The open road awaits. You are all hooked up and ready for the next adventure. As excited as you are, there is a small voice asking what you may have forgotten or overlooked. The last thing you want is a mishap that would bring your fun to an end. When it comes to RVing, safety is the #1 factor for having fun on the road. Below are 7 common mistakes that can ruin your RV trip!
1. Brake Failure and A Flipped Camper
When you are pulling a trailer or driving your RV, the brakes are crucial and you need to check them frequently. Brake failure can be a real nightmare and can cause your trailer to flip over. Before you head out on the road, make sure your brake controller is properly configured. If you’re unfamiliar, the brake controller is what turns on the trailer brakes when you activate the tow vehicle brakes. Be sure to check your brakes often throughout the trip, ideally any time before you actually get on the road.
2. Runaway Ride
You may not always get the top picks for parking and if you find yourself parking on an incline, there are risks to be aware of. Trailers will roll down hills and inclines. The momentum they build-up can cause damage should it hit anything along the way. To avoid this, make sure you put chocks on the wheels. Many think the brakes alone will keep the RV in place, but the weight and incline will get it rolling. So be prepared, and have chocks in the rig anytime you hit the road.
3. Towing Errors
Every trailer should come equipped with something called a breakaway cord or cable. It is a quick disconnect cord. One end of this is connected to a switch on the trailer brakes and the other end gets connected to your tow vehicle. Like most people, you probably connect the cable to the hitch receiver where the chains are attached but the receiver will render the breakaway cable useless. Instead of attaching to the hitch receiver, you should connect it directly to the truck somewhere. Be aware that it doesn’t take much force to pull the pinout, so be prepared to reinforce the point of connection to ensure the connection is secure.
4. Power Blowout
A power blowout at home is a nuisance, but on the road, it is a nightmare. A power surge can occur anywhere and can easily knock out your converter box, circuit board, and appliances like the refrigerator. This can be avoided by purchasing a surge protector for your RV or camper. The initial output for this will be much cheaper than paying for repairs and appliance replacements. Plus, you may end up having to find alternative accommodations that ruin the fun of being on the road.
5. Hitting Trees
This is not about avoiding tree trunks, but about the tops of trees with the top of your RV. Knowing your RV height clearance is another bit of intel that you need to keep in mind when hitting the road. Many RVs sit high, so when you put that kind of height together with an overhanging branch, you end up with a recipe for problems. Even if you are driving slowly, a heavy tree branch can do some real damage to the top of the RV. Avoid the repair expenses and be mindful of trees.
6. Keys Locked Inside the RV
It is not uncommon for people to lock their keys inside their cars, and the same is true for RVs. When traveling in an RV, leave at least one window open. Should you accidentally lock the keys inside his RV, you can get back inside through the open window.
7. Not Going Through A Departure Checklist Before Driving
You can get distracted by saying your goodbyes or forget important tasks to do before your departure. The best is to do a checklist of must-dos before hitching up. You can list things like closing the vents, windows, storage doors. Retract the stairs, jacks, antenna. Secure your cabinets, and make sure stuff won’t fall and break. Unhook your hoses and cables. Go through these steps each time you are about to leave.
Now that you know the top mistakes that can ruin your RV fun, you can travel prepared. Being wise on the road is the best way to have fun on the road.