5 RV Security Tips on the Road

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RVing is about enjoying the RV, your friends and family, and the open road. You don’t want to worry about the negative or dwell on what can go wrong. And you shouldn’t have to. By taking some basic precautionary steps, you can help to safeguard the things that matter to you when you’re out on the road and gain some peace of mind, while still having fun.

1. Keep Your Valuables Stowed Away

While theft of your RV is a concern, oftentimes a break-in will occur simply to steal a valuable item that can be seen through the window. Whenever you leave your RV alone, take a moment to assess the items you have out that may be attractive to a burglar, such as laptop computers, tablets, jewelry, and other valuables. Stow these and similar items out of sight when you leave by placing them in bags, cases, cabinets, drawers, or even under a jacket or towel. By eliminating incentives for a break-in, your eliminate the chances that one will occur. If you have items that can be used to compromise your identity, such as passports or social security cards, consider a safe or lock box.

2. Research Your Destinations

While you’re probably already researching hours of operation, directions, prices, and RV amenities, you may want to add an additional point to your checklist: crime rate. Whether your destination is urban or rural, it’s good to know how safe an area you plan to visit is. Avoiding crime-prone areas is the best defense against burglary and break-ins. By staying to areas with low crime rates, you significantly reduce the chance of being a victim.

3. Lock Up

While it may seem like an obvious suggestion, it can be easy to overlook, especially if you’re having a good time and potential misfortune is far from your mind. Locking up is a simple precaution that you should practice regardless of how long you’ll be leaving your RV out of sight. Even if you’re just taking a short hike or heading to the nearby lake for a swim, make sure you lock up every point of access and double check to make sure it’s securely closed. Take all keys with you and don’t trust a copy of your keys to anyone you don’t know.

4. Ensure That Your RV is Equipped to Handle Fires

Not every threat comes from strangers – fire is a valid concern to any RVer and can quickly destroy your property if you have no plan in place to address it. By simply equipping your RV with fire extinguishers and smoke detectors, you can drastically reduce the risk of a fire getting out of control. Setup an inspection schedule to check that your extinguishers and smoke detectors are operational and effective.

5. Insure Your Property

If the worst comes to pass and your RV or possessions are stolen or destroyed, you’ll want to have as much as possible insured so that you can recover and get back to the life you’ve worked so hard to attain. Don’t leave your valuables out on a limb; rather, make sure they’re backed up by a reliable insurance plan.

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What Are Your Insurance Options, Minnesota RVers?

Insuring your new or used RV is a no brainer. For a lot of us, our RV serves as our home and our car, so it’s important to protect ourselves from accidents, fires and theft. Before selecting an insurance provider, you should to do a lot of research. Since there are so many companies out there, I thought I’d start you off with some basic information about the most popular RV insurance companies.

RV America Insurance. This company ensures you receive coverage specialized to your needs at the lowest price by working with six different RV insurance companies. They also offer coverage on flood, theft, fire, full-timer, total loss and 24/7 roadside assistance.

Gilbert RV Insurance. Gilbert offers several options and has excellent replacement cost, purchase price and full-time RV coverage. In the unfortunate event that your RV is totaled, Gilbert’s replacement cost coverage will guarantee you receive the same model, body and size RV. Their purchase price coverage gives you the option of being paid in the exact amount of your RVs price when purchased.  If you’re a full-timer, you’ll love Gilbert’s high liability limits with total coverage.

Good Sam VIP RV Insurance. The Good Sam club is a huge organization that is very well-known in the RV world. On average, their insurance saves each customer $312 per year, and they offer many features including full RV replacement, full timer coverage, permanently attached items coverage, and personal effects coverage.

Recently, the Good Sam Club released the Emergency Roadside Service (ERS) Mobile app making it even easier for its members to request service. The app is GPS enabled, allowing Good Sam to pinpoint your exact location as soon as you place a call for help (which minimizes call time.) You can also pre-register your membership vehicle to cut down call time, too. Once you place a call for service, you’ll see the name of the provider dispatched to assist you and their estimated time of arrival.

There are also other auto insurance companies out there, like Progressive and State Farm, who offer RV insurance. As I said before, the best thing to do is call around and get several quotes before making  decision. Hopefully I gave you a good head start. If you’re looking for a new motorhome, travel trailer or fifth wheel in Minnesota to insure, come see us. We’ll find the perfect fit for you and your family.

What Minneapolis RV Owners Should Know About Cell Phones and Filling Stations

Hey Minnesota RVers, have you seen the signs at filling station near the gas pumps that tell you not to use your cell phone while pumping gas? Recently I received an e-mail from a friend stating the dangers of cell phone use while filling up.

Safety Alert! There are several reasons why cell phones aren’t allowed in operating areas, propylene oxide handling and storage areas, or propane, gas and diesel refueling areas. For one, they can ignite fuel or fumes. Mobile phones that light up when switched on or when they ring release enough energy to provide a spark for ignition. Mobile phones should not be used in filling stations, or when fueling lawn mowers, boat, etc. In fact, mobile phones should not be used, or should be turned off, around several other materials that generate flammable or explosive fumes or dust including solvents, chemicals, gases, grain dust, etc. The following is an e-mail I received stating the rules of being safe at the pump and some interesting facts about a study done regarding incidents where fires resulted in not following proper refueling etiquette.

 

To sum it up, here are the Four Rules for Safe Refueling:

  1. Turn off engine.
  2. Don’t smoke.
  3. Don’t use your cell phone – leave it inside the
    vehicle or turn it off.
  4. Don’t re-enter your vehicle during fueling .

Bob Renkes of Petroleum Equipment Institute is working on a campaign to try and make people aware of fires as a result of ‘static electricity’ at gas pumps.  His company researched 150 cases of these fires.

His results were very surprising.

  1. Out of 150 cases, almost all of them were women.
  2. Almost all cases involved the person getting back in their vehicle while the nozzle was still pumping gas. When finished, they went back to pull the nozzle out and the fire started, as a result of static.
  3. Most had on rubber-soled shoes.
  4. Most men never get back in their vehicle until completely finished. This is why they are seldom involved in these types of fires.
  5. Don’t ever use cell phones when pumping gas.
  6. It is the vapors that come out of the gas that cause the fire, when connected with static charges.
  7. There were 29 fires where the vehicle was re-entered and the nozzle was touched during refueling from a variety of makes and models. Some resulted in extensive damage to the vehicle, to the station, and to the customer.
  8. Seventeen fires occurred before, during or immediately after the gas cap was removed and before fueling began.

Mr. Renkes stresses to NEVER get back into your vehicle while filling it with gas. If you absolutely HAVE to get in your vehicle while the gas is pumping, make sure you get out, close the door TOUCHING THE METAL, before you ever pull the nozzle out.  This way the static from your body will be discharged before you ever remove the nozzle.

Have you heard any additional information regarding the dangers of cell phones and gas pumps? We’d love to learn more about it!