Truth be known, there are probably 50 or more checks we could make on our RV prior to venturing out on the first camping trip of the season. If you don’t want to perform 50 checks on your RV here are 5 checks I consider absolutely essential. P.S. If you are not comfortable working on your RV make an appointment with your local RV dealer to get your RV ready for camping season.
I like to start with the RV batteries. The condition of your RV batteries depends on how well they were cared for when they were in storage. A battery in storage will lose up to 10% of its charge every month. If you checked and re-charged the battery periodically during storage the battery should be ready to go. If you didn’t check and re-charge the battery the first step is to fully charge the battery.
Note: Water should only be added to lead acid batteries after fully charging the battery, unless the water level is already below the plates. The plates need to be covered at all times.
After the battery is fully charged check and add distilled water as required. If the battery was removed for storage reinstall it making sure it is connected properly. If you are not comfortable working around batteries let a qualified service facility check it for you.
RV Water System
After sitting in storage for several months the RV water system needs to be de-winterized, checked for leaks and sanitized. If your unit was winterized using non-toxic RV antifreeze you need to run fresh water through the entire water system until all traces of the antifreeze are removed. Hopefully no antifreeze was added to the fresh water holding tank, but if it was the first step is to drain any remnants of antifreeze from the fresh water tank. Next add some potable water to the fresh water holding tank and turn the 12-volt water pump on. Open all of the water faucets and run the water until there are no traces of the pink antifreeze. Make sure you open both hot and cold faucets. Take the water heater out of the by-pass mode (if applicable). If the water heater wasn’t bypassed the antifreeze needs to be drained from the water heater tank. Now you can replace any water filter cartridges that were removed for storage.
When I take the RV out of storage I like to sanitize the RV water system. Make sure all of the drains are closed and all drain plugs are installed. Take a quarter-cup of household bleach for every 15 gallons of water your fresh water tank holds. Mix the bleach with water into a one-gallon container and pour the solution into to the fresh water tank fill. Fill the fresh water holding tank with potable water. Turn the water pump on and run water through all hot and cold faucets until you smell the bleach. Close the faucets and let this solution sit for twelve hours. Drain all of the water and re-fill the tank with potable water. Turn the water pump on and open all faucets running the water until you no longer smell any bleach. It may be necessary to repeat this process to eliminate all signs of bleach.