How to Get Prepped for Your Next RV Trip Before Camping Season.
All right, it’s April, and that’s an exciting time if you’re a Fleetwood RV owner. That means it’s time to get ready for the fun you’ll find nearby or on your next long-stretch RV road trip.
OK, OK, stop grumbling. We are bugging you to get your RV ready now, so you don’t lose a moment of fun in May and beyond. But let’s be honest, what else is there to do in April anyway?
Here’s a checklist we’ve created for you. And remember, RV campgrounds are not the perfect place to do these tasks. But, let’s get started.
Give your RV a bath
Regardless of where you store your RV, it’s probably at least a little dirty. Wash and wax and clean and shine the wheels. You should also polish chrome bumpers, the grill, mirrors, and trim. Wash the undercarriage, as well. This will help protect your paint and sealants. It will also look good enough to cruise the camping circles and make all those poodle owners jealous. And, if you’re a poodle owner yourself, then you’re already on the right track.
Inspect the exterior
Check the roof and sidewalls for cracks. Now check it again. Look, you can’t be lazy about this, because if it leaks, that’s a major problem. If you stored your RV outside, it’s even more possible that there may be a crack or two from sun damage.
Kick the tires
Check them, too, to make sure they are inflated properly, as that will save you gas as well as possibly prevent flats. Tires can lose three PSI a month sitting in storage, so we want you to PUMP THEM UP. Tighten all lug nuts on all wheels before you get going.
Check the brakes and the battery
Test the brakes. It’s not a bad idea to have a mechanic check them. Brakes are important, especially if you’re going over mountain passes or stuck in heavy traffic. In fact, we can’t think of a single road where you wouldn’t want your brakes handy.
Examine the battery for cracks and replace the battery if you see them. Batteries are much less expensive and time-consuming to replace ahead of time instead of on the side of the road. Clean the connections, double check the fluid levels, and charge the battery.
Clean the kitchen and the appliances
Rodents can get into your RV, even in an indoor facility. Cleaning helps ensure you don’t get their leftovers as they go after yours. Test the appliances, as well. For quality RV living, you want a fridge that works. Trust us, not the rodents, on this one.
Aw, man — Check the awnings for holes, tears or runs.
If you’re having difficulty extending it, take it to a professional. The tension may need to be adjusted, and this is hard to do. This is no time to prove how worthy a spouse you are.
Don’t be wishy-washy
Drain the fresh water tank and rinse it out before refilling it with clean water. Check for leaks before RV trips. If the water filter canister froze over the winter or was exposed to anti-freeze, you must replace it.
You will also need to inspect your sewer hose. Those have a limited lifespan for obvious reasons.
Check your registration and insurance
“Oh, hello officer. I, um, forgot them.”
Yeah, that won’t work.
Check your smoke and carbon monoxide detector, your LP gas leak detector, and your fire extinguisher. Again, RV parks are not the best place to do this.
Sweat the small stuff
Check the fluids, such as your brake, anti-freeze, transmission, hydraulic, and windshield fluid. Check the gauges to make sure they are giving proper readings. Replace the filters. You’ll also want to check the oil and filters in your generator.
Go to the experts
Again, you can have a mechanic do most of this for you for a nominal fee. You may even be able to get most of this done at drive-up oil change places, but call first to see if they service RVs. And, no matter what RV brand you own, we suggest heading to any one of our service centers. If you’re going elsewhere, keep in mind that one chain that tells you no doesn’t mean the next place with the same name won’t do it. Also, the advantage of going to a professional is that they may catch problems you won’t recognize.
Most of this stuff, however, is easy to learn, thanks to YouTube, so if you have the time to spare, you can do some of these tasks on your own before you take it in for a quick inspection. That will save you money and show your spouse just how worthy you really are.