Traveler’s Tales: Preparing Your RV for a Trip

One of the things that most owners tend to learn right away when they first purchase a recreational vehicle is the fact that maintenance is a much more pressing matter than for most other types of vehicles. Much of it also depends on the seasons when you might decide to prepare an RV for a trip. One of the safest times to do so would be spring, as you typically do not have to worry about dealing with the cold weather when getting your RV ready.

It is also crucial to note that if you intend to use it during the ideal season, it likely means that you have it stored during the winter months. Winterizing an RV has its own checklist, though it does serve to make things simpler when it is time to prepare for a big trip. Using the necessary RV roof coating can do wonders for any RV – whether it is exposed by the elements or goes to storage. When it has been in storage for a few months, the best thing to do would be to set a checklist to ensure that everything is in working order.

It All Starts With The Batteries

The general rule of thumb when it comes to RV batteries is that ten percent of the charge is used up every month it is in storage. While most owners are fine with having the batteries hooked up to the vehicle the entire time it is in storage, there are some who prefer removing them and storing the batteries in another place. If such is the case, ensure that they are reconnected precisely as it states in the user manual of the RV.

The next step would be to check your battery’s charge, springing it to life with a full charge, and ensuring that the water levels are as they should be. While there are plenty of steps when it comes to the RV checklist, the battery is typically the best place to start!

Moving On To The Appliances

One of the most exciting parts about an RV is that you can bring your home just about everywhere you go. That said, most homes include an oven, a refrigerator, and a heater. Most recreational vehicles also have a similar spread, which also means that they likely operate through propane. It does not have to be said just how crucial it is to check the propane tanks for your safety and to ensure that they pass both the gas pressure test as well as the leak test.

Keep in mind that propane has an expiry date, so those who make use of refillable canisters will have to check to ensure that the propane is still ready to go. The propane tanks are one of the most crucial parts of the RV maintenance checklist. Once it is over and done with, you can move on to check other electrical appliances such as the microwave and the air conditioner.

The Potential For Leaks After Winter

If you have prepared your RV fully before the winter, chances are that you have winterized the water tanks. Keep in mind that while the antifreeze used for RVs is non-toxic, it would be a good idea to flush it entirely from the system. If at any point you think that some antifreeze made it to the freshwater tank, flush it as well. Once it has been de-winterized, it is time to check for leaks. It might take some time depending on the design of the RV, but it is well worth it. Once the water has been pumped, and the tanks are pressurized once more, scour the RV for any signs of a leak.

A Tire-some Matter

There are plenty of arguments about how long it takes before it would be a good idea to have RV tires replaced. Some companies will claim that tires will last about five years, while others claim that with the right care, they can last for double the amount. Regardless, it would be a good idea to inspect the tires and ensure that they are in good shape for a fun trip with you and your family.

Keep in mind that similar to the batteries, your tires will also lose something important while in storage. They can slowly but surely lose tire pressure, which is why it is crucial to check your tires and ensure that everything is in working order. To check for any issues regarding tires, it would be a good idea to go for a test run with the RV once you have gone through the checklist. If you cannot quite put your finger on the problem, contact a professional.

Dealing With The Engine

One of the last parts of the RV checklist would be to ensure that the engine is running as it should. Anyone who has experience owning a vehicle understands all of the different types of fluids a car might need to run, and the same thing applies to your RV. It includes the transmission, the power steering, the brake fluid, and more.

Once you are confident that everything is in order, turn the ignition to see if there are any warning lights that pop up on the dashboard. Depending on what you get, it could be a minor or major issue. Provided you did an excellent job of winterizing and preparing your RV for storage, you will likely get nothing more than the sound of a perfectly running engine.

Aside from the tips above, it would also be a good idea to look into any options you have when it comes to prioritizing safety. For example, a carbon monoxide detector is absolutely essential, as well as a smoke detector and a fire extinguisher. Once you have dealt with the checklist, it might be time to do a bit of spring cleaning! Hose down your RV and ensure that everything is spotless and prepared for the big trip. While it can take plenty of effort, what you get in return is an RV in perfect shape, ready to hit the road.

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