10 RV safety tips you should follow

According to the RV Industry Association, nearly 10 million households in America own an RV. If you are hitting the open road in an RV for a summer adventure, keep these safety tips in mind. 

Check the detectors and alarms. 

Check your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors before each trip, and replace batteries in each alarm annually. 

Take precautions. 

Turn off space heaters and lanterns before you go to bed to help prevent fires. Always keep a fire extinguisher onboard for emergencies. 

Make a fire escape plan. 

Just like you should plan for at home, make sure everyone that is staying in the RV knows multiple ways to get out in case of a fire. Make sure all doors and windows are easy to open and communicate your fire escape plan before heading out. 

Service the RV regularly. 

RVs have to be serviced regularly just like any other vehicle. Keep up on oil changes, tire rotations, and other regular maintenance. If you are heading out on a longer trip, have a qualified mechanic take a look at everything under the hood before taking off. 

Buckle up. 

Seat belt laws for RVs vary from state to state, but your safest bet is to stay buckled up during your trip. Most RVs have seat belts in the front seats, dinette, and living area. 

Check the tires. 

Check the tire pressure and monitor tread wear on your RV. Underinflated or worn tires can pose risks like tire blowouts, loss of traction, and hydroplaning. 

Read more: Maintain your tires for a safer, smoother ride

Deter thieves. 

RVs can be an easy target for thieves. Secure your windows and doors to prevent burglaries. If you are going to be away from the RV, keep valuables out of sight by pulling the shades so potential burglars can't see what is inside. 

Secure loose items. 

Make sure to secure all loose items before you get rolling. A loose item could cause damage or injure a passenger if the RV hits a bump or brakes suddenly and the item goes flying. 

Plan ahead. 

Although you may not want to think about it, you should plan for what to do if you break down or get in an accident. Keep emergency and roadside assistance numbers handy. 

Adjust your driving. 

Driving an RV is much different than driving a car. Stay aware of the size of the RV, especially when passing under bridges and overhangs. Use your turn signals a little earlier than you normally would to allow enough time to slow down, make a turn, or switch lanes. 

With these safety tips in mind, you're sure to have a wonderful RV adventure this summer.