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Tips to safely drive your RV, 5th Wheel, Travel Trailer, Mobile Clinic

What To Do Before You Move

This past Friday I had a call and it went something like this...

“Hello Gary, I think we need your services!”  This always means only RVTC Inspectionone thing; someone has had an accident with their RV or Mobile Clinic.  (For those of you not familiar with Mobile Clinics, they’re just RV’s with medical exam rooms and dental chairs instead of bedrooms and kitchens)  In this particular situation it seems the driver drove off with the awning extended, which tore the awning totally off the unit!  So much for a Pre-Trip Inspection or Safety Check.

There is a safety protocol that all commercial drivers are taught to do in order to keep safe and that is the Pre-Trip Inspection.  A PTI is always done at the start of a drivers shift and at the end.  It begins with an ENGINE CHECK, checking the engines fluid levels, belts, hoses and making sure there are NO leaks.

Next is the LIGHT CHECK.  Starting at the front and top of the vehicle you check the clearance lights, five amber in the front, five red in the back.  Working your way down the front of the vehicle you check the left and right turn signals, 4-way flashers, high and low beams on your headlights and your horn, (you never know when you’re going to need it).  Going round the vehicle, in a counter-clockwise direction you then check the vehicles Marker lights, (amber on the side, red at the back).  At the back of the vehicle you check running lights and work your way down the vehicle to the left and right turn signals, 4-way flashers, brake lights and license plate light and license plate sticker.

Last but not least, do a SAFETY CHECK.  For an RV or Mobile Clinic start your SAFETY CHECK at your entrance door, closing the door to make sure the steps retract.  Moving in a counter-clockwise direction check the passenger (Curb Side) front tire for I, C, D. - Inflation, Condition, Depth of Tread.  Check to make sure all of the wheel nuts are tight and all there. Check to make sure the Oil Hub is NOT leaking.  Check your Curb Side mirror for adjustment and that it is tight.  At the front of the vehicle make sure the windshield is clean, the wiper arms are tight and the wiper blades are in good condition.  Going down the driver’s side of the vehicle (Road Side) check the Road Side mirror for adjustment and that it is tight.  Check the front tire for ICD, check that all compartments doors are securely latched and locked.  Check that the slides and awning covers are secure.  At the rear tires check both the outside and the inside rear tires for ICD.  Check that the power cord is fully retracted and the compartoor is locked.  At the rear of the vehicle, if it is a diesel pusher, make sure the
engine cover is securely latched.  On the Curb Side check the outside and inside rear tires for ICD, check that the compartment doors are latched and locked, check that all awning covers are tight and secure.

Now for the MOST IMPORTANT check of all, make sure the levelers are fully retracted, the awning is retracted and secured, the power cord is stowed, all antennas are down, all slides are fully retracted and the vehicle clear of any obstructions in your departure path.  If you do these simple checks every time you return to your vehicle, I guarantee it will save you BIG BUCKS.

Download your FREE Pre-Trip check list