We have a lot of friends and customers here at Spacemall who are just about ready to break out their RVs and head somewhere for the weekend. Whether it’s providing extra space for family visiting for Easter or heading to the Poconos for the first breath of spring air, the first camping trip after the winter requires a little bit more preparation and planning than your summer trips might require.
Inspect Your RV for Winter Damage
We didn’t have a lot of heavy snowfall this winter, but that last one was really wet and really wet snow is also really heavy snow. Throw in a couple ice storms over the winter months and the potential for damage to your RV is pretty high. Before you drive your RV off the lot, we recommend that you make a visual inspection, checking for structural damage or leaks caused by a Pennsylvania winter.
Make Sure It’s Mechanically Sound
Electronics, even in the form of tail lights and blinkers, are not especially fond of cold wet weather, so after the winter is a good time to do a thorough inspection of your brake lights, blinkers and running lights. If you did not remove the battery for winter storage, the first step might be charging the battery. Then, take a few minutes to do a thorough inspection. The last thing anyone wants is for you to be out on the turnpike with no brake lights.
And, speaking of brakes, check those too. Giving your RV at least a cursory inspection of the springs, brakes, and electrical systems can help verify that it is road ready.
Sanitize the Water System
Whether you just drained the water system or filled it with antifreeze for the winter months, your water system needs to be filled up and probably flushed. Sanitize the system can make sure that anything foul that got in the system over the winter is washed away and can help make the water taste and smell better for your camping season. One time intensive, but relatively inexpensive way to sanitize the water system is to add 1 cup of bleach to a gallon water and then fill the tank. Run the faucets for a few minutes until you can smell the bleach. This lets you know that the bleach is out of the tank and into your pipes.
Wait a day or two and then flush the system, filling the tank with clean bleach-free water. When the water can run without smelling of bleach, the tank is clear and ready for use.
Check your Internal Electric/Propane Systems
If your RV uses propane to run the stove and refrigerator, your next step should be to check the propane tanks. Visually inspect the tanks before attempting to light the pilot lights on any of your appliances. Start with the stove first and then systematically check all the propane-fueled appliances. For things like the refrigerator and the hot water tank, be sure to check that they stay on.
Stock Up and Hit the Road
After you complete your spring safety checks, don’t forget to check the fire extinguisher, smoke alarm and carbon dioxide detector. With fresh batteries and fresh groceries, you should be just about ready to hit the open road.