Sure, you’ve thought about bears and theft, but there are other dangers of camping in an RV campground you probably haven’t considered. Here’s what you need to know to stay safe…
We all know we need to be mindful of dangerous wildlife and should lock our doors and windows. But what about more subtle but very real dangers of camping in an RV campground?
I’m talking about fire-starting, stomach-upsetting, water-logged dangers that too many campers often overlook.
So, I’m going to tell you about 5 major dangers you need to be aware of. Then, you’ll know what to look for and what questions to ask when booking your next campground.
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5 Dangers of Camping in an RV Campground
Of course, some of these dangers are more prevalent in different parts of the country. You’re not as likely to encounter dangerous weather in Southern California, for instance.
However, I’m sure you can apply the wisdom of each danger to whatever location you’re traveling to.
1. Bad Electrical
Unfortunately, it’s far too common for electrical hookups to not be properly maintained. Campgrounds that are struggling financially or are under bad management often delay electrical maintenance and repair because it can be expensive.
That leaves RVers at risk of using a faulty outlet, and two big dangers. The first big (& costly) danger is a power surge that fries your electrical system.
The second big danger of bad electrical is FIRE! It’s no surprise that sparks or surges of electricity can catch your RV on fire. It’s important to know your RV fire safety.
That’s why I recommend you always inspect your electrical connection before you plug in. Does it look badly unmaintained? Do you see any exposed wires? If it’s scary-looking… you should probably be scared.
I also recommend you always use a surge protector, like the Southwire Surge Guard, model 34930, and keep RV fire extinguishers on hand.
2. Unclean Water
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Living in America, we often take safe drinking water for granted. In many of our homes, we can drink straight from the tap. But that doesn’t mean we can do the same while camping!
Flint, Michigan, has certainly served as a warning to all Americans that we should think twice before blindly trusting any water spout.
Unclean water is one of the top unseen dangers of camping and should be taken seriously. Granted, if you’re only camping for a short while, it may not do any long-term damage, but it can make you sick regardless.
Do you really want to chance ruining your trip with a sick stomach at the very least (or possibly far worse)?
You can check water quality by zip code to best prepare for your stay at any campground. Plus, I suggest always using water filters for your RV.
3. Bad Site Location for Flooding
This camping danger applies to campground locations as well as individual campsite locations. You can unwittingly park in a flood zone and not be properly prepared if a storm hits.
Granted, this isn’t usually a year-round risk. However, at the very least, you want to be aware of the possible necessity to pack up and move if a big storm is headed your way.
It’s important to learn flood basics and note where your campsite is in relation to:
- Rivers and streams
- Mountains and steep hills
- Rocky and shallow clay soils
Note that notably dry locations (like Arizona) are not immune to flooding! In fact, they can be more at risk to flash floods. So, take heavy rains seriously, wherever you’re camping.
4. Unsafe Neighborhood
Pictures of campgrounds can paint a picturesque setting… that may be in an unsafe neighborhood. Theft and violent crimes may prevail in the area and you’d have no idea until you drove through and got that queasy feeling in the pit of your stomach.
You can easily research local crime in the area online. SpotCrime.com is one such helpful resource you can use to search by address or state.
For more peace of mind wherever you travel, you can install an RV security system.
5. Unstaffed Campground Office
You might think of an unstaffed campground office as an inconvenience, but it also poses a risk.
Having someone familiar with the campground and the area nearby can be vitally helpful in an emergency. This is especially true if you’re a solo RVer.
An unstaffed campground is also more at risk of crime, since it’s not being monitored 24/7.
Regardless of whether campground staff is available at all times, I do have a life-saving recommendation for you!
Always keep the campground address and your campsite number within reach, like on a post-it on your fridge. Plus, the address of the nearest hospital.
Having this info at your fingertips can save precious time when trying to get emergency services to your location.
Additional Safety Concerns While RVing
The above are common dangers of camping wherever you travel, but there are a couple more safety things I want to leave you with. The first being a danger when driving to your campground, and the second being a danger when traveling in tornado country.
Driving an RV in Strong Winds
Generally speaking, you should avoid driving an RV in strong winds of 45 mph or more. Once winds hit around 60 mph, the wind can topple large vehicles.
RVs have a large surface area, and winds like that can tip over your vehicle. At the very least, winds at that speed can push you like waves crashing into a toddler.
I encourage you to read these Tips for Driving an RV in Strong Winds.
Camping in Tornado Country
You can’t always drive away from bad weather. That’s why you need to know tornado safety for RVers if you’re driving through or camping in tornado country.
You can click on that above link for safety information as well as read additional safety tips in How Do You Know if a Tornado is Coming?
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