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As Daylight Savings Time approaches, plan now to prep your RV

Spring Ahead!

That’s right, this weekend most of us in the U.S. turn our clocks ahead one hour for daylight saving time, which means camping season is right around the corner (for you snowbirds, aren’t you the lucky ones!)

This is a great time to start planning ahead to opening your RV for the season. If you are planning on having your RV professionally serviced for the season by your dealer, this is the best time to have it done, as most dealers in the northern half of the country are just starting to come out of their slow season. Before you know it, there will be long waits for RV service.

What kinds of things should you be thinking about doing to your RV? Here are a few tips, and I’ll elaborate on these some more in coming articles and issues:

  • De-winterizing and sanitizing your RV’s potable water system. Once freezing weather has passed, you’ll want to get your water system ready to go.
  • Chassis service. Whatever type of RV you have it’s built on a chassis that needs some maintenance. We’ll look at both motorized and towable chassis maintenance.
  • Tires. Often forgotten, tires need to be checked for damage, proper air pressure and more. Remember, RV tires usually age out before they wear out!
  • Roof cleaning and maintenance. What lands on your roof ends up everywhere else on your RV. Leaks are the number one killer of RVs. We’ll talk roof checks and sealant maintenance.
  • Batteries. Your RV batteries are the lifeblood of your coach. Many of the batteries get destroyed or damaged during the winter because of improper storage, requiring replacement. I’ll show you how to maintain your battery for a long life span.
  • Accessorizing. Have you seen something at an RV show, or in RV Daily Report that caught your eye? Now is a great time to plan on installing those parts and accessories that you’ve always wanted!
  • Cleaning and detailing. RV’s, like cars, do best when well cared for, cleaned and detailed. We’ll chat about some of the best ways to accomplish the task with the best results.

As we move the clock ahead, it is also a reminder to check and change our smoke detector batteries if we didn’t last fall. Also, it is important to check the other safety devices in the RV (and at home.)

  • LP (propane) detector. This is an essential device in RVs that have propane systems. Propane is a flammable gas that is heavier than air, and can collect and pool at floor or ground level. This is why the detector is close to the floor. Propane detectors have a five year life expectancy from the first time power is applied to the unit. Most of these detectors will have a date code on the back of the detector which will give you an indication of when the detector needs to be replaced. Many people like to cut the wires and forget about them. Some have met with an unfortunate demise as a result. It can be the best money you have spent to replace this detector if it saves your life.
  • CO or Carbon Monoxide detector. Another essential safety device, especially for motorized RV’s or coaches with generators. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, invisible gas that displaces oxygen in your blood stream leading, eventually, to death. People have suffered CO accidents in RV’s so make sure your detector is working properly. These detectors also have a finite life span, so check for dates, and replace when required.

RVing season is almost here! By spending a little time getting ready, you’ll be able to enjoy the season with little or no downtime due to mechanical problems.

Ready? Let’s RV!

About Chris Dougherty

Christopher Dougherty, "The RV Medic", offers service advice and maintenance tips. Dougherty is a certified technician who has written for several other RV publications in the past. He also serves as a consultant to the RV Industry Association and other RV groups on service-related issues.

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