BY Barry Ard—De-winterizing your RV or camper van is an important part of springtime RV maintenance. By following these simple steps, you can ensure that your RV is ready for the warm weather and all the fun camping trips that lie ahead.
Best Practices for a Safe Camping Season
- Check your tires.
Before you do anything else, take a good look at your tires. Make sure they are properly inflated and that there are no cracks or other damage. If you need to, inflate your tires to the proper pressure, which is usually listed on the side of the tire.
- Inspect the exterior.
Next, take a look at the exterior of your RV or camper van. Make sure there is no damage to the paint or body, and that all of the windows and doors are in good condition. If you see any damage, be sure to repair it before you start using your RV again.
- Charge and reinstall your batteries.
If your RV or camper van has been sitting for a while, its batteries may need to be charged. To do this, connect your RV to a power source and let the batteries charge for at least 24 hours. Once they are fully charged, you can reinstall them in your RV.
- Flush your fresh water system.
Now it’s time to flush your RV’s water system. This will remove any dirt, debris, or bacteria that may have accumulated over the winter. To do this, open all of the faucets in your RV and let the water run until it comes out clear. You may also want to use a garden hose to flush the water lines.
- Sanitize your fresh water system.
Once your water system is flushed, it’s time to sanitize it. This will kill any bacteria that may be present and make your water safe to drink. To do this, add a bleach solution to your fresh water tank. Follow the instructions on the bleach bottle for the correct amount of bleach to use. Then, turn on the water pump and let the bleach solution run through the system for at least 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, open all of the faucets and let the water run until it comes out clear.
- Clean your black and gray water tanks.
Now it’s time to clean your RV’s black and gray water tanks. The black water tank contains waste from the toilet, while the gray water tank contains waste from the sink and shower. To clean your tanks, you will need to connect your RV to a sewer hookup or use a portable dump station.
- Refill your fresh water tank.
Once your black and gray water tanks are empty, you can refill your fresh water tank. Use potable water to refill your tank, and be sure to add a water treatment system to prevent the growth of bacteria.
- Check your propane tank(s).
If your RV or camper van has propane tanks, be sure to check them to make sure they are full. Propane is used for cooking, heating, and cooling, so it’s important to have a full tank before you start using your RV again.
- Check your furnace and air conditioner(s).
If your RV or camper van has a furnace or air conditioner, be sure to check them to make sure they are working properly. Turn them on and make sure they are blowing hot or cold air. If they are not working properly, you may need to have them serviced before you start using your RV again.
- Clean your RV or camper van.
Finally, it’s time to clean your RV or camper van. Vacuum the carpets, dust the furniture, and wash the windows. You may also want to shampoo the carpets and wash the exterior of your RV.
Once you have de-winterized your RV or camper van, you are ready to enjoy the warm weather and all the fun camping trips that lie ahead!