TRAVEL ALERTS: Know Before You Go Camping.  WINTER: Snowbird locations and overnight camping.

7 Steps to Getting Your Camper or RV ready for the Camping Season

Well, we have had two days in a row of sunshine and I like others who camp and RV are doing the same thing – we have grabbed a pen and paper along with the calendar and are counting how many days until our first camping trip.  Then the other thought is how many more camping days can I fit in this summer and fall? 

Camping Season is Almost Here | Photo PoMoDee

1. Start Booking Your Camping Spots

It’s time to turn to our calendars, or in my case my cell phone.  I plan all my trips in that handy, trusty little box, that does such a good job that I have now enlisted it to telling me when to book.  So two months ahead of the day that I want to camp in a BC Provincial Park is when I have to book through Discover Camping.  So, I strategically enter my data, check it once, and then check it again for safe measure and book as soon as I can (it opens on March 8, 2021 at 7:00 am).  The online reservation service is open 24 hours but if you are planning to call their toll free number to reserve it is available from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm PST. 

Reservations are also opening in April for Parks Canada sites, and private campgrounds are already booking up fast. Get more information on most campgrounds in BC here.

Cleaning the Roof | Photo PoMoDee

2. Clean & Air Out the Camper

So now I’ve booked my site, and it’s time to “wake up” my summer home.  Laugh at my wording, but it has been a snow filled, cloudy, foggy, rainy fall and winter so it’s time to think about the unveiling of the RV, Motorhome or even the tent.  Who says you can’t bring out the tent and dust it off, set it up and make sure that all the zippers, pulls and guy wires are intact?  Great time to give it a wash and really air it out. Tenters often don’t give a thought to their sleeping accommodation until packing the vehicle for the trip.  Let this year be different – a prepared year! 

Time to Remove the Cover | Photo PoMoDee

It really doesn’t matter what your mode of camping is, they all have similarities that need attending to.  Chances are your RV or camper has been closed up, unattended for the last five months. First thing to do is take off the protective encasement you used for storing.  But before pulling it off, why not give it a really good shampoo and a hose down and let it dry, before packing it away for the next five plus months.  You will feel better about storing the cover clean, so when it comes time to put the RV to sleep for next winter it’s one less thing to do.

Check Your Tires | Photo PoMoDee

3. Rotate & Carry out Maintenance on Your Tires

Now we have the cover washed and stored – what’s next?  Tires.  The vehicle has been on them for the winter and might just be a little “tired”, so why not take the time now to rotate, clean and grease the bearings.  Checking over every inch of the outside is the best place to start.  Make sure there are no new problems that need attending to. 

4. Flush Out the Water System

If you have a travel trailer, fifth wheel, motorhome or even a truck camper, chances are you have a water system attached that you winterized for the winter.  You probably used a non-toxic antifreeze designed for RVs.  You will now need to flush the system out with fresh water until there is no more pink water flowing.  Once this is done, some people like to add a ¼ cup of liquid bleach and run it through the tank and then flush it once again with fresh water.  Once this is done, it is now time to turn the heater’s bypass valve into the operating (normal) position and check each and every tap and faucet for leaks.  Better to find it now rather than on a camping trip.

RV Supplies | Photo PoMoDee

5. Check Your Batteries

Always wear protective safety gear when checking batteries at any time.  First, make sure you have disconnected the hook-up power (the 120V power cord) and then make sure that all power is in the OFF position.  Check the battery connections to make sure that they are clean and that the terminals have not corroded over the fall and winter.  Check all sides including the bottom of the battery for cracks, as this sometimes happens during a severe winter freeze.  Replace all cracked batteries.  Check the battery fluid levels and only use “distilled water”.

Inspect Propane Tanks

6. Inspect Propane Tanks

Propane tanks are the next item up for inspection.  Make sure the tanks are in the off position.  This is where you want to check hoses, regulators and valves for premature aging and/or drying out.  If you notice any of the above, replace and then proceed to testing the refrigerator, stove and furnace.

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7. Clean the Inside

Final things to do, is give the whole inside a complete wash, vacuum and wipe out all cupboards and drawers.

For more tips check out: RV Maintenance Tips for Keeping Your Exterior in Top Shape

To locate places to camp in BC go to the Camping Map.

Share your BC travel and camping pictures using hashtag #campinbc, #explorebc, #BCNice

Published: March 3rd, 2021

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PoMoDee by PoMoDee

PoMoDee (Darlene) is a Social Media Coordinator who manages platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube and Google +. Darlene was born and raised in British Columbia and currently resides in Port Moody. Darlene is an avid camper, who has been camping since the age of two and still enjoys the serene setting of a campsite. Interests include writing, crafting, crocheting, photography and anything and everything Beach.