Getting out and enjoying nature is one of the best ways to relax, and RVing lets you do that in a new way. No wonder then that a whopping 11.2 million households in the US own an RV, according to RVIA. You can spend time with your family or friends, explore new places, and get some time off work.
However, safety is always important when traveling, especially in an RV. Read on if you’re thinking about heading out on your first RV trip but want some tips for staying safe.
According to an RVIA survey, 72 million US citizens planned to go RVing in 2022. If you are considering an RV vacation, it is essential to be prepared for any situation. From weather to mechanical faults, any emergency might crop up at any time. The points below will help keep you on the road safely in your RV.
- Be prepared for the weather. A sudden temperature change can make driving unsafe or impossible, so always carry emergency supplies in case of an unexpected storm.
- Be ready for emergencies. Knowing what actions to take can save lives and prevent further damage, whether it’s an accident or a natural disaster.
- Be prepared for mechanical issues by doing regular maintenance checks on your vehicle to ensure everything is working correctly. It includes checking fluid levels and tire pressure before hitting the road so there aren’t any surprises along the way.
Know Your RV
As a rule of thumb, knowing your RV and its limits is essential. It is especially true when you’re driving in an unfamiliar area. For example, if you don’t know the speed limit, it may be easy to exceed it by accident.
Similarly, if construction zones or other hazards could cause traffic delays or slowdowns on the highway, then knowing these will help you anticipate changes that might occur along your route.
Knowing about safety features on your RV can also help ensure a safer ride for everyone involved. You should know where fire extinguishers are located so you can easily access them in an emergency. Similarly, knowing where first aid kits are stored will make them easier to find if needed in an urgent situation.
Know Your Surroundings
The best way to stay safe while RVing is to know the area you are traveling to. Know the laws and regulations, weather conditions, road conditions, and wildlife that could affect your trip. If you’re driving in a different state or country, familiarize yourself with their driving rules.
If it’s winter time, don’t forget snow tires or chains if needed for your wheels, and make sure there are no layers of ice on them before hitting the road, as these pose a hazard when driving an RV.
In addition, knowing how much fuel and food supplies you have onboard will help with planning so that there aren’t any surprises when reaching your destination or stopping along the way at rest stops or campgrounds.
Make Sure Your Insurance is Up-to-date
It’s essential to get the right type of insurance for your RV. You may need to get a new policy if you are switching vehicles or traveling internationally, so get an RV insurance quote from your insurer before making any significant changes.
If you are renting, borrowing, or buying an RV, make sure that you tell your insurer about this. It will help them figure out what kind of coverage is right for you and avoid any problems when filing claims later on, which could lead to higher expenses in the long run.
Practice a Safe Driving Routine
While you’re driving, make sure to keep your eyes on the road and not on your cell phone. Your full attention should be focused on the road, especially when driving in an RV. It would help if you never texted or talked on your phone while driving an RV. It can be hazardous and lead to serious accidents.
If you are going to use your cell phone while driving, pull over into a parking lot or rest stop until you feel comfortable enough to drive safely again. If drinking is involved, it is best not to drive. If there’s no way around it, try calling a taxi or Uber instead of getting behind the wheel yourself.
The best way to minimize your risk while RVing is to drive defensively. It is crucial because, according to the Law Office of LA Wilson, LLC, 26 people die in RV-related accidents yearly, including those hit by an RV.
While driving, keep your eyes on the road and be aware of what’s happening around you. Suppose someone is tailgating you or cutting you off; brake early so they have time to avoid a crash if they decide not to let up. Please don’t believe everything that other drivers do, be prepared for them to make sudden moves without signaling first.
Never assume that other drivers know where they’re going or are following the rules of the road. They may not be paying attention or simply trying their best with limited visibility from foggy windows. If a driver seems like they’re about to make an unsafe move, such as making an illegal U-turn across traffic lanes or turning left on red, don’t hesitate and honk.
Remove Easy Targets For Theft
One of the essential safety tips for RV travel is to keep valuables out of sight. Don’t leave your purse, wallet, or other items in plain view while driving around. You may want to store them somewhere less obvious, like under your seat or in a storage compartment.
It would help if you also were sure to lock all doors before you leave your RV. Even if you think you won’t be gone long enough for someone to break in and take anything.
If you plan on leaving valuables in plain sight, ensure they are well protected by closing windows and keeping doors locked at all times. It’s also important not to accidentally leave keys in ignitions when traveling. It makes it easy for thieves who might break into an unattended vehicle looking for valuables.
Use a Battery Monitor/Voltage Regulator
To ensure your batteries are in good shape, install a battery monitor/voltage regulator. It will ensure that your batteries never overcharge and alert you if they begin to lose power.
A simple device that can be installed by any handy person with the right tools, a voltage regulator monitors the charge level of your RV’s batteries. It relays this information to an LCD screen on the vehicle’s dashboard.
Suppose it detects any unusual activity or fluctuations in voltage levels. In that case, it’ll let you know so that you can take action before there’s any damage done to your vehicle’s electrical system.
RVing is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and all it has to offer. You can do many things to ensure your safety while out on the road, from keeping up with maintenance tasks like oil changes and tire rotations to ensuring your RV is equipped adequately before leaving home. The most important thing is inspecting every inch of your rig before hitting the road each year.
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