Unless you’re a full-time RVer, you’ve probably taken some time off from the road in the winter months. Which means that when the weather starts getting warmer and the days start getting longer, you’re more than ready for your first camping trip of the year. There’s a few maintenance items that are important to check off your list before you hit the ground running for the new season. Making sure that your RV is properly taken out of it’s winter hibernation state will make your first trip of the spring a breeze. Here’s what to look out for when you take our RV out of storage:
Check the tires
Tires lose air pressure much more quickly when the air is cold in the winter. They’ll definitely need to be filled up before you take your RV out of storage. Underinflated tires can cause a ton of damage to your RV and can be incredibly hazardous on the road. I keep a pressure gauge in my rig at all times and recommend all RV owners do the same.
Reinstall your batteries
If you removed your batteries from your RV in the Fall, it’s time to make sure they’re reinstalled and fully charged. Plug in your RV while you’re working on de-winterizing it to make sure those batteries are charged up. If you have your battery on a trickle charger, you can remove it from your battery. The battery should be fully charged if the trickle charger did its job correctly.
If you have any other battery maintenance to perform, now’s the time! If there’s any corrosion around the battery terminals, be sure to get it cleaned up.
Flush your water lines
If you winterized your RV, you shouldn’t have any water in the tank when you first take it out of storage. Your pipes will likely be filled with antifreeze, so we need to make sure that we flush and sanitize the water system before using it.
- Use a funneled hose to put sanitizer in your fresh water connection inlet. You can use hydrogen peroxide, diluted bleach or fresh water tank sanitizer – any of these will do the trick, but be sure not to use too much bleach or it can damage your pipes
- Connect a garden hose to your fresh water connection inlet and turn it on to get the water flowing through your system
- Turn your water pump on, then turn on each faucet one by one. This should rinse the antifreeze out of the water system and get the sanitizing solution into your pipes
- It’s best to let the sanitizing solution sit for 12-24 hours before flushing it clean
- Once the sanitizing solution has had time to sit in your pipes, it’s time to reconnect the garden hose and flush out the sanitizer so that your pipes run clean
Refill and reinstall propane tanks
- If your propane tank needs more juice, get it refilled so that you can test all of your propane powered appliances in the RV
- Clean any dust or bugs out of the backside of your fridge or water heater to avoid dirt build up
- Be sure there is water in your water heater before testing your appliances
- Connect your propane and test your RV appliances to make sure they’re working properly
Clean and inspect!
- It’s a good idea to give your RV a thorough cleaning when it comes out of storage. The interior is probably still pretty clean if you properly winterized it, but the exterior of your RV can get dirty in storage
- These boat cleaning brushes are great for getting hard to reach spots on your RV. Make sure to climb on the roof, give it a good scrubbing and inspect for any leaks or punctures
- Dish soap and laundry detergent both work well for cleaning your RV’s exterior, but some RVers will use specialty soaps that have UV ray protectant in them
- If you have an RV cover, make sure it is stored properly. Keeping it out of the sun and rain will help it last longer
Once you’ve got your RV fully de-winterized, it’s time to hit the road. My spring fever hits me hard after a few months of being stationary and there’s nothing better than the feeling of your first camping trip of the year. Be safe, drive on and stay ahead!
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