Travel Safe: Safety Tips for a Campervan Road Trip - Native Campervans

Travel Safe: Safety Tips for a Campervan Road Trip

Safety Tips Campervan

If it’s your first time renting a campervan, there are safety tips and tricks you need to know to make the most of your trip. When you’re out on the road, there is no telling what situation you’ll run into. Whether it’s a loss of cell signal, an injury hiking, or running out of gas, starting your campervan rental prepared will not only make your trip safe but it will make it more enjoyable. 

Even experienced campervan travelers can benefit from a refresher on the safety tips we’ve outlined in this article. As we like to say: you can never be too prepared when you’re venturing out into mother nature.

10 Must-Know Campervan Safety Tips

Always Tell Someone at Home Your Travel Plans

Before picking up your campervan rental from one of our locations, make sure to tell someone that you’re hitting the road, a copy of your itinerary, and how long you’ll be gone. We suggest setting “check-in” days. Check-in days can consist of a single text or a lengthy phone call to a friend or family member.

During these check-in calls, you can inform your stay-at-home companion of any changes in your trip that could delay your return date. 

It’s also important to give them a copy of your itinerary so they know when to expect a check-in. After you’ve spent a few minutes planning your trip, make a copy to give to your family or friends. They’ll know exactly where you’re expected to be throughout your trip. If you miss your check-in call with your stay-at-home companion, they will be able to call the local authorities instead of spending precious hours guessing where you might be. This is so important!

Download Maps Off-Line

Another area of concern when traveling in the backcountry is that you never know when you might lose service. When you lose service, maps and directions will disconnect leaving you without a reliable source of direction and whereabouts. To avoid this, we strongly recommend you download your maps on your phone ahead of time. That way you’ll never have to worry about losing service because your maps will be accessible in low to no-service areas. 

Here is an explainer on how to download areas on Google Maps before your departure.

Fill up on Gas Regularly

Stay on the road and avoid getting stranded in the middle of nowhere by filling up on gas regularly. We recommend filling up when you’re at half a tank and heading out to remote areas. It’s always a good idea to fill up even if you think you don’t need to!

 You can plan gas stops by charting the gas stations along your route. Remember that not all gas stations are 24 hours in more remote areas of the country. Waiting to fill up until your fuel light is on could leave you stuck on the side of the road, at the mercy of strangers, and wasting your precious vacation time.

Side note: All our campervans take regular gas!

Stock up on First Aid Supplies

 Make sure you have all the necessary safety supplies in your van like band-aids, wound cleaner, bandages, and aspirin. If you’re heading out in your own van, check to ensure that your first aid kit is readily accessible and packed with all necessary supplies.

 First aid kits and restock supplies can be bought from Amazon, or your local grocery or outdoor stores.

Plan Your Trip Ahead of Time

This is one of the most important safety tips we can offer you. It’s tempting to head out with no plan and see where the open road takes you, but that can lead to wrong turns, emergencies, and ending up in dangerous areas. Take a few minutes to plan your trip ahead of time; you will give yourself and your family members the peace of mind to enjoy your trip.

Not only that but planning your trip ahead of time only maximizes your vacation hours!

Campervan and Maps Safety tips

Pack Correctly, Including Good Footwear!

Good footwear is a must. What if you have to walk for miles to the next gas station, or need to hike through rocky terrain to get help? Or you just plan on taking long hikes (why are you in a campervan anyways!). You don’t want to make that trek in sandals. Good footwear will make any emergency or hike a little easier to navigate. Hiking boots or hiking shoes should make it in your suitcase no matter what.

Fill Out Hiking Registration Books Before Hitting the Trail

It is tempting to skip this part of the hike and head straight to the trail, and we don’t blame you. However, filling out the hiking registration book before hitting the trail ensures someone has a record of your last movement. Emergency officials use these trails to determine where you might be on the trail based on your entrance time, and what trail you might be on. Take a few minutes to fill this out as it could save your life.

Lock Your Van at Night

We can’t say this enough: LOCK YOUR VAN AT NIGHT! Just because you are out in the middle of nowhere, doesn’t mean you’re alone out there! There can be any number of wild animals or even people looking to cause trouble. Don’t forget that bears can open doors. To prevent any disruptions in the middle of the night, lock your doors before going to sleep.

Bring a Headlamp, Safety Whistle, and Bear Spray

These essentials are must-haves while traveling by van into the western US. You can pick up all the items from Amazon before your trip or visit a local outdoor store. Keep in mind that you can’t check-in bear spray for your flight so either pack it in your checked bags or ask if there are any leftovers at one of our pick-up locations from previous customers.

Download the AllTrails & Dyrt Apps

While there are hundreds of apps you can use to assist in your journey, we recommend using AllTrails and Dyrt. AllTrails is an informative hiking app with GPS coordinates and detailed instructions to assist hikers in finding and navigating thousands of hikes around the United States. The Dyrt works in the same manner, but with Dyrt you can get the Pro version with our code (NAV30) which has far more features. Both apps work without service if downloaded beforehand, making them the top choices for campers looking to stay safe in the wild.

Following these safety tips will ensure that you have a wonderful and safe campervan trip. Nothing is worse than spending your trip dealing with an emergency that could have easily been avoided. We can’t wait to hear about your amazing and safe trip. Follow us on Instagram @nativecampervans to share photos and stories from your adventure!

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