Spring has almost sprung, and it’s time to start thinking about getting your recreational vehicle (RV) ready for your next big adventure. Whether your RV has been parked all winter or you’re thinking about buying one shortly, you’ll likely need to do some maintenance.
What’s Under The Hood?
Now is the time to ensure you not only are checking the fluids in your RV — including the power steering, transmission, brake fluid, engine oil, coolant, and windshield washer fluids, but also refilling those that are low before your next trip. If you’re unsure how or notice any leaks, it’s best to go to a mechanic and have this done professionally. Start the engine and check on the gauges while also looking for any lit-up dashboard indicators. Check that your tail and headlights, as well as your windshield wipers, are working correctly. If you notice your RV is not working the way you remember from last year, tell your mechanic.
Your RV battery is something you will want to ensure is fully charged before heading out this Spring. If you recharged your battery, you should be ready to go. If you did not, recharging your battery is step number one. While in storage, an RV battery can lose up to 10% of its current each month. If you have a lead-acid battery, add water after it is fully charged, unless the water level is below the plates, and ensure that the plates are always covered. Once your battery is at 100%, be sure to check it and add distilled water only as needed. If this is something you’re not familiar with, contact a service technician knowledgeable with RV batteries.
After a season in storage, your RV’s water system will need to be de-winterized. It will also need to be inspected for any leaks and sanitized. If you used non-toxic RV antifreeze, running fresh water through the system will flush out all remaining antifreeze. Replace water filter cartridges that were removed before storing your RV.
The Outside of Your RV
While in storage, tires can lose roughly two to three pounds per square inch (PSI) of air pressure every month. Be sure to pump up the air, and don’t forget to check your spare! Tire inspection isn’t completed without checking for worn-down treads, cracks in the sidewalls, and general wear and tear.
If you store your RV outside during the winter months, you’ll want to make sure you’re inspecting the seams and sealants for any leaks. The roof, body, and openings that are cut into the vehicle should also be inspected for leaks. Reseal any cracked seams or sealants you find, and always be sure to check your RV owner’s manual or with the dealership to make sure the sealants you use are safe for your vehicle’s materials. And as always, be careful, especially if you venture onto the RV’s roof.
Your towing rig must be in good working order if you’re hauling a car on your trip. Be mindful of any cracks and ensure all connections and welds look safe. Particular attention should be paid to the safety chains. These should be crossed under the coupling and hooked. Look for rust and damage and replace anything that is broken. Taking this step ensures not only are you not going to get stranded but also won’t cause an accident. Finally, ensure your spare set of keys are somewhere you can access easily in case a set becomes lost.
The Inside of Your RV
Air Vents and Windows
As temperatures rise, you will probably want to keep things cool to keep everyone in the family happy. Be sure to check windows and air vents are working correctly before setting out on your next trip. Even more critical, if temperatures drop, working air vents ensure you can use your RV’s heater and prevent toxic gas from building up inside your vehicle. Being able to open up the windows helps circulate fresh air into an RV sitting in storage all winter.
Once you know your RV’s mechanics are in good working order, it’s time to look at your safety devices. Check your smoke alarm, carbon monoxide detector, LP detector, and fire extinguisher are all working correctly. If your fire extinguisher has expired, replace it. Ensure everyone who goes on your journey knows how to use the fire extinguisher properly and what the different alarms are for. It is also prudent to perform an alarm noise test so your family understands what each sound means in an emergency.
Whichever way your family travels this season, Bryson Insurance can help you get there safely. Get an instant quote on your RV insurance today.