There are a few important things you need to know about emergency escape windows for recreational vehicles. So today we’re going to answer a few questions you might have about these windows. We’re also going to tell you how to use them properly. Please make sure you do your research before purchasing any emergency escape windows for recreational vehicles. You want to make sure you get the right kind for your vehicle and your family. There is a difference.
Types of Emergency Escape Windows for Recreational Vehicles
BAE Systems has the market cornered on Vehicle Emergency Escape Windows, or VEE Windows as they call them. Previously just for military vehicles, they’re now branching out into emergency escape windows for recreational vehicles as well. These are easy to use and easy to install. Considering the safety concerns regarding emergency escape windows for recreational vehicles it’s still advised that you have them installed by a professional. There are 3 basic types of emergency escape windows for recreational vehicles. They are:
1. Fixed Pane – These don’t look like they’re usable for escape hatches but they do in fact work as an escape window. The key is that there’s a lever on the outside of the window pane. This lever allows you to unlock the entire window from the frame and push it out in case of an emergency. These look like ordinary picture windows and don’t take away from the design of the recreational vehicle in any way. Since it doesn’t look like an escape window, it’s important that you label it as such and train the entire family on how to use it properly. Also, make sure it’s secured properly while driving. Many times people have accidentally bumped the lever while cleaning or just opened it for air flow and forgot to lock it back. This results in hundreds of lost emergency escape windows each year.
2. Sliding Pane – These are the most commonly found windows in an RV. Most sliding pane RV windows aren’t emergency exits. However, there are emergency escape windows for recreational vehicles that look just like the ordinary sliding pane window. The slider can be horizontal or vertical as you might expect. One or more of the panes slide over or up to allow the occupants to exit the vehicle in case of an emergency. However, there are also picture sliders and T-bar sliders. These are shaped like the larger picture pane windows in recreational vehicles, but one part slides away so you can fit out the hatch.
3. Crank Window – These are sometimes called louver windows when installed in homes. However, the common term for them is crank windows. There are crank style emergency escape windows for recreational vehicles; however this is not the most common style. These are actually going out of style for emergency window use, but are still common as regular RV windows. The issue is, as the name implies, you have to crank the window to get it open. If you’re in an emergency situation you really don’t have time to be messing with a window crank.
How to Use Emergency Escape Windows for Recreational Vehicles
A safety plan is always important when your family is taking a trip in a recreational vehicle. Along with safety plans you’re making in case you get separated, or if someone forgets to get back on the RV after a rest stop, or other emergencies, you need to make a plan for getting out of the vehicle if something happens. The emergency escape windows for recreational vehicles are very easy to use and usually well labeled as emergency exits. However, you should still explain the procedures to everyone going on the trip with you, especially young children.
The best part about most emergency escape windows for recreational vehicles is the fact that they’re usually released with one swift motion. Most have a bright red lever or button that will push the entire window frame away from the recreational vehicle. While this sounds easy now, it may not be so easy in the event of a fire or other emergency on the RV. That’s why it’s important to practice your escape plan with the family. Be sure that even the smaller children know how to release the lever and get out the window. If they’ve practiced in a non-emergency setting, they’re more likely to remember when it becomes necessary.
It’s also important to note that getting the escape window off the frame of the RV isn’t the only part of the safety plan to practice. You need to be sure that the vehicle is coming to a slow enough speed, or even stopped, before trying to evacuate. If you’re moving too fast, someone jumping out the emergency escape window could be caught under the back tire of the RV. Also, don’t forget that an adult or older teenager needs to be outside the vehicle before letting small children out. Instinct would say to get the kids out first, but you don’t want them to be pushed out the window with nobody on the other end to catch them.
Finally, remember that in the event of an emergency, any opening can become an emergency escape window if necessary. Sometimes recreational vehicles do roll over and it’s possible that the actual escape hatch will be blocked. That’s why it’s important to always have a backup escape plan. Many people keep emergency escape hammers in their vehicles. This is useful in that it will break any window, even a windshield, so you can exit the RV. If you must follow this route, please be sure to cover yourself if possible so you don’t get cut by the exposed glass.
Emergency escape windows for recreational vehicles are a standard on any RV you buy. They must be operational for the RV to be road worthy. Do not take an RV on the road unless you’re sure that the escape window works. Also, replacing this window should be left to the professionals, but it’s still possible to replace one yourself if necessary. And don’t forget to practice your escape route with the entire family.