Pandemic Ready – Tips to Stay Healthy and Safe on the Road
These days are certainly different from pre-2020 days, but fortunately for RV’ers, this is a great time to travel in your RV and keep your appropriate social distancing, while enjoying your RV trip! We are pleased that so many people have found their RV’s to be a safe haven during these tough times.
The coronavirus pandemic has created plenty of uncertainty, including furloughs, remote work and distance learning. But, fortunately, RV’ers can use their RVs for travel and many can work remotely from them, while also educating their children. That is a lot to handle, but here are some easy tips to help you stay healthy and safe and maintain your RV and your family in great shape even during these times.
1) Personal Hygiene
Maintaining good personal hygiene at any time is an effective way to prevent germs from spreading and to prevent the transmission of communicable diseases.
Wash your hands:
Hand washing is one of the most effective ways of preventing the spread of germs. Wash your hands regularly, particularly after the following activities:
a. Blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing
b. Using the bathroom
c. Before, during and after food preparation
d. Before and after eating
e. Before and after caring for an ill person
f. Before and after treating a cut or wound
g. After handling garbage
h. After touching an animal, its feed or waste
When washing your hands, use soap and hot water. Scrub your hands thoroughly for at least twenty seconds, then rinse and dry them using a clean towel or air-dry them. Use a towel to turn off the faucet.
Use hand sanitizers:
Hand sanitizers can be used but are not a substitute for hand washing. They are used in addition to hand washing or in a situation where soap and water are not available. Use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content.
Limit sharing of personal items:
To avoid spreading germs, don’t share utensils, drinking glasses, cups or other dishes. Also don’t share towels, bedding, combs, brushes, razors or other personal items.
Avoid hand-to-face contact.
Your skin acts as a barrier to germs, but your eyes, nose and mouth are more vulnerable. Wash your hands thoroughly before touching your face, eating or drinking.
Cover coughs and sneezes:
If you cough or sneeze, do so into a tissue or your elbow to prevent potential germs traveling through the air.
Avoid ill individuals.
Avoid contact with ill individuals and insist they isolate themselves from others until they have recovered and are symptom free.
Avoid contact with pets and other animals while sick:
If an ill individual pets his cat or dog, for instance, he may leave germs on the pet’s fur that can be transmitted to others who pet the animal later.
2) Cleaning and Sanitizing:
Proper hygiene is an important part of preventing the spread of contagious diseases. An area used by a large number of people requires frequent cleaning and sanitizing. Inside your RV, you are inevitably in close contact with your fellow travelers. So proper cleaning is even more important in such a small space.
Dirt can be seen and wiped away. But while cleaning a space makes it free from dirt or other impurities, cleaning alone will not remove all germs that may be residing on a surface.
Sanitizing removes what can’t be seen—disease-causing microscopic organisms, such as bacteria and viruses. So once a surface has been cleaned, it is important to sanitize any commonly touched surfaces for proper hygiene.
Products to Use for Sanitizing:
Spray bottle and Disinfectants:
To sanitize a surface, use a standard disinfectant, such as hydrogen peroxide. Use any concentration between 3% (common household grade) and 7.9%.
Another effective disinfectant is grain alcohol or rubbing alcohol. Use alcohol-based products with at least 70% alcohol. Do not use products with an alcohol content above 90%, as these will evaporate before killing viruses.
You can also use a bleach-and-water solution of 1/12 cup (4 teaspoons) of bleach per 1 quart of cool water (20 ml bleach per 1 liter of cool water). When preparing a bleach solution, always check the bottle’s expiration date to ensure the bleach has not expired.
Note: Never mix bleach with any other cleaning solution or liquid except water.
Always read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for how to apply the disinfecting product, including the length of time it should be left on a surface.
Areas to Sanitize:
Clean and sanitize frequently touched common surfaces and high-traffic areas in your RV living and work space several times a day, depending on frequency of use including:
Any other frequently touched common surfaces
Also sanitize your bathroom(s):
Toilets and handles
On your vehicle, sanitize these surfaces:
Any other frequently touched surfaces
3) Handling Illness or Its Symptoms
If you do become ill or have symptoms that may indicate you are sick, avoid contact with others and seek proper medical care as necessary. Wear a mask and gloves if possible if you are ill to avoid passing it along to others and those who live with you may want to wear them as well.
Isolation means separating yourself so that no germs are passed on to others. Even in your RV, you can work out a way to keep away from others, such as staying in your bunk area, remaining in when others are outside, or you can remain outside while they remain inside.
When you are ill or suspect you are ill with a communicable disease, limit contact with others. Do not go out in public if you can avoid it. Keep to yourself or seek medical attention until you are better.
In your RV, you can take measures to help minimize risk to others as you are in close quarters:
Sleep in a separate bunk area.
Use a different bathroom if possible, or if only one, be sure to clean and sanitize after each use.
Avoid common areas of the RV.
Wash your laundry separately from others’ laundry.
Use disposable dishes and utensils.
During an outbreak, clean and sanitize frequently touched common surfaces and high-traffic areas in your RV more often than normal:
Any other frequently touched common surfaces
Be sure to also clean and sanitize frequently touched items and objects such as:
Personal electronic devices
Any other frequently touched items and objects
Sanitize your bathroom, kitchen and driver’s area of your RV more frequently than usual.
And remember to wash your hands thoroughly and often.
As a reminder, when you are getting ready to hit the road to safely enjoy RV life, check with your nearest El Monte RV Sales dealer, who can help you with any questions you may have. Please also check out our inventory of gently used RV’s at El Monte RV Sales.