Check for Pests
Hopefully you took steps to prevent pests and kept an eye on your RV throughout the winter to ensure no unwanted guests made themselves at home. That said, even those who do both of those things will find pests in their campers from time to time.
Be sure to check all cabinets for signs of ants, mice, roaches, and other pests. If you find that you do have bugs or rodents in your RV, get rid of them before you start the camping season. You’ll be glad you did.
De-Winterize Your RV Plumbing
The next thing you’ll want to do is remove the antifreeze from your RV plumbing. This is a super easy task that involves running water through the lines until the antifreeze is gone. It ensures your plumbing is ready to be used as soon as you hook up to water or fill your fresh tank.
Check out more detailed instructions for de-winterizing your RV fulltime at the bottom of this article.
Replace RV Batteries
Most RV owners choose to remove their batteries while their rig is in storage. They do this both to keep them from being stolen and to ensure they retain the proper amount of charge throughout the winter. Before you hit the road, make sure your batteries are charged up and ready to go, and reinstall them so they can be used during your trip.
You’ll also want to make sure you have plenty of propane, especially if the weather is still chilly and you’ll be using the furnace to stay warm. Go get those tanks refilled (and recertified, if necessary), and check your propane lines for leaks and loose connections.
This video explains how to go about checking the lines.
Check Alarm Batteries
Another thing you’ll want to check out before you go? The batteries in all of your alarms. In fact, we recommend replacing the batteries every spring, whether or not they seem to be dead. This will ensure you are safe from smoke, fire, propane, etc.
After all, replacing the batteries is easy enough and can be done in mere minutes while all of your other prep work is happening.
We also recommend testing your appliances to ensure they work before you get going:
- Turn on the stove and oven and smell for gas leaks.
- Test the fridge in both modes.
- Run the microwave and vent fans.
- Turn on the A/C, even if it’s not hot yet. It’s nice to know if you’ll need to repair the unit before the weather warms up.
- Likewise, test the furnace.
If you find anything is out of order, decide whether you can camp without that appliance for the time being and how you will go about replacing it.
If you resealed your camper before putting it into storage, chances are you won’t have to do it again (though it doesn’t hurt to visually check).
If you didn’t reseal at the beginning of the winter, we highly recommend doing so before the camping season is in full swing. This will keep water from getting into the ceiling, walls, and floor of your RV when those spring showers hit, helping ensure your RV lasts for years.
You will want to reseal around the outsides of rooftop accessories such as vents and skylights using self-leveling lap sealant. Meanwhile, corner seams and the seams of accessories that are set into the RV wall can be sealed up using a non-sag RV sealant. In both instances, make sure you purchase an RV-specific sealant that is compatible with the type of roof your RV has.
Before driving anywhere, make sure to visually inspect the tires for cracking, excessive wear, and other issues. Look at the expiration date on the side of the tire and replace the tires if they are expired or showing signs of damage or wear. You’ll also want to check the tire pressure and fill them with air if needed.
Care for the Generator
Your RV generator should be run once a month for at least a couple of hours under load. This is just as true in winter as it is in summer, meaning you likely already ran your generator less than a month ago. That said, this time is a bit different, as there’s maintenance to be done first.
Before you head out to camp, change the generator oil, air filter, spark plug, and fuel filter. Put some Seafoam into the generator fuel tank, and then run the generator under load for a few hours to get it ready to go.
Check Motorhome Engine and Lights
If you have a motorhome, now is also the time to check out the engine and the other parts under the hood. Get an oil change and replace the brakes if needed, and do any other vehicle maintenance that is due. Be sure to check your headlights, tail lights, and brake lights while you’re at it.