Shaking off the winter snowflakes! ...or how to dewinterize your camper.
Spring is here and it's that time of year to get your camper ready for the season! Maybe you're new to owning an RV or maybe you've never known exactly what to do in the spring; this guide will go over everything to prepare you for camping.
- Batteries You may have one, two, four, or more but they all require some TLC from time to time. If you have a flooded cell battery (this is the traditional battery most campers come with) the first thing you should do is check the water level. The water level should be just covering the top of the metal plates inside. If you have an AGM, or sealed battery, you can can skip this part. The next thing you should do is clean the posts and connections. This will ensure that you have no dirt-caused electrical problems. Next, make sure your batteries are charged and in working order. Not holding a charge or need a new battery or upgrade? We carry a range of battery sizes in stock including flooded cell and AGM.
- Slideouts Slideouts add valuable interior space to a camper. Taking care of the components of a slideout will help prevent problems or trip-ending failures. You should check the operation of all slideouts both in and out. You should also lube the metal parts of the slideout assembly with a dry lube like Protect All Dry Slide-Out Lube. A final thing to do is protect and recondition the slide out seals. We frequently see leaks in the slideout seals due to cracking or aged rubber. Use Protect All Rubber Seal Conditioner.
- Jacks Like slideouts jacks are invaluable to your RVing experience. Whether you have leveling jacks or stabilization jacks the concepts are the same. Check all operations of your jacks. This includes the tongue jack. Clean any leftover dirt and grime from last year and lubricate with the manufacturer's recommended lubricant. A general recommendation is a dry based lubricant like Permatex Silicone Spray.
- Propane Your propane system runs many of the important appliances in your RV. Making sure it is in top working order is critical for functionality and safety. You should start by checking for cracked or broken propane hoses or lines. Replace anything that looks suspect to be on the side of caution. You should also inspect your propane tanks; look for any cracks, defects, or excessive rusting. Also check the date code stamped on the collar. Different states have different laws regarding how often tanks have to be re-certified. In Rhode Island, tanks must be within 12 years of the date code stamped on the tank. The final thing you should do is check for propane leaks. To do this, get your tanks filled and then spray a soap mixture or use a product like Gas Leak Detector to find any small leaks. Be sure to check around the fittings.
- Freshwater If you live in a colder climate your RV should have antifreeze in the lines. To get rid of the antifreeze, connect to city water and run all faucets until the water coming out is clear with no foam. Don't forget the outside shower and the toilet valve. While your doing this check for leaks-- look under the camper, in cabinets, behind the toilet, under faucets, etc. We carry a full line of Dura Faucets online and in stock. Next fill your fresh water tank and run your water pump. Make sure there are no leaks near the pump. Finally, we suggest using a product such as Spring Fresh to clean your fresh water system.
- Waste Water System A little spring maintenance on your waste water system will go a long way. Start by making sure your black and gray tanks are empty. Next, fill them both up and check for leaks. Empty them out and then use a holding tank treatment like Pure Power to clean and deodorize the tank. It's also a good idea to use Waste Water Drain Valve Lube and Toilet Seal Conditioner.
- Appliances Check the operation of all of your major appliances including air conditioner, furnace, water heater, refrigerator, microwave, etc.
- Awning Check the operation of you awning both in and out. Inspect your hardware for cracks or defects. Inspect your fabric for rips or pinholes. Replace ripped or damaged fabric with a Universal Awning Fabric. To measure for a replacement fabric you would measure from the center of one awning arm to the other. We stock awning fabric from 14 to 21 feet and in six different colors. While you have the awning out, it's a good idea to give it a good cleaning using Awning Cleaner.
- Roof Roof maintenance is one of the best things you can do to prolong the life of your RV. Start by giving the roof a good cleaning using Roof Cleaner. Next, seal any cracked or questionable areas of caulking using Self Leveling Sealant. Finally, use a Rubber Roof Treatment to protect from UV damage. If your roof is over 10 years old and starting to become thin in places consider replacement or coating the roof.
- Cleaning The final thing to do is to clean your RV inside and out. Using a Black Streak and Bug Remover can remove the hard to get spots. A good Wash and Wax will help protect the outside.
Now you can sit back and know you are set for the season. If you don't have time or want your dewinterization done professionally, contact our service department and schedule an appointment. Thanks for reading and happy camping!