Tips for preparing your RV for spring travel


Spring is here … that means it’s time to take your recreation vehicle (RV) out of hibernation for the beginning of the travel season

A recent news release sent out by the Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA) lists several tips to ensure that your home on wheels is ready to hit the road.

In the release RV expert Gary Bunzer states that a full and thorough de-winterization is preferred, but notes that some people might not have the time — or patience — to get it all done before the desire to travel prevails. So, he compiled the following list of service suggestions that RV owners should do themselves before heading out on their first RV trip.

House and Chassis Batteries

Topping the “must do” list is to charge the house and chassis batteries. Before they can be charged, however, they must be reinstalled if they were removed when the motor home was winterized.

Check the electrolyte level in flooded batteries, and make sure all connections are clean and tight. Charge the batteries and confirm that all 12-volt-DC devices are ready by operating each one.

Propane System

A second item, which may require a service appointment but is vitally important, is to have the propane system and regulator tested by a certified RV service technician. Aside from the fact that this system is required to operate many of the motor home’s appliances, a leaking or malfunctioning propane system is a safety hazard that must be discovered and repaired prior to operation.

Fresh Water System

Third, prepare the fresh water system. For those who winterized the motor home in the fall using the wet method (adding RV antifreeze to the system), drain and flush the antifreeze from the system and rotate the water heater’s bypass valve to return this appliance to the system.

Next, chlorinate the entire fresh water system using 1/4-cup of liquid household bleach mixed in a gallon of water for every 15 gallons of tank capacity. Pour the chlorine-water solution into the fresh water tank; pump it through all the water lines and fixtures; let it sit for four hours; drain it; and flush until satisfied with the odor and taste.

Tire Inspection

Finally, Gary Bunzer advises that all tires should be cleaned, inspected for damage, and inflated to the correct tire pressures determined by the weight each tire is supporting. This requires that the motor home be weighed at each tire position using a certified scale.

Each tire should then be inflated to the correct pressures using the tire manufacturer’s weight chart. Traveling on tires that are not inflated to the proper pressures will promote premature tire wear and, more importantly, will affect the handling of the vehicle and could lead to a tire blowout.

For a more extensive “RV Shakedown Primer” by the RV Doctor, click here.

RV Doctor Gary Bunzer will be among those conducting seminars during FMCA’s 88th Family Reunion and Motorhome Showcase event, set to take place June 19-22, 2013, in Gillette Wyoming.

Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA) is an international organization for families who own and enjoy the use of self-contained, motorized recreation vehicles known as motor homes.

Photos source: RV Doctor


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