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Family Matters

Think Summer: Getting Your RV Ready.

June 24th, 2013

By: Terry Fulawka

Winter elements can take a toll on stored RVs. If your RV has been in storage, now is the time to start preparing for those summer RV trips. Taking a little time now will help ensure enjoyment all through the year.

There are many things you need to think about when getting your RV ready for a long summer season. If this is your first time prepping your used RV, don’t be intimidated. Just take it all one step at a time, because before you know it, it will be time to enjoy it!

Before hitting the road complete this RV prep checklist:

• If it's been sitting all winter, open all the windows, vents and interior doors for a few hours on a sunny day and let it air out. You may want to spray a little air freshener after you close it up.

• If you took the battery out, reinstall it. Check the battery fluid level, reconnect it and charge it. If it's more than three years old, it may be time to replace it because it may not hold a charge as well.

• If you added RV antifreeze to your tank, drain it and flush it out completely.

• You can also sanitize your water system by adding about a quarter cup of household bleach for every 15 gallons of water. Drain it and flush it completely until you can't smell bleach anymore. You can also contact a local parts and service department to assist you in finding the right products to sanitize your tank.

• While running your water system, check for any leaks.

• Fill and fire up your water heater and check for leaks or any problems with the heating unit.

• Check the valves and lines on your waste-water system. Flush the system and then add proper chemicals to your holding tank.

• Fill your propane tank and test your furnace, stove and refrigerator. If you smell propane, you might get the lines tested at a service dept.

• Hopefully you left your refrigerator open slightly through the winter so there's no stale or rotten smell. Wipe out the fridge with disinfectant. Also check that the fridge is working in the electrical mode. Putting fresh coffee grounds in the refrigerator also helps in keeping the odors low.

• Check around the camper or trailer to make sure your roof vents and window seals aren't cracked or leaking. It is a good idea to make sure all sealants around the windows and vents are in tact, if not, products are available.

• Check running lights and brake lights.

• Check trailer hitches and light connections.

• Have your bearings inspected, or add grease if you have the ability to do it yourself. If you spend a lot of time on dusty roads, have the bearings serviced.

• Check tires for cracking sidewalls, which may occur before your tread wears down. Check the air pressure and the spare on your trailer.

• Check the batteries in your smoke, propane and carbon monoxide detectors.

• Check all your interior lights and make sure fuses are working. Buy extras in assorted sizes.

• Check all your towels and linens. You may have removed them for storage after last trip.

• Check all cupboards, drawers, closets, etc., for any signs of mice.

• Top off your propane tanks.

• Make a list. It's easy to forget what you needed to add or repair, so keep a notebook in your RV that will help remind you when you get home.

What’s next? Buying your favourite beverages, snacks and loading your fishing gear for the exciting season ahead!

Terry Fulawka works for Southside Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep and RV Center. Give him a call at 587-877-4884, or visit them online

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