As the weather warms up many campers are getting primed for RV season. But before you hit the road, you’ll need to de-winterize your vehicle. Use this maintenance checklist to get your RV ready for the road.
Clean your RV. Along with washing the exterior of your vehicle, you should thoroughly clean the interior. Check for critters (spiders, mice and insects), wash and open all your windows to let fresh air in and vacuum. You should also change all bedding, towels, drapes and other linens.
Top up your fluids. Check your engine and top up your power steering fluid, transmission fluid, engine oil, brake fluid, coolant and windshield wiper fluid. If any service lights come on, take your RV in for an inspection.
Check your tires. Tires lose two to three pounds per square inch (PSI) of air pressure each month. Use a pressure gauge to check your tire pressure. Consult your owner’s manual to find the optimal tire pressure for your RV, and inflate your tires accordingly.
Flush and sanitize. To protect your pipes from freezing over the winter, you should have added non-toxic antifreeze to your water system. Now that spring is here, you’ll have to flush the antifreeze out of the plumbing. Start by filling your water tank with fresh water. Next, add a bleach solution to sanitize your pipes (mix 1/4 cup of bleach for every 15 gallons of water your tank holds). Then, open all the faucets to drain the antifreeze from your water system. Open both the cold and hot water taps and let the water run until the pink antifreeze solution has cleared and the water runs clear. Lastly, drain all the water and refill the tank with potable water.
Charge your battery. The condition of your battery depends on how it was stored and cared for during the winter. Unused batteries lose up to 10 per cent of their power per month. This is due to internal leaking. Before you take a trip in your RV, you should use a voltmeter to check the charge on your battery. You’ll need to power your battery if the charge is below 12.6 volts. It’s important to allow your battery to charge completely before reinstalling it. You should also inspect your battery for any signs of leaking or corrosion.
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