RV Safety Checks

7 RV Safety Checks to Perform Regularly

You may already have a thorough RV checklist that you follow before you take your RV out on the road each season. But don’t forget to do the more basic safety checks periodically when your RV is getting regular use. Sometimes it’s the more basic safety checks that can get the most overlooked.

1. Test Detectors

It’s incredibly important to test your smoke, liquefied petroleum gas and carbon monoxide detectors prior to using or putting away your RV for the season. Depending on the age of your RV, your detectors may need maintenance or replacing.

Smoke Detectors

A good rule of thumb for your smoke detectors is to replace the batteries when you change your clocks for daylight saving time. The smoke detector should be mounted on the ceiling in the sleeping area. You should also be pressing the test button weekly and before each trip. Your smoke detectors should be replaced every 10 years.

Co2 Detectors

Carbon monoxide is odorless, invisible and incredibly dangerous. The best way to prevent it is to have a working, high-quality CO2 detector, such as an Atwood Carbon Monoxide Detector, on the ceiling near your sleeping area and away from ceiling vents. You should also check that your RV is not parked too close to a snow bank or heavy vegetation. While you're at it, be sure to inspect the structure of your RV for leaks, especially underneath and around the generator. Test your CO2 detector weekly and before every trip. CO2 detectors should be replaced every five years. Boat & RV Accessories sells a wide variety of detectors for your RV, like the Atwood 32703.

LP Detectors

Liquefied petroleum gas is very simply liquid gas under pressure, with vapor at the top of the canister. If leaked into your RV, the gas can make you extremely sick and is also highly explosive. LP gas tends to gravitate toward the floor, so a detector, like the Atwood LP Gas Detector, should be mounted about 18 inches from the floor near the sleeping area. These detectors are hard-wired into your 12-volt system running off the battery bank. Your LP detector should be tested weekly and replaced every five years.

2. Check Camper Jacks

Make sure your camper jacks are still sturdy by testing and retracting them. Look for bent, bowed or broken jacks. Know that the jacks on their own cannot hold the weight of your RV and are for stabilization only. When in use, all four camper jacks should be down and the winch should be powered up. In the market for new jacks? Check out the full offering of Atwood camper jacks available from Boat & RV Accessories.

3. Inspect Brakes

It’s extremely important to your safety and everyone else’s that you keep your RV braking systems maintained. You should also ensure that your wheel bearings are lubricated throughout the summer. And before each trip, you should always check your air brakes, parking brake and tow brakes.

4. Check Towing Connection

Physical Towing Connection

One of the most important safety checks you can do prior to a trip is to check your RV connection. It’s vital that you have properly working and installed RV towing equipment to connect your tow vehicle to your travel trailer. If you don't do regular checks, you’re putting the lives of you, your passengers and everyone else on the road in jeopardy. Complete the following to make sure your connection is sound:

  1. Check that the pin securing the ball mount to the receiver is intact.
  2. Secure the hitch coupler.
  3. Make sure the spring bar hinges are tight with the safety clips in place.
  4. Check that the safety chains are properly attached.

Electrical Towing Connection

The electrical connection from your RV to your tow-vehicle is also extremely important. It’s what transmits your electrical signal from your tow vehicle to your RV, allowing it to turn on your RV’s brake lights and turn signals. The connection also allows your tow vehicle to charge your RV’s battery while on the road. Before any trip, you should verify that your electrical connection is working properly by checking for the following:

  1. Proper installation of electrical plug
  2. Good brake activation
  3. A fully charged battery
  4. Good-working lighting (this includes brake lights, turn signal lights and running lights)

5. Examine Tires

When you’re going on a trip, the last thing you want to deal with is a blowout. Tire blowouts normally occur for one of three reasons: worn tread, an overloaded vehicle or improper inflation. Follow the following safety checks to keep you, your vehicle and everyone on the road safe:

  • Make sure your tire pressure is at your vehicle’s suggested level. You should be checking your tire pressure at least once a month and always before a trip.
  • Check the tread of your tires to see if it’s time for replacements.
  • If your tire is punctured by a nail or screw, don’t simply plug it from the outside. Have the tire dismounted and repaired from the inside.
  • Check and tighten your wheels’ lug nuts.
  • Cover your tires when not in use.
  • Replace RV tires after seven years, even if there’s no tread wear.

6. Clean and Check Seals and Seams

All seals and seams should be thoroughly checked prior to a trip. It’s vital that you clean your slide-outs on a regular basis to avoid dirt buildup in and around the seals. Make sure to lubricate the slider mechanisms to assure that they run in and out without creating wear and tear on the motors.

For your window seals, use a lubricant around the rubber to keep them fresh and pliable – creating a good seal. This also allows for easy movement for your windows to move up and down or side to side. Are your windows beginning to catch? It could mean that the felt that they slide on is beginning to tear and requires replacing. Making sure your windows are in good working order is extremely important in the case of a fire or emergency when you need to vacate your RV quickly.

7. Test Out Lights

When driving an oversized vehicle like an RV, it’s extremely important that your headlights, brake lights and turn signal lights are in good working order. Always check your lights before hitting the road to ensure everyone is safe and can easily see your RV.

Let Us Help

Boat & RV Accessories has all the RV safety and storage equipment you need to keep your RV in tip-top condition. Browse our full selection of RV appliances and accessories, including Atwood parts. Have a question or need more information? Reach out to us today!

Contact Us Today

Camping tips