Safety Equipment for Recreational Vehicles
Buying an RV/Motor Home is expensive yet there are many after market accessories that can and will enhance your safety.
THESE ARE PRODUCTS THAT CAN MAKE RV'ing SAFER:
1) An engine break if you have a diesel engine vehicle without one. Diesel powered RV's need an engine exhaust break to help slow the vehicle when descending steep grades. This is particularly important in the western states where downhill grades can go on for miles and miles where normal brakes would heat up and become totally useless. When descending these grades you have to rely on engine braking which you do in gasoline vehicles by shifting to a lower gear. However on a diesel engine you do not get that engine braking. In order to get engine braking an exhaust break needs to be installed. Several manufacturers of exhaust brakes come to mine like: Jake Brake and BD.
2 ) Supplementary breaking for the toad. If you are going to be pulling a car behind your motorhome that toad needs to have a braking system. It is required in many if not most states especially if the towed vehicle exceeds 3000-pounds. Canada also requires the towed vehicle to have brakes.
3) Steering stabilizers or upgraded shocks or what ever is necessary if your unit wanders on the road, is buffeted when semi's passing, and is generally not handling as it should.
4) A second fire alarm and second CM (Carbon Monoxide) detector. Heaven forbid that the detectors in your unit should malfunction - you need every nanosecond you can get to evacuate safely in case of fire or CM leaks in your unit. In addition to having the multiple fire alarms in your RV-you need to check both the fire alarms and CM (Carbon Monoxide) detectors each time you take the RV out. Fire alarm and CM batteries should be regularly checked. Batteries go dead in both fire alarms and CM detectors------- and we all know what that results in. Put checking your fire alarms and CM detectors on your check list of things to do before leaving home.
5) At least one GOOD fire extinguisher. No, that little red powder extinguisher that comes with all units is not good enough. http://www.aonrecreation.com/seminars/firelife.jsp provides good info. This fellow sells foam extinguishers but you certainly don't have to buy from him. Jane Young, a fellow RV on one of the online RV discussion groups told this story -- "To make a long story short: An RV at Quartzite caught fire about 100 yards from where I was parked. By the time I knew about it, there were at least 5 or 6 of those little red extinguishers emptied and on the ground and the fire was raging. I grabbed my 1 gallon foam extinguisher and the fire was out before my extinguisher was empty. It destroyed the LR/kitchen area of the RV but all of the personal items in the back, in the compartments, etc., were saved. You can not imagine how fast a fire in an RV goes. Note: in addition to my 1 gallon extinguisher, I have small (hair spray sized cans) at the dash, in my toad, in the bedroom, etc." Thanks to Jane Young for this testimonial.
Fire fighter Mac McCoy has a great fire education website at
For kitchen fires there's fire blankets to put them out. Many RV'ers
carry one of these as well as fire extinguishers. You can get information
on them at:
I want to thank Jane Young for providing the above safety suggestions and allowing me to include them on this website.