The RV lifestyle so effectively trumpeted in social media with curated photos of #freedom is drawing more and more Americans to take the “life on the road.” Not that everyone is quitting their jobs and donning on tie-dyed shirts, but many are starting to appreciate the possibility of taking a little time off from the raucous and mundanity of their 9 to 5, cubicle lives.
However, many also often forget that choosing this lifestyle is also choosing uncertainty. Uncertainty, to many people, is uncomfortable. It’s also a risk that can put you and your loved ones’ lives in danger. So even though uncertainty can be exhilarating and adrenaline-rushing, exercising caution and practicing safety habits on the road can go far in helping you enjoy the most out of your #vanlife.
So here are some RV safety tips you can integrate into your routine to keep yourselves well-adjusted to troubles along your trips.
It’s surprising how many RV owners actually get into accidents for forgetting the size of their vehicle. Know your clearance width and height. Just to be sure, write it in a post-it note and plaster it in your dashboard. This can save you a ton of trouble over tunnels and bridges.
A maintenance checklist should be kept and routinely executed to ensure a safe trip. Do this pre-trip and every time you get behind the wheel. Check the propane tank and don’t use it while traveling; do not refuel when the engine is running. Check lights and signals, the tires, check for presence of any towing equipment, make sure things are secured in place, and of course, see to it that all the doors are locked and latched once you travel or when you go to rest.
Weather is a factor.
It’s just something you can’t ignore. Get weather data first and don’t spoil your trip. If you plan to stop by a beach to surf, learn if there isn’t an incoming weather impediment that can wreck your surfing plans. Stay clear of treacherous driving situations and don’t hesitate to delay and abort plans when the weather gets perilous.
Get some good driving practice.
Remember that you’re driving a gargantuan. Even when you’re just taking the road with a campervan, you have to have a good hand at the wheel. Of course, there’s no shortcut to this – unless you’ve already got them driverless! Practice, practice, and still practice remains your best buffer of safety on the road.
And for when things go left, have a plan B.
Have a notebook with emergency numbers you can call for SOS. That may include the local towing service (should be updated as necessary), the local police department, relatives and friends in the state or town you’re in, relatives and friends who know you can count on should you need immediate help. If traveling for a short period, leave your itineraries to someone you trust.
Learn the ways of the road and be ready for any circumstances. In a lifestyle anchored on uncertainty, the best buffer you can have is always being ready.