It’s always a good idea to give your RV a little tune-up if it has been in storage for a while
Even in places with mild winters, most people have to store their RV for part of the year. Unless you’re lucky enough to be a full-time RV-er, you’ll have to store your camper while you work and attend to other responsibilities.
When spring arrives, fresh air and warm weather bring school breaks, work vacations, and RV season! It’s so exciting to unveil your camper after being stuck in regular life all winter. Whether you’ve stored your RV under a cover on your own property, or had it parked in a storage lot, you need to give it a refresh before you head out on your next adventure.
Here’s how to prepare it for some fun on the road.
Give your RV a thorough inspection
Start with a thorough inspection inside and out. Before you drive it off the lot, take a look around and check for any obvious signs of damage.
If you’re in an area that gets lots of snow, that excess weight on your rig can strain the roof. If you’re in a warmer climate, humidity and rain can cause some damage as well.
Check your roof, awning, lights, signals, and everything else on your walkthrough. Check your appliances, propane, and test your outlets.
Make notes of anything you need to replace or fix up.
Scrub your RV inside and out
Give your RV a good old-fashioned wash and deep clean. Use a gentle car soap to clean the exterior, and clear away any dust or stuck-on bugs from your last trip. Clean off your awning and check for mold or mildew that may have cropped up in storage.
Use this opportunity to check for water leaks. Pay special attention to your windows, sealants, caulking, vents, and sliders. If you find any cracks or leaks, fix these immediately. Water damage can ruin your RV investment.
Inside, wipe down all surfaces and clean your floors. Air out your RV by opening windows and doors while you clean. Give your fridge, drawers, and bathrooms a good bleaching.
A deep clean like this is a bit of a pain, but you’ll be so glad you did it! There’s nothing more depressing than starting a road trip in a musty, damp RV. Set the tone with a sparkling fresh camper when you set out.
A good detailed cleaning every spring will help your RV stay pristine throughout the years.
Once you’ve thoroughly detailed your RV, it’s time to do some regular maintenance. Start with your batteries. Generally speaking, RV batteries will lose some charge while they sit in storage. It’s normal and doesn’t mean there is a problem. Check your batteries and charge or replace them as needed.
Remember to always follow good safety procedures when checking and changing anything electrical in your RV. Wear proper protective clothing and goggles, and always turn off all RV power before getting started. Be very careful with wiring and always follow the instructions. If you decide you need new batteries, replace the entire set. Don’t combine a new battery with an old one.
Your RV tires carry a lot of weight, and chances are they’ve lost some psi while in storage. It’s normal for them to lose a little air when they are in long-term storage. Check your tires for any cracks or worn-down treads. Use a tire gauge to check for proper pressure, and fill tires if needed.
This is a really important step – don’t just eyeball your tires and call it done. If you don’t give your tires a detailed inspection, you risk getting a flat or even a blowout on the road.
It’s also important to test out your water system before you set out. Turn on the hot and cold taps and check the faucets and pipes for any leaks. If you use antifreeze, drain and flush it from the system before you set out.
Next, check your waste system. If possible, connect to a dump station and do a flush. Check your valves, seals, and tanks for leaks or problems. You’ll definitely be glad you gave your water system a refresh before setting out. It’s not something you want to have to repair on the road!
Avoid stress and irritation with a quick tune-up before your road trip
Taking these steps to inspect, clean, and repair your RV before your next trip saves you lots of headaches. Unwelcome surprise repairs are not a great way to start your fun trip. Spending the time up front to give your RV a refresh will let you fully enjoy your first trip of the season.
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