Wednesday, September 27, 2023


RVer warns: Motorized toys can be hazardous. Be safe in campgrounds

It used to be that kids fished or played baseball during campouts. Recently, a fellow RVer, R.J., lamented that those days are long gone. “Whatever happened to regular ol’ bicycles?” he wonders. “The new ride-on toys are just too fast for a campground. Too many kids don’t know how to safely ride them.” I understand R.J.’s concern. Motorized toys can be hazardous when not used properly. Especially in a crowded campground.

A near miss with a motorized toy

On a recent camping trip, I saw a little girl fall off a hoverboard. (I was surprised to see so young a child attempting to ride it.) Anyway, as she tried to ride, she fell off. Right onto the campground street. A truck came around the corner and narrowly avoided hitting the child, who sat stunned and crying. It all happened so fast that I barely had time to think, let alone shout out a warning. Thankfully, the child was okay. Just bruised. The truck driver needed a stiff drink! It was a very close call. And he was pretty shaken up.

Be the adult

It’s up to adults to keep children safe. Here are some tips that may help.

  • Age-appropriate. Make sure the motorized toy is age-appropriate for your child. For example, a younger child may not be able to reach brake pedals or have the dexterity to safely manipulate the toy. If the toy has a recommended age level, follow it.
  • Safety equipment. Helmets, elbow and knee pads, seat belts, and other safety measures can prevent serious injury. Make sure children use them. Also, realize that many motorized toys ride low to the ground. That makes them very difficult to see, especially if you are driving your truck or SUV.
  • Speed limits. As an adult driver, always follow the campground’s speed limit. Or go slower than the limit when driving near where children often play.
  • Monitor closely. Watch your children and grandchildren, especially when they play with their motorized toys. Caution kids to ride in safe areas, well away from trucks and other tow vehicles. Pay special attention to folks who are entering or leaving the campground. They are focused on maneuvering their rigs and may not see children, especially when backing their RVs.

A conundrum

What about those kids? You know. The ones who belong to someone else? Do you dare to caution them or talk to their parents if you see reckless behavior on motorized toys? I wonder if I could/should have done more to protect the little girl at the beginning of this article. What do you think? Let me know in the comments.



Gail Marsh
Gail Marsh
Gail Marsh is an avid RVer and occasional work camper. Retired from 30+ years in the field of education as an author and educator, she now enjoys sharing tips and tricks that make RVing easier and more enjoyable.


  1. A bigger danger is all the morons who don’t follow campground speed limits. (Yes, YOU are a moron if you speed in campgrounds) Most are 5 or 10mph. DO THE LIMIT! Just today i watched as a new camper raced into the campground with his gigantic 5th wheel at at least 15 to 20mph. Speed limit is 5. Think he could have stopped if a kid (or blue hair) stepped out? Nope. Slow the heck down

    • I agree, Joe. Just yesterday I had a gal fly by me in the campground at city street type speeds. And where were her eyeballs looking??? You got it…at the cell phone in her hand! Went right through the stop sign by the registration/park office where another lane enters. Stupid is as stupid does.

  2. Perhaps a “back to nature” approach to children’s entertainment is called for? Hiking, bicycling (non-electric), swimming in the local watering hole, nature walks, board games, etc. If we go camping to escape the stress of everyday life, why bring our everyday toys?

    A fear the answer is that too many parents prefer toys that entertain/occupy children so they don’t have to.

    Family camping shouldn’t look like we just moved the house to the park.

    • As you said it’s the parents, they don’t want to be bothered by the children they made. That’s why children are being raised on video games and TV. Probably one of the reasons behind kids committing mass shootings, when there is mass shootings on a video game everybody gets back up and you start over.

      • What’s the problem with many young parents today? In my opinion it’s self entitlement?
        The only thing important is me and what makes me happy. Everything else is just not important to me. I buy things to entertain my kids, things to occupy and entertain myself. I push myself to the front of the line and cut others off because only I am important. Don’t get in my way!
        Of course their parents are to blame for this mess.

  3. I do miss the days of bicycles, baseball and badminton. Our last outing witnessed close calls with hoverboards, and motorized skateboards. Also one aggravating young one with a remote controlled car using it to scare dogs and almost trip an older couple out for a walk. All these toys look like a lot of fun but both the children and the parents need to use some common sense when it comes to safety and being considerate of others. Good news for the young one with the remote control car….. the dog had enough and took it out…. not really but it would have been nice. The reality was Dad saw what was going on and took the remote car away for a while. There are still parents who care.

  4. Too bad this day n age you may end up looking down barrel of a 44 if you tell other people’s kids what they should be doing to be safe

    • I agree, Jerry. I’m not lecturing, correcting, or admonishing any child’s behaviour in a campground, unless, perhaps, it is occuring directly in my site space.


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