Nothing beats hitting the open road in your motorhome. You’re free to go where the road takes you and don’t have to worry about finding an overpriced hotel to stay in overnight. As long as you have a safe place to park, you’re able to enjoy your trip. However, the key to any successful RV road trip is making sure your RV is ready for the trip itself. Here are a few things you need to do to make sure your RV is ready and able to handle the open road without any unexpected breakdowns.
1. Check the Electrical System
Your RV’s electrical system is what allows you to travel in comfort without feeling like you’re roughing it. Make sure it’s in good condition before you leave your house. Start by inspecting the batteries for wear and tear. If you see a buildup of corrosion on the surface or notice that they’re not holding a charge, it may be time to replace them.
It’s also a good idea to look at your RV’s disconnect switch. This allows you to shut power off to the appliances without unplugging the RV or removing the batteries. Test it out and make sure it’s working properly. If you notice strange clicking noises or feel the switch sticking, you may want to replace it before your next trip.
2. Inspect All Fluids
Pop the hood and make sure the engine’s components are ready for the drive. Check all fluid levels and top off any that look low. This includes the coolant, wiper fluids, brake fluids, and motor oil. If you’re not sure which types of fluids to buy, check your motorhome’s manual for guidance. The manual will explain how to check each fluid, how much the system needs to run properly, and the exact types to buy for your rig’s engine.
3. Inflate the Tires
Before you pull out of the driveway, make sure your tires are inflated properly. This will help you get the best gas mileage and reduces the risk of severe blowouts that can damage the chassis of the camper itself. If the tires look low, fill them to the manufacturer’s recommended pressure. This may or may not be the same as what the tires are rated for. Always follow the guidelines issued by the RV manufacturer—these pressures are designed to make carrying the weight of your loaded motorhome smoother and safer.
4. Lubricate the Slides and Hinges
If your motorhome has slides which expand the space, you’ll want to give them some TLC before you hit the road. Pick up some slide lubricant at your local RV dealership or big box retailer. Extend the slides and spray the lubricant along the tracks. Then, pull the slide back in until it seals fully against the side of the motorhome. This helps make sure the lubricant coats the entire track. You can repeat this process a few times as needed.
While the slide is out, inspect the rubber seals around the unit to make sure there’s no dry rot or damage. If you see any, you’ll want to get the seals replaced as soon as possible. Remember, your seals are what keep the water out of your RV and reduce the risk of mold buildup indoors.
5. Secure All Loose Items Inside
Before you can hit the road and get your vacation underway, you need to make sure your items inside the RV are properly stowed away. Pack all dishes in the cabinets or drawers and make sure the doors latch securely. If the cabinet doors are loose, store any fragile items on the floor of the RV while you’re in transit. Clear off the countertops and tables so nothing will slide off while you drive.
6. Schedule an Inspection
If it’s been a while since you’ve taken your RV out, consider scheduling a professional inspection before you hit the road. Your RV mechanic will make sure all components are in good condition so you can enjoy your vacation safely.
If you’re getting ready to hit the road, keep these RV maintenance tips in mind.
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