The Top 10 RV Travel Safety And RV Road Trip Tips

Whatever type of RV you own, there is a need to practice RV travel safety. That’s because RVs usually weigh more than passenger vehicles. And that means there is more that can wrong fast when you are on the road.

And the bigger and more heavy the rig is, the more attention is needed to operate them safely.

So, with that in mind, here are my top ten tips for RV travel safety:

Watch my Youtube video on The Top 10 RV Travel Safety Tips by clicking here

#1 – Carry Extra Oil And Coolant

Regardless of the type of RV that you have, it has an engine somewhere that propels it.

And that means that some kind of oil and coolant is needed for safe operation of that engine.

So if a problem develops on the road, you will be glad that you have some extra engine fluids on hand.

And if you do, it can help you get where you need to go to get help and the proper repairs.

#2 – Carry Traffic Cones For RV Travel Safety

If you have a breakdown on the side of the road, traffic cones are an essential safety item. And if you have the collapsible kind, they don’t really take up much room either.

By deploying them out in back of your rig, you are warning approaching drivers that a problem is ahead.

That means that they can begin to move over before reaching you, keeping both your rig and their vehicle safe. And of course, it makes the whole situation more safe for travelers as well.

Some prefer warning triangles instead. And that’s fine too. Just make sure that you have some kind of warning system with you for roadside breakdowns.

#3 – Tire Pressure Check

This is one of the most important safety checks you can make on your rig.

After all, your tires are what actually touches the road as you travel. And if you experience a blowout, it often is not a very good thing in an RV.

So regularly check the pressure in your RV tires and any other tires in use if you are towing.

Here is a link to an article I wrote on tire pressure safety.

It’s better to solve any tire problems before you get on the road than deal with them while traveling!

#4 – Have Roadside Assistance

These days there are some very good choices for roadside assistance for RVs.

The three companies usually used for RV travelers is AAA, Good Sam, and CoachNet.

Truthfully, any of these roadside assistance providers can do a great job for you. And you will be very glad to have them when a breakdown occurs.

So compare their features and what they cover first, and then make your choice.

The only really bad choice you can make is not having some form of roadside assistance at all.

#5 – Use A Departure Checklist For RV Travel Safety

A lot of problems happen on the road because someone forgot to do something before leaving.

And honestly, nobody can remember everything at all times. There is just too much to do to get an RV ready for travel.

So make a checklist of all of the items that you will need to accomplish while departing. And then carefully follow that departure checklist every single time before you leave.

#6 – Perform A Final Walk Around

Even if you have a reliable departure checklist, make sure to perform a final walk around anyway.

It’s amazing how something important can still be left untended even when using a checklist.

So your best defense against omitting something important is to carefully review the entire rig before you leave. If you have a towable RV, this means both the RV and the tow vehicle.

Most of the time, you won’t find a problem. But on those occasions where something was missed you will be glad you did the final walk around!

#7 – Make Good Use Of Rest Areas For RV Travel Safety

Driving an RV rig on the road can wear on you fast. There is a lot that you have to keep track of while on the road.

And it’s easy to become weary and lose your focus when you spend a lot of time behind the wheel. Especially when you don’t take a break!

So try to plan rest stops in your travel schedule to take a break and freshen up.

Maybe get out and take a walk, have a snack, and check over your rig before leaving again.

If you do, you will feel much better and be more alert while piloting your rig.

#8 – Maintain A Safe Driving Distance

We are all taught to maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front while using our passenger vehicle. But that distance needs to increase even further when driving an RV.

There is usually a lot more weight and bulk in an RV as compared to a personal vehicle. So it takes much longer to bring that much weight to a stop.

And if you haven’t allowed enough room between your rig and the vehicle ahead of you, it can be trouble.

I highly recommend allowing much more room than you think necessary to be safe on the highway.

To accomplish this, I like to drive 5 – 10 MPH below the flow of traffic and well within the speed limit. By doing this, most vehicles will pass you on the left and go far ahead if they return to the right lane.

Whenever there has been a need for a sudden stop, this practice has always kept us safe on the road. Besides, RVing isn’t about hurrying and rushing around.

So drive safely!

#9 – Use Main Roads For RV Travel Safety

The larger your rig, the more important it becomes to stay on main roads. Getting off onto secondary roads can introduce all kinds of challenges.

For instance, many secondary and smaller roads have little to no paved shoulders on the road. This means that you have a much smaller margin for error when driving on them.

And traffic is much easier to negotiate on larger roads and highways too.

But you also have to consider that on smaller roads you could run into unwanted surprises as well. These could be low bridges, low-hanging limbs, or low-hanging wires.

None of these issues are usually found on main roads and highways. So it pays to keep your rig on main roads as much as you can.

#10 – Get Diesel Fuel At Truck Centers

If you have a motorhome or a tow vehicle that has a diesel engine, where you fuel up is important.

It may be tempting to pull into a regular fuel station to fill up. But if you have a larger rig, this is often not a good idea.

You may be able to get into the station, but getting out can be another thing altogether.

Instead, there are many large truck centers like Loves, Petro, T/A, etc. that are better choices.

That’s because they are usually located very close to a main highway with easy on and off ramps. And once inside, you usually have plenty of room to drive around safely without damaging your rig.

And if you use the diesel fuel discount card that I mentioned in this article, it will also save you money.

Conclusion

These 10 RV travel safety and road trip tips have worked very well for us. We use all of them on a regular basis.

And we can confidently say that these RV tips have saved us often in time, money, and much more.

So be sure to stay safe on the road with your rig by using the tips that I have shared with you!

How To Use An RV Electrical Adapter At Home

If you like to plug in your RV at home before a trip, you have plenty of company. It makes it easy to get some of the appliances, like the refrigerator, going in advance. And if you need the lights or want to power up some devices or the batteries, you can do that too. So this article will help explain how to use an RV electrical adapter at home safely.

Disclosure: Please note this post may contain affiliate links. This means – at no additional cost to you – I earn a commission if you make a purchase using our affiliate links. I only link to products and companies I use and feel comfortable recommending. The income goes toward supporting the free content on this website.

Why Is An RV Electrical Adapter Needed At Home?

Most RVs come with either a 30 amp or 50 amp electrical system. And when you go to a campground, they are all set for either one.

But sometimes you have to use an electrical adapter to plug in your RV at the campground . This is because you may have a 50 amp RV but the campground only has a 30 amp service available.

Or you may have a 30 amp RV and only 50 amp campsites are available. Either way, an electrical adapter is needed in these cases. You can learn more about these kind of RV electrical adapters and check out the user reviews at the links below:

Click here for a 50 amp to 30 amp RV plug adapter

Click here for a 30 amp to 50 amp RV plug adapter

(These are affiliate links for the products on Amazon. It does not cost you any extra to buy the product using my affiliate link if you choose to do so)

So what happens when you plug in your RV to your electrical service at home? Well, most residential houses do not have a 30 amp or 50 amp service.

In fact, most of them will only have either a 15 amp or 20 amp electrical line that you can plug into. So clearly, another adapter is needed to be able to plug the RV in to your electrical service at home safely.

How To Make The Connection

The electrical service at your home is different from that found at a campground. And the electrical plug is not the same either. So clearly, you will need another RV electrical adapter to make the connection at home.

Fortunately, adapters for 50 amp to 15 amp services are available. The same is also true for 30 amp to 15 amp electrical adapters. So if you choose to power your RV at home, be sure to have the correct adapter on hand to do so.

Of course, if you have a 30 amp or 50 amp RV electrical service installed at home, these will not be needed. You can learn more about the 15 amp electrical adapters that I recommend at these links:

Click here for 15 amp to 50 amp RV plug adapters

Click here for 15 amp to 30 amp RV plug adapters

(These are affiliate links for the products on Amazon. It does not cost you any extra to buy the product using my affiliate link if you choose to do so)

Don’t Forget To Use RV Extension Cords

One other point to remember. Don’t forget to use the proper extension cord for your electrical connection if one is needed.

The wiring in your extension cord needs to be up to the task of delivering the full amperage to your RV if needed. So don’t just grab a cheap extension cord for this task.

It’s best to use an RV extension cord that matches the power draw of your electrical line. This will just make sure to keep things safe while your RV is plugged in.

If you are on a 15 amp line, use a 15 amp RV extension cord. If it’s a 30 amp or 50 amp line, use the matching extension cord there as well. You can learn more about the RV extension cords for each amperage at the links below:

You can click here for a 15 amp RV extension cord

Or you can click here for a 30 amp RV extension cord

Click here for a 50 amp RV extension cord

(These are affiliate links for the products on Amazon. It does not cost you any extra to buy the product using my affiliate link if you choose to do so)

Your RV’s Power Usage At Home

One final note needs to be made about plugging your RV in to your home electrical system. And that is that you can make the connection safely, but you must monitor and adjust your power usage in the RV.

For instance, 50 amp RVs are designed to be able to use 12,000 watts of power simultaneously. That’s why they have 2 air conditioners and all those appliances in them. 30 amp RVs are designed to use only 3600 watts of power at the same time. Usually there is only one air conditioner and fewer appliances in those RVs.

Now when you plug in to a 15 amp service at home, you can only use 1800 watts of power simultaneously. This is a big step-down for a 30 amp RV and a huge step-down for a 50 amp RV.

So you have to make sure that you are only using enough appliances or devices in your RV that will not overload the 15 amp line. This means that air conditioners are out.

And many large wattage appliances are out. So it may be possible to power your refrigerator on electric along with a few lights. You may also be able to charge up some of your devices and use small appliances too.

But if you go beyond this, you will probably be tripping electrical breakers regularly. So make sure you conserve power as much as possible when plugged in to a 15 amp line.

I hope this helps you learn more about how to properly plug your RV in to your home electrical system.

Have safe and happy travels my friends!

Correct RV Tire Pressures For Every Rig

There is endless discussion about RV tire pressures in the online RV forums. There are almost as many opinions about it as there are RVers. But what I am going to share with you in this article is what you need to know about tire safety. And safety is a big factor when we talk about RV tires. The bigger the rig, the more important you monitor your tires and use the correct RV tire pressures for your tires.

This subject really is no joke because your RV tires are the only connection you have with the ground. And if you suffer a blowout while driving, it can be a dangerous and scary situation.

So lets find out how you can determine the best RV tire pressures for every rig out there.

RV tire pressures gauge

What Is The Correct Tire Pressures For Your RV?

You will hear a lot of thoughts about what the correct RV tire pressure should be for every rig. Some will say to just go by what is printed on the tire sidewalls. Some say to ignore that and use the tire charts usually found inside the RV.

Others have a general idea of what tire pressure they like to use and think it fits everyone else as well. So what is the correct air pressure to use in your RV tires?

The truth is that tire pressure is most accurately determined by the load placed on them. The most correct RV tire pressure is the one where it takes into consideration the weight that is being placed on that individual tire.

And you might think that RVs have their weight evenly distributed between the axles, but that is often not the case. And very often the RV owner has used their storage unevenly too.

So more weight may be on one side of the RV than on the other. And the only way that you will know that is to weigh the rig and find out.

How To Weigh Your RV

So how do you find out how the weight is distributed in your RV? Many people take the RV to a truck scale like CAT scales found at Love’s truck stops.

Or they may use another method that weighs the weight on each axle. This is certainly better than nothing and will give you a good picture of what your axle weights are.

But the most accurate weights for tire pressure are determined by weighing the RV at each tire position separately, instead of just using the overall axle weight. That’s because RVs are not very balanced vehicles to begin with.

And then people start putting their cargo in the storage areas without thinking about weight distribution. So the weight on a tire on the left side of one axle can be very different from that on the other side. Only by weighing the rig at each tire position will you know that.

There are two main companies that weigh RVs at each tire position and you usually find them at RV rallies across the country. The two top companies that do this properly are Escapees Smart Weigh and the RV Safety Education Foundation (RVSEF).

But Escapees Smart Weigh does have some permanent locations where you can get your RV weighed properly too. Here is a link to those weigh centers.

How To Find The Correct RV Tire Pressures

Once you have the accurate weight that is on each tire, now you can determine the correct tire pressure. To do that, you make use of the tire manufacturer’s tire inflation chart.

It will tell you the correct tire pressure for the weight that particular tire is carrying. These charts can be easily found online by just Googling the the tire manufacturer and model of tire on your RV.

The general rule of thumb is to use the tire pressure for the tire with the most weight on that axle. In other words, one tire on the axle may have 3000 pounds on it and the other may only have 2000 pounds on it.

So use the tire pressure for the tire that has 3000 pounds of weight on it for both tires on that axle.

What To Do If You Haven’t Been Weighed Yet

So now you know how to establish the correct RV tire pressures for your rig. But what do you do before you get weighed properly?

The fail safe approach to tire pressure in this case is to run the tires at their maximum cold air pressure. This figure will be listed on the tire sidewall.

If the tires on your rig are the size and rating that your RV manufacturer recommends, this is a safe tire pressure. This maximum cold pressure for the tire is appropriate for the maximum weight that the tire could safely carry.

As long as you are within the safe load limits of your RV, the maximum tire air pressure will be fine. The ride may be a little stiff, but it will be safe.

This is because the main enemy of RV tires is heat. And under-inflation is what causes heat to build up in the tire. If you are a little over-inflated for the weight, that should not present much of a safety issue.

Also, keep in mind that the maximum tire pressure is cold pressure. This is before the RV has been driven anywhere. As you go, the tire pressure will exceed the cold pressure limit as the tire warms up. And that is fine. The tire manufacturer has built the tire to be able to safely do that.

But be sure to get your RV weighed properly as soon as possible. Then use the tire manufacturer’s tire pressure guidelines for the weight on each RV tire. That is the best and most accurate tire pressure for any RV rig.

I hope this primer on determining the correct RV tire pressure for your rig has been helpful.

As always, have safe and happy travels my friends!