These Tips Can Keep Your RV From Burning To the Ground

Being out on the road in an RV can be liberating. Traveling to destinations of scenic beauty or historical significance can be a thrilling part of an adventure. But, just as any trip can be satisfying, it can also be more challenging. One of the ways to avoid some of the pitfalls that an RV can develop over time and miles is to take care of issues before they become problems. Specifically, to keep your RV from burning to the ground, add the following tips to your maintenance routine

Check the RVs electrical system

A closeup of a mouse sitting on a glove.
Mice like to eat through vehicle wiring | Patrick Pleul/picture alliance via Getty Images

Even if you just drove your new RV off the lot, it is still a good idea to do a good walk-through. You are going to want to check for any loose wires that might be sticking out. Check around all the fixtures and electrical sockets and make sure that no wires are sticking out. RVs have a lot of wiring. So, in your walk-through, make sure to check beyond the cabin and into the storage compartments as well, even underneath the rig. Keep in mind that mice like to eat wiring regardless of location on the vehicle. If wires are loose, inspect them for fraying. A frayed wire is bad. Although the tendency might be to tuck the wire away, instead, get it fixed. 

Fluid leaks and hot exhausts do not mix

When out on an RV, vanlife, or overlanding adventure, it is easy to keep in mind to clean up after oneself. We often clean the cooking surfaces and clean off the sand and dirt dragged in on our shoes. But, there is another place that should be inspected and cleaned often the engine bay. Left neglected, dirt, grease, and general nastiness can build up on components in the engine bay and make it hard to see if fluids are leaking. Remember that leaking fluids and hot exhausts do not mix. So, clean your engine bay enough so that you can tell if you need to address a leak. This will lower the opportunity for a surprise fire.

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Keep charged fire extinguishers

Another way to keep your mobile headquarters from burning to the ground is to keep fire extinguishers in the RV. The need for one increases with the age of the vehicle. Components get worn and brake. They will not always catch fire. But, if on one occasion one does, you will be prepared with a fire extinguisher or two. 

Check or add a smoke alarm to your RV

Pop-up camper set up in a campsite complete with a campfire
Campers set up the pop-up camper and campfire at the Agua Caliente State Campsite in the Anzo Borrego Desert outside of San Diego, California | Sandy Huffaker/Corbis via Getty Images

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Smoke alarms are not just for brick and motor homes. They are effective in an RV as well. If you do not have one, get one or two. But, just having them is not good enough. Check them every six months, just like you would in your non-mobile home. One thing to keep in mind is that fire extinguishers only work for so long. So, get them inspected if you spot that the gauge is reading low. 

Nobody wants a nasty uncontrolled fire to consume an RV, least of all, its owner. So, by adding the tips above to your regular maintenance checklist, the fear of a fire can be reduced, or at least the ability to fight a fire will be enhanced. Have the adventure, my friends, but be safe.