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WHAT IF You Crash Your RV? What’s Your Plan?!

Do you have a plan if you crash your RV? Would you be homeless? How do you get home? What if you need medical attention? These are the questions you need answers for…

A Top Contributor in our RV Lifestyle Facebook group got into an accident. They needed medical attention, but thankfully, seem to be okay even though their tow vehicle was totaled and 5th wheel was damaged.

The unfortunate incident taught her the value of having an emergency plan in case your RV crashes. She used her experience as an opportunity to warn her fellow RVers in our group, and offer advice to help prepare them for such an incident. 

In her post, she raised several very important questions that every RVer should be able to answer BEFORE they get into an accident. Unfortunately, not many RVers can. Do you have answers for these questions?…

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What’s Your Emergency Plan If You Crash Your RV?

crash your rv

Kelly’s post started with:

“At 3:30 pm on March 1st our RV adventure abruptly ended in a car accident. The details of the crash are unimportant. My question for all of you is this, what does your emergency plan look like?…”

Kelly then brought up several key points and associated questions that we’ve broken down into the sections below. We’re going to walk through them, making minor edits and reorganizing for the purpose of the article. We’ll also add additional questions and offer resources wherever we can. 

(Thank you, Kelly, for bringing up these important questions and challenging the RV community to make a plan!)

Remember, your plan will ultimately be unique to you. We can ask the questions, but you have to answer them. Whether you’re a full-timer like Kelly or a part-timer, this post should help you start devising your plan.

We Were Immediately Homeless

As a full-timer, Kelly was left homeless by the accident. But even a part-timer loses their temporary home when in an RV accident. This raises some very important questions. 

  • Where would you stay? Do you have family or friends that will take you in while you make new arrangements? 
  • If you’re not a full-timer, how would you get back home and pay for that transportation? Does your RV insurance cover the cost of that transportation?
  • How would you pay for temporary lodging? Does your RV insurance policy cover temporary lodging? If so, for how long? 
  • Would you buy another RV or go back to sticks and bricks? 

…and Without a Vehicle

“It took nearly a month before we were paid out on the cost of a vehicle. What would you do for that month?” 

  • What transportation will you have while waiting for the insurance claim to process?
  • Will your insurance cover a rental car?
  • Do you have cash to buy another, would you finance another? Will your insurance payout cover a vehicle replacement?

We Couldn’t Get All of Our Personal Property from the RV

“We were able to get a portion of our property out of the RV, what would you do if you were without your stuff for an extended period of time?”

  • Does your RV insurance cover your personal belongings?
  • Does your home insurance policy cover your personal belongings kept in an RV?
  • Do you have a video recording of all of your personal belongings that you keep in your RV? A video is the best proof to provide your insurance company that what you say was in your RV actually was in your RV. It’ll make your claim go much smoother.

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WHAT IF You Crash Your RV? What's Your Plan?! 1
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We Had to Cancel a Year’s Worth of Camping Reservations

“We had nearly 100% of this year’s camping booked. What does your refund policy look like?”

We Have to Wait for Repairs & Sourcing Parts

“The 5th wheel is being repaired, but we are currently nearly 60 days without it. My friend had an accident with her 5th wheel 10 months ago and they are still sourcing parts for the repair.”  

  • Where will you stay while waiting for parts and repairs?
  • If you’re a full-timer, does your RV insurance policy cover temporary lodging (i.e., a rental property(? For how long?
  • If you’re a part-timer, does your RV insurance policy cover a hotel stay until you can get home? For how long?

We Needed Medical Attention

WHAT IF You Crash Your RV? What's Your Plan?! 2
Typical Interior of a medical helicopter used for transport for a Medical Emergency on an RV Trip

Emergency responders will provide the immediate medical attention you need, but you can make their jobs (and your life) easier if you compile your important information and keep it handy.

  • Do you keep a copy of your insurance in your wallet?
  • Do you have all of your medical information in one place? 
  • Does someone back home have your health insurance information? 
  • Do your emergency contacts know your medical history?
  • Do you keep an Emergency Information Card in your wallet?

My Encouragement to All of You…

Kelly then ends with this: “My encouragement for all of you is to…

  1.  Review your insurance policies and make sure that you have the coverage you want.
  2. Come up with an emergency plan that can be put in place if the worst should happen.

That is excellent advice, Kelly, and we once again thank you for using your experience to help others. We hope we have aided your efforts with this article. 

You can also read other RVer's advice in the Facebook post's comments and refer to our roundup of all of our Emergency articles: LIFE-SAVING RV Emergency Preparedness: Don’t Become a Statistic!

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WHAT IF You Crash Your RV? What's Your Plan?! 3

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WHAT IF You Crash Your RV? What's Your Plan?! 4

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Mike Wendland

Published on 2023-05-14

Mike Wendland is an Emmy award-winning journalist, traveler, and producer of RV Podcast, the RV Lifestyle travel blog, and the RV Lifestyle Channel on YouTube. Mike, traveling with his wife Jennifer and their Norwegian Elkhound, Bo, has vast experience and a great passion for exploring North America, previously working as a long-time NBC-TV News Channel Technology Correspondent and now sharing his love for the RV lifestyle with millions. Mike is not only an adept RV life enthusiast but also a skillful storyteller, bringing to his channels stories from the road that perfectly capture the magic and hardships of this lifestyle.

2 Responses to “WHAT IF You Crash Your RV? What’s Your Plan?!”

May 14, 2023at11:23 am, Cathy Smith said:

Excellent information in article “What if you crash your RV? What is your plan?” Wow! Something I never gave thought to as a full time RV’er! Thank you so much for this “wake-up” article!


May 15, 2023at2:00 pm, Team RV Lifestyle said:

Thanks for the feedback, Cathy! Glad it was helpful! Team RV Lifestyle


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