RV Safety: Proper Operation of a Recreational Vehicle

As an RV owner or driver, you are responsible to make sure that RV safety procedures are closely followed. Your RV safety preparation begins well before you get behind the wheel of the RV. Not only do you need to make sure that your RV is properly serviced and maintained, you need to make sure that you have the skills and abilities to operate the RV in a responsible and safe way.

Many states do not require RV owners to get an additional license in order to operate a smaller RV, but you need to check the weight limits and other RV safety laws. Other states also have specific licensing requirements for those who are towing a trailer or tow vehicle. Check with your dealer to see what the requirements in your state are.

Getting your license and getting comfortable behind the wheel of your RV are very important parts of RV safety that you can take care of before you head out on your first “real” vacation. But, before you turn the key in the ignition that first time, here is a basic RV safety checklist to go over:

RV Safety before You Begin:

1. Check all fluid levels including oil, transmission fluid, coolant car check and wiper fluid and check under the RV for any leaks.

2. Check the air pressure in all of the tires. Don’t forget both tires on a dual wheeler and trailer tires as well. This is one of the most important RV safety precautions.

3. Check the lights to make sure that they are all working.

4. Close all exterior and interior doors.

5. Make sure the tow bar, hitch, and any cables are securely fastened.

6. Test the emergency and service brakes.

7. Put all of the blocks, jacks, and parking aids into the RV.

8. Disconnect water, sewer and other hook-ups.

9. Weigh your RV to make sure that it is not overloaded. Too much weight is not only dangerous; it can also cause problems if you are in an accident, because your insurance may deny your claim.

10. Drive only when you are alert, healthy and ready to drive.

Keep your eyes on the road and other drivers. Drive the speed limit and give yourself extra slowing and stopping time. Try to avoid driving in poor weather conditions if possible.

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