Whether you are a rookie or a veteran when it comes to the pleasures of traveling in a recreational vehicle—or RV—GEICO professionals say that a review of the basics can help to keep you on the road to safety. Here are some tips:
Realize your size. Many road mishaps occur because of an RV’s additional size and weight. For instance, operators accidentally drive under an overpass without enough clearance because they forget about the additional height.
Know your RV’s height and keep it handy. Also know the clearances of the bridges and tunnels along your route—especially on back roads. A road atlas specifically for RVers or semi drivers can help.
Maintenance is important. An RV that’s mechanically sound will be less apt to break down. Be meticulous about maintenance. Make a pretrip checklist and do an inspection every time you get behind the wheel.
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 correct air pressure and sufficient tread depth.
Have a plan if you do break down. Carry your cell phone and know the emergency numbers to call. Also, leave your itinerary with relatives or friends so they can contact you in case of emergency.
Always wear safety belts. Passengers should be belted in also. Laws don’t require RVs to have safety belts in all areas where passengers can sit, but it is better to be safe, so buckle up!
Avoid these common causes of RV accidents:
• Fires that occur from leaking LP gas (propane);
• Tire blowouts due to overloading or to under inflated or worn-out tires;
• RV awnings and steps—Make sure RV outside steps are put away before traveling. Store them during travel and questionable weather;
• Clearance and height driving mistakes—RVs hitting bridges and gas station overhangs;
• Overloading—uneven weight can cause restricted braking and steering problems.
Make sure your coverage is up to date and fits the RV lifestyle. Not all insurance companies understand the needs of RV drivers, so it is wise to pick one that specializes in RV coverage. For example, GEICO has a dedicated team of RV insurance agents who are experts in issuing and servicing insurance policies for all types of RVs.
To learn more, visit the websites at www.rvsafety.com and www.geico.com/information/safety/rv/. (NAPS)