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RV RECALLS? Why You Should Register Your RV with NHTSA

| Updated Feb 9, 2024

RV recalls can take months to reach you. Be informed sooner! Register your RV with NHTSA so you don't end up on the side of the road…

Have you ever experienced a vehicle recall? If so, you know it can take months to filter from the manufacturer to you, the vehicle owner.

The danger in this lag time is that something can go wrong before you even know there is a problem. But there is something you can do about it!

By registering with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), you can get recall information MUCH sooner! Here's what you need to know…

Check for Safety Issues & RV Recalls Instantly!

rv recalls

The first thing you want to do is check your RV for any current safety issues or recalls. You can get this information immediately through the NHTSA website.

Click this NHTSA link, then enter your RV's VIN. Or, you can click on the “Vehicle” tab and search by year, make, and model.

This search tool will then show you if it's an unrepaired vehicle affected by a vehicle safety recall in the past 15 years. If a safety recall has been repaired, it won't show in the results.

Unfortunately, this VIN search tool doesn't show all manufacturers. So, its usefulness may be hit or miss depending on the make of RV you have. Small or highy-specialized manufacturers may not have results.

But even if you can't get immediate information, you can sign up for recall alerts!

How to Get Recall Alerts from NHTSA

rv recalls

Technically, there are two ways to get recall alerts from NHTSA. The first is through their app, SaferCar, and the second is through email notifications. But only one really works…

Does SaferCar App Work?

No, NHTSA's SaferCar app is poorly rated and has not been updated since 2021. So, our advice is not to even bother with it.

If anything, it will give you false assurance when you don't receive any alerts when, in fact, it just might not be working properly.

You're better off with the “old school” method of email notifications…

Opt for Email Alerts Instead

Since the app is unreliable, we recommend you register with NHTSA's Recall Notification Email System. By entering your email address, you can then set up, modify, or delete your recall notification subscription.

While this system seems to be much more reliable than the SaferCar app, we wouldn't rely on it entirely. A good practice would be to check the Safety & Recall Search Tool that we talked about in the very beginning every 6 months.

Common Types of RV Recalls

rv recalls service

When it comes to RV recalls, there is a broad range of issues that can occur. Some of the most common types of recalls in the RV industry include:

1. Structural Issues

Recalls related to structural components such as frames, roofs, floors, or sidewalls that may be prone to defects or failure.

2. Appliance and Equipment Recalls

Issues with appliances (e.g., refrigerators, stoves, water heaters) or other equipment installed in RVs, which may pose safety hazards or fail to function properly.

3. Electrical System Recalls

Problems with the electrical systems, including wiring, circuit breakers, inverters, or generators, which could lead to electrical fires or other safety hazards.

4. Tire Recalls

Recalls related to tires installed on RVs, such as defects in manufacturing, tread separation, or other issues that could increase the risk of accidents or blowouts.

In addition to receiving these recalls, we suggest reading:

5. Propane System Recalls

Issues with propane tanks, regulators, or lines that could result in leaks, explosions, or fire hazards.

It's important for RV owners to stay informed about recalls affecting their vehicles and address any safety issues promptly to ensure safe operation on the road.

Here is some more helpful information on propane safety:

How Long Does an RV Recall Take?

calendar for rv recalls

The duration of a vehicle recall process can vary widely depending on several factors, including the complexity of the issue, the number of vehicles affected, the availability of replacement parts, and the responsiveness of the manufacturer.

The typical steps involved in a recall process include:

  1. Identification of the Issue
  2. Investigation and Analysis
  3. Notification of Affected Vehicle Owners
  4. Remedy Development
  5. Distribution of Replacement Parts
  6. Vehicle Repairs
  7. Completion of Recall

Overall, the duration of a vehicle recall can range from several months to several years.

What Is the NHTSA?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is an agency within the United States federal government, operating under the Department of Transportation. Its primary goal is to prevent injuries and save lives related to vehicles.

Additionally, the NHTSA aims to reduce traffic-related healthcare costs and other economic burdens.

What Does the NHTSA Do?

The NHTSA has several main functions. We'll briefly cover each.

a) Sets Safety Standards

The NHTSA establishes and enforces safety performance standards for motor vehicles and equipment, ensuring crashworthiness, crash avoidance, and fuel economy are met.

b) Investigates Safety Defects

The agency investigates safety-related defects in motor vehicles and equipment and manages recalls when necessary to address safety issues. Through vehicle performance monitoring and research, the NHTSA collaborates with manufacturers to promptly address safety concerns.

c) Consumer Information and Education

The NHTSA provides consumers with information on vehicle safety ratings, recalls, and other safety-related topics. It conducts public awareness campaigns to promote safe driving behaviors and prevent accidents. They even have their own YouTube Channel.

d) Research and Development

The agency conducts research on various aspects of traffic safety, including vehicle technologies, driver behavior, and road infrastructure. This research informs the development of new safety standards and strategies to reduce accidents and fatalities on the nation's roads.

e) Enforcement of Safety Regulations

The NHTSA enforces compliance with federal motor vehicle safety standards and regulations. It conducts investigations, inspections, and audits to ensure manufacturers, dealers, and other stakeholders meet safety requirements.

rs, depending on the circumstances. Regulatory agencies like the NHTSA closely monitor recall processes to ensure timely and effective resolution of safety issues.

Have You Registered Your RV with NHTSA?

If you've registered your RV with NHTSA, please tell us about your experience in the comments below. Have you received recall alerts? Did you receive the alert months before you received it in the mail?

Thanks for sharing your experience to help fellow RVers!

Plan Your Next Adventure to Coastal Maine

By popular demand, we announce the publication of the latest in our library of RV travel guides – a 7-Day Adventure Guide to Coastal Maine.

RV RECALLS? Why You Should Register Your RV with NHTSA 1

With its dramatic rocky coastline, enchanting fishing towns, and windswept sandy beaches, Coastal Maine is a destination that should be on every RVers’ bucket list. 

We call these guides “7 days,” but they really are seven stops. They’re meant to be experienced at your own pace, a couple of days at one stop, a week at another, however long you want.

We have carefully curated this 66-page digital guide (not a printed book) so you can take in all Coastal Maine has to offer. We give you the routes to drive, the spot to stop, the places to eat, and the museums, excursions, hikes and adventures we think you will enjoy the most.

For an RVer, Coastal Maine has it all: stunning landscapes, short drives between stops, spacious campsites, that perfect small city and nature mixed with a seemingly endless variety of things to see and explore.

Mike Wendland

Published on 2024-02-09

Mike Wendland is a multiple Emmy-award-winning Journalist, Podcaster, YouTuber, and Blogger, who has traveled with his wife, Jennifer, all over North America in an RV, sharing adventures and reviewing RV, Camping, Outdoor, Travel and Tech Gear for the past 12 years. They are leading industry experts in RV living and have written 18 travel books.

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