Real Estate

RV Spring Preparation Checklist

Your RV has been sitting idle for the winter. Now the first signs of spring are here and it’s time to get it out of storage and get the coach and chassis ready for this year’s camping season. If you’re like me, you’ll want to have some kind of logical sequence to follow instead of going through the drive randomly. I’ve made a simple checklist to use so nothing gets overlooked. I prefer to do most of the spring preparation myself. If you feel more comfortable having someone else do it, you can make an appointment with a reputable RV service center to have it done.

* Depending on how your unit was winterized, it may need to be winterized. If you used non-toxic RV antifreeze, you should run fresh water through the entire system until all traces of antifreeze are gone. To remove it from the 12 volt water pump, add water to the fresh water holding tank, turn on the pump, and open all water faucets. When the antifreeze is out of the system, turn off the pump and take the water heater out of bypass mode (if applicable). Reinstall the water filter cartridges that you removed for storage.

* At this point I like to disinfect the water system. Make sure all drains are closed and drain plugs are installed. Take one quarter cup of household bleach for every fifteen gallons of water in your fresh water tank. Mix the bleach with water in a gallon container and pour it into the fresh water tank. Completely fill the fresh water tank with water. Turn on the water pump and open all the faucets, let the water run until you smell the bleach. Close the taps and let it sit for at least twelve hours. Drain all the water and refill the tank with fresh water. Turn on the pump and open all the faucets until you no longer smell bleach. It may be necessary to repeat this process to remove all signs of the bleach.

* With the water system under pressure, check for water leaks. Check the operation of the toilet.

* Wash the unit well. This is a good time to inspect the roof and body seams, and window seals for cracks that allow water to enter. Consult a dealer for sealants compatible with these materials.

* Inspect the operation of the awning and clean the awning fabric as necessary.

* Inspect tires for signs of dry rot. Inflate all tires to the recommended COLD tire pressure.

* Lubricate all hinges and locks with spray lubricant.

* Remove any protective tape or coverings placed over LP-gas vents to keep out insects and rodents. Review the mousetraps you have set. Open all doors and compartments and check for rodent intrusion and water damage.

* Inspect and clean the interior.

* Plug in any appliances you unplug for storage and replace any dry batteries you removed. This is a good time to put fresh batteries in items like smoke detectors.

* Test the operation of the carbon monoxide alarm, LP gas leak detector and smoke alarm.

* Check the fire extinguisher. Make sure it is fully charged.

* Reset any breakers you have turned off. If you removed any fuses for storage, reinstall them.

* Clean or replace air conditioner filters if not done prior to storage and remove covers that were placed over air conditioners.

* Open vents and windows and air out the unit.

* If you removed the batteries from the coach and chassis for storage, install them. Whether they have been removed or not, check electrolyte levels, clean terminals and clamps, and check charge level on all batteries. Recharge batteries as needed.

* Verify the operation of the electrical steps if applicable. Lubricate the drive mechanism.

* Test the operation of the hydraulic jacks if applicable. Check hydraulic fluid level.

* Test the operation of the rear camera and monitor, if applicable.

* If you did not change the generator oil and filters prior to storage, now is a good time to do so. Inspect the generator exhaust system for damage before starting. Start and run the generator for two hours with at least half the rated load. Consult the generator owner’s manual for load capacities.

* Turn off the generator and connect the unit to the ground. Turn on the refrigerator in electric mode. Allow plenty of time to cool down and check for proper operation.

* Check all interior lights and 12 volt accessories.

* Test the monitor panel to see if it works correctly.

* Check the operation of the sliders if applicable.

* Verify that remaining 120 volt appliances are working properly.

* Test the Ground Fault Interrupter (GFI) to see if it works properly.

* Turn off the refrigerator, leave the doors open, and allow enough time for it to come to room temperature so that it can be checked on gas mode.

* Before using the LP gas system, I performed a leak test and a gas operating pressure test. A qualified technician with the proper equipment should perform these tests.

* After this is accomplished, open the LP gas valve and check the operation of all LP gas appliances. Make sure the water heater is filled with water before testing the water heater. If a gas appliance is not working properly, have it inspected by a qualified technician. Insects are attracted to the odorant added to LP gas and build nests that can prevent the appliance from working properly.

* If your unit was in long-term storage and you did not change the engine oil and filter prior to storage, now would be a good time to do so.

* Check all fluid levels in the transmission, power steering, engine coolant, engine oil, windshield washer, and brakes. Consult the vehicle owner’s manual.

* Start the engine and verify that the readings are correct on all gauges. Check that the dash air conditioner is working properly.

* Perform a thorough lubrication of the chassis if not done prior to storage.

* Check the condition of the wiper blades and replace them if necessary.

* Check the operation of all lights on the chassis.

* Make sure the vehicle’s inspection/emissions label is up to date.

* In addition to this, if you have a pop-up or travel trailer, the wheel bearings and brakes (if equipped) should be inspected at least once a year. Inspect any canvas for dry rot and tears; Inspect all hitch and coupler work for damage. Inspect the safety switch and the flex cable to see if they work properly.

happy camp,


Copyright 2006 by Mark J. Polk owner of RV Education 101

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