Hey, RV owners – it’s nearly Spring. For the non-snowbirders out there, this is the time of year when thoughts start turning to taking trips in the ‘ol RV. You know - family vacations, weekends at the beach or the mountains, maybe a trek to a gathering of an RV club.
Yup, the weather’s warming up, and you’re ready to go out and enjoy it. The question is, is your rig?
Don’t assume that you can just load it up, fire it up, and hit the road, Jack. Like cars and houses, RV’s require maintenance, both the necessary and preventative variety. And, since an RV is basically a house on wheels, it needs much more maintenance than either your house or car.
The thing is, halfway to Yosemite is not where you want to find out you really should have had the brakes inspected; an unexpected rainstorm is not when you want to realize that your vent seals should have been re-caulked; and boondocking in the middle of nowhere is not a great place to find out the stove doesn’t work.. . unless you really like steak tartar, that is.
Get the picture?
When you start planning your first odyssey in the RV for this year, you need to allocate some time to make sure your RV is up to snuff, and will perform perfectly so you can enjoy your trip both worry and interruption free.
Here’s a partial list of things to look at or take care of – not including the de-winterizing process required if you live in one of those states that actually has a winter:
- Check all the external seals around vents, doors, ports, etc. – and reseal them as necessary.
- Lubricate the hinges and locks on all the external entry and storage doors, as well as the retracting step mechanism.
- Check the water level in the “house” batteries, and top off as necessary.
- Check the operating condition of the ‘fridge, freezer, stove, oven, microwave, water pump, A/C, heater, generator, etc. In other words, run them!
- Check the fluid levels in the engine – brakes, oil, transmission, etc, and top off &/or have changed as necessary. Oh, and don’t forget the washer fluid!
- Wash and wax your rig – not only does it look better, a waxed vehicle gets better mileage – and in an RV, every ounce of better mileage is worth it!
- Perform any other maintenance on your rig’s scheduled maintenance list that’s not already listed here… like having the slide-outs lubed.
- Check the batteries in the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, plus the TV remotes and walkie-talkies (if you use them).
- Check your LP gas level, and top off if necessary.
OK, you have your assignment. Mush.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, I hear you. Preventative maintenance is a pain; it’s much more fun just to pile into the RV and hit the road. But look at it this way: There’s an old cliché that says, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” When you consider the weight of your RV, that’s a whole lot of pounds to cure if something goes wrong on your trip.
Wouldn’t you rather prevent that from happening?