By Mark J. Polk, RV Education 101
Prime camping and travel season is here, but is your RV ready to go? Sometimes when we return home from an RV trip all we want to do is sit down and relax. But I’ve learned from past experiences that if I take a little time and be proactive after an RV trip, the RV will always be ready to roll at a moment’s notice.
Here are some tips to help keep your RV ready to roll:
Clean the interior and the exterior of the RV
If there is one thing that keeps our motorhome looking new it is cleaning and washing it. I always wash the RV soon after we return home from a trip. I don’t enjoy washing the RV, but truth be told, I can do it in less than one hour. Afterward, you will be glad you did it. Whenever I clean the exterior or interior of the RV, I always look for anything that might need maintenance or repairs. It’s better to repair something now than deal with it being broken on the next RV trip.
If our next RV trip is in a month or less, and there is no threat of freezing temperatures, I leave any remaining water in the plumbing system. But if our next trip is more than a month away, I prefer to drain all the water from the system. This helps keep the water system fresh and avoids any chance of forgetting there is water in the plumbing system. When I drain the water system, I include the water heater tank.
Caution: Never drain the water heater when it is hot or under pressure. This is an excellent opportunity to flush any debris from the water heater tank. When you flush the water heater inspect the anode rod if you have a Suburban water heater.
Empty the refrigerator and freezer compartments
When we return from a trip, we remove all the food from the refrigerator. There is really no sense in leaving the RV plugged in with the refrigerator on unless you have another trip planned in the immediate future. When everything is out of the refrigerator and freezer, don’t forget to leave the doors propped open. This will aid in defrosting the freezer and help prevent any mold or odors. After the freezer defrosts, wipe up any remaining water. You can place some baking soda in the refrigerator to help prevent odors.
Check all the batteries on the RV (coach and chassis)
Fully charge the batteries. If they are lead-acid batteries check and adjust the water levels in all battery cells as required. If you are not comfortable workings on batteries have the work completed by a qualified service facility.
Note: Do not add water to the battery prior to charging unless the water level is below the plates.
Check the inflation pressure in the tires and adjust air pressure according to loads
Always check tire pressure when the tires are cold, before traveling more than a mile.
Restock any supplies
Restocking supplies such as coffee, canned goods, holding tank treatments, or toilet paper you used during your last trip makes it easy to load up and go the next time around.
Wash the bed linens, towels, and other items you used during the trip
Trust me, you’ll be so happy you won’t have to do an unnecessary load or two of laundry right before your next trip. Everything that stays in the RV will be clean and fresh.
Check all safety devices in the RV
Check all safety devices and replace batteries to make sure they are in proper operating condition.
Despite doing all of the above, always conduct pre-trip checks prior to leaving on your next RV trip.
Add to this list and tailor it to your specific needs, and by following these simple tips your RV will always be ready to go when you are.
To learn more about using and maintaining your RV visit RV Online Training.