CB Radios and Walkie Talkies for RVs
It seems that RVers either love CB radios or hate them! If you can understand the CB trucker lingo a CB radio can be fun and helpful. You can learn the reason for a traffic holdup, for example, just by listening in. Some people hate CB’s for that very reason. They just can’t stand the fact that their conversations on a CB or Walkie-Talkie are open to the public.
Other people just don’t like the strong language often heard, so be warned. The FCC doesn’t like it either! But many RVers who like to caravan with others find CB radios to be a fun way to communicate while traveling.
CB’s are for short range communication ( a few miles at best). There are 40 channnels assigned to the CB (Citizens Band) bandwidth. Channel 9 is the designated emergency channel, although the monitering of this channel is not as good as it once was. Your cell phone is probably a better option in an emergency.
Channel 19 is the east-west freeway truckers channel. Channel 17 is the north-south freeway truckers channel. Channel 4 is the off-road or 4 x 4 channel. Channel 13 is the unofficial RV channel.
It is not illegal to talk on any of the channels, however it’s best to keep channel 9 open for emergencies. You will compete with a lot of truckers on the truckers channels, but you will also have more road information complete with “smokey reports and sightings” if you monitor these channels. (But of course, you are in an RV, and in no particular hurry, so why do you need to know about speed traps?) If you and other members of your party or caravan will agree on an undesignated channel, you will probably have little competition since the range is short. Occasionally there will be other caravans using the same channel but not often.
Modern Walkie Talkies are assigned to a higher band called the FRS or family radio channel (not to be interpreted as family friendly. A lot of the chatter is NOT family friendly)
Walkie Talkies can be helpful when you are trying to back into a campsite after dark, especially when it’s hard to see your spouse directing you, and you need to keep the noise down. Caution: If your spouse is already irritated with you because you passed up several perfectly good campgrounds……. NOTHING, not even a walkie talkie, is going to make that job EASY.
We used walkie talkies all the time on our rock crawling expeditions. Your spotter can tell you to turn your wheel to the passenger side, for example, to avoid being swallowed up by that big hole. A warning like that can save an axle or differential.
Some families use them on hikes. Others find it’s a pretty good way to stay in touch in large amusement parks or sporting events. Sometimes the competition from other families gets a little confusing. (Do you know how many Jason’s there are out there?) Most times you can find a somewhat private channel that you can use.
These little radios are inexpensive to try. And you might just like them.
“10-4, good buddy.” See the FCC rules governing CB