By Jim Twamley
In my RV travels I have seen all kinds of “bumper junk” attached to both the front and rear of RVs. It’s understandable RVers want to take along things that make RVing more fun. Some don’t have the extra storage capacity required to stow things like ladders, BBQs and bikes. The only places left are the roof, ladder and bumpers.
RVers need to be careful how they store this stuff because “bumper junk” can block signal lights, a major safety hazard. The biggest culprits in this regard are ladders. I see ladders strapped on the back of one out of three RVs on the road. I wonder what non-RVers think when they see a ladder strapped to another ladder on the back of an RV?
Sometimes we forget how long our rigs are while traveling down the road. If the person passing us on our driver side doesn’t see the signal, it could easily result in an accident. Always check and double-check your mirrors to make sure you are clear to merge or change lanes.
If you are going to hang a ladder on the back of your RV, be sure the taillights are clearly visible. I use a fold-up ladder that is tall enough to wash the rig but can be neatly stowed away. I don’t particularly like these ladders because they aren’t as stable as a standard ladder, and the rungs are skinny and make your feet hurt when you’ve been standing on them for awhile. This type of ladder, however, does not interfere with the taillights and I don’t use a ladder often enough to warrant hanging a standard ladder on the back.
Bicycles can also block your tail lights. Whether you mount them on a ladder or on the back of a towed vehicle, be sure they don’t obstruct your signal lights. Send a clear signal that safety comes first.