The Simple Guide to Getting Your RV Summer Ready
Hopefully last fall at the end of RV season you took the time to properly winterize and protect your RV to be stored in the cold and wet weather. Now that summer is right around the corner and RV season is here, it is time to dust off the RV and get it travel ready!
Here are 7 steps to get your RV summer ready:
Do a full inspection –
First start with an inspection. Open and close the awnings to make sure they work properly. If they are sliding out smoothly, you may need to adjust the spring tension. Do the same with the slideouts (if you have any included on your RV).
Before taking your RV anywhere, it is extremely important you check the brakes, lights, turn signals, and also the hitch and tires of any tow vehicle. When checking the tires, be sure the tread and tire pressure are both in good condition. Also, check for any cracks on the sidewall or in the treads of the tire. Cracks can be very dangerous and a signal that you need to replace that tire.
Clean the outside and check for leaks –
Start by giving the RV a thorough wash of the outside. RVs are prone to water leaks so be sure that none of the caulking is cracked or missing. Check around the windows, doors, roof vents, and seams.
Check the hoses and valves –
When checking the liquid propane (LP) lines, be sure the LP detector inside the RV is on. Once running, open the tank valve all the way and smell for any leaks. Running a soaping water solution around the valves in a easy way to check for a leak. Watch for bubbles, as they will indicate where air is leaking through the valve. If a leak is found, be sure to have to fixed properly.
Next, inspect your sewage dump hose for punctures as well as any sign of wear and tear. Dump hoses do need to be replaced periodically, so check it carefully to be sure it is good for another season. Leaking sewage is one of the most unfortunate types of RV damage to occur and taking precautions will be well worth your while.
Test and replace batteries –
Before doing anything with the batteries, check that everything is turned off. Shore power should be disconnected and all items in the RV turned off. Batteries need to be cleaned and tested before your first trip of the season. The battery terminals and connections should be cleaned of corrosion and battery fluid levels need to be checked. Keep in mind that safety glasses and latex gloves should be worn before working with the battery.
If any batteries need to be replaced it is recommended that you replace multiple battery banks together. Always avoid combining new and old batteries.
Check the smoke detectors –
Just like in your home, it is important to check all smoke detectors within your RV, replacing batteries as needed. If you RV has a CO detector be sure to check that as well. If you don’t have a CO detector, then you should equip your RV with one right away!
Filling the tanks –
Start by draining the antifreeze from the holding tanks. Next, shut off the water heater bypass and refill the propane and water tanks according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Check the hot water bypass valve before filling with water, make sure the faucets closed. When filling, open a hot and a cold water faucet to let air escape.
Once filled, check faucets, plugs, and valves for leaks and run enough water through each faucet to be sure all the antifreeze is gone.
Test appliances –
After the LP and water systems are running, test your the appliances. Start by lighting a stove top burner, but be sure the LP gas detector is on. Lighting the stove burner will fill the LP lines. This is an easy flame to see, so you will easily know when it ignites and that the air in the lines has been purged. You can then light the other LP fired items — just be sure that the water heater is full before igniting.
Using these 7 steps will get your RV ready for your first trip of the year! If, after inspection, your RV just isn’t up for another year on the road, it may be time to retire the old one and upgrade to a more trustworthy vehicle.