How To Open RV Emergency Window From Outside

Whenever we plan a trip, we only want to think of the fun parts. Where to go, where to stay, what to eat, what activities to do… While such excitement is lovely, it can also prevent us from thinking of practical issues. One of them is what to do in case something goes wrong. When it comes to RV trips, that is particularly worrisome because you and your group will be living in it for a few days.

A typical problem in this context is when you get locked out of your RV. That can happen for many reasons, such as forgetting your keys inside or having a problem with the door lock. Fortunately, most RV models have ways to help you in such a situation. In this article, we are going to walk you through what you can do in case your only option is to open its emergency window from the outside.

What is an RV Emergency Window?

In short, it is a special window designed to allow you to quickly open it and exit the vehicle through its area. You can visually distinguish them because they have a big release mechanism right next to them and it is painted in red. Over time, stricter safety laws have made it mandatory for RVs to use at least one of those windows with easy access. Nowadays, some models have even more of them.

An important thing to keep in mind is that we tend to only think of a necessity to go out of the RV. However, there are times when the opposite situation happens. If you lost your keys inside the RV or left a child or a pet there, you will need to enter the RV as quickly as possible. This is when those exits can also be helpful in case of coming from the outside. We are going to help you open them.

Operating Your Emergency Window From Outside

Locate the Emergency Exit
Do not underestimate this point. Learning exactly where the emergency exit is saves you precious time when you are in a pinch. The only rules of thumb here are that the window is larger than the others, since it is designed to fit a grown person, and it has a release mechanism attached to it. It is often painted in red because this color is the norm for any devices related to emergency solutions.

Other than that, the number, shape, and location of emergency exit greatly depend on each vehicle – it is important to keep that in mind in case you switch to a new RV and/or travel in someone else’s RV. Another key point to know is that, since these windows are designed primarily to help people leave the vehicle, they are designed to open outwards, that is, towards the exterior of the cabin.
Double Check if the Window is Locked
Another interesting thing not to underestimate. Since we are talking about emergencies, there is a chance you left a window open, whether a regular or emergency one. If that happens, you can spare yourself from doing anything else to get inside the RV. Bear in mind that physical solutions damage the RV and can harm you, so they should be the last resort. Walking around the RV helps a lot.
Use a Screwdriver
In general, emergency exits on RVs are screwed in and have a rubber seal. Your first step here is to remove the screws that keep the window in its default place. The most likely scenario is that you will need a Phillips head screwdriver for that, which is extremely popular. It is important not to use anything different because it can wear out the screw heads and make them impossible to remove.

As you do that, make sure to store the screws for later use and to carefully remove the window; it will be loose, so it is easy for accidents to happen. Once you regain normal access to your RV, you can use those screws to place the preserved window back in its place. A useful tip is to try and put each screw in the exact hole it was in the beginning, because inverting them may cause problems.
Remove the Seal
While the rubber seal is not a security device itself, it will make it harder to remove the window if it is in good shape. Basically, you will need to pry the window open: you will have to insert anything with a flat head underneath the seal and move it from side to side to slowly dislocate the window from its location. It may be necessary to drag the tool through the entire perimeter of the window.

As you can imagine, this is not a delicate job, and it brings some risks. Applying strength like that can easily damage the seal and/or scratch the window glass. That is a consequence you will have to accept if that is your only way into the RV. Now, if you work recklessly, it becomes easy for you to end up breaking the window altogether. That is a much more serious issue that you can prevent.

Other Ways You Can Open Your Emergency Window From Outside

Use a Glass Cutter

The tool’s name is quite straightforward. Basically, it will help you cut a hole in the glass; you can simply remove the remaining portion and enter the vehicle. While that is easy in theory, you have to keep in mind that your RV will be left with an unlocked opening for the rest of the trip. Besides, a glass cutter is not the easiest tool to find, so it is possible that this solution is not available at all.

Break the Glass

This should the very last resort. If there are no unlocked windows, you had no success in taking off the screws and the seal, and there is no glass cutter available, all you can do is find something big and heavy enough to throw at the window. Then again, that will leave glass pieces all over the RV and may set off the theft alarm. We hope this guide helps you never need to resort to this solution.

FAQs

To open the emergency exit window from the outside, first locate the release lever or handle. This is typically located near the bottom of the window frame. Once you have found the release lever, push or pull it in the direction indicated by the arrow. This will release the latch and allow you to open the window.

If your RV does not have an emergency exit window, or if the emergency exit window is not accessible from the outside, you can use a hammer to break through a side window. Look for a window that is away from any potential hazards, such as power lines or trees. Use the flat end of the hammer to tap around the perimeter of the window until it shatters. Then, carefully climb through the opening.

Once you are safely outside, call for help and do not re-enter the RV until the authorities arrive.

Citations

RV Camp Gear Staff
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