If you’re heading out on the road in your RV, you have miles on your mind and destinations in your dreams. Perhaps you’ve mapped out all of your stays and all of the things you will do along the way, or you’re going to wing it and see where the road will take you. Regardless of where you are going and for how long, every RVer needs to be prepared for a breakdown. Though most of today’s RVs are well designed and ready to take on a long road trip, things do happen and it is best that you’re not caught off guard.
Preparation is key. When you are well prepared with the items you need, and you have taken the opportunity to rehearse your actions in the event of an emergency, Murphy’s Law will have it that you will not have a problem. Think of this as a defensive measure to ensure that you have prepared for anything that might go wrong along the way.
If you are heading out on a big trip, it may be best to have a licensed mechanic conduct a review of your RV. This can include changing the oil, replacing air filters, rotating tires, and more. Next, make sure that you are always following the maintenance suggestions listed in your owner’s manual. The goal here is to make sure that you have taken the basic steps to prepare your RV for the road.
Five tips to follow if your RV breaks down
1. Keep calm and do not panic. No, we’re not talking about the next t-shirt slogan. This is serious. If you panic, you will likely create an unsafe situation for you, everyone on board the RV, and any other drivers on the road nearby. When you keep yourself calm, you will be able to think clearly and find solutions to the problem at hand.
2. Stay safe. Remember, safety is paramount in a breakdown situation, especially if you are sitting on the side of a busy road. Set out safety cones, flares, and emergency lights (hint, hint, these are good items to have on board your RV) so that you can warn other drivers that your RV is not mobile. You may also want to consider investing in a safety vest that you can take out and wear while setting out the safety markers. Your goal here is to increase visibility for you and the RV.
3. Road side assistance. If you have roadside assistance, this is the perfect time to give them a call. Of course, make the call after you have made your way safely off the road. Or, if you are not able to get the RV off the road and you were only able to pull over, wait to make the call until after you have set out the safety markers. If you do not have roadside assistance, you can use your mobile device to look up the number for a towing company. When all else fails, you can contact the non-emergency number of the local police department to see if they can offer you any assistance.
4. Stay positive. Positivity can keep you out of trouble. If you let your situation get you down, you will more likely begin to panic, and that is the last thing you need in this situation. Anger or tears won’t change the situation. Plus, a positive attitude will help you get assistance when you call on the nearby mechanic or emergency services.
5. Stay hydrated. With any road trip, breakdown or not, it is important to keep bottled water on board. In times of stress, staying hydrated can help you to think more clearly. So, make sure that you take some time to drink from a bottle of water. This will be especially helpful if your RV has broken down on a hot day and you have lost your air conditioning.
Again, preparation is everything. Though breakdowns are a part of life, your RV may be more susceptible due to the movement and stress that it is subjected to on the road. When you plan ahead and think through the various situations that could go wrong, you substantially reduce the amount of stress and expense that you may face as a result.