Your RV or motorhome is one of your most valuable belongings.
If you love the call of the open road, then you probably wait for camper season to come each year with giddy anticipation.
However, before you can slide behind the wheel to freedom, there are some steps you need to take to get it road-ready.
Here are important steps on how to dewinterize your RV to get prepared for the upcoming season.
When it comes to your RV, camper, or motorhome, it’s vital to ensure that you take the proper steps to get ready every time spring rolls around.
If you’re not a year-round driver, then it takes some work each year to get your rig ready and safe to take on miles and miles of the open road, fun, freedom, and lifelong memories.
Here are the crucial steps to take on how to dewinterize your RV to get ready for the warmer weather.
Check the Tires
Even if your RV is stored in a garage during the winter, it’s still essential to check the tires.
Typically, RV tires lose about two or three psi of air pressure each month they’re stationary and in storage.
If your rig is stored outside in the cold and snow, the tires could lose even more air.
If you try to drive an RV with under-inflated tires, it can cause a whole host of problems.
Use a conventional tire pressure gauge to check all the tires, and don’t forget the spare, either.
You should also look closely at the rubber tread on each tire.
Make sure that it’s not looking dry, faded, cracked, or too thin.
If you do have worn-down treads, it’s definitely time to get a new set of tires before you embark on your journey.
Check, Charge, and Install the Battery
RV batteries can also lose charge when they sit for a long time without being used.
Unless you’re checking and charging the battery all winter long, it’s going to need some attention when the months turn warm.
By keeping them charged during the winter, you can extend their lifespan considerably.
Use a voltmeter to check the charge on your battery.
Remember, a fully charged 12-volt battery will actually read at about 12.7 volts.
Once you’ve finished charging the battery, check the water level and add distilled water if necessary.
Be sure to connect it securely once you’re finally ready to install it in your RV.
Flush the Water System
This is one of the most crucial steps to prepare your RV for the upcoming warm season.
Typically, most RV owners add non-toxic antifreeze to the water system, so the pipes don’t freeze.
If you did this to get ready for winter, that must now be flushed as part of the dewinterization process.
Did you add antifreeze right to your RV’s holding tank? If so, you need to drain the tank entirely.
When you’re done, add fresh water back into the tank, then turn the water pump to the on position.
Open all the faucets in your RV and allow the water to run through uninterrupted for several minutes.
Make sure you flush the toilet a couple of times, too.
Once the water is clear, close the faucets and turn the water pump off.
Water Heater Dewinterization
Part of flushing your RV’s water system is taking care of the water heater, too.
If you had your water heater on bypass mode for the winter, all you need to do is replace the water cartridges and dump the wastewater at a designated dump site.
If you didn’t bypass your heater, use the same process for the water heater tank as you did for the regular holding tank: flush and dispose of it properly.
Sanitize the Water
Many people tend to skip this step if they didn’t add antifreeze to their water supply, but it’s a significant step.
When your RV sits in storage, it could develop mold or bacteria in the water system.
Typically, most people use diluted bleach to sanitize their system, but several other products are available for water sanitization if you don’t want to use harsh bleach.
Inspect the Exterior
Another important step that shouldn’t be neglected is checking the exterior and roof of your RV.
To start, give the exterior a good wash. Get the dust off the awnings, any fabric areas, and sweep the cobwebs off.
Then, check the roof.
Climb up and check for any signs of damage or cracks that may have occurred while your RV was in storage.
Clean the Interior
After you’ve done the exterior, it’s time to check the interior, too.
Part of that is getting all your belongings and normal items that you travel with and putting them into place: bed linens, pillows, food, etc.
You should also give the interior a thorough spring cleaning.
Sweep, vacuum, wash, dust, anything you need to do to make the inside of your RV feel just like home again.
Check the Propane System
Perhaps the most important step in how to dewinterize your RV is checking the propane system.
Since an improperly handled propane system is very dangerous and explosive, it’s crucial to take this step.
Don’t forget to turn off all the valves and appliances that run on propane.
Take your time to inspect the system for leaks thoroughly.
A great way to do this is to put soapy water on the regulator and valve.
Wait a minute and see if it bubbles—if so, you’ve got a leak.
It’s also a good idea to test out all the appliances that run on LP as well.
If you ever smell propane or suspect a leak, it’s vital to shut off the propane supply straight away.
Replace any damaged or leaky lines.
Then, once the system is in working order, hook all of the appliances back up and test them by lighting each one.
Inspect Safety Devices
Checking safety devices is also an essential part of dewinterizing your RV.
This includes the smoke alarm, fire extinguisher, and propane detector.
If you have a carbon monoxide detector, check that too.
Make sure you have a proper first aid kit on board for emergencies.
Examine the Hoses
Probably the worst thing you can experience when on a trip in your RV is a leaky sewage hose.
If you think there could be a leak in the dump hose, it’s vital to get it replaced right away and definitely before you head out on the road.
That way, you won’t have to deal with any unexpected messes when you’re on the road.
No matter where you love to travel with your RV, it’s crucial to keep it in excellent working condition.
This ensures not only your safety while you’re on the road, but your comfort too.
Nobody likes to deal with issues or repairs when they’re out having fun or on vacation.
Be sure to spend the time to properly dewinterize your RV before you heed the call of the wide-open road to anywhere.