Just how popular have RV’s become? According to the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA), there are at least 8.9 million Americans who own recreational vehicles like.
Of course, RVs are still vehicles and, therefore, proper safety precautions must be observed to prevent mishaps on the road. To keep you and your family safe, RV owners should take heed of some simple tips.
Remember the 20 Percent Rule
If you’ve only driven cars before, you’re used to the feel of braking the vehicle. However, RVs use an air brake rather than a hydraulic one, which is why there is a slight delay when applying the brakes. You’ll notice that a fully loaded rig will halt slower than traditional cars. This is why veteran RV owners remind neophytes of the 20% rule—add 20% to everything you do on the road, from the distance you maintain between the next vehicle to how early you hit the brakes.
Have a Pilot’s Mindset
An experienced aircraft pilot will never fly without performing a laundry list of safety checks, and RV drivers should adopt the same mindset. It really helps to print out an actual safety checklist to make your pre-trip preparations go faster. Some of the steps you might want to include are: making sure bays doors are locked; checking your tow bar and safety cables; checking your oil, transmission, and coolant levels; and checking the brakes.
Prepare Against Fires
You’ll be doing a lot of cooking inside your mobile home, so be sure to protect yourself against fires. Be sure to always turn off the stove when it’s not in use, and make sure that your propane tank is in good working condition.
Like any home, your RV should also have a smoke detector (and change its battery yearly!), as well as a fire extinguisher just in case. Lastly, make sure you and your family have an exit strategy should a fire indeed break out.
Don’t Ignore Problems
All RVs are subject to everyday wear and tear. Don’t delay and take your RV in for a servicing immediately once you start hearing weird noises or if parts start acting up. This way, you can catch minor problems before they become a major issue or even cause an accident.
Owning an RV is one of life’s greatest pleasures. By being aware of these simple safety precautions, you can enjoy more peace of mind during your journeys. Here’s to more safe and enjoyable travels!
Ten Tips for RV Safety, NationalGeneral.com
RV Safety Tips, Jurnii.com