The emergency exit window in your RV is a vital safety feature.
But what if you don’t know how it works? In that case, it stops being useful.
For your safety and your family’s well-being, everybody should understand how to operate the emergency exit window.
If something should happen, there’s a far better chance everyone will stay safe if they know how to exit in an emergency.
How to Operate an RV Emergency Exit Window
There are lots of different types of RVs and brands, but emergency windows tend to be pretty similar across all of them. Here are the basic steps to operating them.
1. Locate Your RV’s Exit Window(s)
Depending on the model, your RV may have multiple emergency windows. Typical places they may be located include the bedroom and the main living area.
2. Find the Red Handle, Latch, Cord, Etc.
Your emergency windows should stand out because of the red-colored mechanism they will have to facilitate opening them. This could be a red cord, latch, handle, or another device that helps you open the window.
3. Activate the Release Mechanism and Push
Most emergency windows are hinged, and they swing open when you activate the release mechanism. If the window doesn’t swing open automatically, use your hands to push it fully open.
4. Measure the Distance Between the Window and the Ground Outside
Quickly measure the distance to the ground outside before you exit. Often, it will be a lot farther than you expect.
5. Exit Feet-First
The safest way to exit through your emergency window is feet-first. However, don’t jump if the distance is too far. Instead, use your hands to grab the window ledge, then lower yourself as close as you can to the ground using your arms. If you need to, brace your feet against the outside of the RV for some leverage as you lower yourself down.
Once your feet are as close to the ground as possible, gently let yourself drop. You should land squarely on your feet.
How to Stay Safe in an Emergency
A fire can just as easily happen in an RV as inside a house. Here are some tips for staying safe in an emergency.
1. Do a Test-Run or Fire Drill
The only way to have a good idea of what to do in an emergency is to practice. Get your whole traveling group together and teach everyone how to operate the emergency exit window.
After that, go through a few test-runs to see how quickly everybody can get out of the RV, just as if there was a real fire or emergency. Tweak your plan based on how well the test-runs go.
2. Keep the Window Clear of Obstructions
Your window needs to be easy to access no matter the time or place. In an emergency situation, you don’t want to have to deal with moving stuff aside just to reach your exit.
Keep the window clear of obstructions. That includes leaving enough room, so you can quickly and safely activate the release mechanism.
3. Make Sure Everyone Knows the Emergency Plan
Everyone who travels with you not only needs to know how to operate the emergency window, but also what the plan involves. Especially if you’re traveling in a large group, everyone should know the plan to avoid confusion and chaos in a real emergency.
For example, establish a meeting place where everyone should go after they exit the vehicle. Appoint one person to take roll-call to make sure everybody is present and safe after an emergency situation.
4. Able Adults First
If you’re traveling with young children or seniors, make sure the first person out the window is an able adult. This person can then station themselves under the window and help others reach the ground safely.
Emergencies Can Happen Anywhere – Stay Prepared and Safe
A fire or other emergency situation can happen on your RV, especially if a mechanism malfunctions or if there’s a kitchen mishap.
To make sure everyone on board stays safe, you should all know the basics about operating the emergency exit window.
Before leaving on a road trip, give everyone a tour of the vehicle, show them where the emergency exits are located, and demonstrate how to operate them. Give everyone a chance to practice.
Finally, discuss the emergency plan before you hit the road and at each new place you stop at for long periods of time.
This may all seem like a lot of work, but when safety is concerned, you can never be overly prepared. Follow these steps and you’ll be less likely to panic in an emergency situation. Plus, you’ll help keep your whole crew safe and sound.