RV camping can be a great way to spend a pleasant holiday with family and friends. If done correctly, your camping trip can be an incredible adventure. You get to spend time immersed in nature, to participate in outdoor activities, and you have a chance to relax with friends or family.
For a successful camping experience, you must have some security measures in place. Apart from maintaining your RV camper in excellent condition, ensure you prioritize your safety and that of your fellow campers.
Here are seven electrical tips to help ensure your RV camping trip is safe and successful.
1. Regularly Check the Cords and Plugs
Inspect the power cord at least once a month for nicks or cuts. Sometimes critters can cause these damages, so it’s best to prepare for the worst. Check each appliance, making sure none of them have any frayed wires. If there are any, repair them or get new ones.
Also, ensure that the plugs are in good condition and have all prongs intact. Check if the plastic casing has no damage, as melting marks show overheating while it was in use. Replace all damaged plugs. Incorrect wiring or loose connections can lead to shock, electrocution, or ‘hot skin’ condition. These can be fatal, especially if the person had other underlying heart conditions such as a weak heart.
2. Have a Fire Extinguisher on Hand
Get an extinguisher that can put off electrical fires. It is an essential tool because fires are very challenging to fight in an RV as they typically start inside walls, where vital components lie. An excellent fire extinguisher of at least a 40-B rating will make it easier to fight electrical fires.
Also, have smoke or carbon monoxide detectors installed. They help detect fires before they spread and do much damage. Check the detectors regularly and ensure they aren’t outdated.
3. Never Overload Circuits and Outlets
You may need to use several appliances and electronics at once while camping. However, overloading the circuits and outlets is a safety hazard. It might start a fire or damage your devices.
To figure out if the site has enough electricity available for all of your appliances, add up the wattage of each RV appliance and electronics. Compared to the source, if your wattage is more, do not use all the devices at once.
Also, it is essential to know the amperage (Amps) of your RV. It’ll help you quickly understand how many appliances it can support without strain. For example, a 20 amp RV can support a maximum of 2400 watts.
4. Use Extension Cords Well
While RV camping, you’ll need extension cords to provide power to RV appliances that don’t have a long cable to reach from the power source. However, there is a proper way of using RV extension cords.
Never plug RV appliances into an extension cord. They should always plug directly into the site’s power source. Use a thick and durable outdoor-rated power cord if you need to power from the site’s primary power source.
Never plug one extension cord over another. Doing so can cause an overload which means wires will start melting and catch fire.
5. Turn the Generator On First
Most campsites do not have electricity, and therefore, traveling with your own RV generator is helpful here. Before plugging your RV into a generator, turn it on first. It helps protect your appliances from electrical faults that may occur.
Related article: Top 9 Best RV Generator 2021 Review
6. Turn Off RV Appliances that Aren’t in Use
Always turn off devices with their switches or unplug them when not in use. This ensures that RV sites don’t run out of RV electrical power. Most devices will still draw electricity even if you turn them off.
It not only wastes energy, but it’s also a fire hazard when they overheat. The fires can cause a lot of damage if there is nobody around to put them off.
7. Inspect the Site
Most campsites do not do the regular maintenance of their electrical system. Thus, inspect the hook-up for any damage before using it. Report any damages to the site managers and don’t use it. Invest in good RV surge protectors or EMS that will notify you if the electrical system is undamaged.
Also, avoid using RV electrical outlets that are not grounded. Camping sites can sometimes have electrical outlets that aren’t grounded. These outlets could become a fire hazard if campers don’t use appliances or extension cords designed for an ungrounded outlet. Also, ensure that no wires are running through areas with water. Water and electricity do not mix well and can cause electrocution to passersby or children playing on the ground.
RV camping is a fun way to relax during the holidays. When electrical accidents happen, they dampen your spirits and spoil your holiday. Therefore, take the necessary precautions to ensure you protect yourself, your family, and your property. Remember, electrical safety measures in a camp are almost similar to those you take at home, and your safety is in your hands.