Summer camping season is upon us, and if you’re itching to hit the road in your RV, it’s time to head to your RV storage facility and wake your favorite home on the road up from hibernation. If you followed proper RV winterization procedures, your vehicle should be in good shape but will still require a little bit of TLC before being road trip ready. Your main goals when de-winterizing your RV are to remove antifreeze from the system and make sure everything else is clean and in working order.
It might be tempting to rush through the process of preparing your RV for summer, but nothing kills the vacation vibe like a major RV malfunction, so take your time, be thorough and don’t be afraid to ask for help. While you should always refer to your owner’s manual for the specific needs of your RV, consider this your checklist of 8 things you absolutely shouldn’t forget to do when taking your RV out of storage.
Check the condition of your tires. Look for cracks and faulty lug nuts. Your tire pressure decreases at 2-3 psi a month while in storage, so you will need to adjust your tire pressure.
As with car batteries, RV batteries are susceptible to corrosion. If you notice any, mix one cup of very hot water with one teaspoon and use a toothbrush to remove it. Ideally, you were able to charge your batteries while your RV was in storage. Either way, you will want to test your batteries and see if they need to be replaced. If batteries were removed, reinstall them. Lastly, check to see if batteries need to have water added to them, as lead acid batteries require this.
Prime your generator until the indicator light turns on and then run it for 20 seconds. If you don’t have a prime, you can crank it for 15 seconds, pause, crank it for another 15 seconds, pause and repeat until it runs.
Check your RV’s exterior for holes and gaps. Look for cracks in the roof, caulking that needs to be replaced or holes in canvas. Roll out awnings to check for holes and tears.
Clean out your RV’s interior with the same gusto you’d use for spring cleaning at home. Wipe down all surfaces, sweep and vacuum. Look for evidence of bugs or rodents, which may include nests, dead bugs or rodent droppings.
Clean your refrigerator and stove with regular household cleaners. Test these and other appliances to make sure they’re working.
Take your water heater out of bypass mode. Empty antifreeze and flush lines with potable water about three times. Inspect pipes for leaks. Take 1/4 cup bleach for every 15 gallons of water your fresh water tank holds, mix and put into a fresh water tank and fill. Go to a dump station and empty your holding tanks.
Not all storage facilities offer RV storage. In fact, it’s quite scarce in many cities. RV storage can range from a glorified parking lot to private, garage-style storage with individual alarms and access to RV wash stations. If you’ve already found an RV storage facility that you love, talk to a member of the staff about options for next winter if you plan on storing again. Find out how quickly the facility fills up and how you can secure a spot. If you aren’t in love with your current facility, assess your options, find a new facility that is better suited to your needs and inquire about off-season storage.