RVSEF Sets Dates, Venue for 2012 Conference

August 9, 2011 by · Comments Off on RVSEF Sets Dates, Venue for 2012 Conference 

The RV Safety & Education Foundation (RVSEF) has announced that the 2012 RV Lifestyle, Education & Safety Conference will be held May 17-20 at the Carroll Knicely Conference Center on the campus of Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green.

As reported by RV News Service, RVSEF executive director Walter Cannon said the venue is ideal for the learning conference, noting, “Where else can you set up your RV and walk less than 80 feet into a state-of-the-art learning environment taught by RV Industry award-winning instructors?”

The 2012 conference will again present seminars and training classes taught by leading RV experts on both lifestyle and the technical aspects of RVing. Class schedules will be announced in the coming weeks.

The RV Lifestyle Education & Safety Conference and RVSEF are both fully endorsed by the RV industry and dealer associations. RVSEF, (, is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization based in Merritt Island, Fa.


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Recent RV Blazes Claim Two Oklahoma Lives

January 6, 2011 by · Comments Off on Recent RV Blazes Claim Two Oklahoma Lives 

To watch a video courtesy of KFOR-TV, Oklahoma City, Okla., about the following story, click here.

In the past week there have been two deadly fires involving RVs in the Oklahoma City, Okla., area. In both cases they were parked on private land, not in an RV park.

How safe is it to live in your RV and are there any ordinances restricting that type of living?

Terry Gayler is a metro resident who lives in an RV on private land.

He says, “It’s home to me for now. Right now this is about all I can afford.”

A 16-foot RV holds him and his dog, Junior, along with a television, a refrigerator, a bed and a few pictures of his loved ones.

Gayler says, “I had to simplify what I have in here.”

He keeps warm with two space heaters.

Gayler has taped up the windows and added foam around them, he’s also blocked any openings to keep the cold air out and warm air in.

He does have running water and electricity.

A hose connected to a nearby building gives him water for his sink and bathroom.

An extension cord is what keeps the lights on and the heaters running.

He’s received permission from the owner of a nearby building to use their power.

He does make sure to keep the area around his heaters cleared and turns them off when he’s gone.

As for the recent tragedies involving RVs, he says that’s never far from his mind.

Gayler says, “I’m always afraid of fire. There’s no doubt about it, but it’s just common sense. Make sure everything is done right.”

We talked with city officials here in Oklahoma City; they say it is against city ordinance to live in an RV for more than two weeks.

It is legal to park it on your property but it must be at least 12 feet from the curb and the property must have working utilities.

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Carbon Monoxide Killed Colorado Camper

January 4, 2011 by · Comments Off on Carbon Monoxide Killed Colorado Camper 

The Delta County, Colo., coroner said a 50-year-old man found dead in a camping trailer with three ill friends died from carbon monoxide poisoning, KMGH-TV, Denver, reported.

Paramedics were dispatched to the Valley Sunset RV Park at 1675 Highway 92 in Delta on Saturday evening (Jan. 1) on a report of several victims found unconscious in a camping trailer.

They pulled two women and a man from the trailer alive, but Jack Herrera was already dead. His death has been ruled accidental by the coroner.

The three other people, including Herrera’s wife, were rushed the few blocks to Delta County Memorial Hospital. Two of the three have since been released. The third is expected to go home today.

A dog and cat also survived.

The source of the carbon monoxide is under investigation.

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Texas City: Oversized Propane Tanks Unsafe

December 2, 2010 by · 2 Comments 

Residents of Camelot RV Park and Loop 289 RV Park in Lubbock, Texas, depend on oversized propane tanks to get them through the winter. They say they are virtually hassle free because the propane company comes to them to refuel. But this convenient practice will soon change, an overlooked city ordinance has declared it unsafe, Fox News reported.

“It’s just going to be a headache, a big one,” Camelot resident Robert Pitts said.

“The elderly people that aren’t able to lift it up and change it on a weekly basis, I’m concerned for those people,” Camelot resident Tempie Christy said.

“We got several in the park that would be handicap to them because they can’t lift the bottles,” Loop 289 resident Arnold Smith said.

RV park residents will have to switch over to much smaller propane tanks that require more work.

“I don’t like that at all,” Pitts said.

Fire Marshal Garett Nelson said their lives may depend on it.

“What I don’t want is the tanker truck going in to residential areas and filling the tanks, that’s where the potential for a problem occurs,” Nelson said.

“RVs have their appliances on the outside of the trailer and they in take air and combustion air from the outside, and their pilot light is also on the outside,” Nelson said. “So if you do have that flame of gas, now you have ready ignition starters all around.”

Nelson said a code was put in place around 1955 that banned the tanks from residential areas. It was rewritten around the year 2000 because of Y2K fears. But gas companies have been installing the large tanks for the past several years, without the proper permit. They went unnoticed by the city until a concerned citizen placed a phone call.

“We’re a big enough city that in an area that walls like Camelot, we’re just simply not going to see that,” Nelson said.

He said residents can hold on to their tanks through the winter, but they must find an alternative solution by the new March 1 deadline.

“Sometimes we have horrible storms where we’re not able to even get out of the house and if our propane goes out and we don’t have any way of getting to a store, then some of the elderly people could have health problems,” Christy said.

“But going till March 1 is really going to help us a lot,” Smith said. “Maybe we can get by the winter.”

Nelson said residents should stick to the factory tanks their RVs came with. He said they may be small, but they’re the safer bet.

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Trailer Safety Expert Eyes South Carolina Regs

October 6, 2010 by · 3 Comments 

It’s a typical sight on South Carolina roads: small trailers pulling boats, equipment or building supplies. But a safety activist says the trailers are poorly regulated and too often cause serious accidents.

Ron Melancon lives in Virginia, but maintains a website dedicated to national trailer safety. He says South Carolina is among a handful of states with lax trailer regulations, WIS-TV, Columbia, S.C., reported.

“It’s like the wild west,” said Melancon. “Anything goes.”

The Department of Motor Vehicles says if your trailer is under 2,500 pounds and won’t travel out of state, it doesn’t have to be registered. That makes stolen trailers or ones that cause accidents harder to match up with an owner.

“A good law that makes sense will benefit everyone,” Melancon said. ”It will benefit the people that lose their trailers and the police because they’ll spend less time on trying to find stolen trailers.”

Melancon helped pass such a law in Virginia that went into effect this year. On top of registering trailers, it also brought tougher safety regulations.

“It benefits every citizen in the commonwealth of Virginia, but the sad part is it does nothing for your state,” said Melancon.

Melancon has contacted South Carolina legislators, but hasn’t seen results so far.

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RV Mechanic in Garage Accident Identified

September 16, 2010 by · Comments Off on RV Mechanic in Garage Accident Identified 

The mechanic killed Tuesday (Sept. 14) at Tuffy’s Automotive in Arroyo Grande, Calif., has been identified as Ronald A. Kelsey, 65, KARE-TV, San Luis Obispo, reported.

Kelsey was working under a motorhome at Tuffy’s at 3:15 in the afternoon when an alleged drunk driver started the motorhome and attempted to drive away. Attempts to revive Kelsey failed and he was pronounced dead a short time later at Arroyo Grande Community Hospital.

Accused is 47-year-old Rene Rosas; he was booked into San Luis Obispo County Jail on suspicion of felony drunken driving and gross vehicular manslaughter while drunk.

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Survey: 21% of RVers Have Been Shocked

July 26, 2010 by · Comments Off on Survey: 21% of RVers Have Been Shocked 

A July survey of recreational vehicle enthusiasts shows that 21% have been shocked by an RV. More than 1,000 RVers responded to the survey at, according to a web posting by the RV News Service.

“The magnitude of the situation isn’t obvious until you apply the percentages against the total number of families who use an RV,” said editor Chuck Woodbury. “According to the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA), more than 8.2 million American families own an RV. That means that perhaps 1.7 million family members could have been shocked.”

“Hot Skin” issues with an RV are typically high resistance electrical shorts that do not usually trip breakers or blow fuses. They could be the result of bad campground power, incorrectly wired extension cords, poorly maintained RV electrical systems or simply wear and tear. Although most shocks produce only a tingling sensation, they can be serious, even deadly.

To help educate RVers about the dangers of RV electricity, has teamed with the How-To Sound Workshops, a subsidiary of Fits & Starts Productions LLC, and its chief officer Mike Sokol to present a 12-part series of weekly online articles and videos. Sokol is a veteran pro-audio engineer and technology educator who conducts national seminars on audio mixing and safety for

The articles and videos will run first on, then Both websites will continue to accumulate survey information to better address the electrical safety issues of the RV industry. A planned nationwide tour of the clinics for RVers will offer hands-on electrical safety training for consumers and technicians.

More information on the No Shock Zone clinics is available from Sokol at or by calling (301) 739-6842.

As of 3 p.m. EST today (July 26), here is how the voting was going:


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Florida Mechanic Killed in Freak Shop Mishap

March 19, 2010 by · Comments Off on Florida Mechanic Killed in Freak Shop Mishap 

A Lakeland, Fla., mechanic of more than 20 years was killed early Thursday when a recreational vehicle he was working on rolled on top of him, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office said.

Gerald L. McMurtry was declared dead at the scene, Munday Machinery, according to The Ledger.

Detectives said the 58-year-old’s death appeared to be accidental.

“The man worked for me for 25 years and it’s just tough,” said Dennis Munday, who owns the business. “I can’t even really talk about it without breaking up.”

McMurtry and another mechanic were working on the 30-foot RV about 11:40 a.m., the sheriff’s office said.

The two were repairing the auto-leveling system underneath the vehicle, which was lifted by a 2-ton jack.

The other mechanic went to the bathroom and when he returned, he discovered the RV had rolled forward and landed on top of McMurtry.

The mechanic and other employees used a forklift to lift the RV off McMurtry, then gave him CPR until EMS arrived.

He could not be resuscitated.

“It appears by all accounts to be a tragic accident,” sheriff’s office spokeswoman Carrie Eleazer said.

But, she said, “All death investigations are open until we get autopsy results back and close it out . There are no charges pending.

McMurtry lived behind Munday Machinery, where he’d worked for many years.

Owner Dennis Munday remained in shock Thursday afternoon.

He called the experience “surreal.”

“It’s like something that happens in the movies,” he said. “I’m still here with police officers. They haven’t even moved the body.”

Munday declined to say more.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is also investigating.

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