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Up and Running

Spring is almost here; it’s been a long cold winter in storage; the RVs are restless and calling… It’s time for some TLC before hitting the road.

First: the road insurance. You might need to move your unit off your property to get some of this maintenance done, and you want to make sure you’re roadworthy. Those of us who have ever forgotten this little thing shall remain nameless, but we probably won’t forget it again.

Once you’re properly insured, you need to make sure your unit is still mechanically sound by checking your engine compartment. Top up your oil levels and radiator coolant, refreshing as necessary. Now is the time to put your batteries back in, if you removed them before winter, and check for corrosion on the posts and bulging if they’ve been in your unit. If you’ve had them for more than about eight years, you should consider replacing them soon – they don’t owe you much after that. Check the pressure in your tires; the duals need that extra effort. It’s a good idea to have your brake function checked out, too. And don’t forget about your operating lights.

In your living area, check your batteries for water level, post corrosion, and bulging sides. Are they getting old? Test your propane system: turn on your stove and pay attention to how long it takes for the fuel to get to the burners; you want to make sure the lines are clear. At your tanks, check your levels, your connections and the age of each tank; you want to make sure your propane tanks are still legally fillable. And since insects and spiders love propane, check for nests and other evidence, and make sure to clean them out. Test your fridge, hot water tank and any other appliances for correct operation.

You also need to check your water system. If you have antifreeze in sink traps and water lines, you must flush them out properly. Make sure there’s water in your storage tank (running the pump on a dry tank is a fast way to a shopping trip for a new pump), and carefully test your lines, watching for any leaks from aging sealant or line cracks that may have developed over the winter. Make sure your bypass valves are in the correct position, both at the tank filler line and at the hot water tank. Any pink staining from the antifreeze will wash away as you use your unit.

If you have slides, check them for correct operation. Make sure to check the rubber seals on the outside as well, and replace and repair as needed. If you have an awning, roll it out and back in once or twice to make sure it’s clean and happy.

If you plan to tow a vehicle, hook it up completely and then check all your lights to make sure all the electrical connections are working and all bulbs are intact.

Now you’re ready to gas up, load up, tank up, and do the traveling you’ve been daydreaming about!

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