When you RV as much as we have, you see people do many dumb things that are the result of lack of planning or common sense, or just plain DUMB.
It does not seem possible that people could make so many bad mistakes when they travel by RV—but they do.
Most people who enter the world of RVing do so with little or no prior experience with recreational vehicles. Unfortunately, they often make mistakes that are costly. Such was the case in the incident that follows though the load may also have shifted or the RV exceeded the gross combined weight rating (GCWR).
Study the parameters of your RV, especially the cargo carrying capacity (CCC), because it’s the maximum permissible weight that can be safely added to the vehicle. Exceeding the legal weight can make the design of the RV unstable and ultimately lead to various risks when on the road.
Trying to control his weaving travel trailer, the driver over corrected resulting in a multi-vehicle crash on Interstate 75 south of Dayton, Ohio. WDTN-TV 2 News reported that the trailer was weaving behind the car. When the driver tried to correct it, he went across all three lanes of traffic. By the time he got in the center lane the trailer twisted and it flipped him and the car.
A total of eight people were transported to area hospitals following the crash. Their injuries appeared to be non-life-threatening, according to the Miami Township Fire Department. The driver of the trailer was cited for failure to control a vehicle.
Hitting bridges and overhangs or misjudging the amount of clearance beneath an overpass or inside a tunnel can also put an immediate stopper on your road trip. Likewise, as in the following incident, when attempting to drive an RV into a car wash.
Fire crews were called out to an automatic car wash in Edmond, Oklahoma, after a Class A motorhome crashed into a bay. TV News-9 Oklahoma City recently reported that the driver apparently tried to pull the RV into the bay, but the vehicle was too tall to fit. Dah!
A small portion of the facade of the car wash broke off on the roof of the RV. The damage was not significant to cause a collapse. According to reports, no one was injured in the crash but initially crews feared the building be compromised.
Know the height of your RV and place a sticky note on the dashboard with your exact height (remember to include A/C).
Correct tire pressure is also vital to your safety on the road. Under-inflated tires affect handling and grip, potentially causing irregular or unpredictable vehicle behavior and are more likely to suffer from a dangerous blowout, especially on high-speed Interstate journeys.
Ensure 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).
Inspect the engine, battery, and fluids for proper levels. A good rule of thumb is to check fluids levels—engine oil, power steering, transmission, coolant, wiper fluid—and tire pressure prior to each day of travel. Use your owner’s manual as a guide.
Check headlights, taillights, brake lights, and turn signals.
Prepare an Emergency Roadside Kit, including jumper cables, a flashlight, and ample bottled water.
Everyone should experience traveling the country in an RV. There is no other way of travel that compares. You can enjoy the scenic wonders of nature without compromising on comfort no matter where you travel.
But along with the countless benefits to traveling by RV, there are numerous details to consider in order to travel safely and ensure that your travels don’t end in disaster.
And we arrived safely again! Pictured above Jackson Rancheria RV Resort in the California Gold Country near Jackson. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Remember, Safety First, and Happy RVing!
Speed was high
Weather was hot
Tires were thin
X marks the spot