It is good to have an end to journey towards, but it is the journey that matters in the end
~ Ursula K. LeGuin

 

 

 

 

I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I intended to be.  - Douglas Adams


When we realize our insignificance in this world,
it some how relieves the pressures from society to succeed - 
Cindy Bonish 04/07

Preparing Your Camper for Spring Start-Up

Here is a quick check list to get you started once Spring rolls around and those campgrounds and backroads come a calling.  This is just a start, and everyone probably has a few things that they can add or subtract from this list.

A. To begin spring startup on your RV:

  1. *Remove all protective covers and plugs. (Any duct tape adhesive left behind may be removed easily with WD-40.)
  2. *Wash interior of your camper with mild soap and lukewarm water.
  3. *Turn on all lights, replace bulbs as necessary.
  4. *Check operation of all appliances.
  5. *Open all windows & roof vents to air out the inside (clean and wipe with warm water and liquid dishwashing soap).
  6. *Open windows & shades
  7. *Clean exterior of your unit with mild soap and lukewarm water - use a streak cleaner such as "Thetford Black Streak Remover"
  8. *Lubricate hinges, locks, and moving parts as necessary
  9. *Reinstall any batteries in clocks & smoke detectors etc.
  10. *Close water taps
  11. *Remove moth balls and rodent bait from interior and exterior compartments. (Be sure to remove from the vicinity of the hot water heater and refrigerator gas burner assembly.)

B. Air Conditioner

  1. *Remove protective cover
  2. *Remove air shroud and check cooling coils, blower fan and motor
  3. *Vacuum or wash the condenser coil
  4. *Clean the cooling fins - Do not use a power washer
  5. *Clean air filters
  6. *Clean any dust from discharge air opening and ceiling grill

C. Refrigerator

  1. *Open the refrigerator side vent and look up to the roof vent and check for nesting, remove debris if necessary. Remember to remove mothballs from the vicinity of the gas burner assembly
  2. *Wipe out the inside of the refrigerator and freezer with warm water and soap before turning the unit back on
  3. *Check your owners manual to see if it lists any specific things that need to be done before turning the unit back on from its winter storage  

D. Water System

  1. *Close pressure relief valve on water heater. Remember to remove mothballs from the vicinity of the gas burner assembly first
  2. *Close all drain valves and faucets (including shower head)
  3. *Flush out RV antifreeze by running water through entire system
  4. *Reinstall drain plug (removed in the winterization process)
  5. *Add a few ounces of baking soda to the tank, drive around to mix solution, then drain and refill
  6. *If your water has a bad taste or strange odor, take these steps to kill bacteria that may be present:
    a. Fill fresh water tank half way with clean, fresh water.
    b. Mix 1/4 cup of household bleach for every 15 gallons of tank capacity in a container with a gallon or two of clean water and pour this mixture into the water tank.
    c. Top off the water tank with fresh water. Go for a drive to mix the solution.
    d. Pump water through each faucet so that all the lines are filled with the water/bleach mixture from the tank. Usually, running a quart of water out each faucet is adequate.
    e. The hot-water tank holds at least 6 gallons of water. Run the hot water faucets until this much solution has passed to insure that the old water has been purged from the hot-water tank, and it is now filled with the water/bleach solution from the water tank.
    f. Let the water stand for several hours.
    g. Drain the entire water system, hot water tank included.
    h. To remove the bleach odor, mix 1/2 cup of baking soda with a gallon of water and pour into the freshwater tank.
    i. Fill the tank completely and pump this solution through the water heater and rest of the water lines. This solution can sit in the system for a few days. Driving the rig around the block will slosh water around and thoroughly clean the tank.
    j. Drain the entire system and refill with fresh, clean water.

E. Awning

  1. *Open awning and brush off any debris that has settled from the winter storage
  2. *Take a small piece of rubber (Vacuum Line works great!) and clean out the gutters along the sides of the RV
  3. *Check for damage or mildew on the awning
  4. *Clean the awning with Thetford Awning Cleaner

F. Tires

  1. *Inspect tires for wear
    a. Tires should be replaced if tread is worn down to 1/16 inch or if tread sidewall is cracked, cut or flaking
    b. Select tires of the same construction, load range and size
  2. *Re-inflate tires to the proper pressure
  3. *Remove trailer from jacks or blocks
  4. *Check the lug nuts with a torque wrench to make sure they are at the proper setting before towing out of the storage lot or driveway
  5. *For safety sake, after a few miles traveling on your first trip in the Spring, check the lug nuts to be sure they are still tight (What's it going to hurt?)

G. Furnace

  1. *Remove cover
  2. *Check for insect nests and lint accumulation
  3. *Turn on the electric power and turn on the thermostats (to check for operation).
  4. *Turn on the main gas supply to the furnace

H. LP System

  1. *Open the main LP-gas valve and check the LP gas system for leaks (Use soapy water or commercial leak detector solution and brush to check each gas line connection)
  2. *A rusted tank will not be filled by an LP gas attendant, sand and repaint if necessary
  3. *Consult a trained LP-gas technician to correct any leakage problems

I. Electrical System

  1. *Check for short circuit between positive and negative battery cables with circuit tester or ohm-meter. If no short circuit is detected then reconnect all batteries and reset any electronic clocks/items etc
  2. *Once batteries have been re-attached, make a check that everything is working properly so you wont be surprised on the first camping trip

J. Roof Vent Seals

  1. *Look for signs of deterioration. Reseal and caulk where needed with sealing compound (also check the caulk around the windows.)
  2. Note: Do Not walk on roof without proper support to distribute weight unless your roof is designed to be walked on

 

Sources
Sunline's Service and Production Teams
"Winterizing" - Chapter 12 - Woodall's RV Owner's Handbook
"Preparing Your RV for Storage" - Hans J. Gugger - Trailer Life magazine.
"RV Repair & Maintenance Manual" - Trailer Life - Edited by Bob Livingston
"Putting Your Wheels on Ice" - Michael Packard - Trailer Life - Dec. 1995


 

 

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