Spring is finally upon us and with that comes warmer weather and a hankering to get outside. No matter if you’re planning a quick weekend camping trip or a longer extended excursion, it’s important to prepare your RV for the road. After all, nothing can ruin a vacation faster than a roadside breakdown in the middle of nowhere or a failing AC unit in 100-degree heat.
Your mobile RV mechanic in Bakersfield has put together a simple RV checklist of things you should evaluate about your motorhome before you take it out on the road. We will tell you what the most important areas of your RV to check are and when these tasks should be completed to keep your recreational vehicle in tip-top shape and your family safe while on the road.
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3 to 6 Months Before Your Trip
As the saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Before you head out down the highway looking for adventure on those serene backroads, you need to evaluate the condition of your RV. A thorough A-Z inspection of your motorhome from mechanical, to electrical to awnings, latches, and fasteners, will mean the difference between your very own Lampoon Vacation and a truly relaxing and memorable off-road experience.
Here are all the things you need to do three to six months before you leave.
- A full and complete mechanical inspection by a certified technician, including internal functions, should be performed 3-6 months before you take your recreational vehicle on the road. Full-time RVers should have their vehicle inspection annually at the very least.
- Look at the condition of your tires and check for leaks and wear on the treads or walls.
- Inspect all hooks, latches, awnings, and any movable parts. Repair or replace any item that looks worn or is past its prime.
- Check your portable generator and HVAC System. Make sure they operate correctly and are free of issues.
- Check that all appliances are working as they should.
- Give your interior a once over and check for mold, mildew, and any signs of water leakage or damage that might cause a bigger issue if left unattended.
- Check the refrigerator and ensure that it is working and cooling efficiently. Look for mold and mildew as well. A quick wipe down with a bleach solution should remedy mildew growth and sanitize your fridge.
- Make sure all propane or gas containers are full and not leaking.
- Check all vehicle lights and make sure the bulbs are burning brightly. This includes vehicle lights, interior lights, exterior auxiliary lights. Proper lighting is required for your safety while traveling.
One Week Before Your Trip
On Your Mark, Get Set… Now is not the time to sit idle. Cruise into these tasks about a week before your trip. This pace will give you plenty of time to complete the RV checklist without having to rush.
Consider completing the following tasks:
- Check your battery’s charge and generator fluid levels.
- Make sure you have enough fresh water for your needs by filling your water tank to your desired level. Keep in mind that water is heavy and adds a considerable amount of weight to your rig.
- Ensure that your motorhome tow vehicle fluid levels are satisfactory.
- Check your first-aid kit and make sure it is fully stocked and complete. Don’t forget insect repellants and plenty of sunscreens.
- Plan your meals and food needs and go to the grocery store to stock your RV
- Wash any laundry you will be taking with you and be sure to bring plenty of blankets and towels.
- Gather up all important documents and paperwork including maps in case you don’t have internet access while traveling. Place them in a central location and tell everyone on the trip where they are located in case of an emergency.
- If traveling with children or pets, be sure to bring all medical documents, vaccinations, and prescription medications they may need while away from home.
Now that the hard part is done, it’s time to hit the road!
Start Your Engines! Get a Green Flag!
Before you settle into the driver’s seat of your home away from home for the next few weeks or months, take a few minutes to do a last-minute check of the following important items:
- Clean windows and mirrors and ensure they are free from debris that could obstruct your view.
- Check the RVs tire pressure and the tire pressure on the tow vehicle and ensure they meet recommended specifications for your specific vehicle.
- Do a brake check and double-check that all lights are working and are bright.
- Secure all moving parts such as awnings and check that steps, handrails, and decks are properly stowed.
- Make sure that anything carried on the roof or on the outside of your motorhomes such as coolers, kayaks or bikes are properly secured.
- Check cupboards, shelves, and the refrigerator and secure any items that might move or shift during transit.
- Close roof vents except those for ventilation.
- Gas up if you haven’t already done so.
Time to Roll! Wheels Up!
The hard part is done. Now hit that highway with peace of mind that you and your family are as safe as they can be.