Make sure you have a great trip by following these safety tips!
As you know many products on your RV have a maintenance or replacement schedule dependent on miles or time. This safe tip pertains to your Safety Alarms, which include Propane, Carbon Monoxide and Smoke alarms. Unlike other electronic devices used in RVs such as TVs, radios, and personal computers, safety alarms work around the clock. They help protect you all day, every day while you are RVing. And just like other appliances, safety alarms need to be replaced with models featuring the latest innovations. Here are some more great tips for safe trips!
Practice safety when using your RV generator to reduce the risk of CO poisoning:
- Inspect your RV’s chassis and generator exhaust system before each outing and after bottoming out or after any other incident that could cause damage.
- Inspect your RV for openings in the floor or sidewalls. If you locate a hole, seal it with a silicone adhesive or have it repaired before using your generator again.
- Do not operate your generator if the exhaust system is damaged in any way or if an unusual noise is present.
- Park your RV so that the exhaust may easily dissipate away from the vehicle. Do not park next to high grass or weeds, snow banks, buildings, or other obstructions that might prevent exhaust gases from dissipating.
- If you don’t feel well and you’re not sure why, shut off the generator and step outside for some fresh air just to be sure.
Weight Distribution of a Load:
Proper weight distribution and load management enhances safe travel and should be considered when purchasing your new RV. EVERYTHING you put in the RV has weight. The average couple carries approximately 2,000 pounds of “stuff”, while the average full-time couple carries an average of 3,000 pounds.
Think T.R.I.P. :
T – Test and inspect CO,LPG and smoke alarms when your RV is taken out of storage.
R – Replace all CO and LPG alarms over 5 years old and smoke alarms over 10 years old.
I – Install only UL-RV listed alarms when you replace or add alarms to your RV.
P – Prevent accidents by teaching family and friends about the operation of alarms. NEVER ignore a sounding alarm.
Backing up with a Towed Vehicle:
You’ve had a great day on the road. The traffic was light, the scenery was beautiful and your companions, delightful. Then it happens–you make a wrong turn and have to back up with that towed vehicle attached. There are numerous back up aids available, from backup warning devices to elaborate rear observation systems. Just find the one that works for you, then follow the tips below:
- Your hand should be positioned at the bottom of the steering wheel. Using slight movements, simply move your hand left to move left and move your hand right to move right.
- Back up slowly and if you have difficulty, pull forward and realign the tow vehicle and trailer and start again.
- Always apply the parking brake first and shift into Park before removing your foot from the brake pedal. This will keep your vehicle from being locked in park because of the extra load on the transmission. (Manual transmissions: apply the parking brake, then turn the ignition off in either first or reverse gear.)
M.S. from Heisler, Alberta adds these great tips:
- Always have the mirrors adjusted so you can see the ground, wheels, and as much of the vertical of trailer as possible.
- Also, if you’re new to backing up, practice in a large parking lot. Watch for the line the trailer tires make as turning, so to learn how much to turn wheel and how the trailer will react.
Emptying the Tanks:
Wait until your tank is at least 2/3 full before dumping. This ensures there is enough water in the tank to flush the solids from the tank. When it’s time to dump, empty the black water (commode) tank first followed by the grey water (galley, shower, sink) tank.
Check out these great holding tank rinsers!
Take a Deep Breath:
The air we breathe is not only affected by outside pollutants but also contaminants within our homes such as smoke and by-products from the things that make up our lifestyle. Following the guidelines below can help you eliminate some of the bad things in your air:
- Use detectors to measure levels of LP gas and carbon monoxide – buy some here if you don’t already own them.
- Vacuum often. Vacuum cleaner systems are particularly effective in removing and containing contaminants.
- Eliminate any other sources of pollutants such as smoking inside the RV.
Ventilate: Another way to lower the concentrations of indoor air pollutants is to increase the amount of outdoor air coming indoors.
- Open windows and doors when stopped.
- Use a roof ventilation system to funnel fresh air to the entire area.
- Holding tank vent caps remove contaminants directly from the source.
Sanitize: Hundreds of air cleaners using a myriad of technologies are available to clean your air. Take your pick and you’re well on your way to cleaner air.
- Pick the air cleaner that fits your lifestyle and living space – check out these air cleaners and air fresheners.
- Use and maintain it according to manufacturer’s directions.
- In a study by NASA, houseplants, especially spider plants, were found to be effective in cleaning and renewing air. So bring along your greenery when you hit the road!
Installing a Fifth Wheel:
Installing a fifth wheel premium tailgate increases rear visibility, improves fuel economy, and makes trailer hook-up easier. With Custom Flow Fifth Wheel Premium tailgates, there is no assembly and installation takes less than 15 minutes! Here are two tips to help you get a great fit when installing:
- Loosen the bolts on the hinge/swivel brackets on the bottom sides of the tailgate with a 9/16″ wrench. Install tailgate onto the truck. Center tailgate on the truck. Finally, re-tighten the bolts on the hinge/swivel brackets on the bottom sides of the tailgate.
- If the OEM rotary style brackets are slightly off-line with the trucks striker posts, try adjusting the truck’s striker posts with a tork wrench.
Stay Medication Safe:
Carry all medications (even over-the-counter medications) in their original container in order to retain the warning labels. Many medications interact with each other and not knowing what they are may prove deadly. Adapted from “The Everything Family Guide to RV Travel & Campgrounds” by Marian Eure.
Getting your RV level as is possible is very important. Your refrigerator will run more efficiently, your waste water tanks will empty more fully and your doors will close properly. Adapted from “The Everything Family Guide to RV Travel & Campgrounds” by Marian Eure. Check out these:
Cleaner RV Entranceways:
Use lightweight outdoor carpeting for your entranceway or some other lightweight material that can be hosed off and dries quickly. Household carpet is very heavy, especially when wet, and it does not dry quickly. Adapted from “The Everything Family Guide to RV Travel & Campgrounds” by Marian Eure.Check out these Patio Mats, Rugs and Accessories
Fresh Air Solutions:
Have you ever gone back to your RV and it still smells like your last excursion? HMMMM, is that smell smoke, pet odor or the barbequed ribs we had last week? Or is it just that unidentifiable stale odor that we all put up with? Sometimes even noxious odors that we may or may not smell accumulate. But before we can settle down, we quickly open the vents and the windows to “air” our unit out, all the time grumbling and wishing there was a way to provide adequate ventilation while we were away. Check out these Air Fresheners and Odor Eliminators
One of the most innovative solutions is the development of roof mounted vent covers, fan ventilators and louvered window vents. They allow the RV owner to leave his roof vents and windows open, while shielding the interior from the weather, leaves and branches. Adequately and continuously ventilating the RV while in storage eliminates heat and odor build-up and helps prevent mildew damage! As we all know a continuous source of ventilation is beneficial for us while we’re in our RV’s and of great value when we’re away. It simply solves the need for fresh air – rain or shine. Check out these Vent Covers
Tips for an odor-free holding tank:
- Keep your tank clean: Your holding tank should be emptied and flushed with clean water and occasionally a mild detergent. Use a wand on your hose and flush your tank removing all residues to ensure your probes are working properly. Check seals for cracking. Check out these Holding Tank Rinsers and Tank Wands.
- Use precise measurements: Don’t flush your money down the toilet. If you use a concentrated chemical, you don’t pay for water. 4 oz in a 40-gallon holding tank is all the chemical you should need. If you are using a product that requires more than that, you are paying for water. Check out these Holding Tank Chemicals.
- Plan ahead: After dumping the waste immediately place water back into your holding tank and add your chemical. You never want to use your tank without having about 1 gallon of water in it to help the natural composting. Check out these Sewer Hoses.
- Never let waste set in your hose: When draining your hose, make sure the waste is completely out of your hose and then rinse with fresh water.
Tips for maintaining your drinking water supply:
- Always use a water supply hose clearly labeled as “drinking water safe”.
- Make sure that you use your potable water supply hose for potable water ONLY. DO NOT USE DRINKING WATER HOSE FOR DRAINING HOLDING TANKS.
- Before connecting your water supply hose to camper, flush with water for several minutes.
- Drain hose completely after unhooking and before placing into storage.
- After draining hose and before storing, either cap off ends or connect opposite ends of hose to keep inside of hose clean.
- Replace water supply hose on a regular basis.
- Check out these fresh water accessories:
An RV takes tailgating to a whole new level. There’s no need to worry about the ice in your cooler melting or finding a place to heat up your snacks. You’ll have a roof over your head in rain or shine, and you’ll never again stand in line to use a public restroom! Here’s some tips from www.gorving.com to help you create the best tailgate party ever.
How to use a Fire Extinguisher:
Remember the word PASS!
P ull the pin,or press a puncture lever or release a lock latch.
A im low – toward the base of the fire.
S queeze the handle to release the content.
S weep the nozzle from side to side.
Source: National Fire Protection Association. Check out these Fire Suppressants.
Traveling with Children:
Judy Baldoni says that when traveling with children and/or adults, my husband and I play the game of keeping a list of how many fifth wheels, travel trailers and motor homes we see. Also keep a list of how many different states we see on the highway on cars and trucks and trailers. Also how many Ford, GMC/Chevy, or Dodge trucks we see pulling trailers or fifth wheels. Hope this helps on the long highways we travel on our way to campsites.
Make Traveling with Children Fun! Check out these:
Traveling with Your Pets:
Here’s a few things to help you keep your pet safe while traveling.
- Keep your dogs and cats on a leash.
- Don’t leave your dogs and cats by themselves unless they are locked inside your RV and have already been taken out for their walk. You would be surprised how many dogs and cats disappear because their owners leave them chained to a tree.
- Attach a trip-specific tag to your dog or cat’s collar. List the name and phone number of your destination, using a separate tag for each leg of your trip. Remember to change the tags as you move on, or make one tag with the name and number of someone who knows your itinerary and knows how to reach you.
- Check out these Pet Supplies.
Refrigerator Burner Service and Maintenance is a MUST:
Poor performance of the burner adversely affects the refrigerator’s cooling in the LP-gas mode. The need for service can be established by visually checking the burner performance. Problematic ignition, weak, yellow, or distorted flame pattern, or regular flame-out, usually indicate it needs servicing.
The burner assembly must be removed from the burner box for service. It should never be cleaned in place using compressed air. Once apart, the orifice can be cleaned or replaced and the burner tube and burner box can be thoroughly checked and cleaned. The electrode air gap must be reset after the burner assembly has been reinstalled. The LP-gas connection at the burner must be leak tested before placing the refrigerator in service.
Service, maintenance, and/or repairs to the refrigerators’ LP-gas components, including the burner assembly, must be performed by an authorized service center.
LP Gas and Safety:
With all the changes that have taken place in RV Propane system connections over the last five years, it’s important to understand the new safety features and how they work together to afford maximum protection and convenience. One of the biggest safety improvements of the new Type1, ACME connection is its ability to shut off the gas flow in a fire situation. Working together, the thermo sensitive bushing on the female ACME nut melts away at temperatures of 240-300 degrees F which allows a spring-loaded module inside the ACME cylinder valve to push back the internal connecting parts into a shut off position. All the new O.P.D. cylinders have ACME valves so all you need to assure the new fire protection is to install new ACME pigtails on your RV’s system.
For convenience, ACME threaded components offer smooth, right hand, wrench-less connections that are safe, quick and easy. The new “Extend-A-Flow Plus” kit and “Plus” Fitting feature ACME end fittings for making it safe, quick and easy to hook up high pressure, portable appliances like stoves, grills, and lanterns to the RVs with those new ACME pigtails. You’ll love the safety and convenience these products bring to your camping experience. Check out these LP Gas Accessories.
Tips for maintaining your tires:
To get optimum performance and life out of your tires, follow these tips:
- Inspect all wheels and tires regularly for wear and tightness. Look for signs of rust, indicating loose wheels.
- Inflate tires to the exact manufacturer’s recommended pressure based on weight of vehicle. Check out these Tire Inflators and Tire Pressure Gauges and Valve Extenders
- Keep tires clean. Dirt on tires can act as an abrasive. Regular washing with a mild soap, water and soft brush can remove dirt, as well as ozone.Check out these Tire Cleaners
- Sun and the ozone can cause damage to your tires during periods of non-use. Use tire covers to keep the tires completely covered. Check out these Wildlife Tire Covers
- If tires are worn, replace them. Select tires that provide adequate traction on the drive axles, and adequate tread of the steer axles. Check out these New Tires
Tips on brakes:
- Good brakes are important. An upgrade to high performance brakes or adding a supplemental braking system to your tow vehicle will reduce your stopping distance and brake fade.
- Remember your vehicle size and know your motor home’s gross combination weight rating (GCWR). Always allow yourself plenty of time to brake and when changing lanes.
- When inspecting all brake system components, check for broken or cracked brake lines, and rusted or loose hose hangers. With hydraulic systems, look for evidence of leakage. In air systems, listen for air leaks.
RV Steering Safety:
Many things effect your safety on the road in relation to the steering components of your RV. Often, the steering components and the front end of an RV are given little consideration when it comes to your personal safety and the safety of others on the road. Use these tips to help maintain a “healthy” steering system.
Steering controls will also increase your safety factor by reducing driver fatigue and helping you maintain control in side winds, tire blowouts, dropping off the pavement, and while passing trucks.
Check out these Steering Controls and Steering Stabilizers.
What You Need to Know Before You Buy a Weight Distributing Hitch:
- What is the weight of my trailer – is my tow vehicle rated for towing my trailer?
- What weight distributing hitch class do I need?
- How difficult/easy is it to hook-up and un-hook?
- Does it have torsion bars that need to be set each time I tow?
- Is it pre-set so I can just hook-up and go?
- Can I install it myself, or do I need a professional installer?
- How do I adjust it to the height of my tow vehicle?
- Does it control both the upward and downward forces on my trailer/tow vehicle?
- Is a sway control option available? Check out these Sway Controls
- What type of warranty is available?
- What type of service does the manufacturer/dealer provide after the sale?
Check out these Weight Distributing Hitches.