Five Helpful Tips for a Travel-Ready RV

Here are 5 essential tips to get your RV ready to travel

  1. Exterior – Inspect the roof for cracks in the sealant around vents, skylights etc. Scrape off loose sealant and reseal any affected areas with the appropriate sealant. Speak to your local RV store regarding which sealant is best. Don’t use silicone bathtub caulk. Check your awning for frayed or torn material and make certain that the awning hardware is working properly. You can remove stains and mildew with special awning cleaner, but you must allow the awning to dry before rolling back up.

  2. Hot Water Heater – If the water heater has been drained for the winter, this is a good time to flush the unit by using a water heater flush tool inserted into the drain plug hole. Water heaters made by Suburban Manufacturing use an anode to prevent the steel tank from being rusted from within. Remove anode from tank for inspection and replace if 75% eaten away. A new anode rod is about ¾” in diameter and 8-1/2” long. The Suburban part number for the anode rod is 232768 and they retail for about $15 -$20.

  3. Liquefied Propane (LP) Appliances – Making sure there are no open flames, turn on the main gas supply valve and pay special attention for any gas odors. If there is a smell or propane (rotten egg smell) all propane appliances should be inspected for gas leakage using a non-corrosive soap solution. Any leaks should re repaired by a trained RV serviceman. Light LP appliances and test for proper operation. You may need to light repeatedly to purge air from the propane lines.

  4. Batteries – Posts and cables corrode over time and need to be cleaned regularly with a mixture of baking soda and water. Add distilled water to any battery cells whose water level is below the bottom of the “sleeve” inside the fill hole. If the batteries are discharged, recharge them as needed.

  5. Plumbing – Plumbing systems must be winterized for storage in freezing environments. Follow your manufacturer’s procedure for this. Now that the warmer weather is approaching, the entire plumbing system must be sterilized before use. Mix ¼ cup of bleach into a gallon of water for every 15 gallons of fresh tank capacity. Add this bleach mixture to the Fresh water tank and fill completely. Using the water pump, turn on faucets one at a time until you can smell bleach in the water which is coming out. Do the same for the shower and toilet and any outside showers/faucets. Wait four hours before draining the Fresh water tank and refilling with fresh water. Repeat the process of running water through each water fixture until all bleach is out of the plumbing. The tank is now sanitized and ready for use. Always drain your freshwater tank when putting your RV into storage.

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