Often Neglected RV Safety Accessories

RV safety is usually focused on tires, exceeding weight capacity, brakes, navigating hilly terrain, etc.  I obviously didn’t spend enough time thinking about interior safety as you can see from the results of our interior safety inspection.

Fire Extinguisher

Fire ExtinguisherThe President of our ORCA Chapter provided a tutorial on the care of fire extinguishers.  In following his advice we found that our fire extinguisher was (1) small and (2) beyond the accepted replace by date.  The extinguisher was already four years old when it was originally installed.

We upgraded the fire extinguisher by the entrance from a 5lb, to a 10lb and added another 10lb in the bedroom area.  Turning the extinguisher upside down monthly and whacking it on the bottom prevents the contents from collecting there.  That maintenance action was never performed on our old extinguisher.  The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends replacing extinguishers at 12 years or earlier if they do not pass inspection.

Fire Alarm

fire detectorWe replace the battery in our RV fire alarms each year just to be sure the battery low alarm doesn’t start going off in the middle of the night, right?  But do we ever check the replace by date?   Ours was past its replace by date so we went shopping for a replacement.  Luckily we found one with a worry free lithium-ion 10 year battery.  NFPA recommends smoke alarm replacement every 10 years and our new one has a end of life warning chirp.  Since the operating temperatures are 40F to 100F, I wrote an 8 year replacement date on it, assuming if those temperatures are exceeded it will effect the battery and operating life of the alarm.  Belt and suspenders thinking.  Oh, and they recommend you clean with compressed air once a year.  Another maintenance action I have neglected.

Carbon Monoxide Detector

Carbon Monoxide DetectorI found ours in the bedroom area and it was also beyond its replace by date.  I believe the older detectors needed to be replaced after 6 to7 years.  Our new one will start chirping at end of life, estimated to be 10 years.  The good news is ours has the worry free lithium-ion 10 year battery.  We upgraded to get one with a readout so we can see the level of CO even if its not yet at dangerous levels.  UL requires that the detector not display any CO levels below 30PPM and will sound an alarm at 70PPM.  The ability to see CO levels displayed will give some piece of mind when running the generator.

LP Gas Detector

LP DetectorAnd lastly, there is the LP Gas Detector.  It used to go off when ever the wife used hair spray.  That hasn’t happened for the last couple of years. Now I know why.  It was way past its replacement date.  So off to Camping World.  The new LP detector specifies that its replacement date is 5 years after power up. 

Our RV safety accessories are now all updated with a “replace by date” written on the outside.  If you have an older RV like ours please take some time to check that your safety accessories have fresh batteries and are working correctly. 

Safe travels,
Roger Lee
Rollin’ Roamers

What is a OCRA Chapter?

All OCRA members are encouraged to join a local chapter for wholesome, increased outdoor fun, fellowship, travel, touring places of interest, potluck dinners and other interesting camping activities. This creates new and long-lasting friendships and memories. Some chapters choose to meet once a month for a campout, get-together luncheon, special event or other chapter activities such as service projects or support of local charities. Many of the Oregon chapters are strong supporters of the Dogs for the Deaf, as well as other local charities.  During the year, chapters meet for a campout designated by the Wagonmaster or by common agreement of the chapter members. Three times a year, chapter members enjoy attending our state rallies; The Round Up, and the Pow Wow.

During the winter months, some chapters elect to have their meetings at a local restaurant for breakfast or lunch.  A chapter is made up with a varying number and type of rigs, and each chapter is generally located in different locations in Oregon. They camp together, play together, and give support in times of need. Some chapter members have vests in their own chapter colors, with patches from the state, parks and points of interest they have visited. The more you become involved in a chapter, the more satisfying the experience.  You get out of it what you put into it.

There are approximately 32 chapters located throughout Oregon.  If you would like information on a chapter near you, please contact our current Oregon State Director, Barbara Taylor, at ORCADirector@outlook.com.   If you are from Washington, you may also contact Barbara and she will forward your request to the Washington State Director.