Motorhome Slams Into Parked Fifth Wheel

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RVers often complain about other campers parking too close to them. While that may be true, they probably park farther away than one full-time traveler recently experienced.

They found themselves waiting for police and in a position no RVer wants to be in. However, we can all learn something from their situation.

Today, we’ll examine their nightmare and how you can stay safe in campgrounds. Let’s dig in!

Full Time RVers Experience Nightmare in Parked Fifth Wheel

One full-time RVer recently was violently woken up in the middle of the night. Their entire camper shook, and they struggled to determine what had happened. Was it an earthquake? Had something broken or failed on their rig?

Upon further inspection, the travelers discovered that a neighboring motorhome had slammed into the rear of their camper. The owner apparently never set the parking brake on the motorhome, which allowed it to roll into the fifth wheel. Unfortunately, it gets worse.

When the motorhome hit the fifth wheel, it pushed it into the back of the tow vehicle. So they now have a damaged RV and truck — a double whammy.

No Injuries, but Future Remains Uncertain

While they reported no injuries, their travel future remains uncertain. They’ll likely have to stay in the area until the situation gets resolved and they can repair the damages. 

Unfortunately, these situations can take weeks or even months to resolve. Depending on the severity of the damage and availability of parts, it can mess up future travel plans and schedules.

Are These Types of Accidents Common?

Accidents in campgrounds can and do happen. However, they’re relatively rare. If you’re a member of any of the large RV groups on Facebook, you’ll see these situations occasionally. 

Typically, it involves RVers sideswiping another rig as they maneuver around a tight campground.

Regardless of how they occur, they almost always result in an insurance claim. Luckily, you can do a few things to avoid these unfortunate situations. 

Tips for Staying Safe in Campgrounds

Want to maximize your safety while in campgrounds? Here are some tips you can use to avoid dangerous situations. Let’s take a look!

Choose a Reputable Campground

We use Campendium to research spots during our travels. In general, users are great about sharing feedback about campgrounds. 

While safety issues can occur with little notice, reputable campgrounds are typically on top of things. If a situation does occur, they’ll jump on it and deal with it. You won’t have to worry nearly as much.

Check Campground Rules

We’ve stayed in some campgrounds with odd rules, but they’re typically there for a reason. If you find a campground with a long list of rules, they could simply prioritize your safety. As long as the campground enforces its rules, safety shouldn’t be something you need to worry about nearly as much.

Are rules going to stop an RV from rolling into your rig? Absolutely not. However, while many don’t like the 10-year rule, some parks enforce it for a reason. 

The motorhome that slammed into the fifth wheel we discussed earlier was much older than 10 years. Had the campground enforced the 10-year rule, could it have prevented the situation? Probably so.

Set Up in a Safe Location

Ensure you select a campsite in a safe location. Being the last or first camper in a row can expose your rig to potential issues with individuals turning. If another driver doesn’t navigate the corner correctly, they could cause severe damage to your RV or tow vehicle.

Like the individuals in our main story, it’s essential to consider other spots around you, too. If you’re on a downhill with RVs behind you, they could get loose and roll into your rig. While the odds are low, it does happen. 

We made the mistake of not chocking our fifth wheel’s tires when we first started traveling. Thankfully, our rig stopped and didn’t create a similar situation.

Lock Up Your Things

You want to avoid attracting attention or making yourself an easy target for thieves. As a result, you must lock up your stuff. Many storage compartments typically already have locks on them. 

However, they’re useless if you’re not using them. Before going to bed or leaving your camper, always check the locks.

Additionally, don’t leave your valuables lying around your campsite. Thieves will look for any opportunity to make a quick buck. Once they’re attracted to your camp, who knows what they’ll take or do. They could mess with your rig and create an unsafe situation.

Keep in Mind: RV batteries being stolen is becoming more common. Prevent RV Battery Theft With This Device!

Use Proper Lighting

While you want to avoid being obnoxious with exterior lighting, having some outside lighting can increase safety. It can help others see your camper, especially if they enter the campground at night. Navigating a narrow road with a large RV at night is challenging, no matter how long you drive.

Additionally, having lighting around your site increases your security. Many thieves work under the cover of night. More lighting increases the chances of getting spotted, which is one of the last things they want. 

Have an Emergency Exit Plan

We encourage everyone RVing, whether you’re full-time or a weekender, to have an emergency exit plan.

If a situation becomes unsafe, you need to have a plan for how you’ll get out of it. Sometimes, this may mean you pack up your things to check into a hotel for the night or head home.

In addition, it’s a good idea to have emergency phone numbers readily available. You never know when you might need to call the local sheriff’s department.

Having the number readily available can make it as easy as possible if that time comes. Luckily, 911 is universal, and an operator can route your call during an emergency to the appropriate agency.

Remember that it can take an extended amount of time for law enforcement or help to arrive in certain situations. If you’re camping on public lands, it may be challenging for them to access you or the location. You must take precautions to protect yourself and your loved ones.

Keep in Mind: If you’re still not convinced you need an emergency exit plan, these reasons will convince you

Be Aware of Surroundings

Another way to stay safe in campgrounds is to be aware of your surroundings. Be mindful of how others behave and watch for odd behavior.

Many RVers install motion lights around their campers to help them to stay aware of their surroundings. We’ve even seen some with high-tech security cameras around the perimeter of their RV.

While these may require some financial investment and effort to install, they can be worth it. You should do whatever it takes to stay aware of your surroundings and relax while enjoying your camper.

RV Life Can Be Unpredictable

As this story shows, RV life can be unpredictable. You never know when something will go off script and mess up your travel plans. 

If traveling has taught us anything, RVers must be flexible. Those who don’t learn to be flexible can find the lifestyle overwhelming and throw in the towel early. We want you to have as many adventures as you can dream of and stay safe during them.

Have you experienced any RVing mishaps?

1 comment
  1. Seems like the use of chock blocks on the motorhome would have solved this, its blows my mind how often I see various rigs without

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