Safety in caravans and motorhomes

Safety: Sorry for the downer and long post when you are all enjoying caravanning but with the August weather being like October and some recent questions about heaters, CO detectors etc I would like to offer up some safety tips for those new to caravanning.

If any more experienced caravanners want to chip in please do so. Only legitimate comments will be allowed.Never use a gas or charcoal/wood bbq in or near the awning or in the caravan, tent or motorhome. (both of these have caused people to lose their lives) Both can cause carbon monoxide poisening (Even a cooling barbecue gives off plenty of poisonous carbon monoxide (CO), which can kill)

Never use a fuel-burning appliance to heat your tent or awning. Gas and kerosene heaters – unless they are permanently fitted in a caravan or motorhome – should only be used outside. Stoves and barbecues are designed for cooking not space heating.

During normal times my personal preference is to turn off at and night switch my heating to electric. Edited following comment from our group If serviced a gas fire is perfectly safe. And if in winter and off grid this will be your only form of heating so make sure it is serviced.

Fit a CO detector they aren’t expensive and keep it maintainedCarry a fire extinguisher in the caravan and keep a fire bucket outside, especially if you bbq (I know these work as I have had previous experience)

Fit a smoke detector, again they are cheap and super easy to fit.

Don’t try to keep an awning warm, turn everything off at night, they are cold but brace yourself and run to the shower block.

If you can’t afford to get a full service at least pay for a gas and electric test but try your best for a full service that way you know the caravan is safe in regards to gas and electric but try for a full service as this will cover everything, brakes, chasis, hitch etc that aren’t coverered within the scope of this article.

Trust your manufacturer. Your caravan has been built and tested with what is has fitted when it leaves the factory, electrics, gas etc keep them serviced and they will do what they are designed to do, alter them and you need to ensure the alterations are tested and approved by qualified people.

If money is tight and I know what that’s like, forget the nice touches you might want to add and spend the money on a service, it will be money well spent.

Sorry again for the lengthy and boring post but I really really want you all to enjoy your caravanning and I am conscious that some may be new to it all and may not be aware of the pitfalls.

A few comments made by members of caravanning

See also See also https://www.campingandcaravanningclub.co.uk/helpandadvice/camping-safety/carbon-monoxide-poisoning/

I would only add, be aware if your van has its fridge on the nearside and you put up an awning off grid. Run your fridge on gas and the fumes will vent straight into the awning.

Can i add mark, if your going to use your van on gas, don’t assume every service centre will check it the same way, question what they have done, and fridges need love, Thetford should be fitted with a stainless steel burner now,

Sorry again for the lengthy and boring post but I really really want you all to enjoy your caravanning and I am conscious that some may be new to it all and may not be aware of the pitfalls.

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