Seasonal Guide To Maintaining Your RV
Your RV is more than just a place to sleep. It's a retreat, a portable family vacation cottage, and a home away from home. It gives you a comfortable sanctuary while you enjoy the great outdoors and explore new places or old favourites. Taking care of your RV ensures you'll keep costly repairs to a minimum and you'll get to enjoy your RV for many years to come. Here's our seasonal guide to maintaining your RV.
If you winterized your RV properly, it shouldn't be hard to get it ready for summer. Here's a quick check list of what you need to do:
- Do a visual inspection of your RV, checking for any damage that might've occurred over the winter.
- Wash your RV.
- Check your tires. Damage to this area is serious and should be repaired quickly. You'll also want to ensure your tire pressure is at the right level and your lug nuts are tightened.
- Check your battery. They should be tested and cleaned (be sure to disconnect them before you start).
- Check your propane tank for any leaks. Take it to a professional for repairs or consider getting a new tank if yours is damaged.
- Test your generator, if you have one. You'll also want to ensure all of your electrical appliances are in working order.
- Flush your lines to remove the antifreeze.
- Inspect the interior. Give it a clean, restock supplies, and check your smoke and CO alarms.
Visit our full guide to getting your RV ready for summer here.
You're using your RV fairly often during this season, so just be sure to keep up on general maintenance. You may also want to check out this article on disposing waste from your RV.
- Inspect your RV. Keep an eye out for any damage.
- Keep it clean.
- Periodically check that all your equipment is working properly, especially your smoke and CO detectors and fire extinguisher.
- Restock first aid and emergency supplies as needed.
- Park in the shade to protect your RV from fading and other UV damage. It will also help keep your RV cooler if it's hot.
- Cover your tires. The sun makes them deteriorate faster, so invest in some quality covers to preserve the life of your tires.
- Be safe. Always practice safe driving techniques.
With camping season winding down, you're going to start looking for places to store your RV for the winter. Once you've finished for the year, before you take your trailer for its seasonal storage spot, you'll want to ensure it's properly winterized.
- Check for damage.
- Give it a full clean, inside and out. Don't forget the undercarriage, as that's where a lot of the dirt will have accumulated.
- Empty the interior of anything that can freeze, go bad, or attract unwelcome pests. You'll also want to remove anything that's valuable.
- Apply grease to any moving mechanical parts.
- Winterize the plumbing.
- Ensure everything is properly closed up and secure. Cover your vents and holes to help prevent animals from entering your RV.
- Invest in a cover if your RV is being stored outside. You'll want a breathable material.
- Wheel blocks are a great investment for prolonging the life of your tires.
Check out our full guide to winterizing your RV here. It includes a full walkthrough of how to winterize your plumbing.
With your RV in storage, you don't have too much to do. If there is a plug at your storage centre, be sure to take advantage of this feature and plug it in to keep the battery and electrical systems operating. If not, be sure to disconnect the battery and charge it once every six weeks - it will discharge over time and once it reaches empty, it can never be fully recovered. Other than that, just check in on your RV periodically.
If you drive a motorhome, you should also follow your manual's recommended maintenance schedule. This is the best way to avoid any breakdowns and ensure you have many years to enjoy your RV.
Should I keep my RV insured over the winter?
Definitely! Even if it's stored and you're not using it, your RV is still vulnerable to theft, vandalism, and storms. You'll also be grateful for liability coverage if your RV rolls down your driveway and strikes a parked car or destroys a neighbours fence. Insurance companies also often offer incentives to keep your coverage year-round, such as claims-free discounts. Insurance is a low-cost way to keep your RV protected and save money in the long run.
Of course, if you use your RV year round for winter camping or snowbirding, you'll want to be fully covered. Most companies also offer emergency roadside assistance across North America, which can come in handy if you're stranded on the side of the road.
If you're heading to the US, be sure to discuss your travel plans with your broker. They're also the best resource for anything RV insurance-related and will be able to answer your questions and help you choose the best coverage at your budget.
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