Electrical Safety Tips for RV Camping
Camping is an outdoor leisure activity that many people take advantage of during the summer season. As with all summer fun, being safe needs to be a priority. Safe Electricity wants you to stay safe and has some electrical safety tips to take along on any trip that involves RV camping.
Tragically, in the summer of 2014, a 3-year-old boy was electrocuted as a result of faulty wiring that electrified the family’s camper. The child was touching a door handle of the camper while standing on wet ground when he was electrocuted.
Such a situation in which an RV frame is electrically charged is often referred to as “hot skin.” Improper wiring or connection, no grounding, reversed polarity, and loose or worn outlets are just some of the potential causes. If a hot skin hazard exists, simply opening the door or coming into contact with the hitch can cause shock or electrocution.
To help prevent hot skin, your RV’s electrical system needs to be regularly tested and maintained. A professional electrician can help you make sure the wiring in your RV is safe.
Perform a visual inspection of cords, plugs, and outlets. If there are cracked or frayed cords or broken or discolored plugs or outlets, do not use them. Have them replaced or repaired. Make sure RVs are equipped with fire extinguishers as well as permanently installed carbon-monoxide and fire detectors.
Always use electrical cords rated for the use they will get. Make sure the power demand of the appliances that will be used does not exceed the cord’s rating. To plug your RV into a campground power pedestal, use a heavy duty, four-wire cord with a grounding wire, not an extension cord.
Know the amperage your RV draws and the amperage available. If you try to draw more amperage than is available, you can cause serious damage to the electrical source and your RV. You could even start a fire. Also make sure you know where your electrical panel and major switches are.
Before using a campground hook-up, do a visual inspection of the area. If a campground hook-up appears to be damaged, put safety first and request another spot. Making the campground aware of the damage will also help future campers at that site. In addition, be sure to have the proper cord. Never plug more than one RV into a single hook-up. As with a generator, plug your RV in before turning appliances on.
For more information on electrical safety, visit SafeElectricity.org.