and sound in no time!