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6 Most Common RV Mishaps – And How to Prevent Them

Whether using an RV for short getaways, seasonal snow-birding, or as a full time dwelling, accidents can happen. And with the size and weight of today’s RVs, those mishaps can be surprisingly common. Fortunately, with a bit of preparation, they can be avoided. With that in mind, here are 6 of the most common issues RV owners experience and how to prevent them:

1) Fires: While propane tanks are deemed safe for RV usage, accidents involving propane are the most potentially dangerous of all RV-related incidents. Be sure to have your tank checked regularly to be sure it is working properly and ensure there are no leaks. Never light burners while you are traveling and don’t refuel when the engine or appliances are running.

2) Blowouts: Recreational vehicles are uniquely predisposed to have tire issues. Long periods of time in the sun can deteriorate tires leading to blowouts. Additionally under-inflated tires and tires that are overloaded can also cause problems. Be sure to visually check your tires for brittleness, cracks or wear and check your tire pressure every day that you are traveling. It’s also important to check that your tires will support the weight of your vehicle.

3) Not Retracting Steps/Awnings: With so many things to keep in mind when setting out in an RV, it’s easy to forget to retract steps and awnings prior to operating the vehicle. The best way to prevent this from happening is to take a final lap around your vehicle, checking all sides and making sure that steps are retracted and the awning is properly secured and the roller tube lock mechanism is in the “retract” position.

4) Misjudging the RV’s Height: Damage to vehicles from overhangs and/or bridges is one of the most common ways damage occurs to RVs. It’s not unusual for owners to forget about the additional height of an RV while traveling. One way to avoid falling victim to that is by having vehicle’s height in posted in plain view of whoever is driving the vehicle so it’s there when you need it.

5) Backovers: Backing into or colliding with unseen objects is also a danger since, from the driver’s point of view in an RV, unseen items can lurk behind, and alongside the vehicle. When backing up, have someone outside the RV help guide the vehicle to avoid any obstructions.

6) Rollovers: When it comes to speed and handling, RVs are clearly much different than your average car. Not compensating for extra weight and bulk can contribute to collisions and/or rollovers. Be sure to follow the rule of 20 percent when driving: add 20 percent to the normal time it takes to merge and be sure to likewise increase following distance. When turning, be sure to slow down and ease into the turn to avoid having your living quarters, and it’s contents, landing on it’s side.

Of course, even the most careful drivers can experience mishaps, so it’s crucial to be sure your insurance covers every aspect of your RV trip, from personal belongings to road service coverage. To find out more about RV insurance, call the friendly professionals at Huntingdon Insurance Group at (215) 942-0616.