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RV Camping - Preparing Your Recreational Vehicle (RV) For Your Next Trip

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Get Your RV Ready for Spring - Coming out of Hibernation


Author - Ken Freund
Brought to you by Good Sam Club RV Road Service



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Winter elements can take a toll on stored RVs. If your coach has been in storage, now is the time to start preparing for those spring getaways. Taking a little time now will help ensure enjoyment all through the year.

Before hitting the road complete this RV spring-prep checklist: Begin with a thorough exterior inspection.

Examine the outside, including the body and roof, for any cracks or separation and look inside for stains on the ceiling, sure signs of roof leaks. Look beneath the coach and/or or tow vehicle for signs of fuel or other fluid leaks.

Once you've determined there are no exterior leaks, wash the RV with a specially formulated soap designed for the exterior. Work in the shade, since washing a hot surface can result in hard-to-remove spots and streaks. Use specialized wheel cleaners to make tires and trim look new.

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.

Spring prep should include a fluid and connections check. Look for insect and rodent nests and chewed wires and hoses. Check the amount of LP gas and test appliances for proper functioning.

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.

Make sure all of the lug nuts are secure, check tires for cracks and other damage and set inflation pressures. Trailers should have the wheel bearings repacked.

Replace batteries and test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Check the gauges on fire extinguishers. Check and refill your first aid and emergency kits.

An emergency kit should include: flares, a gas can, reflective triangles, duct tape, jumper cables, wheel chocks, flashlight and basic hand tools.

Stock up with necessities for cooking, cleaning and entertaining. Review kitchen equipment and the inventory of favorite games, books, cards, puzzles, CDs, DVDs or videos.



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Pat J. Reynolds is a camping expert, syndicated outdoors columnist and the editor of our highly acclaimed camping newsletter. Come along with our experienced team of globe-trotting campers as we take trips around the world seeking ways to enhance your camping experiences. Discover camping tips, ideas and deals on camping essentials.

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