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Old 02-28-2014, 08:32 AM   #1
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Safety Reflectors

I know safety reflectors are required in many states, but I was wondering if this is common safety equipment for RVers and if anyone has ever been ticketed for not having them. The Good Sam book says flares or reflectors for the states that require them. I'd rather carry the reflectors because flares can deteriorate over time.

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Old 02-28-2014, 08:57 AM   #2
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We used ours on the first trip we had them!

That said, I think the giant aluminum trailer is more attention-getting than a reflector would be, except if you're around a bend or something - then you can put the reflector out before the curve as a warning.
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Old 02-28-2014, 08:59 AM   #3
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Never been ticketed for having them or not having them in an RV. I have been ticketed in a commercial truck for not having them.

I am all for safety, however we had an incident here a couple of weeks ago when there had been an accident during the winter storm, truck driver stopped because the road was blocked, he was putting the safety triangles out when some asshole ran over him then drove away, should have just done with out the triangles and let the clown slam into the truck.

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Old 02-28-2014, 09:21 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
I am all for safety, however we had an incident here a couple of weeks ago when there had been an accident during the winter storm, truck driver stopped because the road was blocked, he was putting the safety triangles out when some asshole ran over him then drove away, should have just done with out the triangles and let the clown slam into the truck.

Aaron
You've hit the nail on the head. The trailer has lights and flashers. I'm concerned about just what you have pointed out. I've had to stop on I-75 to change a trailer tire and it just scares the daylights out of me. There have been several accidents near here involving a drunk driver, texting driver etc. hitting someone on the roadside who had to pull over for an emergency and was walking on the berm.

On the other hand, while out on my boat, I have been checked countless times for safety equipment, registrations, license etc. and have been glad to have all the necessary items. (I got checked twice by the same officer in the same day. He says "you look familiar". Well, duh! )

They say it's required to have it, but not to use it. Maybe I'll just buy them and throw them in the back of the trailer; just in case, to avoid a ticket.
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Old 02-28-2014, 10:53 AM   #5
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They say it's required to have it, but not to use it. Maybe I'll just buy them and throw them in the back of the trailer; just in case, to avoid a ticket.
Maybe (hopefully) things are better where you travel, but around here, I see people speeding, aggressive driving, running red lights/stop signs, talking on handheld phones, HOV violations, drunk driving, physical out-of-the-vehicle confrontations, and other stupidity, and rarely do I see anyone pulled over by the police. In fact I sometimes see police doing some of those things too.

In other words, I cannot believe you would actually get a ticket for not having safety triangles. Too many larger issues to address. Maybe it would happen if you were involved in an accident where you should have had them deployed, but I doubt it even then. Truckers, yes. Not us, though.

Like I said before, we have a set, just as a matter of safety. They're relatively cheap, small, not very heavy, and they don't wear out, so I think they're a good investment. But I wouldn't be worried about getting a ticket if I didn't have them. If it gets down to something like that, the cop is just looking for something to give you a ticket for, and he or she will find something. We're all in violation of some law, I'm sure.
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Old 02-28-2014, 11:12 AM   #6
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In other words, I cannot believe you would actually get a ticket for not having safety triangles. .
I was thinking more of pulling over on the berm for something, like changing a tire, and not putting out the reflectors. Along comes a cop and cites me for not having them.

For whatever reason, I seem to attract law enforcement on the water or the road. I have been ticketed for license plate light being out (dirty connection on the bulb), parking with all 4 tires on the pavement (should have been 2) on a road for 1.5 hours and the only other car I saw was the cop, no license on my person (I wasn't driving, just standing next to the car, got ticketed and had to go to court), speeding 4 mph over the limit (and ticketed), approached for sitting on the berm at the end of a runway with my kids (move along) and many times on the water, just to check my registration and safety equipment.

Like I said, I seem to be a Barney Fife light bulb in the dark. So I'll get them and put them in the trailer with the receipt.
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Old 02-28-2014, 12:11 PM   #7
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If you have to change a tire on the driver's side of either your tow vehicle or the trailer, you'll be glad of the reflectors. Place them on the edge of the pavement— or even into the traffic lane if the shoulders are narrow— to steer people around where you'll be working. In fact, carry a set in your trailer, and one in your tow vehicle, and use both sets. The mere fact that you set out six instead of three will make people notice you more.

BUT… Cones work better, if you've got a place to carry them. Every driver is conditioned to steer clear of cones. Unfortunately I don't have enough room to carry cones in either my Interstate or my Toad, so I just carry three triangles in each, as above.

AND… Get yourself a reflective vest— the kind construction workers wear— to wear while setting your triangles, cones, or whatever; in fact any time you have to get out of the vehicle while parked on the shoulder of the road.
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Old 02-28-2014, 12:46 PM   #8
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I carry flares in my pickup and was going to get some for my Suburban last month but they are becoming hard to find. I think there's been a growing problem with misuse (people bringing them to rock concerts etc) and truckers have largely moved to battery-operated flashers, so places have quit carrying them. You can get them mail order but usually only as a case of 36 or in conjunction with other emergency supplies. Makes them expensive particularly with the hazmat shipping.

I have actually had to use flares once (skid loader broken down in the middle of a traffic lane) and it was my experience that only about half the traffic respected them. I'm not sure they're that useful. Similarly for the triangles; people just aren't conditioned to recognize and respond to them.

Flares and triangles, and the requirements for them, haven't changed since the 1950s. But speeds have gone up and driving attitudes have changed.

When towing I think the running lights and emergency flashers on the Airstream do much more to get attention and get people to move than the flares ever would, let alone triangles.

I carry the flares because they use less space in the truck than triangles and because I think they're a little more effective than triangles in really bad weather at night, when you need them most. I'm told they're useful for starting a campfire in the rain or snow which I guess could be a lifesaver in some situations. They are also more useful than triangles for attracting the attention of police or motorists should that be necessary, because you can hold them in your hand and swing them.

The best use of that I've seen was on an icy freeway where I car had overturned and come to rest in the middle of the travel lanes, blocking them, just over a hill such that it was impossible for following traffic to stop soon enough. A dozen or so cars took the ditch, more than a few collided, and someone finally had the presence of mind to take a couple of lighted flares and walk over the hill and swing them in their hands to warn people. Probably saved me from crashing.

I also carry a red flag which is technically a requirement in MN when towing a travel trailer.
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Old 02-28-2014, 02:59 PM   #9
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If you have to change a tire on the driver's side of either your tow vehicle or the trailer, you'll be glad of the reflectors. Place them on the edge of the pavement— or even into the traffic lane if the shoulders are narrow— to steer people around where you'll be working. In fact, carry a set in your trailer, and one in your tow vehicle, and use both sets. The mere fact that you set out six instead of three will make people notice you more.

BUT… Cones work better, if you've got a place to carry them. Every driver is conditioned to steer clear of cones. Unfortunately I don't have enough room to carry cones in either my Interstate or my Toad, so I just carry three triangles in each, as above.

AND… Get yourself a reflective vest— the kind construction workers wear— to wear while setting your triangles, cones, or whatever; in fact any time you have to get out of the vehicle while parked on the shoulder of the road.
About 35 miles from here, on an Interstate, a fellow was doing just that, setting out the reflectors, because he had a flat tire. A car hit him at an estimated 75 mph. He was dead before he hit the ground. A young driver, just south of here, stopped to help a stranded motorist in the median, was hit and killed just after she got out of her car.

I am scared to death to change a tire on the driver's side. I'd probably pull off as far as I could go to the right and work as quickly as possible. So far I've been lucky and it's always been on the right.

The vest is a good idea, I'll add that to my list. I'm not getting anywhere near the edge of the road. *IF* I use the reflectors, I'll set them in the middle of the berm. If people cannot see a big silver AS and 4Runner, all with flashing lights, I doubt they'll see 3 triangles. (Ever watch 'caught on camera? They even hit police cars with flashing lights.)

I appreciate your thoughts, thanks for the information.
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Old 02-28-2014, 03:15 PM   #10
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I carry flares in my pickup and was going to get some for my Suburban last month but they are becoming hard to find. I think there's been a growing problem with misuse.
Check marine supply places







Orion Locate Handheld Signal Pack



  • Four day/night handheld red locator flares
  • 3-minute burn time
  • 5-mile visibility
  • USCG approved for day/night use
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Old 02-28-2014, 03:25 PM   #11
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Check marine supply places
Actually, don't. Marine flares only burn for about 3 minutes each. Highway flares burn for about 30, so so don't have to keep setting out new ones every couple of minutes. Camping World carries Orion highway flares, in either a 3-pack or 6-pack.
Flare Kit - 6 Pack - Orion Safety Products 6030 - Safety - Camping World
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Old 02-28-2014, 03:33 PM   #12
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Good catch, my search engine only turned up boxes of 36 and they had the nail in the end. I was thinking more for signaling than setting them up in the road. Those at Camping World last but I don't see any way to stand them up if you wanted to change a tire.

This site offers them with small stands but you have to buy a lot of them. They still sell them with the nails in the end, again 36 to a box. I'll let you guys do the searching to find what you want. but they still make them.

Road-Flares
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Old 02-28-2014, 05:19 PM   #13
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Good catch, my search engine only turned up boxes of 36 and they had the nail in the end. I was thinking more for signaling than setting them up in the road. Those at Camping World last but I don't see any way to stand them up if you wanted to change a tire.

This site offers them with small stands but you have to buy a lot of them. They still sell them with the nails in the end, again 36 to a box. I'll let you guys do the searching to find what you want. but they still make them.

Road-Flares
Don't really have to stand them up, just lay them on the pavement and let'em burn. That is what the SHP does around here... if they bother to set them.

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Old 04-02-2014, 06:29 PM   #14
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BUT… Cones work better, if you've got a place to carry them. Every driver is conditioned to steer clear of cones. Unfortunately I don't have enough room to carry cones in either my Interstate or my Toad, so I just carry three triangles in each, as above.

AND… Get yourself a reflective vest— the kind construction workers wear— to wear while setting your triangles, cones, or whatever; in fact any time you have to get out of the vehicle while parked on the shoulder of the road.
I worked for a telecommunications company for 30 years and was an outside tech for most of those years. We always used cones and yes they are big and bulky but that is what kept me out of harms way (most of the time). There is an alternative to those PVC cones, Collapsible Safety Cones. They collapse into themselves and also have as an added feature an interior light that can be set to flashing or steady on for those dark nights on the side of the road. They can be easily stowed in a TV or trailer. Typically use 3 which is the same as the triangles. The one placed that I've found them is here:
Collapsible Lighted Traffic Safety Cones - 17-inch and look like this:


They are available in 17" and 28" heights. They also have Cyalume Flare Alternative (non-flammable) and also have safety vests available to purchase as well. Reasonably priced.
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