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How to Stay Safe in Your RV Camper

Updated on November 10, 2012
Ford Econoline photographed in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Ford Econoline photographed in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. | Source

Safety is an important issue while camping in your RV, or recreational vehicle. There are some things you need to be aware of. Here are some tips to help you and your family stay safe while using your RV.

One of the main sources of danger in an RV is fire. If you use basic common sense, you can usually prevent most fires. But, sometimes it is nice to be reminded of basic safety ideas.

Be sure all cigarettes are extinguished thoroughly. And, it is not safe to smoke while in bed in your RV camper, or anywhere it is possible you will fall asleep. The best way to make sure a lit cigarette will not start a fire is to keep them outside at all times. However, when smoking outside, you will need to be careful in areas with a high risk of forest fires.

Candles in an RV are another source of fire hazard. Be sure they are place where they will not be knocked over or catch something on fire. If you have the windows open and there is a breeze, the curtains can be blown over a candle flame and catch fire. If you are using the candles to keep your RV smelling fresh, try using incense or potpourri instead. It will be much safer.

If there are any appliances you use in your RV, be sure the cords are not worn or frayed. This will overload the electrical circuits and could start a fire. If the cord is warm to the touch, do not leave it plugged in. And, any appliances that use propane should be kept free of dust and debris that could burn. If you are using an outdoor grill, keep it well away from your RV. This includes any awnings or canopies.

If your RV is new, it should come with at least one smoke detector. If you bought it used, be sure there is one installed. If there is not one, or more, put one in yourself. They are inexpensive and use batteries. Be sure to change the batteries at the beginning of each camping season.

It might also be a good idea to have family fire drills at least once a year. Be sure everyone knows how to get out, especially if the door is not accessible. Most RV campers will have an escape window. Be sure everyone knows where it is and how to use it.

If you are camping in an area that is at high risk for forest fires, be sure to listen for any warnings in your area. That will be anywhere within 50 miles of your location. If you hear of any wildfire near you, it is best to pack up and move to another campground that is not in danger. Do not use any side roads or roads that are not used much. Fires can be unpredictable and change direction in just a second. Major roads are safer in these circumstances.

Be sure to know and follow the burn rules in your campground area. If you start a forest fire, you could be liable for large fines or even criminal charges. Keep track of any cigarettes and make sure they are put out completely.

There should also be a carbon monoxide detector in your RV camper. Most of the new vehicles will have one. But, if yours does not, be sure to install one. If you use any propane in your RV, this could save the life of you and your family. A gas sniffer will detect propane leaks in your RV. You might want to consider adding one of these devices, as well.

No matter how safe you feel in the RV park, you should always be aware of personal safety issues. Always lock your doors and windows when you are not close to your RV or when you are sleeping. Keep any cash on your person. Or you might consider installing a small safe that cannot be removed from your camper. If you have any valuables with you, be sure not to leave them in plain sight. Keep your curtains closed when you are away from your RV. You can also install an auto alarm system on your camper to deter potential thieves.

Camping can be a very enjoyable hobby. Traveling in an RV can be much cheaper than staying in a motel. Hopefully, these tips will help you stay safe and able to enjoy many more vacations in your RV camper.


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