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RVing safety: Everything you should know about taking safety precautions when you travel

RVing safety has taken on new meaning in the past few years. The COVID-19 crisis sensitized all of us to the importance of staying safe. We’ve dutifully worn masks, taken hand-washing to a whole new level, and some of us have even used our RVs as a sure way to keep a safe distance from others.

Hopefully, COVID won’t be with us forever. We’ll still wash hands and in some instances perhaps wear masks. But these health precautions aside, there remain several things to consider in order to stay safe while RVing. Let’s take a quick look at some RVing safety tips.

Health safety

  • As you make reservations or plan your overnight stays, consider how far your camp will be from the nearest ambulance services, emergency services, or hospitals. This is especially important if you have certain medical issues (e.g., heart problems) or specific medical needs (e.g., oxygen).
  • You’ll want to be sure and pack all medications and any extra necessary medical equipment, too (e.g., a CPAP machine).
  • Test your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide sensors. Make sure all fire extinguishers and emergency window escapes are in working order, too.
  • When you arrive at camp, make a habit of noting the camp name and address along with your RV lot number. Post it inside your RV in the same place each time you stop. That way, if a health emergency happens during the night you’ll be able to give EMTs your exact location and perhaps save precious time.

Road safety

  • Check tire pressure and tire condition on the RV and truck before you start out. Ask a trusted mechanic to look over your diesel pusher or truck’s engine. He might spot a weak hose or other concern. Better to fix it at home than to call a tow truck later.
  • Getting to your destination safely is the whole point of RVing in the first place. Most of us check weather forecasts for the days we plan to travel. If the weather looks iffy, postpone your trip for a day or two. It’s not worth an accident!
  • Be prepared for the unexpected. Bring along road safety equipment like warning cones, flashlights, flares, rain poncho, necessary tools (e.g., for tire changes), sunscreen, sunglasses, and anything else you may need. It’s better to have it and not use it, than to need it and not have it along.

RV camp security

  • So you’ve finally arrived at the campsite. Now you can relax. Not so fast! While most RVers are law-abiding, you still need to exercise caution. Follow your instincts. If you feel uncomfortable, move on, if you can.
  • Keep your RV exit doors, tow vehicle, and truck locked. You may have heard that most RVs share at least one key. Consider getting an RV security lock.
  • You don’t want to irritate neighbors, but if you feel the need, keep an outside light on at night.
  • Always check in with someone “back home.” Let them know where you are camped, how long you plan to stay, and how they can best reach you (phone, camp manager, email, etc.) just in case.

Animal safety

  • Always keep your pets secured with you when you camp.
  • Be aware of any wild animals that may be living in the areas you visit. Do not approach them, even for the “best photo ever!”
  • During the day, safely store food inside your RV, truck, or cooler. At night, always put all foods inside a locked vehicle or inside a bear box (if provided by the camp).

Nature safety

  • Avoid parking under trees where branches may fall during a storm.
  • Remember that tall grass can harbor insects and rodents. Maybe take along that weed whacker?
  • Do not park at the bottom of a hill, especially if heavy rain is predicted. Never drive through water that covers the roadway.
  • Be aware of weather advisories. Use your weather radio. If you don’t have one, get one!
  • Ask the camp manager about shelters to use in case of a weather emergency. (Many campgrounds in the Midwest feature tornado shelters.)

Insect safety

  • Remember that some areas of the country have poisonous spiders, ticks, and other creatures. Before you leave home, do a little online research. Learn what the poisonous critters look like.
  • Pack some insect spray. Make a habit of using it each time you are outside.
  • If you have bee allergies make sure to bring along EpiPens or other allergen aid.

Can you stay safe when RVing? Yes! Just educate yourself, take a few precautions, and then enjoy your trip!

Related:

Every RVer should keep this emergency safety item handy at all times

##RVDT1769

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Don B
12 days ago

Another item that might help. Make up some cards with blank spaces on them with your name and emergency contacts printed on them. Also your RV specs. In the blank spaces fill out your campground name and space number. Carry a current one as you are out and about. This will help emergency personnel locate your rig and or possibly saving a furry member of your family in the event of an accident or medical emergency.

Montgomery D Bonner
12 days ago

Bad people exist, some of them are bad RV’ers. Have several different personal protection devices in RV. Your choice on what they are. Bear Spray is one people swear about, personally I don’t want the mess. A taser type item or long probe like cattle prod. Guns are your own responsibility, but if so, get training and safety classes, the projectile is a permanent force. It/can/will change your life. I personally have several different things, and we always lock both locks/outside compartments/toad out or inside. Believe this is especially important if boondocking regardless of location.

David J
13 days ago

I don’t understand the bullet about bringing a Weedwhacker. Remember, we are the ones visiting the habitat of rodents, insects, and other wild things, not the other way around!

Ran
13 days ago

I disagree with the leaving the outside light on! Many parks are dark parks, and also leaving the blinding light on does not increase safety, it merely disturbs your neighbors!. Kindly respect neighbors, turn lights off when you retire inside! Thank You!

Sara
13 days ago
Reply to  Ran

Agree!

tom
13 days ago
Reply to  Ran

I installed a new outside light that has a sensor so when you approach the door, it turns on for enough time to see the step and the door lock. Turns off and resets. Still dark when off. I’m also “testing” a rear solar lamp with similar automation. nice to see where you are putting your feet.

Bob
13 days ago

Two remarks about the article. Says to keep your pets safe when camping. It is also VERY important to keep them safe while traveling. I have seen numerous times that a small dog or cat is either on the dash or sitting on the drivers lap while driving.
As far as taking a weed whacker, state and federal parks, and most private campgrounds, prohibit cutting any vegetation. If there are dangerous situations, dead branches or low hanging limbs, contact the office.
This is not your property and you must respect the rules.

Sara
13 days ago
Reply to  Bob

Agreed