You may think that leaves on trees, flowers blooming, and sunnier days are the best indications that spring is here, but for RVers it’s when you finally bring your motorhome or travel trailer out of storage. As we begin to thaw out, it’s time to de-winterize and get your rig ready for the months of better road conditions and beautiful weather ahead. You may think that de-winterizing is simply flushing out your water system, but there are some additional steps you should take to make sure you’re ready to go for the season. Winter weather can be tough even on winterized RVs and you don’t want to get on the road to find a problem you overlooked when you brought it out of storage.
Flush Out Your Water System
If you winterized your RV, you’ll probably have some antifreeze in the system. Whether or not you do, it’s a good idea to flush out the system. Hook up a hose to your RVs water hook-up, turn on the water pump, all the faucets, and the shower, turn on the hose and let water flush the system. If you had antifreeze in the system, it’ll likely take about 10 minutes for the water to run clear. Flush the toilet a couple of times and wait for the water to run completely clear before turning off the pump and faucets.
Each time you put your RV away or take it out, you’ll need to check your seals and gaskets to make sure it’s weatherized. Maintaining seals and gaskets is extremely important in preventing water damage to your RV, which can cause some serious maintenance problems in the future. Make sure your seals are in place and check to see if they’ve become brittle or have cracked. It’s also a good idea to add silicone or caulk to the seals at least once a year, preferably twice per year: once when you winterize, once when you de-winterize.
Just like any car or truck that has been sitting around, mechanical and electrical elements on your RV could use some tuning up after a long winter. Check turn signals, headlights, brake lights, and all other exterior lights including clearance lights and marker lamps. Double-checking safety features is of paramount importance.
Just as you would with a car, you’ll want to check your oil and other engine fluids. Don’t forget to test your windshield wipers, wiper system components, and windshield washer fluid. It can be an easy thing to overlook, but you can find yourself with limited visibility and in a potentially dangerous situation if your wipers and fluid aren’t functioning properly. Also, make sure your propane gas lines are intact by opening up the propane valve a quarter inch. Then place a soapy sponge near the connectors along your line. Watch for air bubbles that could indicate a leak in your line where you’ll need to replace a connector. Check your tire pressure to make sure your tires are pressurized and road ready.
If you removed your batteries, put them back in. Check your battery’s water level and charge it up, if necessary. If you are having trouble with the battery, it might be time to replace it. Click here for our guide on choosing the right RV battery.
During the entire de-winterizing process, make sure to keep an eye out for any possible damage that may have occurred due to weather or vermin. Open up all the windows, open the steps and lubricate them, if necessary. Watch out for discoloration on the ceilings or walls that may have occurred due to water damage. Critters tend to nest in cabinets, under appliances and near the water heater, so double check for any signs of any rodents or insects. If you have questions about how to de-winterize or need replacement parts, contact us or visit our online parts store.