Smokey Bear’s Campfire Safety Tips

If spring inspires you to hitch up your travel trailer and go explore Texas’s state parks, here are 12  safety tips for the whole famliy courtesy of Smokey Bear.


1. Find out whether the park is currently allowing open campfires. Many regions are still experiencing drought conditions, and there are burn bans in effect.

2. Use the fire pits and fire rings already established in the parks whenever possible. check to be sure that the fire pit is at least fifteen feet away from the RV, shrubs, trees or other flammable objects.

3. Clear a 10-foot diameter area around the site. Remove any grass, twigs, leaves and firewood.

4. Fill the pit with tinder – small pieces of dry wood. Never pull branches from living trees, and check park regulations. Many parks prohibit gathering firewood and tinder.

5. Place your firewood upwind and away from the fire.

6. Keep a bucket of water and a shovel nearby.

7. Build your fire. Smokey Bear offers tips for building a campfire, and I recently wrote a blog post about easy, homemade fire starters.

8. Keep the fire to a manageable size. While roaring bonfires may be tempting, they’re much more likely to get out of control and can quickly spread to nearby forests.

9. Supervise children and pets at all times.

10. NEVER leave the fire unattended.

11. Completely extinguish the fire when you’re done, preferably by pouring enough water on the fire to drown all ash and embers. (Pour until the hissing sound stops and stir the fire with your shovel to ensure that all ash and embers are soaked.)

12. Alternatively, if you extinguish the fire with dirt, mix dirt or sand thoroughly with the embers. Continue adding dirt and stirring until all materials have cooled. DO NOT bury the fire as the fire will continue to smolder and could catch roots on fire that will eventually get to the surface and start a wildfire.

Wherever you’re camping this spring. we wish you a safe and happy trip!

~ G. Elaine Acker

P.S. If you’re thinking about buying a new or used camper this spring, be sure to give Camper Clinic II a call. They’ve got great deals!


How to Prep your RV for Spring

Here’s a 13-Point Checklist for Preparing your RV for Spring

StabilizerBelieve it or not, the first day of spring is just eight days away! Which means it’s time for a little travel trailer spring preparation. I made a quick checklist of the items on my to-do list. Let me know if you think of anything else I’ve missed!

  1. Did you winterize your RV? If so, you’ll need to de-winterize it, drain any antifreeze from the tanks and lines, and flush and sanitize the entire system. (You really do not want leftover antifreeze in your drinking water.) I could spend an entire blog post on this process, but you should be able to find the best recommendations for your RV in your owner’s manual.
  2. Inspect the water system by checking the water faucets for leaks and checking the operation of the toilet.
  3. Give your camper a good scrub.  This does two things. First, you’ll look good rolling down the road, and second, you’ll be able to check for little details like leaks around window seals and doors, and leaks in the roof around any roof vents.
  4. Lubricate everything that needs lubricating. This includes window seals, stabilizers, jacks, hinges, steps, etc.
  5. Open the awning and clean it and inspect it for any wear and tear.
  6. Check out the tires. How’s the tread? Any signs of rot? How’s the tire pressure?
  7. Consider greasing the wheel bearings now. If you don’t want to do it yourself, schedule service with Camper Clinic II.
  8. How are the batteries holding up? Do they keep a good charge? Or is it time to replace them?
  9. Give the interior a good, detailed cleaning.
  10. Test the appliances.
  11. Test your heat pump and air conditioner. Clean or change the filters.
  12. Test any smoke or carbon monoxide alarms, and check out your fire extinguisher? Is it out of date?
  13. If your state requires an inspection sticker, is yours up to date? (Hint: Texas does require an inspection!AwningAlternatively, you can take the easy way out on your RV maintenance checklist for spring, as I sometimes do. The good folks in the Camper Clinic II service department are always standing by to help. Every so often, I have them do a full inspection on my Airstream so I can keep it in tip top shape. Their experienced eyes can always detect little minor repairs before they become big issues out on the road, and I figure that’s money well spent!

Here’s to a fun-filled Spring! And be sure to let me know of anything else you’d recommend including on the checklist!

~ G. Elaine Acker

First Aid Kit Checklist for the RV

Today’s post may not be the sexiest post ever, but it could very well be the most practical. This past weekend, I was updating our home first aid kits, and realized I hadn’t updated my first aid kit in the Airstream recently.

First Aid suppliesI have a pretty comprehensive checklist that I use for the RV, which combines basic household first aid supplies with a few extra items for those boo boos that can happen when you’re out and about in the great outdoors. I’m not a medical pro, so you should definitely take a first aid class and learn how to use the items on the list, but this list will give you a pretty good place to start.

First Aid KitOf course you can always buy a pre-packaged first aid kit and you’re ready to roll! Road trips in your camper are much more fun when you’re prepared to handle life’s little emergencies.

First Aid Reference

Emergency telephone numbers
Paper and pencil
First Aid reference books

First Aid Kit Supplie

Adhesive tape
Alcohol prep pads
Band-Aids in multiple sizes
Cloth Strips (approximately 2” x 4’ long)
Cotton Balls/Q tips
Elastic bandages
Flexible wrap (self-adhesive wrap)
Gauze pads & bandages
Gauze rolls
Hand Sanitizer
Multi-purpose tool


Antibiotic ointment
Antidiarrheal drugs
Cortisone cream
Eye Wash
Hydrogen peroxide
Personal medications
Poison ivy treatments
Povidone-Iodine Solution
Styptic powder or pencil

Optional-yet-useful items

Clean cloth
Cold Pack
Hot Pack
Emergency Blanket
Lip balm /Sunscreen
Sewing kit: thread, needles, safety pins
Snakebite kit
Splinting materials
Water bottle
Wet wipes

I’ve had several CPR, first aid, and Wilderness First Aid classes, and I highly recommend them! You’ll learn exactly what to include in your own first aid kit, you’ll know how to use everything in the kit, and you’ll be able to respond with confidence when it’s time to deal with life’s little emergencies.

Wishing you safe travels!

G. Elaine Acker