5 RV Travel Mishaps

Mar 18, 2019

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5 RV Travel Mishaps that Can (and Will) Happen to You

And How to Prepare for Them

It’s a good idea to knock on wood before you read this article.

We’re going to talk about five of the most common mishaps that may happen to you during an RV trip in your Fleetwood RV. In fact, we almost guarantee them if you spend enough time in any family RV, and we’re assuming you do.

But since we’re being doom bringers, we also want to give you some tools to prepare for the mishaps. So that, when they happen, you’ll be ready. Plus, to help RV owners even more, any one of our world-class service centers are prepared to help you get back on the road, no matter what brand of RV you prefer. With full-body shop capabilities, many of these mishaps can become minor inconveniences.

Look at the bright side: These common mishaps do not include bears! But you should still be cautious of them. They are bears, after all.

Flat tires

Well OF COURSE you were expecting this one in a blog about mishaps. Flat tires are one of the most common problem that sends cars, bicyclists and, yes, RVs to the side of the road. If you haven’t had a flat tire in your driving career yet, you’re probably a 16-year-old with a permit who probably clicked on your parent’s search engine and stumbled across this website. Fortunately, there’s a way you can prevent flats from being a big deal, and you know what it is. Say it with us: “Carry a spare tire with you.” Yes, it’s that important.

But, did you know you may be able to prevent tires from blowing or becoming flat in the first place? Seriously, you can avoid the roadside assistance dance. It’s not just bad luck.

The first is pretty simple and something you probably do anyway: You need to check all tires for the recommended tire pressure and follow those recommendations.

This helps you discover problems before you hit the long road. Tires, for instance, don’t always go flat right away when you hit a nail. They may just leak air for weeks. Low air PSI could mean they need to be patched.

Tires can lose up to three PSI per month in storage even if they are healthy, sort of like those bears losing weight during hibernation. When you take your RV out after its own pseudo-hibernation, you should always check your tires. That, in fact, should be the first thing you do.

You should also check your tires for cracks, dry rot and curb damage, among other damage, and if anything looks bad, take it to a tire place to get it checked out.

Also, you should rotate your tires at least once a year (or more) depending on how often you use your RV. This ensures that they wear evenly.

What’s that smell?

This one probably won’t strand you on the side of the road: You’ll just wish for it. Treat your holding tanks and flush them out before trips. Trust us. You’ll be glad you did. You’ll also want to make sure you are ventilating.

Many are weather-tight these days to make them more energy efficient. That means leaving the windows open when you shower or cook, as well as running the exhaust fan and the overhead vent to prevent mold and musty smells from ruining your trip.

Bad, bad batteries

If your family motor coach batteries are not maintained and fully charged, you can have problems with your furnace, other appliances and, well, your RV. Charge those batteries and make sure they are all working. You should also do routine battery maintenance (and standard RV maintenance) every 12 months or every time you get ready for a long trip.

Goofy mistakes

These include the number-one rookie mistake: Forgetting to disconnect the lines before leaving a campground or resort. This can damage your equipment and cause a big mess. Also, you need to remember to retract your entry steps, swings, slides, and TV antennas, among other things. This will also damage the equipment if you fail to do so.

You can also clip gas station overhangs and bridges due to the height of your RV. Just make sure to take into account any rooftop attachments and antennas.

Even if you are a rookie, it’s not the end of the world. Set a phone reminder for the time you plan to leave to avoid many of these rookie mistakes. You can also write yourself a note in your phone to tell you your RV’s height. They are easy but costly mistakes to make.

Finally, you need to level your coach when you camp. It’s a simple thing to do, and that means many owners forget to do it. If you don’t, your fridge may not cool properly, slide-out rooms may twist, or the structure may face some serious stress.

Blowing your breakers

Check what amps your RVs are equipped with before you run your air conditioner, microwave, and TV at the same time. Your manual should tell you what amps your appliances consume. Make sure you don’t exceed it. Also make sure your RV can handle higher hookups if that’s where you are staying.