Prepping your RV for the Summer Camping Season

Believe it or not, Spring is right around the corner. Winter is finally coming to an end, and it’s time to start thinking about getting your camper ready for the camping season ahead! You don’t want to wait until the last minute to get your RV ready to go. You should allow enough time so that you can fix things and order any parts necessary. Plus wouldn’t it be great to have it all ready so you can leave at a moment’s notice?!

Spring field flowers

If you live in a colder climate as we do here in Minnesota, the weather conditions can be pretty harsh. If your camper was out in the elements all Winter, you will have some extra steps in prepping your RV this Spring.

The first thing I would do is give the exterior a good wash to get all of that winter grime off! Don’t forget about the roof and the awning. It is best to use a soft brush with an extendable handle. I recommend using a wash formula that is a wash and wax, such as Gel-Gloss RV Wash & Wax. Remember to start on the roof and work your way down. Don’t forget to clean out the gutters while you are up there!

Gel-gloss RV wash and waxRV scrub brush with extendable handle

After the exterior is nice and clean, you should start by inspecting the roof for any missing or cracked caulking around all of the seals and vents. Also, check the slide out seals for any wear and make sure they are sliding out properly.

Now that your tires are clean, check for cracks. Tires will naturally lose some air during the winter months, so check the tire pressure and inflate to the recommended amount. Use a tire protection on your tires, such as Amour All Extreme Tire Shine. It will help restore moisture to the tire to help to prevent dry rot. Plus it will make your tires nice and shiny.

Armor-All extreme tire shine

Open all of your exterior compartment doors to check for any signs of rodents. Vacuum and clean thoroughly.

RV exterior storage compartment

Make sure your license plate is on your RV and that the tabs are current!

Next, you will want to hook your batteries back up if you took them out for the winter, but inspect them first. Look for any signs of corrosion, and tighten the terminals. Make sure they have a full charge, and then hook the batteries up to your camper and make sure they are working.

Interstate RV battery

Inspect your propane tanks and check for any leaks. Open the valves to smell for leaks. Make a soapy mixture and put it in a spray bottle to test for leaks around the valves and regulator. The soapy mixture will bubble if there is a leak. If you find a leak, it’s probably best to call a professional or bring it into an RV shop for service. Fill your propane tanks.

RV propane tanks

Check all your exterior lights and replace any bulbs that are burnt out.

RV lights at night

Once your camper is all opened up, I would open the windows to air it out. Open every cabinet and drawer to check for mice droppings or rodent damage. Inspect for any water damage or leaks. Go through and thoroughly clean your camper. Start at the top by going around the ceiling and getting all the cobwebs and dust. Wipe down all surfaces to get rid of the dust that has accumulated from sitting. I like to use an all natural cleaner that you can make yourself. It is a mixture of hot water, dawn dish soap, vinegar, and baking soda. For every gallon of water use a ½ cup of vinegar, two tablespoons of baking soda, and a couple of squirts of dawn. You can use this on everything-the floors, walls, countertops, etc. It helps deodorize and freshen up your surfaces. Take your floor registries off and vacuum the vents as far as you can with an attachment, wipe it out, and clean the vent cover.

Vinegar for cleaning your RVDawn dish soapBaking soda for cleaning RVCleaning supplies in bucket with gloves, a spray bottle, and a sponge

If you winterized your RV (hopefully you did if you live in a colder climate!), you will now need to de-winterize it. You will need to flush the water system out until there is no trace of antifreeze left.

Splash RV antifreeze

After you do this, it’s a good time to sanitize your water tank and lines. The best way to do this is to make a mixture of bleach and water. Use ¼ cup of bleach for every 15 gallons of water. Fill up your water tank with the bleach and water mixture. Turn the water pump on and turn on all the faucets and showers. Let this run long enough to saturate through the lines and then shut everything off. Now let this sit overnight to sanitize the tank and lines. The next day you will turn on all the faucets and showers again and run the mixture through until it is all gone. Then fill your water tank with just fresh water, and run this through until the bleach smell is all gone.

Bleach for sanitizing RV water lines and water tank

Check all your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they are still working and replace the batteries with new ones. Make sure the fire extinguisher is in operating condition. Replace any light bulbs that are burnt out.

First Alert smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector comboFIRST ALERT SMOKE DETECTOR & CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTOR COMBO

The last steps to getting your RV ready for camping is to stock it with some necessities that you can leave in for the summer. Re-stock it with fresh towels, bathroom toiletries, clean bedding, paper towels, RV toilet paper, and RV tank deodorizer.

Fresh towels for campingAqua-kem tank treatment and deodorizerOf course, every camper is different, and this is just a generalized list of things you can do to prep your RV for the Summer. Have a great camping season!

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