10 RV Safety Checks to Do Regularly When Traveling
10 RV Safety Checks to Do Regularly When Traveling
From quick visual checks to important maintenance.
By: GoLife Staff
Whenever you hit the road in your RV, it is important to check your motorhome or travel trailer components to make sure you will get to your destination safely and without issue. If headed out for your first trip of the season, a long journey, or to a more remote area, it is even more important to know your rolling home is in good shape for travel.
Here is a helpful list of some checks to add to your travel routine and schedule to do regularly when RVing.
Note: Be sure to also check your RV's operator manual for detailed information on maintenance specific to your model. If you ever feel unsure or unsafe doing any tasks, you can schedule a service appointment or contact Winnebago's customer care team with questions.
1. Check Your Engine for Any Noticeable Issues
You don’t have to be a mechanic to notice when something looks wrong in your engine. A cracked belt or hose will stand out as well as any leaking fluids or residue. If you are looking at your engine often, it will be that much more apparent when something is not right.
2. Do a Visual Inspection of Tires & Check Pressure
With any vehicle-based travel, your tires are a critical component. It is good to get in the habit of visually inspecting your tires each time you get in your RV just to avoid any issues while on the road. Check the tire pressure regularly as well or invest in a tire pressure monitoring system which will alert you if there is an issue.
3. Make Sure Indicator Lights are Working
You don’t want to find out a brake light is out on the highway! Having a passenger or someone at an RV park make sure all of your lights are working as intended can save you from a future accident. Be sure to check your brake lights, turn signals, and hazards.
4. Do a Weight Check
If you have never had your RV weighed or have made substantial changes or packed in a lot of gear since your last weigh-in, it is a good idea to get your RV weighed to check that it is within its limits.
Weigh stations will also usually give detailed information on your RV’s weight distribution which is another important component. If too much weight is in one area it can lead to dangerous driving conditions, so dispersing the weight is key.
5. Confirm that Towing Equipment is in Good Shape
Before hitting the road with a towable or tow car, inspect your towing gear for any issues. Make sure you aren’t missing any components and that there isn’t excessive wear. If it has been a while since you last hitched up, be sure to review towing basics and best practices for safely towing.
6. Check Alarms, Sensors, and Batteries
Do a test of your smoke, carbon monoxide, and propane gas alarms at the start of your RVing season to make sure they are working properly. Check that the back-up batteries are still well within their limit also. Check that your RV house batteries are in good shape, too.
7. Look for Signs of Leaks
If you get a big rainstorm, take that opportunity to check your RV for leaks. Pay close attention to the windows, slides, and doors. Look for any evidence of water getting in, such as stains or bubbles in paneling.
Even without rainy conditions, you can check your window seals for cracks and damage then repair as needed. Read more about maintenance checks here.
Don’t forget to change your water filter as needed also! Usually, those need to be changed every three to six months depending on what kind of brand and setup you have.
9. Check Propane Tanks & Generator
Many RVs use propane for cooking and heating, so it will be pretty obvious if you run out. However, keeping an eye on your levels can help avoid inconvenience and allow you to have plenty of time to plan for a fill up along your route. (Read more propane best practices and tips here.)
Unlike propane, your generator maintenance can be easy to forget about if you aren’t using it often. To make sure it is in good working condition for when you do need it, keep up with the maintenance plan outlined in your operator manual. Your local service center can handle the maintenance for you as well.
10. Review Your Emergency Plan
Does your family know what to do in case of a roadside breakdown, natural disaster, or medical emergency? No one ever wants to have to use their emergency plans, but having them in place and reviewing them regularly can help keep you safe while on the road.
Be sure to keep an eye on local weather patterns as you travel, have a plan for getting important medications on the road, and consider a roadside assistance plan so you know who to call if something happens and you get stuck on the side of the road.
Some RVers who travel more off-grid also invest in a satellite radio to make sure they can reach out for help no matter where they are. Recovery gear for getting un-stuck is also key for anyone going off the pavement.
Whatever your travel style, we hope you take the time to do these quick safety checks to make sure you and your RV get to where you are going safely!