As temperatures start to rise, RV owners are preparing for the camping season. Regardless of whether you’re a full-time RVer or just like to take the occasional trip, it’s essential to make sure your RV is prepared for the months ahead. Taking the proper steps to maintain and care for your RV will make sure it is secure, dependable, and cozy for the upcoming journey. This article will provide some essential spring RV maintenance tips for RV owners.
Clean the Exterior
Cleaning the exterior of a vehicle is a wonderful way to keep it looking fresh and new. It is important to use gentle soap and soft cloths to avoid scratching the paint. Additionally, be sure to rinse off the soap and protect the car with a wax or polish.
To get your RV ready for the following season, it’s important to clean the outside. This consists of washing the roof, sides, and front & back. You should use a non-abrasive cleaner and a soft-bristled brush to avoid harming the exterior. A high-pressure washer can also be used but be mindful of not applying too much pressure as it can damage the seals of windows and vents. It’s also important to take care when using a high-pressure washer to keep water from seeping through the refrigerator vents, water heater vents, and furnace vents, as this can lead to complications with the appliance and water damage. Moreover, a freshly cleaned RV not only looks better, but it also lengthens its lifespan by keeping dirt and grime off the surface.
Clean the Roof
It is vital to inspect the roof of your RV regularly for any signs of damage. As an RV owner, you should inspect the roof at least once a year. If you cannot do it yourself, consider hiring a professional RV technician to do it for you and to address any problems. During the inspection, look for cracks, leaks, or other types of damage and immediately repair or replace any affected areas. Additionally, clean the roof and if necessary, apply a protective coating to prevent future damage. Make sure to follow the instructions from the RV roof manufacturer or dealer when applying the coating. This will protect against UV rays and prolong the life of the roof. Moreover, when on the roof check the sealant, which is applied to the seams and transitions, since it may shrink and cause cracks or holes, letting water in and damaging the RV.
Inspect the Tires
It is important to inspect your RV tires regularly for pressure, wear, and age. If any of the tires are worn or have surpassed the recommended age limit, they should be replaced. Don’t forget to check the spare tire to make sure it is in good condition. According to most tire manufacturers, any tire that is older than six years should be replaced. You can find out the age of the tire by looking at the DOT date code, which is a four-digit code that reveals the week and year when the tire was manufactured. Additionally, if you notice any uneven wear on the tires, it is suggested to consult a professional as it may be indicative of other issues with the RV’s suspension or axle.
Maintaining the Brake and Suspension Systems
Prior to going on a trip, it is crucial to review the brakes and suspension system of your RV to make sure they are in working order. Have an expert examine the brakes and suspension and replace any parts that may be worn out or damaged. It is recommended that you have a professional check and repack the bearings as well.
Inspect the Electrical System
It is important to have your RV’s electrical system inspected by a professional to ensure proper functioning. This should include examining the battery, charging system, and all electrical connections, as well as the power inverter and generator. If the battery is a lead acid type, it should be checked regularly to verify that it has enough water, as some will evaporate over time while charging and discharging. Additionally, look over the battery case and clean the terminals and connections if they appear dirty, as dirt can impede the battery’s ability to fully charge and discharge. If the case is swollen, professional inspection and replacement may be required.
On a yearly basis, it is recommended that RV owners have their generators serviced and inspected. This is because the generator can accumulate dirt and other substances from the road. As an example, the radiator on the bottom of the generator is particularly prone to such buildup, which can diminish its ability to cool the coolant. Additionally, you may want to consider having the generator oil and coolant evaluated in a professional lab. This fluid analysis can determine if the fluid is working as it should, as well as if any metals or other compounds are present that may signify internal engine wear.
Inspect the Plumbing System
To ensure your RV is functioning properly, it is essential to have its plumbing system inspected and serviced if necessary. Ask a professional to look over the water pump, water heater, and all plumbing connections, and make repairs if necessary. This can be done when de-winterizing the RV for the spring camping season. To test for plumbing leaks, one way is to fill the onboard freshwater tank with fresh water and then turn on the water pump. The pump should come on initially to pressurize the system, but it should shut off after the pressure has been established. If the pump continues to run or turns off and then turns on again repeatedly, it may indicate a leak in the plumbing system.
Check the Heating and Cooling System
It is especially important to have your RV’s heating and cooling system inspected and serviced by a professional. They should check the furnace and air conditioner, as well as inspect the intake and exhaust vents for any insect nests that could cause performance issues with the appliance. Additionally, the coils on the air conditioner should be cleaned at least once a year, as dirt can cause it to work harder and eventually lead to premature failure. Avoid the disappointment of having your air conditioner go out on your camping trip by completing regular maintenance.
Clean the Interior
Clean the interior of your home regularly to prevent the buildup of dust and dirt. It is important to keep the inside of your dwelling spotless to reduce the risk of health problems caused by allergens and bacteria. Taking a few moments each day to clear away dust, sweep, vacuum, and mop can help to ensure a healthy environment.
Prior to starting a trip, it’s important to thoroughly clean the interior of your RV. This can be done by dusting, vacuuming, and wiping down all surfaces. Additionally, it’s necessary to clean the windows, upholstery, and curtains, and replace any worn or broken pieces.
To finish, these are the key spring RV upkeep tips for those who own an RV. If you use the time to correctly maintain and ready your RV for the upcoming season, you’ll be certain your next camping trip is both safe and comfortable. Have a wonderful time camping!