RV vacations are for fun, but it is important to be familiar with tips for RVing in the desert before you head to Arizona. Long hours on the road in the hot desert sun carry unique safety challenges. To make sure your vacation stays safe and enjoyable, here are some pointers for hot weather RV camping in Arizona.
Know How to Drive
It is important for any driver to be in complete command of their vehicle at all times. However, an RV is a special case, since driving one is not exactly like driving a car. You should make sure you are comfortable behind the wheel, especially operating such a large vehicle. You should know how to reverse safely, pass other drivers, and use your mirrors. In addition, you should be familiar with the unique ways that the rules of the road apply to RVs.
Make Sure Your Vehicle Is in Top Condition
It is always prudent to make sure a vehicle is regularly inspected and road-ready. However, RVs have some unique considerations. One important point to consider is the electrical capacity of your RV. Since RVs are designed not just for traveling but also for temporary living, they have many electrical fixtures for cooking, temperature control, and more. However, not every RV has the same electrical capacity or updated hookups, and running too many fixtures simultaneously can put at risk for vehicular fire. Make sure all your outside fixtures are attached properly and any inside or outside amenities are safe and up-to-date.
It is also vital to make sure you check the amount of coolant in your RV. Hot weather RV camping and driving are hard on your vehicle. Engines have the potential to overheat, so store some extra coolant in case of an emergency.
Keep an Eye Out for Wild Animals
Arizona’s beautiful landscapes and wildlife make it a popular travel destination for RVers from all over the country, especially the so-called “snowbirds,” or retired northerners who return annually to enjoy the warm weather and desert sights. There are many RV parks in Arizona for snowbirds, but tourists from out of state might not be familiar with the animal life that can be found in the desert or how to safely deal with it.
Arizona is home to bears, coyotes, raccoons, snakes, scorpions, fire ants, and other wildlife. These animals can cause destruction to your property; raccoons and bears are known for their ability to break into structures to find food, so it is vital to keep your RV secured. Another danger is if you come into close contact, you could be seriously injured.
You should know how to recognize a variety of wildlife, interact with it if unavoidable, and treat the injuries animals can inflict. Of course, you should always have a cellphone and charger on hand to contact emergency help if you are seriously injured.
Beware of Rising Temperatures
Another unique challenge of traveling safely in Arizona is the severe heat, which can climb well above 100 degrees. Make sure you are always carrying plenty of water reserves. You never know when you will have to spend more time on the road (or on the side of it) than you anticipated. Dehydration and heat exhaustion can quickly become life-threatening, even before you realize you are in danger. In addition to extreme heat, the desert climate can be highly changeable, which means RVers also need to be prepared for sudden flooding or dust storms.
Arizona is beautiful, but camping in the wilderness can carry safety concerns. However, with these tips for RVing in the desert, you can expect a safe and enjoyable vacation in the beautiful Southwest.