Each year, more than 30 million Americans will travel by RV, and 1.3 million of them live in their recreational vehicle full time. The average RV owner will drive 4,500 miles each year, giving drivers lots of time to connect with the open road. Due to the fall and winter months, most RVs have been left idle for the time being, but with the summer months upon us, RV owners around the country will be anxious to break them out of their RV Covers or carports and on the road again!
If you think you might be taking your RV out for a trip in the near future, there are a few things you’ll need to do to prep it for first use this year.
Basic, Yet Essential, Maintenance
The first thing you’ll need to focus on is automotive maintenance. Make sure your fuses and battery are working properly and that all your fluids have been topped off. Replace old filters and sparkplugs with new ones. Next, check your tires and make sure the pressure is ideal and that your lug nuts are on securely. If it’s been a while, have your tires rotated so they will wear evenly. You should also take your RV in to check the suspension, brakes, alignment, and engine so you can hit the road without worrying.
If you winterized your RV, flush out the antifreeze from your water system and sanitize and inspect your system. To sanitize your water system, add 1 cup of bleach to a gallon of water and pour it into the empty tank. Fill the tank and run all your faucets until you can smell the bleach mixture. Let the water system set for 24 hours, then refill it with fresh water. You’ll need to run the new water mixture through the system again to ensure that the bleach mixture has been pushed out completely (there should no longer be a bleach smell). This may take a couple of tanks to eliminate the bleach smell completely.
Prepping the Exterior
After you ensure that the heart and soul of your RV is set to run as smoothly as possible, you’ll want to inspect your RV’s body to check for any holes from critters that might have tried to stow away during the winter months. Also make sure that the roof of your RV doesn’t have holes or damage from cold weather or branches that might have fallen on it. You’ll also want to wash and wax the RV so it shines as you coast down the highway.
Ready the Interior
After you’ve done your interior and exterior maintenance, climb aboard your RV and check that all your appliances are running properly. You’ll also want to clean up and air out the interior of the RV so you have a comfortable and enjoyable experience while cruising down the road. If your stove features a propane tank, make sure you check for any leaks in the lines or in the tank, and ensure you have enough gas to make it through your trip.
Be sure to stock an emergency kit on board, which should feature a basic first aid kit and other emergency items, including a flashlight; extra oil and fluids; a spare tire; and your RV insurance and registration information.
Once you’ve completed this checklist, all you’ll need to do is pick a destination and pack a bag before you hit the open road!
Post Written by Rainier Fuclan Photo Credit: tudedude via Compfight dusty_pen via Compfight cc, Marco Gomes via Compfight cc