There are few things more American than loading up your RV and setting out for a road trip.
This is why close to 8.9 million households in the United States have an RV.
But in order to have a great trip, it’s essential to conduct routine maintenance and to follow certain safety rules. Taking fire and safety precautions will keep your family safe. Of course, it will also allow them to have an awesome vacation.
Let’s take a closer look at five crucial safety rules for your RV.
Essential Equipment to Keep on Your RV
Keeping your RV stocked with the right equipment is an important fire and safety practice.
Before starting any trip with your RV, make sure that you have all of these items on your vehicle and in working order.
Every RV should be equipped with fire extinguishers. We recommend having one fire extinguisher in the bedroom, one in the kitchen, and one on the outside of the vehicle.
Fire extinguishers are only useful if everyone traveling in the RV knows how to use them. The National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) recommends using the pneumonic device PASS to remember how to use the fire extinguisher:
- Pull the pin with the nozzle aiming away from you
- Aim low
- Squeeze the lever
- Sweep from side to side
Also, remember that fire extinguishers have an expiration date. Make sure to check that yours aren’t about to expire before you leave.
Just like your home, your RV should be equipped with smoke detectors. Before you leave, test all your smoke detectors to make sure they’re working.
Also, because your RV is a vehicle, you should also have propane and carbon monoxide detectors. Keep in mind that the batteries in all detectors should be changed every six months. Bring extra batteries with you for backup.
In addition to keeping the proper equipment in your vehicle, it’s also important to follow safety protocols. Making sure that every passenger is familiar with these practices will prevent accidents.
Have an Escape Plan
By the time a fire has started in your RV, it’s too late to determine the best way to exit.
For this reason, it’s important to identify the best escape routes ahead of time. Make sure everyone knows these exits, and review them with your family frequently.
Also, keep in mind that you should have a backup plan.
This way, passengers will know how to exit if one route is blocked. Finally, make sure that all passengers know how to open the hatches on emergency exits and doors.
Use Precautions When Cooking
Whether you’re at home or in an RV, cooking can be a common source of fires. For this reason, it’s important to practice basic kitchen safety.
When you pull over at the campsite, never leave your cooking unattended. Keep paper towels and curtains away from the stove when it is in use. Also, do not leave appliances plugged in when they’re not in use.
If you decide to set up a barbecue or campfire outside of the RV, make sure it’s far enough away. It’s especially important to keep the campfire away from the propane tank.
Don’t Overload Electrical Outlets
Your RV likely has a limited number of electrical outlets.
Make sure that you never have too many appliances plugged in at one time. This is especially true if you have high-draw appliances like heaters.
To monitor your use of electricity, consider getting a wattage meter. This will show you how much current you’re drawing. It will also alert you when you’re close to overloading the outlet.
There are a few steps to take to prevent fires from starting while you’re out on the road.
First, you should make sure that both your propane tank and all appliances powered by propane are turned off. This is especially important when you stop to fuel up.
Each time you stop, take a look at all of your tires. Also, be careful where you stop to pull over. The exhaust pipe and catalytic converter on your vehicle could set fire to dry grass.
One of the most important fire and safety practices is to conduct regular maintenance on your RV. This will prevent small problems from becoming larger issues.
Keeping your brakes in working order is important, especially for long trips.
If your brake pads are worn down or dragging, it can create friction, which causes heat. This heat could ignite the rubber on your tires or your brake fluid.
Wires and Connections
When you’re driving your RV, wires and cords can get loose and bounce. This creates heat, which can lead to a fire.
Make sure to tighten up all connections before leaving. Also, check all of your 12-volt connections to make sure they’re in working order.
It’s important to take a look at all of your appliances before an RV trip, especially if your vehicle has been in storage for a while. Sometimes critters like to make nests in unused refrigerators or ovens, which can start a fire.
A tire blowout while driving can be a huge problem, especially if you have the propane on.
Make sure to check all tires before you leave, and to have your tires changed frequently.
Have a Certified Inspection
There is a lot of regular maintenance and fire and safety preparation that you can do on your own.
For propane system, however, you should have a certified LP technician inspect it to make sure it’s in working order.
A certified inspector will be able to identify leaks. For this reason, it’s a good idea to have the propane system recertified every couple of years.
Protecting Your RV with Fire and Safety Insurance
No matter how many precautions you take, the fact of the matter is that accidents happen.
To protect your RV in these situations, it’s important to purchase comprehensive insurance coverage.
If you’d like to get fire and safety insurance for your RV, contact us for a free quote. We’ll help you find the perfect policy to protect your vehicle.