Posted by Greg Nowling on April 03, 2015
A thorough “Spring Maintenance” routine will assure you of a trouble-free camping season. For sake of simplicity, we have divided this schedule into three parts: Exterior, Mechanical & Appliances and Interior.
1.Wash your camper starting with the roof first. Your roof should be washed with a medium stiffness brush and Tide Washing Powder. Fill a 5 Gallon Bucket with Hot Water (not scalding). Put 1/4 scoop of Tide Washing Powder (no bleach or fragrance) in the bucket and mix it up. The idea is to scrub the roof thoroughly, cleaning all of the pores. Tide Washing Powder will cut all of the acid dirt, grease and grim buildup and return your roof to the proper PH balance.
2.Inspect all roof seams and around all protrusions in your roof. You are looking for any “cracking” in the rubberized caulk. If you find any questionable areas, repair immediately with RMA XTRM Self Leveling Caulk.
If you can buy it at Lowes or Home Depot – DO NOT PUT IT ON YOUR CAMPER. The caulks designed for homes and commercial use will not properly adhere to the materials used in the construction of your camper.
3.Inspect all cargo door, window, marker and tail lights, and molding seams. Again, reseal as necessary.
4.Clean and lubricate all Slide Out Seals and Cargo Door Bulb Seals with Thetford Slide Seal Conditioner. This will Keep the rubber seals soft and pliable so that they properly seal your camper and protect it from water leaks.
Mechanical & Appliances:
1.Repack all wheel bearings and replace the grease seals. This should be performed every year.
2.Inspect the brake pads and brake springs. If the pads need replacing, it is highly recommended to purchase “Loaded Hubs”. This is the entire braking assembly. You will find this is much cheaper than parts and labor repairs.
3.Inspect areas behind doors or hatches such as the water heater and refrigerator. Be very careful of wasps.
4.Check the water level in your battery. Use distilled water only. Fill to the top of the crack, not to the top of the hole.
5.Connect the camper to your tow vehicle and test all marker lights, turn and brake lights.
6.Test all smoke alarms (install new batteries) and LP detectors.
7.Inspect your propane tanks and pigtails. Look for cracking of the pigtails. Have your tanks checked and filled. Observe the inspection certification date stamp.
8.Check all appliances for proper operation. DO NOT TURN ON YOUR WATER HEATER YET. It is recommended to test “dual mode” (gas or electric) appliances on propane first and then on electricity.
9.Your camper should currently be winterized with the water heater by-pass valves set to by-pass the water heater. Connect water to your city water connection and flush water through-out the camper until all of the pink tint is removed. Once all of the faucets have been flushed, utilize the winterization tube and pump “Spring Fresh” through the plumbing. This will eliminate any odors or sour taste left in your plumbing system. Inspect all plumbing for leaks.
10.Turn off the city water. Turn off the water heater by-pass valves and install a new anode rod into your water heater. Open the hot water side of the kitchen faucet. This will allow air to escape as the hot water tank is filled. Turn on the city water connection. Inspect the plumbing around your hot water heater for leaks. Once the hot water tank is full, test the operation of your hot water heater. Make sure to let it “cycle” several times first on gas and then on electric if so equipped.
11.Test all interior lights and fans.
1.All surfaces, sinks and tub/showers should be cleaned with warm soapy water. Do not utilize any abrasive cleaners such as Soft Scrub.
2.Clean out all cabinets, drawers and storage areas. This is a good time to reorganize your campers and take an inventory to see what you need to replenish for the upcoming camping season.