Owning an RV is very exciting, especially because of the places you can visit without feeling like you’re always on the road. For most people, RVs are synonymous with road trips, and that’s why RVs are so popular with folks consumed with wanderlust and travel fever.
You’re not doing your RV any justice if you don’t take it for more than a couple of road trips. However, before you hit the road, you must make sure that everything, including RV safety, is in check.
Going on a road trip with an RV is more than just hopping on the RV and starting your journey. You must prepare adequately for the journey for it to be a rewarding and exciting experience. One thing that you can’t overlook is the safety of the driver and the RV occupants.
In this post, we’ll be looking at essential RV tips to keep in mind for your next RV road trip. That way, you’ll have a more thrilling and exciting experience without any safety hiccups on the way.
Start With the RV Safety Checklists
An RV road trip isn’t your usual trip where you’ll stay in a hotel or your relative’s home. An RV trip is more demanding in terms of preparation. That’s because you don’t have as much “pit stops” to reorganize yourself.
You’ll also note that an RV is larger than your conventional vehicle. That means it has more parts you have to keep in check. To help you keep track of everything, compile a comprehensive checklist that covers all aspects of your trip.
These checklists should include:-
- An RV supplies checklist
- An inventory checklist
- An onboard supplies checklist
- An RV kitchen checklist
- RV inspection checklist
Write the checklists a little earlier on before the actual journey. Doing so gives you the room to make any corrections and additions before you get on the road.
Also, make sure you look at the checklist periodically. You might have missed out on something important while compiling the checklist. If that’s the case, you can get the item or address the issue the next time you stop.
Check the Weather
Bad weather could not only ruin your road trip, but it could also be a safety hazard. Controlling the weather is beyond your means. However, with the weather forecast, you can prepare for bad weather adequately.
When the weather gets too feisty, you could always park your RV beside the road and pitch camp for a while. When the weather gets too bad, then you can postpone the trip altogether.
If you need information about the weather, you can check weather.com or NOAA. From these sites, you can find weather updates that will help you prepare for the journey ahead. Also, during heavy storms, avoid parking your RV near any power lines or trees to avoid them falling on your RV.
Carry an Emergency Kit
A road trip without an emergency kit could turn out very tragic. Even with all the necessary precautions, it doesn’t hurt to carry an emergency kit for your road trip. Note that an emergency kit isn’t a first aid kit, but a first aid kit is part of an emergency kit.
A proper emergency kit should contain the following:-
- A flashlight and batteries
- A pair of scissors and a utility knife
- Duct tape
- A notebook and a pen
- A first aid kit with latex gloves
- A reflective triangle
Maybe you can also carry a whistle, a flare, and insect repellant if you think it’s necessary. If you have kids around, make sure you carry some snacks and a few extra toys in the emergency kit.
Plan for RV Maintenance Before the Journey
Before your road trip, you must ensure your RV works like a well-oiled machine. It will be disastrous should your RV break down right in the middle of nowhere. To avoid such frustrating situations, make sure your schedule and RV maintenance before getting on the road.
Start by getting an oil change before proceeding to the rest of the vehicle. Make sure your mechanic checks the engine and other components of your RV. Also, inform your mechanic of your impending journey so they can tell you whether the RV is up to the task.
Before you leave, ensure you also have all your roadside accessories present and in working condition. These accessories include jumper cables, a spare wheel, and emergency fuel.
Check the Condition of Road Ahead
One smart move most RVers overlook is checking the condition of the road ahead. That means checking for more than just potholes and bumps. It means checking for heavy traffic, obstructions, or any construction work.
These instances may lead to delays, which will only leave you frustrated. Some roads may be too narrow for your RV, and you’ll be the cause of the delay. So, before you head out, have a look at the road ahead to ensure a smooth journey.
Steer clear from slippery roads since they are a huge safety hazard not just for you but also for the passengers on the road. It’s harder to control such a huge vehicle, and when it slips, it only spells disaster. You can check the current conditions of all roads in the country on the USDOT website.
In case you get into an accident that wasn’t your doing, then take note of all the crucial details. Next, call your car accident lawyer to follow up on the incident.
Mind the Electrical Load
An RV is a marvel of a machine with incredible versatility. The RV will allow you to use a few appliances and electrical devices, but don’t get too carried away. Not all appliances and electrical devices can run at the same time in your RV.
Your RV can only handle about thirty to fifty amps. Anything above the stipulated can be detrimental to your RV. Remember, overloaded wiring can lead to fires and compromise the safety of everyone on board. Make sure you know the amp ratings of all electrical devices on the RV to avoid an electrical overload.
Never Carry Excess Weight
An RV is a huge vehicle, but it also has weight limits that you shouldn’t carry beyond. Most people want to stuff everything they can into their RVs for distant road trips. Doing so is okay, just as long as you don’t surpass the RV’s weight limit.
Along the way, you’re likely to encounter plenty of stops and checkpoints. You’ll most likely weigh your RV on these stops. If you’re carrying excess weight, you’ll have to pay a fine, plus it will take a lot of time before you sort the entire issue out.
If you carry too much weight, the tires on your RV may blowout. If they don’t, you’ll just be putting excess weight on the axles and wearing out your tires. The excess weight also makes it harder to stop your vehicle in case of any emergencies.
Practice Defensive Driving
If you’re not used to driving an RV, then driving one for the first time might be very challenging. This could affect your defensive driving skills. For that reason, you might need to practice defensive driving for a bit before you get on the road.
If you’re not so confident about your RV driving skills, then it’s a good idea to practice first. Find an empty parking lot or a road with minimal traffic and practice your defensive driving.
Remember, you’re practicing defensive driving, not practicing stunts, or any outrageous maneuvers. So because you have an empty parking lot to yourself doesn’t mean you can do anything crazy. If you need a little help with your practice, you can call a driving instructor.
By the time you hit the road, you’ll already be acquainted with driving an RV. That means you can tell the blind spots, know the right braking distance, and negotiate corners with ease.
Plan Where You’ll Rest
If you’re in for a long journey, then you should probably plan for your rest spots. You can’t travel halfway across the country without taking a break. It’s a good idea to plan these rest stops before the journey so you can arrive on time.
In most states, you’ll have to reserve a parking space for your RV in an RV designated area. Such states don’t allow overnight parking of RVs in non-RV designated areas. That means you have to make an overnight reservation at an RV campsite.
A Safe Road Trip Is a Great Road Trip
With the above RV safety tips, you’re all set for an exciting and stress-free journey. All that’s left is packing up your stuff, fueling your best, and letting the journey begin. Don’t forget to take lots of pictures to enshrine your road trip memories forever.
If you need something to keep you occupied throughout the journey, you can read a book or maybe watch a movie. However, if you want to do something productive, you can check out all the other informative pieces on the site.