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RV Check List

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Recreational Vehicles

RV Check List

Mark Keller
June 12, 2006

Summer Ready RV Check List

It's been a long winter and now that summer is in full swing it's about time to hit the road with the RV. Before embarking on the road this summer remember that the effects of the winter elements can damage a stored RV. If your motor home has been in storage, now is the time to check do a little checking and maintenance. Taking a little time now will go along way to ensure that your RV will work properly throughout the year.

Before driving off you should complete an RV prep checklist. It is pretty basic. If you don’t feel qualified feel free to take the RV to a mechanic. The important thing is that the vehicle is checked out. Start with a thorough inspection of the exterior. Meaning examine the outside, including the body and roof. You should look cracks, holes, separation. Look inside for stains on the ceiling, this is way you can be sure there are no leaks. Some cracks maybe too small to see and the interior stains will let you know without a doubt if there are leaks. Be sure to look beneath the vehicle for signs of fluid leaks. This could be oil, coolant, gas, power steering fluid, and wiper fluid. If you see a puddle, check to see where it’s coming from and what color it is. Oil and fuel leaks are the biggest concerns.

Now that you have determined there are no exterior leaks, go ahead and wash the RV with a specially formulated soap. This soap will help remove stains, bugs, and prevent discoloration. I would recommend using BlackMagic on the tires. Also, NeverDull is a great product to shine all crome. It is a good idea to work in the shade, since washing a hot surface can result in hard-to-remove spots and streaks.

An RV that's been stored all winter needs to be aired out. Vacuum the carpet and clean the floors and other surfaces as needed. Typically people will also shampoo the carpets. It is a good idea leave the doors and windows open while cleaning just to keep the air moving through. Wash any dishes that may have been left inside. Wash the toilet and shower, especially the shower curtain.

Spring prep must include a fluid and connections check. Look for insect and rodent nests. Also check for any chewed wires and hoses. Check the Rv's amount of LP gas and test appliances for proper functioning. Look at the generator and make sure it is working well.

Drain and flush the freshwater tank. Add 1/4 cup of household bleach for each 15 gallons of capacity. Then fill the tank almost to capacity, leaving room for sloshing. Drive or tow the coach to mix the bleach. Run the hot water to get the bleach through the water heater. Then drain the freshwater tank. Refill, along with 1/4 of baking soda per 15 gallons. Drive or tow to mix the water, run the hot water, then drain and refill with fresh water. Test the water pump and water system, including the water heater.

On motor homes, generators and tow vehicles, change the oil and filter and perform all recommended services according to the owner's and maintenance manuals. Batteries should be check for electrolyte level and connections should be removed, cleaned and after re-assembly, treated with an anticorrosive product. Secure all lug nuts, check tires for wear, cracks, and other damage. Use a penny to check the amount of tread left on the tires. Inflate tires to the proper pressures.

Replace and check all batteries. Test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Check the on fire extinguishers. Refill your first aid and emergency kits. Make sure our emergency kit includes these essentials: flares, a gas can, reflective triangles, duct tape, jumper cables, wheel chocks, flashlights, jumper cables and water. Taking these extra precautions will surely pay off if there are any emergencies.

Mark Keller is a proud RV owner and manages a website, freervlistings.com. To learn more about how to improve your rv experience



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