Luca Sumberac is a Category Manager at CAMPERiD.com. CAMPERiD is a web store where RVers can easily find all the parts they need to maintain their RVs, and get the latest, high-quality accessories.
By Luca Sumberac, Category Manager at CAMPERiD.com
Now that summer is officially here, it’s time for road trips to new destinations and outdoor adventures. When you’re getting ready to dust the cobwebs off your RV and preparing for your first trip of the season, you’ll want to start with some basic maintenance checks to ensure you’re ready for the road:
Check your Water Tanks and Water System:
Flush out your fresh-water system to ensure you’re not drinking any anti-freeze you may have added over the winter (which means running fresh water through the system until all remnants are gone!) and re-fill your tanks with fresh, clean water. Also, consider using this opportunity to sanitize your water system! While you’re at it, also be sure to check for any leaks and that your water systems and plumbing are operating properly by turning on the water pump to pressurize the water system until it shuts off. If it turns back on, that means you have a leak somewhere and should have it repaired ASAP.
Test Electric & LP Gas Systems:
Once you’ve taken care of your water system, and you’re absolutely sure it is full and working, plug into a shore power source to test out your electric systems and appliances. While doing this, it’s also a good time to test out your LP gas system. All LP appliances should be turned off and the gas leak detector should be turned on during the test, which involves opening the valves on the propane tanks and smelling for any leaks. If all is well, you’ll want to test the appliances next by lighting the stovetop burner to fill the LP lines and continuing to light all the other appliances—just make sure the water heater is full before igniting. If you spot any issues along the way, be sure to address them with a professional.
Cleaning & Tidying Up:
While you’re doing your springtime prep, it’s usually a good idea to clean your interior and appliances of any debris that may have accumulated during storage, such as spider webs, nests or dead insects. Also take the time to give all surfaces, cabinets and flooring a thorough wipe down with cleaning products to properly remove all dust and dirt – better to clean now before you hit the road.
Carbon Monoxide & Smoke Detectors:
Before embarking on any journey, be sure to upgrade the batteries in your carbon monoxide & smoke detectors. You’ll want to ensure they’re in proper working order before any trip. In addition, be sure to double-check that the fire extinguisher is still full!
Check your batteries:
Before leaving for a trip, it’s important to check the batteries– especially if they were not recharged periodically during long storage periods. While disconnected from shore power, recharge your batteries and check battery fluid levels to avoid any potential stalls or delays. It’s also recommended to clean any corroded terminals, connections and battery trays with hot water and baking soda.
One of the most important steps before moving your RV is to check your tires. Make sure your lugs are torqued to spec, your treads look good, sidewalls aren’t cracked, and your tire pressure is at its optimal level based on the manufacturer’s recommendation for your load. Just in case you need it, don’t forget to bring a spare tire!
Ensuring proper fluid levels should be a top priority when taking your RV out of winter-mode. For a safe trip, check all fluid levels including oil, coolant, transmission & windshield wiper fluids.
Exterior Check: Check all seams and caulking on the exterior of your RV/Trailer, including the roof, vents, air conditioners, doors, and windows, to ensure there are no leaks or gaps. If you notice a hole or that a seam is leaking, correct the issue with sealant. If you’re not comfortable doing this yourself, consult a professional.
Before giving your generator a test start, check the exhaust system for any damage. If it doesn’t start, there most likely is not enough fuel in the lines. Inspect the oil level and add additional fuel as needed to make sure you can get it up and running. This can mean different things depending on your generator (prime feature vs no prime feature) and the suggested intervals in the owner manual.
Waste Tank and Sewer Hoses:
It’s important to inspect all of your sewer hoses and make sure there are no cracks or holes before use to avoid a potentially messy experience. You’ll also want to inspect your waste tank to ensure the valve properly opens and closes. If it’s difficult to open, you will likely need valve lube to loosen it up.
While it may seem a little overwhelming now, taking the time to check these tasks off your list will be well worth it!