Tire problems make up the largest number of RV incidents. Tire blowouts can be the result of an overloaded RV, tires that are not properly inflated, excessively worn tread, and sometimes from extreme weather, especially heat. To have the best chance of not facing a blown tire:
- Frequently check pressure; the best time to do so is when the tires are cold.
- Don’t let air out of hot tires; when they cool down they could end up under-inflated.
- Know the weight limit for the RV you are using and be sure not to overpack it with all of the things you want to bring on your adventure.
- Don’t use an RV with a tank painted a dark color.
- Make sure the oven and stove burners are completely shut off when not in use.
- Make sure the engine and all items that use the propane tank are shut off when fueling the RV.
- Know where the the propane gas detector is.
- While driving make sure the refrigerator is not running on the propane setting.
- Checking all awnings, steps, and jacks
- Disconnecting all hookups: power, sewer, water
- Walk around the RV a couple times to make sure everything is retracted, unplugged, and there are no obstacles in the way.
- Check the tire pressure and treads
- Make sure the oven and stove burners are off
- Check under the RV for any leaks
- Check coolant, oil, and transmission fluid levels
- Double check safety lines and tow bars
- Check all brakes
- Check for propane leaks and make sure smoke and propane leak detectors are working
- Close and latch all doors including cargo areas
Propane is a flammable and hazardous material; always make sure you are safely operating and using your propane and appliances powered by propane.
It is not uncommon to forget about the height of an RV. The most common structures that people jam into include gas station overhangs and bridges. Help remind yourself that you are driving or towing a large and tall vehicle with a reminder written on a note stuck to the dashboard of your height restriction. Make sure your are aware of the added height of any antennas and other rooftop attachments as well.
There are many things we can forget to do when packing up to take off after an RV vacation. It is easy to just want to get home or to your next destination and accidentally leave the stairs down or the awnings unrolled. There is quite a checklist of securing things before you hit the road and many more than these have been forgotten when hitting the gas.
The best way to avoid RV mishaps is to be proactive in knowledge of possible scenarios and safety measures.