Getting your RV ready for summer requires more than just pulling off the tarp and turning the key on another season of camping fun. If you ensure your RV is properly maintained and prepared to hit the road, you’ll stave off extra stress as you enjoy the great outdoors.
Remember to perform these five essential maintenance checks to get your RV in top shape and ready to go.
1. Inspect the Tires
RV tires tend to suffer more than those on most other vehicles from sun damage, which is when UV rays break down rubber and cause cracking in the tread and sidewall. This is because recreational vehicles are often parked for extended periods of time with their tires sitting in direct sunlight (an issue that can be mitigated through the use of tire covers). You should inspect your tires not just for cracks, but also to make sure that they’ve maintained their inflation level over winter storage.
2. Test All Batteries
Getting your RV ready for summer also means testing the one — or more — batteries that deliver your power when parked without hook-ups. In addition to the battery under the hood, take a look at any other batteries that might be located inside the RV’s service areas, checking for any corrosion in the cables, at the connections or in the trays.
Clean off anything you might find, and verify that the batteries are still putting out the right voltage with a voltmeter. If you suspect a battery might be failing, you can have it verified and tested by a professional — and remember to replace battery banks together, rather than piecemeal, for optimal performance.
3. Check the Plumbing
Cold winter weather can wreak havoc on RV plumbing, especially if you didn’t get all of the water out before putting the vehicle into storage. Run each of your faucets inside the vehicle, and test each of the incoming and outgoing pipes, including wastewater, before heading out on the road.
You’re checking for a steady flow of water, the availability of hot water and of course the absence of leaks. You’ll also want to make sure your water pump is working properly and that all antifreeze has been drained from the system.
4. Test Appliances and Accessories
It’s always easier to get a repair person to come to your home and work on your appliances than it is to call them at the campsite. Getting your RV ready for summer should include the verification that each of your appliances works properly, including the stove, microwave, fridge and heaters.
Additionally, don’t forget to check safety accessories like your trailer lights, and replace as needed — well before hitting the road.
5. Unfurl the Awning
An awning that has been stored, folded and rolled for the winter season should always be fully extended and inspected for any tears or holes. It’s also a good idea to make sure that the awning mechanism is working properly, without any stiffness that could indicate corrosion or other issues in the hinges.
Follow the above steps before setting out on your summer adventures, and your RV trips will be that much smoother and hassle free. A little time spent beforehand can save you significant headaches down the road.
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Having been bitten by the car bug at a young age, I spent my formative years surrounded by Studebakers at car shows across Quebec and the northeastern United States. Over ten years of racing, restoring, and obsessing over automobiles lead me to balance science writing and automotive journalism full time. I currently contribute as an editor to several online and print automotive publications, and I also write and consult for the pharmaceutical and medical device industry.