RV Emergency Escape Plan?

October 26, 2009

emergency exit
by Mark Polk
Mark is a regular contributing author

What if there is a fire? What if the entry door is blocked and you can’t get out? What’s the plan? Is there a plan?

When we plan a trip in our RV we tend to think about all of the good aspects of the upcoming adventure. Where we are going, what we’ll do when we get there, and all of the things we will see and experience along the way. What we don’t really think about is what if something happens during the trip and everybody needs to exit the RV in a hurry.

I don’t want to worry anybody. My intent is to bring awareness to the possibility that something like this could happen, so you can discuss it and be prepared in the event of an emergency. An RV emergency escape plan is just one of those things lots of folks don’t think about.

For starters, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) requires that RV’s have emergency escape windows. Make sure that everybody(old enough) traveling with you in the RV knows where the emergency escape window is located and how to use it. It’s a good idea to practice using it so you are familiar with how to get out of the RV in case of an emergency. Consider elderly persons and small children. Can they exit the emergency window without assistance, and if not what is the plan.

Here are some more important considerations when formulating your escape plan:

* In the event of an emergency the mission is to get everybody out of the RV quickly and in an orderly fashion.

*You should have an emergency escape plan for the front of the RV and the rear of the RV.

* Time is your biggest enemy.  An RV can fill with smoke in as little as one minute.

* Design an escape plan specific to the needs of the individuals in the RV.

* Sketch your plan on paper and indicate which windows and doors can be used to escape. Review the plan with everybody in the RV. Make sure each adult understands their duties when it comes to assisting others.

* Inform everybody where the emergency escape window is located and how to use it.

* Make sure everybody knows how to use other windows and door latches in the RV, before there is an emergency.

* Practice your escape plan so everybody is familiar with how to get out of the RV.

* If possible, designate a meeting place outside where everybody will meet immediately after exiting the RV so you can get accountability.

* When everybody is safely out of the RV call 911 for help.

* Never re-enter a burning RV!

Most importantly, do not risk your personal safety, or the safety of others, attempting to put a fire out. The first step is to get everybody out of the RV and away from the fire safely. Have somebody call 911 for help, and if you can’t extinguish the fire within the first minute or so let the professionals handle it.

Happy Camping,


Mark Polk is founder of RV Education 101 and RV University

RV “Sole” Ambassadors

October 24, 2009

by Silvana Clark

Quick! How many pairs of extra shoes do you have in your closet? Most people (especially women!) get embarrassed and sheepishly admit they own an over-abundance of shoes.

That’s where Soles4Souls comes in to the picture.

sylvia clark

This shoe charity collects and distributes gently used shoes to people in need. Where do these gently used shoes come from? Everywhere!

Soles4Souls’ warehouse in Roanoke, Alabama receives about 35,000 pairs of shoes each week from schools, churches, businesses, Scout troops and even full time RV’rs looking to downsize.

Just like those donated shoes that get a new lease on life, my husband and I are getting a new lease on life by traveling across the country in an RV, promoting Soles4Souls.When our youngest daughter left for college, Allan and I looked to re-invent ourselves. I was a self employed professional speaker for 19 years and Allan trained school bus drivers. We were also doing marketing work for Soles4Souls and realized Excel spread sheets were not for us.

We gave Wayne Elsey, CEO of Soles4Souls a far-fetched proposal, suggesting he buy an RV and have us travel around the US for a year as “Sole Ambassadors”. Within twoSoles 1 silvana months we were on the road! Now every day is an adventure, from visiting a school where students donated 2,500 shoes, to a road run where runners donated expensive, barely worn running shoes.In addition, we visit shoe manufacturers and thank them for their donations of new shoes to people in the US.

Soles4Souls has distributed more than 5 million pairs (currently donating one pair every 11 seconds) to people in over 110 countries, including Honduras, Uganda, Romania, and the United States. We had the privilege of giving away shoes in remote villages of Guatemala, where children didn’t even own shoes. Last Christmas our family gave shoes to people living on an indigenous Indian reservation in the middle of a Costa Rican jungle. Ministry takes place on many levels.

The Bible tells us to take care of widows and orphans. It’s gratifying to know that our work results in thousands of people in need getting a pair of shoes. Think what this means to a child in Africa who has shoes so she can go to school or a worker getting shoes to protect his feet while gathering wood.

Now, we call out to  all of you fellow RV’rs and your families to clean out closets and donate those gently used shoes to Soles4Souls! We’ll be hitting the west coast this winter. Let us know if you’d like the big, blue, bold Soles4Souls RV visit your church or community event.

Get more details at www.giveshoes.org or follow our cross country RV trip by clicking here Soles header2

Contact Sylvana or post your comments below

Profile: Deer Run RV Resort

October 23, 2009

A recent addition to our Charter Campground Member roster is Deer Run RV Resort in Crossville, TN.

Owner Kim Skinner tells RVchurchesUSA that her resort covers 200 acres, offers tent/RV sites and has cabin accommodations for guests as well. The newly remodeled Guest Services Building houses the General store, Guest check-in and wi-fi services.

In addition to a host of full-service amenities for a variety of guests – including hunters, church groups, corporate and other organizations – Deer Run offers nondenominational on-site church services in a separate building dedicated for Chapel use. With capacity for 100 worshipers, services are held each Sunday from April to October each season.

Pastor Jeff Elliott, Director of Student Development/Asst Professor at Tennessee Temple University,  presents messages similar to that below:

5 Things God Wants You to Know

1. No one is perfect. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Rom.3:23)

2. We can’t fix ourselves. “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us.” (Titus 3:5)

3. Jesus offers us the answer. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16)

4. You must accept Jesus for salvation. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved.” (Acts 16:31)

5. Now is the best time to do it! “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold now is the day of salvation.” (2 Cor. 6:2b)

Deer Run’s Sunday posters and brochure states, “You’re always among FRIENDS here!  Dress Casual!”


One visit to Deer Run’s website is incentive enough to contact Kim and her staff who are obviouslydedicated to serving with excellence by providing great Guest Service, ample amenities and opportunities for RVers to worship God in Community with others. It doesn’t get much better than that!

We are honored to have Deer Run RV Resort as a Charter Campground Member of our ministry’s Association. Contact them by calling (931) 484-3333 or emailing to [email protected]

When Trouble Comes

October 9, 2009

by John Imler
John is an RVchurchesUSA Ambassor and author of It’s Never Too Late

What will we do when trouble comes our way?  Rest assured it will come, even in the lives of believers. The Bible makes that very clear in Job 5:7 and 14:1.

Even Christ foretold of the troubles man would face in this world (John 16:33).  In Matthew 6:34 He declared that “each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Sometimes we feel that is an understatement and that some days have more than their share of trouble. Troubles often come in bunches.

When trouble seems to overflow us, we can take a clue from Jesus’ own life. In those last days of His earthly ministry when Calvary was lurking, He sought solace and strength from His heavenly Father (Matthew 26:36-46).  It was there that He found the courage to return to His disciples and say, “Look, the hour is near, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise let us go!  Here comes my betrayer!” (v 46)

When troubles seem to overtake us, there is only one place to turn. That is into the arms of our Heavenly Father just as Jesus did. We must heed the words of Psalms 50:15: “call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you and you will honor me.”

Christ has promised us peace in our times of trouble (John 14:27). In John 16:33 He concludes His promise of peace with the words “But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Paul offers a word of encouragement to all that are troubled when he said, “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crusher; perplexed, but not in despair, persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed” (2 Cor.4:8-9).  In verse 16 he adds, “Therefore we do not lose heart.”

So, when the tempest of troubles roll over your soul and the storm cloud gather, we have an anchor that holds. In those times, ask yourself What did Jesus do?

John welcomes your comments either below or email him directly at [email protected]

Truly a Tragedy

October 1, 2009

by John Imler
John is an RVchurchesUSA Ambassor and author of It’s Never Too Late

During the years I spent as a consultant in the RV park and campground industry, I was always amazed at the number of people who entered the industry with very little or no information regarding the industry. It appeared to be a fun, family type of business.

Often parks were purchased or even new parks built by individuals and families who invested their life’s saving even though they had no idea of what would be required of them. Statistics tell us that this is one of the main reasons people fail in those businesses.

It occurred to me that this is no different than it is with the business of life. A Gallup poll taken in 2000 indicated that 92% of American household own at least one copy of the Bible; 59% indicated they read it occasionally — a drop from 73% in 1980.

Other studies indicate that while God has provided us with the Bible as a blueprint on how to live and run our business of life; fewer and fewer people are availing themselves to the information that God has at great cost furnished us.

A more recent study released in June 2008 conducted by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life revealed that only 33% of the United States respondents “believe that their religion’s holy book is literally the true word of God.” It also revealed that 79% of the 35,000 polled who are affiliated with a religion “said the many religions—not just their own—can lead to eternal life.”

Though it can be found in most hotels and motels and in most American homes, thirst for the wisdom from that wonderful Book is crowded out by the voices of this world. We read thousands of other books and magazines and watch an unlimited amount of TV programs that offer little of value in this real business of life. But we ignore the most important information that we must almost stumble over concerning both here and hereafter.

Adding to this tragedy is the fact that this trend seems to be true of many professing Christians and church-going individuals. The above 2000 study also indicated that “only one in seven Americans reported an involvement that goes beyond just reading the Bible.”

The 2008 study indicated that 57% of evangelicals agree that other religions offer a hope of eternal life. It also reported that 79% of Americans believe in life after death and that the same believe that heaven is where one is rewarded for leading a good live. Only 59% believe in hell. This all seems to add up to the fact that fewer and fewer people read or believe the Bible story and God’s plan for mankind’s salvation. It would appear that, while the Bible is often bought, its wisdom is seldom sought.

That is truly, a tragedy!

John welcomes your comments either below or email him directly at [email protected]

Staying Fit on the RV Road

October 1, 2009

by Jaimie Hall Bruzenak
as appeared on RV Home Yet? March  2009

How do you stay fit as you travel? There are options, though it can take diligence to make sure you get your exercise in.

RV parks may have facilities to help you stay in shape. Many have pools, though usually only larger resorts have lap pools or a gym. RV resorts may also have courts for bocce ball, pickle ball and other sports. RV parks and resorts with these facilities are generally ones that attract long-term residents.

Walking and biking can be done most anywhere. Both can be done at most RV parks, though it may not be the most interesting scenery or conducive to a pace that will raise your heartbeat. In the afternoon after you set up in an RV park, take time to walk around. Mornings before leaving is another good time to spend at least 1/2 hour walking or riding your bicycle.

You may be able to find hikes, nice areas to walk or bike trails nearby if you do some research. The American Volkssport Association is made up of walking clubs, which have events all over the U.S. Check to see if there is something near your travels. The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy has a list of trails for biking and walking at their Web site. An article naming walkable cities by the now defunct Walking Magazine lists a number of cities to keep in mind as you travel.

Some RVers find gyms to work out at when they travel. Curves has locations in some pretty small towns and your membership is good for visits. Gold’s Gym, I believe, allows out-of-town guests to use their gym. Other gyms might let you use their facilities for a small fee. Ask at the RV park if they know of one.

Carrying your own workout equipment is another solution. For a while I carried a Nordic Track Machine in the motor home. It had to be folded up and put in a closet and took up the entire free area in the kitchen/dinette area (no slide out) when in use. You can imagine how often that was used before being donated or sold! Dumbbells or bands are small and take up little space so are more convenient to use. An invigorating exercise tape, yoga or Pilates routine can be a good motivator for some.

So why not stay fit? The biggest hindrance to staying fit is usually not equipment or facilities, but being disciplined about exercising at least 3-4 times/week. It helps if both spouses, if married, exercise. Or, if you travel solo or your spouse or partner isn’t interested, find an exercise partner if you’ll be in one spot for a while. It’s harder to go back to sleep when someone else is counting on you showing up for a walk.

RV friend DeAnna started water workout classes where they work camped to have others to exercise with. She carries her foam dumbbells and belt in her RV so she can do her routine wherever there is a pool. Sometimes a local motel will allow non-guests to use their pool for a small fee if the park doesn’t have a pool or there is no community pool.

IN RV Traveling Tales: Women’s Journeys on the Open Road, Joanne Alexakis writes a hilarious account about making one more New Years Resolution to lose weight in “Losing Weight with Suzanne.”  She followed the Suzanne Somers’ weight loss plan, combined with brisk walking laps around the perimeter of the Florida RV park where they stayed that winter. As the pounds came off, she added sprints and dumbbells. She lost a total of 40 pounds! The exercise became self-motivating as she dropped the excess weight.

So how do you stay fit? Do you make the effort? Do you get off the road in time to get in some exercise when you are traveling? Please add your strategy in a comment. Jaimie Hall Bruzenak

Please add your comment below or email Jamie at [email protected]

reprinted with permission

Exclusive Resources

Be sure to check out our Resource Page (under For RVers above) for links to help you grow your faith, discover clubs/organizations, latest RV industry news and necessary on-the-road information.

Our Ambassador Club

Members serve as mentors to campground owners desiring to start on-site worship services by connecting them to churches within the owner's local area. Networking is vital to this ministry.