Estimated reading time: 8 minutes
If you love camping and road trips, you may find yourself thinking of buying an RV. These mobile homes are a great way to travel as a family. RVs can save you a lot of money on hotel accommodation and give you the freedom to drive anywhere.
However, your safety in an RV depends on the features and modifications you include in it. These RV safety upgrades are essential because in a RV you are always on the road exposed to harsh weather and security threats.
Here are a few safety upgrades you should consider adding to your RV.
1. Proper seating and Lap and shoulder seat belts
It’s always important to protect you and your passengers while on an RV road trip. This is especially important when traveling with children.
In most RVs, only the front seating positions have lap-shoulder seat belts that are required to meet federal safety standards. That’s good for you and one passenger. And that means the rear seats and seat belts usually do not meet any safety standards.
- The seats may or may not have a sturdy back that is high enough to provide head protection to the occupant.
- Rear seat belts may or may not be attached to the frame of the RV.
- The rear seat belts are likely lap-only seat belts (so no booster seats allowed) and may or may not have a tether anchor available.
- The seat belts available may or may not be in forward-facing vehicles seats (a requirement for using a child restraint in it).
Bottom line, safety experts say traveling with kids in RVs can not be done with optimal safety.
However, if you are purchasing a RV, you may be able to upgrade to have lap-shoulder seat belts installed in the back seating positions. This is a safety upgrade worth getting if it’s possible for your RV whether you will be traveling with children or other adults.
2. Proper lighting
Nothing is as scary as being out in the woods in your RV without proper lighting. LED lights are the best lighting you can get for your camper van. They are energy efficient and durable.
LED lights can help you to prolong your RV batteries by giving you consistent lighting during the night. They have the added benefit of keeping bugs away.
With a couple of LED lights in and outside your camper, you can enjoy whatever the night has to offer while on the road.
3. Carbon monoxide and fire detector
When you are using an RV, lots of appliances, like generators or heaters, can release carbon monoxide into your vehicle.
Kids get affected faster than adults when it comes to carbon monoxide poisoning. Additionally, RVs are small spaces where a small amount of smoke can do a lot of damage.
The same case applies to fire accidents that often happen because a child gets hold of a lighter or puts on an appliance out of curiosity.
Therefore, install a carbon monoxide detector and fire detector in your RV to alert you of any impending accidents.
Have a fire extinguisher as well to deal with any electrical or accidental fires. Remember to check the expiration date on your extinguisher to ensure it’s always ready for use.
4. Heavy-duty batteries
Your RV adventures are doomed without reliable batteries. RVs use a lot of power, so you need heavy-duty batteries that can store charge without going flat.
A good option is lithium batteries. They have a longer lifespan than lead-acid batteries.
A great choice is a 1.2kWh capacity lithium battery with a 5 – 10 year warranty.
5. High-duality generator
You may think we are insisting too much on electrical-related items, but the fact is: electricity is essential for RV travel, therefore, one of the essential RV safety upgrades.
Therefore, you need an excellent generator to handle all your electrical needs while on the road. This will take the burden off your batteries, ensuring they last for a long time.
You will also be able to enjoy any electrical appliances you like to use without any worries. With a 2,000-watt generator, you can have hot showers, keep your devices charged and use any other appliances you want.
If a generator is not to your liking, consider installing solar panels on your RV. They provide clean energy and are easy to maintain.
6. Gas stop
Gas is a highly inflammable substance. But you need a lot of gas when traveling in an RV.
What can you do to protect your family from gas leaks?
Gas leaks can occur due to a tire blowout destroying an adjacent gas line or wild animals chewing through them. Slow gas leaks can cause a fire or at the very least, finish your gas supply, leaving you stranded and out of pocket.
Set up a gas stop on your propane tanks to stop the flow in case of a leak.
7. A WI-FI extender
Some people may not think of Wi-Fi as a safety feature, but it is when you are out in the middle of nowhere. A Wi-Fi extender will enable you to stay in touch with civilization while in a remote area.
This will allow you to access the internet, stay updated on all the relevant news and other information you may need.
Access to the internet will also keep your kids busy with playing educational games, keeping up with online classes, or simply giving the adults a break.
A good internet connection comes in handy if you have an accident on the road or out in the woods. You can easily communicate with rescue services or loved ones or simply Google helpful information.
8. Secure storage bay locks
Did you know that most RVs share the same key and lock system? That means someone could have a key that can open your storage bay. Does that make you feel like your belongings are safe? No. One of the worst feelings you can think of is coming back to your RV after an excursion to find your storage bay wiped clean by thieves.
Therefore, consider this RV safety upgrade and make sure you change your locks and install strong, one-of-a-kind, secure locks to keep your belongings safe.
9. Tire pressure monitoring systems
A flat tire on an RV is hard to fix, especially when you are stuck in the middle of nowhere.
Experienced RVers prefer to monitor their tire pressure and fix a tire in the nearest filling station before heading out to camping sites.
Personal injury lawyers also advise against using a vehicle with unreliable tire pressures.
A tire pressure monitoring system allows you to check the state of your tires through Bluetooth while on and off the road.
The system has sensors that send data to your phone, alerting you when you are running low on pressure.
Such a system can save you from unnecessary punctures by alerting you when you need to pump your tires.
10. Weight distribution hitch with sway control
An RV is a heavy vehicle, especially when you and your family plus any gear and supplies you have for the trip are added to it.
You may also travel on roads that are uneven or winding. Driving on such roads is challenging, especially if you have a trailer attached to your RV.
A weight-distribution hitch with sway control helps you to keep your RV and any vehicle attached to it steady. It will help you to prevent your vehicle from veering off the road by giving you consistent brake and steering control.
This system is essential when you have your children with you.
Install a weight-distribution hitch with sway control that complies with Gross Axle Weight Ratings to help you keep your RV in control on the road.
RV safety upgrades to leave out
Now you have ten RV safety upgrades that are currently in, here a few things you should leave out:
- standard RV locks,
- halogen light bulbs,
- and lead-acid batteries.
Try upgrading your RV using our suggestions and see an immediate improvement in your travels. You will enjoy your road trips and camping more if you don’t have to worry about electricity, internet access, road accidents, gas leaks and power failures.
Guest post: Kelly Hanks is a Freelance Writer specializing in Legal issues surrounding children and their safety. She contributes to various law websites, including www.aielloharris.com, where she writes on a wide range of topics involving child care laws. Her articles aim to inform people on how to protect children’s rights and deal with legal issues such as child abuse cases. In her spare time, Kelly inspires legal professionals in disadvantaged areas to champion the rights of children. She is also an avid reader who loves jazz and traveling.
Copyright 2022 Safe Ride 4 Kids. All rights reserved. You may not publish, broadcast, rewrite or redistribute this material without permission. You are welcome to link to Safe Ride 4 Kids or share on social media.