We’re just over two months until Memorial Day weekend! Many of us will have made our annual maiden voyage before then, so it’s important to make sure we’ve completed our spring maintenance checks before we venture out on the road. Here are just a few tips that can make your first trip of the season enjoyable:
Start with a visual inspection of all seams and man-made holes paying close attention to the exterior sealant and signs of cracking and peeling. There are specific sealants for different applications – sidewalls, roofs, etc. If you want to save a bundle in repairs, take the time and make sure your investment is watertight. Climb that ladder and check out the roof! Take the time to clean the entire RV with proper products.
Charge the battery before you reinstall it. Make sure it’s up-to-snuff.
Lube It Up
Lubricate all the pinch points (i.e. scissor jacks, tongue jack, baggage door hinges, locks, etc.) Slide-out mechanisms should be inspected and lubed. Slide seals should be cleaned and conditioned. Use the proper products to avoid future problems!
Check your water system by hooking up a water supply to your RV. Leave the bypass valve on the hot water tank in the STORE position while flushing out the hot and cold water lines. Do one tap at a time (cold kitchen sink, cold bathroom sink, cold shower, toilet, and the, hot water kitchen sink, etc.) Remember your outside shower as well. Then return the bypass valve to the Run/Use position and fill up and flush the hot water tank. Change the anode rod if needed. You can also use a product like Spring Fresh to help clean and deodorize your water system.
Unless you’re looking for a trip to the E.R. or worse, NEVER USE A FLAME to complete your propane leak test! Have a reputable company fill your propane tanks. Connect the pigtail propane hose to the propane tank. Use a water & soap mixture to check for leaks on all propane connections and fittings, supply hose connections, and tank regulator connections. Check the interior components of the propane system. Light only one burner on the stove. Once lit, light the remaining burners. If they all work, shut all but one off and then turn on the furnace. Watch the stove burner and see that the flame decreases in size. This will help determine that the furnace is operating and that the regulator is working at the proper pressure. Next, turn off the furnace and then turn off the stove. Move to the water heater and turn it on and watch the flame for color. It should be a crisp blue, not yellow. If it’s closer to yellow, turn it off and call your RV service center for diagnostics on the appliance. Repeat the same procedure for your refrigerator.
Tires & Wheel Bearings
One of the most critical parts of your RV, this is where the rubber meets the road! Check all tires, including your spare, for dry rot and tread depth. Make sure that lug nuts are torqued correctly. Then fill your tires to the recommended air pressure. Is it time to repack the bearings? If you’re not equipped at home to complete this task, call your RV Service center and let them handle this for you. Shoddy tires and neglected axle bearings can add up to expensive repairs to your underbelly and side skirtings, not to mention potential accidents on the road.
Protect Your Investment
If you find you don’t have the time, tools, or just unsure about some of the tasks you need to complete on your maintenance checklist, take advantage of reaching out to your RV service center to help protect your investment and get you ready for the great outdoors.
Shake it down - Hit the Road!
Once you’ve completed your entire RV maintenance checklist, complete a shake-down test at your house or park close by to iron out any other issues that may come up. Then plan out the rest of your season to enjoy the outdoors!
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