We know you’re excited that spring is finally here—so are we–but before you embark on the 1st camping trip of the season, it’s important to make sure you dewinterize your RV the right way. If you don’t, you could find yourself in a tough spot. Don’t risk it; It won’t take that long, we promise. Ready? Inspect these 5 essential parts of your RV before you do anything.
1. Batteries: Are They Fully Charged?
If your RV has been in hibernation for awhile, then there’s a good chance that they’ve lost a considerable amount of juice. In fact, batteries tend to discharge up to 10% a month while in storage. If you did not check your RV’s batteries regularly while it was in storage, don’t sweat it. Just make sure to charge it fully now. If you’re using lead acid batteries, add distilled water. Remember that this rule only applies to acid lead batteries;if you are adding distilled water, only do so after the batteries are fully charged.
2. Water System: How Clean Is Your Water?
Whether your RV was dewinterized with non-toxic antifreeze or not, you should empty the fresh water holding tank and flush the entire system with clean water. To do this, bring a bucket of water from your house, add it to the fresh water holding tank, turn the water pump on, and open all of the fixtures. Let the water run for 15 – 20 minutes. This will ensure that your system gets a thorough cleaning.
3. Plumbing: Got Any Leaks?
The last thing you need on your upcoming road or camping trip is an annoying leak. That’s why before heading out for the spring, you should pressurize the water system by letting your pump run until it shuts off. If the water pump automatically turns back on, there is a leak somewhere.
4. Exhaust System: Is Your Generator Working Properly?
We recommend running your generator periodically while its in storage, but if you didn’t do that this time around, don’t worry. The goal here is to see if your exhaust system has suffered any damages. Check for damages before starting the generator; never run a generator with a broken exhaust system. If you don’t see any glaring issues, start the generator for about 2 hours with at least a half-rated load. Consult your generator’s owner’s manual for load ratings. If the generator won’t start, or you hear any kind of knocking noises, shut it down immediately, and contact a repair professional.
5. Tires & Safety Devices: Are You Prepared For The Worst?
Your tires will have lost a considerable amount of pressure when you remove it from storage. Before driving anywhere, make sure that all tires–including the spare–are filled to the correct PSI. Similarly, you should check to ensure that your smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detector, and fire extinguishers are working properly.