RV and trailer safety precautions

Hillary Johnson

As many head outdoors to enjoy the camping season, there are a few technical aspects that must be considered before driving your RV or pulling a trailer out of the driveway. Prevost RV and Marine General Manager Bobby Moniz says it's essential to complete a "walk-around check" of the camper to ensure everything is secure and in place. He also emphasized the crucial requirement to check if the alarm systems are in working order.

"There is a smoke detector that's always mounted to your roof. No different than the smoke detector in your home. You are going to want to make sure the battery is changed annually or at least tested. The other alarms that are typically in there and usually there combined together is a carbon monoxide alarm and an LP gas alarm. That LP gas alarm is curial in detecting. Let's say you have a pilot that was running in your oven, and your thermal couple wasn't working correctly, and your pilot went out. Well, now that gas could be leaking into your trailer. Gas is heavier than air. It will sink to the floor, which is where your LP alarm will typically be. It should alert you that something is on, either the pilot is on, or one of your kids playing with the knobs on the range, and the gas is flowing freely. You don't want to run into that scenario. If it meets a source of ignition, it could be very dangerous."

He recommends having a buddy system when checking exterior safety lights that you otherwise couldn't check yourself.

"Of course, every time you hook up your trailer, it's great to plug this into your truck to have someone go back, double-check that all your lights are working. Signal lights, brake lights, running lights, marker lights. Again, you never know from trip to trip what may or may not work anymore."

Moniz also says to be aware of weight distribution with both interior and exterior loads and to ensure your trailer is levelled with the vehicle you are using to tow. He strongly suggests that operators check their propane tanks annually as well as perform an inspection on the brakes.

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