How to Prepare Your RV for Summer Travel
It’s always more fun to travel in confidence. When something is wrong with your RV, it can quickly replace all that fun with anxiety and apprehension, especially when you’re traveling on the open road far away from home. Besides, unexpected trouble will make your spouse think that you didn’t maintain the RV well enough. To avoid trouble, and to increase your fun, let’s do some planning ahead. We can even make this springtime chore fun as well. We’ll divide our list by priorities; safety items will be done first, maintenance items second, and comfort and convenience items last. Sound good?
Safety Items for your RV
- Look after the safety of your passengers first. While it’s still winter, renew the membership in your 24/7 road service club, re-stock the first aid kit, and update your written list of emergency contact numbers. Store all that in a very accessible and obvious place in your RV. That means take the road maps and souvenirs out of the glovebox, and place all these items, along with your important papers, registration and insurance, in there instead.
- At this time it would be recommend to review your insurance policy and make sure it has not expired and you have adequate coverage. This would also be the perfect time to verify the current market value of your RV by checking it on NADA Guide. If you have questions regarding your policy or looking for a free quote contact our office at 844-727-7207.
- Nothing spells instant disaster more than a sudden tire or brake system failure. It can be catastrophic, and at the very least can ruin an entire day. And it’s more expensive to have things fixed on the road than in your local RV shop. Agree? Yet tires and brakes are the two most overlooked systems on any vehicle.
So, buy a heavy-duty truck tire gauge and get used to checking your tire pressures. It will be low at the end of winter storage, of course, but checking tire pressures gives you a chance to look at the sidewalls (inside and outer) for splits, damage, missing chunks, bubbles and dry rot. More can go wrong with tires than tread wear.
Have your brakes inspected every year and the wheel bearings cleaned, inspected and repacked with fresh grease every two years. Then you can drive worry free. Show your spouse the receipt for the work. That makes you look good.
- Just like cars need inspection, your RV needs to be looked over yearly. Get used to checking the lights yourself, as well as the fluid levels (follow your owner’s manual, it’s easy!). Replace your windshield wipers too. If you plan to take friends RVing, get them to come over on a Saturday and make them help you. Have an RV ‘get ready’ party.
- What about the other mechanical systems? If you are qualified to inspect them, that’s great. If not, don’t skimp. Pay a good technician for an hour or two of time to look everything over.
Maintenance Items for your RV
- Clean the fresh water system. Flush the water tank, use bleach if there is any bacteria built up in it, or do it anyway, just to be safe.
- Don’t forget the generator. To insure long life, it needs an oil change and new filters (oil, air and fuel filters) every 100 hours or so of use.
- Clean the air conditioner. It sucks in a lot of dirt. Too much dirt, and it won’t cool well or could even break down completely. Don’t be miserable on a hot day. Watch a YouTube video on how to clean it.
- The roof will eventually start to leak. Again, watch an online video on this. Many RV owners like to seal roofs with products from a company named Eternabond. Google it. By now you should be getting the idea that most RV maintenance is within the skill level of most people, and can be fun as well. And it gives you a feeling of satisfaction to complete a task and save some money.
- Batteries don’t last forever. They typically die shortly after their warranties expire. Check their age. If OK, then remove and clean the cable end terminals (wear safety glasses!) and check the water level, if it is not a sealed battery. Fill batteries to fill line with distilled water you bought at the grocery store.
- The LP Gas system can develop leaks from dry seals and rotting hoses. You can easily check for leaks by applying soapy water, and then watching for bubbles, on the areas you want to check, primarily the connections.
- Wash the exterior. Use bug remover to get the dried bugs off.
- Inspect your tow equipment and make sure it is road worthy. Goes without saying.
Comfort and Convenience Items for your RV
- Plumbing systems, interior lights, and the like should be checked. They deserve it. Do you have plenty of extra air fresheners, boxes of paper products, change for toll roads, emergency snack food and bottled drinking water? Maybe you got hungry and used it all up on your last trip of the year. It happens. Buy more.
- Stove, oven, refrigerator, TV. Yes, they all can suddenly stop working during the winter storage for no apparent reason. Check them now, or get your friends to do it during the RV party.
Lastly, visit a truck stop and buy a current truckers atlas. It will have the most recent road maps, with all the truck stops and what not clearly marked. While you are shopping, buy one of those hi-powered flashlights to keep in your RV. Everybody likes owning a bright flashlight. Share this article with your friends who own RV’s.
If you would like to contact RVInsurances.com and discuss your coverages you can reach them toll free at 1-844-727-7207.