Campers are ready to camp! Several states lightened the restrictions for several businesses to open with limited occupancy but still practice social distancing regulations which means 6’ separation and other criteria which we will cover later. Some parks and campgrounds are opening in a limited capacity, however, if you plan to travel, you need to be prepared. For example, several campgrounds are limiting only local RVers and some have a restriction that out of state or even out of county RVers need to quarantine for around 15 days! You don’t want to get stuck in a campground unexpectedly.
The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Center For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have warned about not “celebrating” too soon. One of the concerns or warnings of the CDC and WHO is that when restrictions get lifted slightly, people are creatures of habit and go back to their old habits. So we are not saying that just because you can go to restaurants, hair salons, and even camping locations that you should flock to them immediately. On the contrary, if we are allowed to venture out we need to do a little homework and adjust our RVing accordingly.
The point is, if state parks, campgrounds, beaches, and other recreational points of interest open, it doesn’t mean you can just throw caution to the wind and go there without doing some research. If implemented properly, your RV is the perfect “shelter at home”.
Here are some tips to safely RV during the next few months:
Intra-state traveling is not advised due to “hot spots” around the country that might get you into a quarantined area. If you do need to travel, check with campgrounds directly or on their website/Facebook page.
Protect Yourself And Others During Your Travel
Wash your hands often with soap for at least 20 seconds. Avoid touching your eyes or nose. Avoid close contact with others, stay at least 6 feet away, and avoid close contact with others.
Here is the recommendation from the CDC on protecting yourself:
- Clean and disinfect surfaces that many people come in contact with. These include tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks. Avoid touching high-contact surfaces in public.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds immediately when you return home from a public place such as the bank or grocery store.
- When in a public space, put a distance of six feet between yourself and others.
- Most importantly, stay home if you are sick and contact your doctor.
Now is the time to pay very close attention to your usual cleaning routine and use a disinfectant to kill germs. Here is a current list of products that meet the EPA’s criteria for use against SARS-COV-2, the cause of COVID-19.
Continue reading below for an overview of the CDC’s recommendations for disinfecting different surfaces.
Wear PPE protective gloves such as a 5-7 mil nitrate glove, most RVers have these to use when dumping the holding tanks. Clean the surface first with a mixture of soap such as Dawn Dish Soap in water, then disinfect with an EPA-registered household disinfectant which could be a spray or towelette.
Inside your RV you will find several soft surface items such as carpets, fabrics on couches and chairs, bed linens, window treatment, and even older woven wood window blinds. If possible, get them laundered with the hottest water possible. If not, treat them with a CDC recommended disinfectant spray as listed previously.
Cell Phones, Computer Screens, TVs, and Other Electronics
The most important thing you can do is stay away from populated areas or businesses that might have crowds such as supermarkets or discount stores. Even though they are trying to enforce social distancing, I have walked into a few home improvement stores and large chain grocery stores and walked right back out as not everyone is participating!
If you do go out, wear an approved face mask, nitrate gloves, and always carry hand sanitizer! Sanitize before going in and after coming out. Don’t use the public restroom. Most campgrounds that are open have not opened the restrooms, showers, and even pools. Use the one in your rig. At the fueling station, wear nitrate gloves and wipe the pump handle down with disinfectant spray or wipes as well as the touchpads.
Some restaurants are opening inside dinning to 50% capacity plus social distancing. Many have refused to open inside rather siding on the cautious side to provide only curbside and drive-thru dining which is difficult for big rigs. Most grocery stores are providing delivery either with employees or delivery services such as UberEast or Drive Hub. You can go online and shop/pay and have it delivered to your rig out in the parking lot. Most campgrounds are too far away for delivery but some campgrounds have worked out an arrangement with a local store for delivery once or twice a week if several RVers participate. So cook your own food!
Above all, use extreme caution and do not put yourself into a dangerous situation. RVing can still be enjoyed if you abide by the recommendations of the CDC and take it slow, don’t rush to the most popular and populated tourist areas.
About the author: Dave Solberg: Managing Editor, RV Repair Club
For the last 25 years, Dave has conducted RV maintenance and safety seminars, developed dealer and owner training programs, written RV safety and handyman articles, authored an RV handbook reference guide and logged over 100,000 miles on the road in an RV.
RV Repair Club is your go-to online resource for enthusiasts who want quality RV maintenance, repair and upgrade information – a community where passionate RVers can come together to gather knowledge and share their experiences.
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Marian D. ~ “Your RV Tech was very knowledgeable and call rep was very patient and helpful! The RV tech was able to walk me through the issue so I could do it on my own and it worked. Saved me a trip to the dealer for work. Excellent service!”
Glen Cowgill said:
I would rather be in a campground than in a doctor’ office/ In the great out doors I am confident that I am safe as long as I just wave at people and say Hi from a distance. Great camping nays are coming.
Glen Cowgill said:
That last sentence should read “Great camping DAYS are coming.
Reading everything I can about safe RVing. Preparing to drive across country from one safe haven in SoCal to another in VA mostly on I 40. It appears we can keep safe as we travel less than 6 hours a day. Fuel every other day and pay for whatever campgrounds online. I expect to be on the road no more than 10 days (allowing for a couple of down days to recover from . We will have enough food to make it with no more than 1 restock, probably at a Walmart with pickup or delivery to the coach.