Safe and Sound RVing

The proper maintenance of your recreational vehicle is a key to keeping you on the road to safety. An RV that’s mechanically sound will be less apt to break down. Be meticulous about maintenance.

Recreational vehicles are an excellent way to discover America. Pictured above Newmar Class A Diesel Pusher camped at an RV park in Luling, Texas. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

A proper maintenance program should include:

  • Inspecting all belts and hoses for cracking and replacing where required
  • Checking headlights, brake lights, and turn signals
  • Making sure your tires have the recommended air pressure, sufficient tread depth, and have not aged out. (NOTE: RV tires typically should be replaced due to age after six to eight years)

Having your recreational vehicle road-ready and smart planning often helps the RVer in avoiding a disaster as the following five incidents illustrate.

Smoke alarm saves Oregon couple

Charleston, Oregon: Charleston Fire District responded to a report of a structure fire at 92252 Cape Arago Hwy Space 14 Saturday night. Two Mystic Wood RV Park residents were able to get out of the vehicle without injuries. Fire officials say the fire was caused by deteriorated electrical wiring in the ceiling of the RV. The occupants say it was their smoke alarm that alerted them to the fire.

A nearly tragic lesson

La Pine, Oregon: A devastating fire devours the inside of a La Pine family’s fifth-wheel trailer Easter morning. The flames took most all of their possessions, but thankfully, not their lives.

Don’t let this happen to you. (Credit:

“A fire of this size still put a lot of soot and smoke into the trailer, and while it’s only a small space, people get very disoriented,” La Pine Assistant Fire Chief Dan Daugherty said.

As the smoke billowed through the trailer at 4 a.m., Lisa Choate’s 12-year-old daughter got everyone out. Fire officials said with no smoke detector, the Choate family is lucky to be alive. Officials blame faulty wiring for the blaze.

Firefighters said frayed wires and overloaded circuits are an obvious danger.

So as long as those hazards are around, it’s best to “at least have one smoke detector and one working fire extinguisher,” Daugherty said. “If anything else will save a life, those will.”

Snowbird backs over husband & 2 friends

Eustis, Florida: In a freak accident, a snowbird from Michigan backed over her husband and two friends at an RV park, killing one woman. Margaret Randall, 72, was backing her 2007 Saturn SUV next to her recreational vehicle at Southern Palms RV Park when she hit her husband, Dale, 73, and their friends Tom Church, 73, and Beverly Church, 69, police said. Beverly Church was pinned under the SUV.

The Eustis Fire Department and Lake-Sumter emergency workers tried to save her, but she was pronounced dead at the scene. Dale Randall and Tom Church were taken by helicopter to Orlando Regional Medical Center, where they were listed in stable condition.

Blow out leads to motorhome fire

Pharr, Texas: A Massachusetts couple visiting the Rio Grande Valley has been left with nothing after a fire destroyed their motorhome. The RV was being towed from Brownsville to Mission when a tire blew out and overheated. The tow truck driver was trying to get off the expressway when the heat sparked flames. When fire officials arrived they found the motorhome fully engulfed in flames on the Frontage Road in Pharr.

Mechanical or electrical failures cause roughly three-quarters of the highway vehicle fires. Image source: iStock

Authorities say no one was hurt in the fire but the couple lost everything they owned. They had been traveling across the United States in the RV. This was their first trip to the Valley where they were visiting birding centers.

Fire burns victim, RV & car

Decatur County, Georgia: A fire destroyed an RV and a car and Marty Frazier sustained burn injuries. Decatur County Fire Chief Charlie McCann stated that Marty Frazier was in the motorhome doing some work when the fire ignited. Before responding units arrived on scene, the RV was fully inflamed and a propane tank blew due to the blaze.

A motorhome and car parked nearby were also destroyed in the fire. Marty Frazier sustained burn injuries and EMS transported him to the hospital and then later in the evening to Augusta.

Remember, Safety First, and Happy RVing!

Worth Pondering…
Speed was high

Weather was hot

Tires were thin

X marks the spot


Leave a Reply