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Summerize Your RV

Now that spring is here, it is time to get your RV ready for the season. The first thing we have to do is remove the fresh water antifreeze that kept it protected over the winter.

  1. With the hot water tank still bypassed, add some water to your fresh tank.
  2. Turn on the pump and wait for it to pressurize, if it does not then you might have an open low point drain or a leak.
  3. Turn on the pump and run the hot and cold taps one at a time until the water runs clear starting at the farthest tap from the pump.
  4. Do not forget the outside shower, spray port, outside kitchen or any combination thereof.
  5. Turn off the pump and connect water to the city water connection.
  6. Turn on a tap and again run until it is clear.
  7. Now that the lines are flushed, you can turn the hot-water bypass to the summer position.
  8. Flush the hot-water tank for a minimum of 5 minutes. If you have a bottlebrush, you can use that to help clean out the bottom of the tank.
  9. Open a hot water tap, if possible the bathtub tap. There is no filter in that tap.
  10. Put the plug into the hot-water tank using an approved Teflon tape on the male threads.
  11. Turn the water back on and wait until water flows smoothly out of the tap with no more air. Once this happens, run all other hot-water taps.
  12. Fill the fresh water tank; while it is filling, inspect all water lines that are accessible for leaks, pay special attention to the toilet water valve.
  13. Now that the tank is full, you can turn the electric side of the hot-water tank back on.

At this point, your RV is ready for the season. Before hitting the road here are a few more things that should be checked.

  1. Check all clearance lights; right and left hand turn signals and break lights.
  2. Test the function of the breakaway switch, if equipped.
  3. Check that everything is secured.
  4. Check any accessories, that have been added on still work.
  5. Motorized units should have all fluids checked.
  6. Check that you can’t see any light when the slides are in or out.
  7. If you have a generator, check oil and start it up. After it has run for a few minutes to warm up, put it under a 50% load for a minimum of 20 minutes.
  8. Check all tire pressures.
  9. All towable units should have the bearings repacked yearly and the breaks checked for function.

The best way to try to have a hassle free season is to stay on top of your maintenance. Test all systems before each outing. Use a checklist to make sure you keep everything in top working order. I also recommend having your propane system tested at least every two years by a certified technician. Any problems with your RV that you cannot do, make sure to call your favourite dealership or mobile RV technician as soon as possible. They book up fast and you do not want to be disappointed.

These tips are just a general guide to keeping your RV ready to go for years to come. Every RV is different so follow the advice of your trusted dealership or mobile technician. See also How to Ensure a Great Start to Your RV Season.

Victor Flint, RSE
Recreational Vehicle Technician instructor for Okanagan College.
Owner operator of Family First Mobile RV Services