Avoid an RV “power drag” with a checklist

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By Jim Twamley
It is said that a good journalist always has four things with him: pencil and pad, a camera, and his wits. Fortunately I had at least one of these with me when I happened across an RVer who was experiencing a power drag – a power cord drag, that is. This man was an experienced RVer – so no laughing, lest it happens to you.

I was able to stop him before he got out of the RV park, but it looks like he dragged the cord quite a ways since he was nearly to the gate. While power cords are pretty tough and withstand quite a bit of abuse, you can’t drag them very far before they get mangled.

drag-736Our friend obviously didn’t use a checklist or do a final walk-around. I used to use a checklist when I was flying aircraft in the Air Force. You can’t just pull over to the side of the road while flying – so it is important to make sure everything is in proper working order before takeoff.

Fortunately, as RVers we can pull off the road and take care of most problems without much fuss. We know we need to pull over when we see people driving by waving frantically, flashing their lights and honking their horn at us. Hopefully this is not a normal occurrence for you.

If you don’t use a checklist, at least do a walk-around before you leave. A simple walk-around includes (at a minimum) looking at all the storage compartments to ensure they are secured, looking at the roof to ensure the vents are closed and the TV antenna is down, a look at the tires, a look at all the connection possibilities (water, sewer, satellite, power, phone), and finally a look around the site to make sure you didn’t leave anything behind. If this RVer (more than likely in a pull-through space since he was towing a vehicle) would have done a good walk-around, he would have discovered that his electric cord was still plugged in before he climbed in the motorhome and taken off.

Bottom line, do a walk-around as a final precaution before climbing into the cab and starting your engine. Be safe out there!

##RVDT1276

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Vanessa Simmons

Apparently there was an incident in our RV park earlier this week where someone got drunk and drove their RV to the entrance with slides out, hoses and cords dragging. Fortunately he didn’t take out any vehicles or RVs on his way out.

Mel

While staying in a county park in Wisconsin, I needed to move the motor home to dump the tanks. I disconnected everything, put the jacks up and slides in but failed to unplug. Didn’t find my error until wife started waving her arms and yelling at me. I had done a walk around but decided to wait and unplug until the last minute and then quickly forgot.

Drew

One time I left with the shore cord plugged in, the cable tv connected, water hose hooked up (with filter), plus the sewer hose still stuck in the ground….man, THAT was a surprise!!

Ken C

I do a walk around while the wife checks the inside, then she does a walk around while I check the inside. One of us will often find something missed. No one gets blamed for forgetting anything this way as we are both responsible for both areas.

Donald N Wright

I just had the cord between the truck and the trailer replaced. too much slack, snagged railroad tracks.

Jeff

Don’t Forget to “LOOK UP” Walk far enough back that you can see the TOP of your Roof! Making sure any open vents and or your CRANK UP Antenna are in the Down or Closed position!

I have seen many RVers drive off with Antennas and Roof Vents Open!

OH Well, keeps the RV Parts people in business!

Wayne Caldwell

My wife and I each have a checklist. Hers for the inside and mine for the outside. When we’re finished, we switch. And then do one more walk around before getting into the truck.

Dr. Willie Live

Been there, done that. Now I walk around check all the basement doors are all closed. Shore power cord plug into generator, spare tire tight. Get in and take the keys off of the tv antenna crank. Walk around done. Start the beast.