It’s right around the corner! Vacation time is almost here, and if you’re hitting the road in your RV this year, you’ll want to prep your rig so it’s ready to handle everything a long road trip has to throw at it. Unless you live in a warm climate (we’re jealous), chances are your RV has been stored for the winter and could use a tune-up. This week, we’ll give you some trips and tricks so you’re fully prepared for an awesome summer of travel your RV. Read on!
1. Check the Tires
This should probably go without saying, but be sure to check the tires for wear and the tire pressure before hitting the road. Any cracks in the treads or on the sidewall must be replaced. Don’t get stuck in the middle of nowhere!
2. Check the Exterior
Water leaks are the most common issue when storing your rig for awhile, but they can cause serious damage. Check your roof and caulking around windows, doors, AC units, etc. Even small cracks can be a big headache.
3. Drain the Water System
If you’ve used RV anti-freeze over the winter (which you should), be sure to flush out your water system before actually using the water. The easiest way is to mix a cup of bleach with a gallon of water, and pour it into your empty water tank. Run your faucets until you begin to smell bleach, then let it sit for a day. Drain your water tank again, and fill it with water. Run your system again until the bleach smell goes away. You’ll probably need to do this several times in order to completely flush out the tank. Here’s a video for reference:
4. Clean All Appliances
Long-term storage builds up all sorts of foreign debris in your RV. Be sure to thoroughly clean all appliances, and dust out any cobwebs, insects, nests, etc. Use household cleaners to clean out dirt and dust. You can use light air from an air compressor to clean out the burner area, but DO NOT blow high pressure up the refrigerator chimney. A thorough cleaning of appliances will go a long way to keeping everything in working order.
5. Check the Batteries
It’s not uncommon for batteries to lose up to 10% per month due to internal leakage, and if your batteries haven’t been stored properly over winter, it might be time to replace them. If you’ve recharged the batteries periodically over the winter, you should be good to go. Regardless, make sure they are fully charged, and they have enough water before reinstalling. If you don’t feel comfortable, ask a qualified professional for help. Your batteries must be fully functional before hitting the road.
6. Test the Gas
Be sure to test all of your gas appliances before heading out. First, check your liquid propane (LP). Make sure all LP appliances are turned off, there is no smoking, flames or sparks nearby and the leak detector inside the RV is on. Open the valves of your tanks, and smell for any leaks. If you detect a leak, talk to a professional to repair it for you.
If everything looks good, light your stove-top burner, then light the fridge on gas. Light your water heater as well, but first make sure it’s full. Gas appliances can be difficult to get started after sitting awhile, and can be dangerous. Be sure everything is in working order.
7. Extra Safety
Replace the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Make sure the fire extinguisher is still full. Check your plumbing system and lines for cracks and leaks. Roll out your awnings and inspect the fabric. You’ll also want to make sure the generator is in good working condition. Generators, like gas, can be tricky after sitting for an extended period of time.
These are just a few steps to make sure your RV is primed for an awesome summer vacation. If you’re unclear on any of these steps, it’s a good idea to take your RV in to a place like Camping World to get everything tuned-up. The last thing you want is to have to make repairs on the road, or have a much-needed appliance break down. Here’s to some fantastic road trips this year, and happy exploring!