10 RV Safety Features That Could Save Your Life

The only thing more important than having fun while RVing is doing it safely. Fortunately, new RVs tend to come with more safety features, so you can worry less and adventure more.


With the sheer number of safety features that are available on new RVs, it’s hard to know which ones you absolutely shouldn’t skip . There can be serious consequences if you overlook something you had never even considered.


To assist you – and to prevent misfortune - we’ve compiled this list of some of the most important safety features to look for in your new RV.

1. Anti-lock brake system (ABS)

ABS is a mechanism that prevents your wheels from locking up when you suddenly and/or firmly apply the brakes. This is especially helpful in wet conditions in which your vehicle would otherwise skid, but can also be useful in dry conditions. But overall, ABS gives you greater control of your vehicle during a crisis. Currently, Grand Design RV is the only manufacturer to offer ABS on recreational vehicles. 

2. Back-up camera

A back-up camera can prevent you from hitting obstructions – including trees, rocks, pets, or people - when parking your RV or pulling out of a driveway or campsite. If wired to be used while you are in drive, it can help eliminate blind spots while towing, as well.

3. Battery monitor

Battery monitors provide detailed information regarding the charge level on your RV’s battery. This is really important if you go boondocking. If you lose all charge while camping, you may find yourself in a sticky situation that goes beyond mild inconvenience; things like lights or water pumps will not function.

4. Carbon monoxide detector

Between propane tanks and natural gas appliances, there are many opportunities for carbon monoxide to fill your RV. Even generator exhaust from neighboring RVs can put you at risk. Failure to detect carbon monoxide in your RV could be fatal, so it is critical that your RV is equipped with a carbon monoxide detector.

5. Fire extinguisher

Fire extinguishers are legally required on newer RVs. Cooking fires are incredibly common in RVs, so it is important to have one easily accessible in your kitchen. If you aren’t quick to put out a fire in an RV, there are many flammable substances that can ignite and/or explode.

6. Security system

While not standard on RVs, they can be invaluable to those that are concerned about the safety of themselves or their belongings while camping, especially in remote areas. It can keep a lookout for you while you are out and about or simply trying to snooze. It’s also a wise investment for anyone that camps alone.

7. Smoke alarm

You have them in your home, so it only makes sense to have them in your RV, as well. Plus, it is required by law for them to come standard on newer RVs. Make sure that your smoke alarm is dual sensor: one sensor for common fires (such as cooking), and the other for electrical fires. If your microwave ever catches fire, or if there is an electrical mishap, you will be glad you have it.

8. Surge protector

When you connect to a power pedestal, you never know if there will be a surge. To protect your electronics and appliances from costly damage caused by electrical surges, you should outfit your RV with surge protectors, otherwise you may find yourself forking out thousands of dollars in repairs and replacements.

9. Tire pressure monitor

The more frequently you travel, the more your odds of experiencing a tire blowout increase. If you have a tire pressure monitoring system, you can keep a convenient eye on your tire pressure and even receive alerts when there is a leak or imminent tire failure. This kind of information can enable you to act quickly and make safer decisions.

10. Weight distribution hitch

We cannot overstress the importance of a proper RV hitch. For optimal safety, your hitch should properly distribute the weight of your RV between its axles and the tow vehicle itself. (Hitch weight is optimally between 10-15% on travel trailers and fifth wheels, and 15-20% on toy haulers.) Load balancing should help , as well, but it’s even more effective when your hitch is designed to prevent sway.

Don’t gamble with your safety or with the safety of others. Hindsight is 20/20, so make sure your new RV is equipped to avoid disaster. This means selecting an RV with as many of these features as possible.

Grand Design RV is proud to offer the safest RVs on the market. See for yourself by finding a dealer near you.

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