This is the second installment of our series on de-winterizing your RV. In Part One we covered: checking your RV for wintertime damage and flushing the antifreeze out of your water system, as well as how to sanitize your water tank. In this half we will look at getting your electrical and mechanical systems back in tip top shape.
Check Your Electrical Systems
If you have a generator, start it up and let it run for a few minutes. Then turn on some of your electronic gadgets—microwave, blender for margaritas, TVs, DVD player, etc.—and run your generator below 50% power for about 10 minutes. This is like a warm up for your generator. It’s doing it’s stretches before the big run.
When that’s done, it’s time to reconnect your RV batteries. This is a good time to check the water level in your batteries. Putting your batteries in storage for the winter is the safe and smart thing to do; however, storage can drain your batteries past their life. You can use the RV battery monitor to check the level of your batteries as long as you don’t also have your RV hooked up to shore power. That can give you a false, fully charged reading. If your battery is below 80% (12.5 volts on a 12 volt battery) it may never get back to 100%. Here at our RV service center, we can help you pick out a new battery and install it for you.
Also run the refrigerator, microwave, oven, TV and air conditioner to make sure they’re working well. The last thing you want is to get to your campsite and find the oven won’t heat up. If you have propane for your cooktop, you’ll need to reconnect this line as well. In fact, it is a good idea to get your propane line checked by a professional once a year for cracks and damage to prevent an RV fire. This is the perfect time to do that.
And finally, if your RV is a towable like a trailer or toy hauler, attach it to your tow vehicle to make sure all your lights, turn signals, hazard lights, headlights and tail lights are functioning properly. Check the hitch as well to make sure it is connecting properly.
Check Your Slide Outs & Awnings
If your RV has slide outs, check to make sure they open and close fully, and make sure they are properly sealed as well. Small cracks in the caulking will lead to air leaks, which leads to a loss of that cold AC in the summer and can also invite water damage on a rainy day. If your RV has hydraulic slide outs or leveling systems, make sure that the hydraulic fluid levels are topped off.
Also, this is a good time to roll out your awnings and check for tears or holes. This includes window awnings, slide out toppers and the large side awnings. The lifespan of most awnings is about 10 years.
And while you are checking your awnings, make sure to also fold down your steps and oil them if necessary.
Check Your Tires
It is essential to check your tire pressure before you hit the road. An RV sitting in storage can lose 2-3 psi a month. Using a good tire pressure gauge, make sure the pressure of your tires is at the level recommended by your manufacturer. One of the things you are also looking for is uneven wear patterns on your tires. It may be time to upgrade. If you think this is the case, be sure to make an appointment at our RV Service Center.
Guaranty RV Maintenance App
For Android smartphone users we recommend downloading the RV Owner App from the Google Play Store. This nifty app helps you keep track of the regular maintenance required on your RV. You can set it with your RV brand’s service plan, along with your mileage, and it will alert you when it is time to bring in your RV for maintenance. You can check off services that you’ve already done or remove them entirely. Just set it and forget it; it’s that simple. If you are traveling down the I-5 corridor and need to schedule an appointment at our service center, you can also make an appointment directly in the app. (iPhone users, the app will be coming to the Apple Store in the near future.)
If you have any questions on de-winterizing your RV or you need help, don’t hesitate to give us a call. We love hearing from RVers everywhere.