While vehicle recalls are widely known to affect passenger vehicles such as cars, trucks, vans, and SUVS, there are other types of passenger vehicles on Georgia roadways that may pose danger to others. Recreational vehicles, also known as RVs, are becoming more and more common in the United States. It is estimated that approximately 8.5% of American households own a recreational vehicle of some sort. The two categories of RVs include motorhomes and towables. Those vehicles classified as A, B, or C units are typically called “motorhomes”, while others are towed behind motor vehicles. For instance, a fifth wheel or travel trailer is considered a towable. While these recreational vehicles are meant for enjoyment, they oftentimes pose significant risk to those around them.
In spite of the size and weight of RVs being comparable to commercial vehicles such as tractor trailers, operators of these RVs are not required to pass a commercial driver’s license exam. Currently, there are very few requirements for training to drive an RV on U.S. highways. This is a bit disturbing, as these larger and heavier vehicles are much more difficult to operate than the typical passenger car or truck. For instance, when an automobile comes to a sudden stop on a highway, it takes much longer to stop a larger RV than a typical passenger vehicle. Without the proper training and education, RV drivers may not be prepared for this type of occurrence. The handling and performance of larger vehicles such as RVs also differs when the weather changes, making it more difficult to drive an RV in rain, sleet, or snow. We urge recreational vehicle owners to take it upon themselves to educate themselves, possibly even becoming licensed to drive a commercial vehicle, prior to operating a large RV on public roadways.
In addition to driver training being lax for RV owners, recreational vehicles are often recalled due to product failures that could pose significant threat to passengers and those nearby recalled RVs. The NHTSA announces RV product recalls the same way that it publicizes other passenger vehicle recalls online. Recently, there have been a variety of RV recalls announced, including:
- 2013-2014 Jayco Pinnacle and Senaca motorhomes and fifth wheels
- 2014 Forest River travel trailers
- 2015 Crossroad travel trailers
- 2014 Keystone travel trailers
- 2014 Forest River Crusader fifth wheels
- 2014 Triple E motorhomes
- 2013-2014 Keyston Montana and Big Sky RVs
- 2014 Crosswoods Redwood trailers
- 2013-2014 Motor Coach RVs
- 2014-2015 Winnebago motorhomes
- 2014 Keystone TV trailers and fifth wheel vehicles
Due to the large amount of equipment that exists inside motorhomes and RVS, product recalls have a totally different meaning in the world of recreational vehicles. For instance, a few of the above recalls affect microwaves. Typical passenger vehicle owners would not have to worry about microwave defects, but RV owners do. There is a whole new potential for dangers when RVs are involved.
In spite of the escalated dangers associated with recreational vehicles, they can still be a great way to have fun and travel. Owners should simply keep in mind the potential dangers associated with RV ownership and stay up to date on the latest safety concerns and product recalls. In the event that an RV causes an automobile accident, however, injured victims can bring a legal claim against the owner of that recreational vehicle. We urge RV owners and operators to use utmost caution while operating these large and potentially dangerous vehicles.