Many RVing accidents occur because of simple neglect or carelessness. Forgetting to check one area of your RV could end up in a disaster, costing you thousands in repairs. To make all of your camping trips carefree and easy, make sure to do a safe check before leaving the driveway. Here are 3 distinct areas that need to be checked before hitting the road.
- Disconnect all power, TV, phone, water and sewer lines. Make sure all lines are rolled up and securely in their storage areas.
- Retract jacks, steps and awnings. If you have a slide-out, make sure it has slid back into the trailer and is secure.
- Make sure all storage and main doors are closed and latched or locked.
- Look under the rig for signs of any fluid leaks.
- Make sure smoke and propane leak detectors are working
- Double-check tow bar and safety cables
- Check your brake lights, tail lights and turn signals are working properly.
- Check to make sure your air brakes, parking brake and tow brakes are engaging properly.
Propane Check & Tips:
- Never paint your tanks a dark color. It will absorb the sun’s rays and can cause it to over heat and explode
- Don’t travel with the stove, oven or heater burners lit.
- Never refuel while any propane appliances or your engine is running.
- If you have an older propane tank, make sure it has an overfill protection device.
- Have tanks regularly checked by a certified dealer.
- Check oil, transmission and coolant levels
- Inspect tire inflation pressure and tread wear on your truck and trailer.
- Check all your brakes to make sure they are engaging properly and the lights are working.
- When driving, know your surroundings (weather, overhangs and ground hazards)
An Extra Safety Tip:
Practice S.A.F.E. Cornering – When pulling a trailer, fifth wheel or driving a motorhome, you have to compensate for the extra weight, height and length of the vehicle when taking corners. Use S.A.F.E. when turning corners with your RV (Provided by GMAC Insurance).
- Slowly approach the turn.
- Arc the turn, taking a wider turn. Watch your surroundings and the cars around you.
- Finish the turn completely. Don’t straighten the wheel until the back end has cleared the pivot point.
- Experience is key. The more you drive your RV or tow your trailer/fifth wheel, the more practice you will have – improving your RV towing skills.
**This information came from Camping the Hill Country Blog. Post “Know Before You Go!” by Don Goodson.