I saw something the other day that scared me! It might just be that I’m an old dog in a new world — I don’t know. Still and all, I observed something I don’t think I want to do, ever. It’s all about what you store in the basement storage bays — and where.
Some months ago we were looking at how to efficiently use our inverter bay and we made some changes to our storages options for that bay. If you notices we have an inverter in that bay, (the large white box) on the back wall of the bay are two disconnect switches (the white circles and arrows on red) and the two solar controllers to their right.
When we are parked our brake buddy lives there, a small storage tub with Blue Ox towing supplies, our power cord extender, and our stand-alone battery charger. When we are moving it’s just the charger and the cables. The inverter is permanently mounted so there’s no choice about where to move that.
What scared me was watching another RV’er put a partially filled gas container into that storage bay just before hitting the road (also a Holiday Rambler — so similar bay arrangement). I admit that I go back to the days before printed circuits and miniaturization. I guess there aren’t as many chances of sparking nowadays, but I remember the days when electric circuits were known to spark and arc for a variety of reasons. (usually not good reasons, but still a spark is a spark when there’s gas vapor around) The idea of putting a partially filled gas container (hence more gas vapor) into a storage compartment where there’s even the remote possibility of a spark just didn’t strike me as a good thing to do.
Maybe I’m being a little old woman about that. I just believe it’s better to be safe than sorry. There are a lot of choices we can make about what to transport and where. Some of them are about weights and balance. It’s good to have the axle weights as equalized as possible; no wheels overloaded, and all the wheel positions as nearly equal per tire as possible. That said, we can accomplish that by moving things around within the storage bays. But never do we want to achieve weight balance by doing something else equally dangerous.
5th wheels have very different storage arrangements than a Class A or Class B or Class C — but no matter what kind of RV you have (or are considering) there are some safety issues we all need to be careful about. Make sure you know what your particular safety issues might be. I’m no expert on any classification of RV — I know about my own unit but I’m not able to anticipate the problems someone with a different kind of RV might have in their unit.
We should all know that you don’t go mixing bleach and ammonia in the wastewater tanks. (the result is poisonous Chlorine gas — enough to kill you). We ought to realize to take certain precautions about propane tanks and their valves. And gas cans. You may have others.
You may have low hanging items beneath your coach — last summer we saw a pull-behind trailer camper break off the ‘L’ bracket on their black-water tank whilst backing into a campsite — and dumping part of their blackwater residue on the ground —then having to find the parts to make the repair, and clean up the site.
There are height issues — and I’m not just talking about leaving the crank up antenna extended — we’ve all done that once or twice — sometimes we’re lucky and don’t do any damage, other times we do. But being aware of our height as we move forward or back is always important.
Backup cameras are nice — but there are usually blind spots that the camera doesn’t see. The same applies to mirrors.
Just be safe when you’re out there. I always liked that line:
Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll talk with you tomorrow.