Mid-day dips in the pool and late nights by the campfire make for an ideal summer RV trip, but reckless campers can ruin it by ignoring basic RV safety. Responsible RVing means enjoying the simple joys at the campsite while embracing camping rules.
Everyone has seen it: an RV speeding down the highway with a driver seemingly unaware of how large and heavy the vehicle is. Or worse, motorhome occupants walking around the RV while it is in motion. Both scenarios are a recipe for accidents and injuries.
Before purchasing a motorcoach, learn how to operate the vehicle and know basic safety rules. Start with RV driving classes where an instructor teaches new drivers to operate RVs properly in different scenarios.
Some basics of RV driving safety are:
Many Newmar coaches come with innovations like Comfort Drive adaptive steering and MobilEye lane departure warnings to help make your driving experience safe and comfortable for you. Make sure you know how to use these innovative features and learn how they can improve your own driving to make the most of them.
Now you are ready to camp!
Refer to “The Must Follow Family RV Road Safety Tips For When You’re On The Road” article for more safety tips.
When you pack, bring clothes appropriate for the season and activity. Remember that summers and winter temperatures vary depending on what state you are in and your elevation. Bring along out-of-season clothing for unexpected weather on your camping trip, like a May snowfall in Colorado or an 80-degree February day in Florida.
If you are camping at the beach, swimsuits and flip flops are a must, but you’ll need hiking boots and moisture-wicking layered clothes if that beach is also near the trails. If you aren’t sure what clothes to pack, contact the places you plan to visit, and research suggested attire and gear.
Having the proper clothing will make all the difference for an enjoyable scenic day trekking through evergreen forests and along meandering rivers.
A big part of camping is the joy of an evening campfire. Begin setup before sunset, so lively red and orange flames light up the area as the sun goes down. At camp, everyone needs to know about fire safety—review before the trip and the first fire at the campsite.
One of the most critical safety rules: an adult must be present during the fire’s setup, ignition, and extinguishing. Children should not be left unsupervised around any fires.
Especially if you’re at a campsite or boondocking, keep a close watch on your fire. Dry leaves and grasses can catch with a very small ember and ignite. Remember Smokey the Bear’s old adage: only you can prevent wildfires.
Use a firestarter to get things going quickly, but avoid liquid fuels or other dangerous substances. Use prepacked wax or wood firestarters instead.
If making smores, provide the whole family with retractable marshmallow roasting sticks. That way, no one has to worry about their stick catching on fire or getting too close to the fire. Remind everyone that the sticks can still get hot and should not be touched except the handle.
Note that not all campsites allow traditional campfires. Many RV parks only allow fires in portable propane fire pits.
You are now ready for a safe and magical night filled with stories, warm treats, crackling fire, and unforgettable memories.
Camping typically means being close to nature, which means encountering wildlife. Having squirrels and deer visit your campsite can be enjoyable. However, moose, bison, and bear visits can be frightening and dangerous if not handled properly. The whole family needs to know how to behave when wildlife is near.
Discourage all campers from feeding any wildlife, even the gentle deer and squirrels. Feeding them can attract other wild animals into the area. Even though the deer and squirrels seem harmless, they are not. They are not cute pets. They are untamed and may carry diseases.
Do not keep any trash or food outside, even in a cooler. Keep it locked up in your RV and dispose of garbage in proper trash receptacles.
If a bear is nearby, stay away. You can take a photo, but use that zoom function instead of approaching a wild animal. Wildlife may seem uninterested and docile, but they are unpredictable. Enjoy their beauty from a safe distance and share your wildlife encounters with friends back home.
Make sure that all family members stay together while camping. If kids want to explore independently, they should have a buddy system and be mature enough to handle being on their own. Consider long-range walkie-talkies or other ways to communicate. Teach kids to stay off the roads and out of other people’s campsites and RVs.
Book a campground or RV park with children’s activities if your kids want to meet other camping kids. These activities have a responsible adult to supervise the fun. It may also give parents and grandparents a needed break and relaxing adult time.
Remember, a family camping trip will not be perfect. Although it’s family time, everyone needs space. Not everyone will be excited about an afternoon of geocaching or a family bike ride. The important thing is to create a safe environment for everyone and be flexible.
Enjoy the little moments, don’t overschedule activities, and make unforgettable memories.