Is RV Life Dangerous? Sharing Real Life Stories

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Many who embrace RV life have friends and family warning them of the potential dangers. They’ve seen and heard dramatic stories on the news about possible hazards.

For some, it seems like every time they turn around, there’s a new one of these stories in the headlines. So, is RV life really that dangerous?

Today, we’re looking at some of the dangers and discussing the realities of RV life from our perspective. Should you be worried?

Let’s look and see!

RV Life Can Be Full of Danger

RV life can be unpredictable, especially if you’re unprepared. As you’ll soon see, there are some hazardous aspects of the lifestyle, some of which are impossible to avoid.

However, the same is true with everyday life. Going out in public or on an adventure, whether in an RV or not, can be extremely dangerous.

Bad things happen all of the time that are beyond your control.

Between mechanical failures, human behavior, and wildlife, nomadic life on the road can be scary. Luckily, you can mitigate many of the dangers in RV life by growing your skills and researching.

The more experience and knowledge you gain, the better your chances of enjoying a smooth and safe journey.

Our white truck and fifth wheel getting towed out of the mud by another truck.

Dangerous Tales from RVing Adventures

We’ve compiled a list of dangerous experiences that can and do happen during RV life. We’ve found stories of RVers who have experienced them to prove they can happen to anyone. Let’s dive in!

Wildlife Encounters

When you spend time in nature, it’s only a matter of time before you have a close encounter with wildlife. David and Roe Hiser of Fate Unbound shared their experience with a wildlife encounter.

A bear climbed into the back of their truck, looking for food while the couple was traveling through Vermont.

Luckily, their encounter didn’t escalate, and the bear went on its merry way. However, some of these situations can turn very dangerous.

This should be a reminder that you must be aware of how to avoid encounters with wildlife. Food storage and removing items from your vehicle are critical when camping in bear country. Let this be a reminder always to be bear aware.

Pro Tip: Do you actually know What Being ‘Bear Aware’ Means? If not, you better click the link to read the article!

Sketchy Campground Roads

While campgrounds are a great place to park your RV, some are better than others. Some manufacturers are pushing the limits to create the largest RVs possible.

Unfortunately, many campgrounds have yet to upgrade their facilities to accommodate these larger rigs. As a result, it’s possible to find yourself in a sticky situation while navigating a campground road.

That’s what happened to Cody and Angela of Untethered. The campground sent them down the road to their campsite when they discovered it was a tight fit.

They had a close encounter with a power line and had no option but to back down the road. While they ultimately escaped the stressful situation, they had to avoid trees, ditches, and other obstacles.

Tire Blowout

Unfortunately, tire blowouts aren’t uncommon in RV life. Consider yourself lucky if you’ve yet to experience one during your travels.

While tire blowouts can happen for many reasons, the most common is driving with improper inflation. This is why we encourage every RVer to use a TPMS (tire pressure monitoring system).

As you can see below, an RV tire blowout can be very serious. Luckily, the driver in the video escaped the situation and safely got to the roadside.

We’ve seen other videos where the driver wasn’t so lucky. These incidents can cause the driver to lose control of the vehicle and cause dangerous accidents.

That’s why taking care of your tires and regularly inspecting them is crucial.

Pro Tip: Read Which RV Tires Are Considered “China Bombs”? before purchasing your next set of RV tires.

Stolen Property

Another common danger of RV life is theft. Sadly, just because you’re in a campground doesn’t mean your stuff is safe.

Thieves come in all shapes and sizes and aren’t afraid to strike RVers. Being their victim can leave you feeling violated as you know that someone purposefully walked off with your possessions.

Our good friends Tom and Cait of Mortons on the Move were victims while traveling through Oregon. The weather wasn’t cooperating, and they called it quits on their travel day.

Unfortunately, when they woke in the morning, they discovered someone had cut the locks on their bikes mounted to the back of their camper. As you can imagine, they weren’t happy campers.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Carbon monoxide poisoning is another severe danger many people overlook in RV life. While all new RVs have devices to detect this odorless gas, they can malfunction or stop working as they age.

Between propane furnaces and portable generators, accidental deaths from carbon monoxide poisoning happen far too often.

Several years ago, KOIN 6 of Oregon did a news segment on the death of a local camper. The woman in the story, Elana Brasure, lost her partner to carbon monoxide poisoning.

The segment reminded campers to check their CO detectors before using their rig. If they’re not working, you should replace them immediately. It’s better to be safe than sorry in these situations.

Getting Trapped While Boondocking

We’re not exempt from experiencing dangerous situations during RV life. While boondocking in South Dakota, we were trapped on forest service land.

A severe storm ripped through and downed trees, blocking our only way out of the area. As a result, we had to wait for workers to clear the way so we could leave.

When embracing RV life, you must always have an escape plan. While things turned out fine for us, it was incredibly stressful.

Not being able to leave when we wanted and having to depend on others was also extremely scary. 

Unpredictable Weather

Dave and Jacqueline Hudson of The Border Hookups experienced not one, not two, but three intense storms in one single night. They shared the experience in their video and described it as the scariest night of their lives.

They abandoned their camper, took shelter, and documented the damages afterward.

Their story is another reminder of how mighty Mother Nature can be. You should never take storms and other severe weather lightly. Always have a plan and take action immediately.

While it can be challenging to leave your camper behind, it will sometimes be your best bet. You can replace a camper and your possessions, but not your life. 

Pro Tip: This Is Why You Should Test Your RV Emergency Exit Window!

Pro Tip: Be sure to read How To Create The Best RV Emergency Kit so you’re prepared on the road.

Is RV Life Really That Dangerous?

While RV life can be hazardous, there are ways to reduce the risks. You can avoid many situations we’ve discussed by staying aware, planning, or trusting your gut.

Is it always possible to avoid dangers? Absolutely not. However, you can drastically reduce the risks and put yourself in the best possible situation.

The more you can reduce risks, the greater your chance of staying safe. There’s an inherent danger in living, traveling, and being out in public.

Unfortunately, you can’t eliminate every threat in this world. Be aware, stay informed, and have a plan for how you’ll respond in different situations.

Stay Safe While Enjoying RV Life

RV life can be an exciting way to live your life. However, it can also be extremely dangerous if you’re not careful.

Some people are ignorant of the risks, which puts them and others in grave danger. We don’t want you or anyone else to find themselves in a disaster, especially if it’s avoidable.

Reduce your risks as much as possible and prepare for any situation!

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