A Checklist to Prepare Your Camper For Next Season
With over 1 million Americans living for extended periods in their RVs, learning how to prepare your RV for the next season is a must.
Having a travel trailer checklist can help you avoid forgetting something important that could cause problems on your adventures.
Unless you live in your RV full-time, you're likely to experience different types of weather that may require you to winterize your RV or take other measures to keep your RV safe.
Continue reading this article to learn how to do an RV check to get ready for the camping season.
Check RV Batteries
When winterizing your RV, you may have taken the batteries off your RV. If you didn't take your battery off your RV during the winter season, you may have some challenges to deal with.
The better you take care of your battery through the winter, the less likely it is that you're not going to have trouble. Keep in mind that your battery will lose a percentage of its charge even when it is in storage.
If you have access to your battery during the winter, it's a good idea to check and recharge the battery as needed and to follow the manufacturer recommended charge/discharge cycle to maintain optimum performance when you're ready to dewinterize your camper.
Flush Your RV Water System
After the winter season, your water system needs to be de-winterized. You should not use the water system before proper de-winterization, which includes checking for leaks and sanitizing.
You likely used RV antifreeze to keep your systems safe during the winter, and you need to flush the tank until every bit of antifreeze is out. You shouldn't have put any antifreeze in the freshwater tank, but if you did, make sure to flush it all out before using it.
Most RVs use propane or LPG for appliances like the fridge or the hot water heater. Before using the propane, you need to make sure everything is in working condition, or it can be very dangerous. Having a propane detector in your camper is a MUST and can be found at nearly every RV supply store.
Check all the lines running from the propane tanks. Hopefully, you'll have had the propane tanks under a hard cover during the winter months to make sure they don't corrode or develop leaks in the LPG lines.
When your RV is still for a while, you might not think anything could go wrong with your RV tires. Tires tend to develop issues when they sit for long periods without use. If your RV has been sitting without moving for more than 6 months, it is a good idea to check them thoroughly.
Inspecting your tires before you head out on your first trip of the year can help you avoid a costly blow out on the road. If you experience a blow out when driving down the road, you might seriously damage your RV and have to put it in the shop for weeks or even months.
Check your tire pressure and look for any signs of cracking or creases. You should also look at your tire tread and see if there is a need for new tires in the near future.
If you aren't sure how much air pressure you need, make sure to check the manufacturer specifications for the best results. Also, be sure to load-balance your camper to extend the life of your tires.
Having a generator with you when you aren't able to plug into shore power or when something goes wrong can make a big difference in your day.
If your RV's fridge doesn't run off propane and your battery runs low, you could lose all the food in your fridge. Your generator can save the day, but only if it is working properly.
Check the plugs and filters on the generator to make sure they aren't damaged. You also need to check to see what the oil levels are on the generator and also check to see if you need to change out the oil.
Before starting the generator, make sure that you do the oil check. If you don't check the oil, you might damage your generator.
Look at RV Seams
Water damage can completely destroy your RV and water that seeps into seams during the winter can freeze, expand and create larger areas for water to enter your camper. Making sure to check your RV seams to see if there is any damage or any signs of aging. Every seam is a potential water damage hazard. The roof of your travel trailer or RV should be inspected at least annually, but if you do a lot of weekend camping during the season - it is recommended to have it checked in the spring and in the fall before and after the camping season.
Even if your RV seams don't look very bad, you should consider resealing it every one to two years.
Research which type of RV seam sealant is the best for your particular RV before using it to ensure that it will provided a good bond with the materials used on your RV.
RV Safety Preparedness
While we hope there are no RV emergencies, there might be something that happens that is less than pleasant. Being prepared can make the difference between a minor problem and a complete disaster.
Check your smoke detector, carbon monoxide detector, check for any gas leaks, and look to see how your fire extinguisher is holding up.
Also prepare for any roadside emergencies and be certain that you have a roadside safety kit with highway reflectors, high-visibility jackets and basic tools for changing a tire. You can also invest in a roadside assistance plan.
Performing Spring Cleaning
Before you head out on your trip and have all of your things in the RV, it's time to clean things up.
Clean the blinds or shades, wipe down the windows, change out the bedding, and wash the towels. Wipe down the pantry drawers and counters. Look to see where any other dust might have collected.
Don't forget to pay attention to the outside as well. Wipe down your lawn chairs, folding tables, and anything else you bring along for outdoor recreation.
Completing Your Travel Trailer Checklist
Now that you know more about the importance of a travel trailer checklist, you can feel safe when you're hitting the road.
Are you looking for your next RV to take an adventure? Check out our search section, and you'll be able to see many RVs, and we are confident you'll be able to find something you love.
If you have any questions, make sure to reach out to us, and we will be glad to help.