Zachary D. Campbell, Lawyer at Metzger Wickersham
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, RVing was already becoming a popular way
to travel. However, the pandemic is making Americans take the road less
traveled due to the uncertainty of reopening the country.
The recreational vehicle (RV) industry is rebounding as thousands of travelers
are turning RVs into the
‘new’ way of vacationing. RV makers, suppliers, and campgrounds are reporting
a wave of first-timers who have changed their vacation plans because they
were reluctant to travel by plane, train, or bus. The
RV Industry Association also reports that camping allows travelers to maintain social distancing
and offers a safer option than staying in hotels or resorts.
Some 20% of Americans surveyed in an
Ipsos poll that was conducted for the RV Industry Association said they are more
interested in RVs as a recreation travel option in the aftermath of COVID-19.
Reports indicate that two large factors play a role in the RV travel boom
in light of COVID-19, these factors include freedom and control. RVing
can provide a safe environment for families traveling and also allow a
person to have a clean living space with their own bedding and personal
items while on the road. International travel has essentially come to
a standstill and many hotels and resorts are not fully open. During this
social distancing era, traveling by RV allows people to travel safely
at their own pace while keeping their distance from others.
5 Safety Tips for RV Travelers
Whether you're a family of weekend campers or a retired couple looking
to travel full-time, every RV beginner has to know a few important things
before making their maiden voyage. Here are five quick tips to consider
before you pile in and head out on the road.
Research your insurance. Does my regular insurance cover my RV? Remember, RVs are vehicles that
typically need to be registered with the department of transportation.
Whether it is a motorhome or trailer RV, this means that they require
insurance coverage. You need to do your research to determine if you automobile
insurance covers your motorhome or trailer RV. Do you need a separate
policy? Also, if you are going to tow your vehicle behind your RV, is
that covered? If you are towing your trailer RV and your truck breaks
down, will you have to leave your trailer behind or are both the truck
and trailer covered for towing? You likely do not want to have to leave
your trailer behind with all your possessions in this instance.
Take a practice drive. Practice makes perfect, make sure you are comfortable driving and using
an RV. Your first time driving a motorhome or hauling a trailer RV should
not be your first long-distance trip. Remember, motorhomes are often larger
vehicles and can be the size of tractor-trailers, it is important to have
road experience and to be aware of what terrain you will be traveling
on. Hauling a trailer is very different than simply driving a truck. Turning
radiuses, keeping the RV in one lane, switching lanes to pass other vehicles,
accelerating, braking, and backing up the RV are just a few items that
a novice RV driver should familiarize themselves with.
Plan your route to avoid traffic hassles. Good weather is great for RV camping. Unfortunately, it also means major
road construction projects are in full swing. Unexpected road closures,
accidents, and construction zones cause stress no matter where we’re
headed. To stay ahead of these headaches familiarize yourself with your
travel route and also check the weather before you set out on your trip.
Make sure there are no driving restrictions that limit tractor-trailers,
buses, and large vehicles from certain roadways. If there are restrictions,
map alternate ways to get to your destination by taking advantage of the
many road trip planning tools at your disposal. According to
RV Life, try a GPS made just for
RVers and great apps like
RV Trip Wizard. This tool routes everything from campground choices to fuel stops.
Maintain your RV with proper care. RVs are not cheap investments. Repairs and maintenance can be expensive
and time-consuming. Because they are not used every day, many people allow
their RV to fall into disrepair. Driving an RV that is not properly maintained
is not safe and is downright dangerous. You should perform regular maintenance
checks on your RV even if you are not planning on using it for some time.
Check your lights, turn signals, brakes and secure awnings, ladders, and
bike racks to ensure that they are all working properly. Check the date
code on your tires because the rubber breaks down over time, and even
if the tread looks fine it’s recommended that they be replaced every
five to seven years.
Click here to learn how to check the date code on your RV’s tires.
Create an RV emergency and evacuation plan. Most RVs have emergency exit windows, familiarize yourself with where they
are located and how to use them. Practice with your family and have a
plan in place in case of a fire or an emergency. If the front exit is
blocked, you will want to know the next best route to exit the vehicle
in case of an emergency. Have an evacuation plan and learn how to use
the RV’s emergency exits. Be prepared to ensure a safe trip.
Life’s a journey always take the scenic route and enjoy the ride.
Adventure is calling, buckle up and safe travels from all of us at Metzger
If you or a loved one are injured in an RV, car, or motorcycle accident,
we can help. Contact
today to request a free and confidential consultation.