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Trailer Life’s Ultimate Guide to Getting RV-Ready for Spring

Originally Published in Trailer Life Magazine

From the RV storage lot to heading out on the open road, these reference lists will keep you confident and worry-free through all your travels

Before Moving Trailer Out of Storage

Inflate tires to proper level.
Inspect tires for tread depth, uneven wear, cracking, bubbles.
Check tire age (professional inspection required at five years, timed out at seven years).
Torque lug nuts to factory specification.
Confirm operation of tire-pressure monitoring system.
Set mirrors on tow vehicle.
Grease hitch ball or kingpin/saddle (or attach lube plate and grease kingpin).
Hitch up trailer.
Secure safety chains.
Attach breakaway-switch cable.
Attach sway control if equipped.
Connect power cable.
Check brake-, tail-, signal and clearance lights.
Confirm trailer brakes are working.
Adjust brake control as needed.
Secure interior doors, including refrigerator and cabinets.
Secure exterior compartment doors.
Secure patio awning.
Make sure antennas are down.
Check for updated registration and license-plate tags.

Download “Before Moving Trailer Out of Storage” Checklist as PDF

Body/Exterior Inspection/Service

Inspect roof condition.
Check sealant integrity around vents, TV antenna, satellite dish and all other accessories.
Check sealant and caulking integrity at all seams.
Look for cracks or tears that can lead to water intrusion.
Inspect window frames for signs of leakage; clean weep holes.
Inspect caulking around clearance lights and taillights.
Inspect caulking around compartment doors and other accessories.
Check security of compartment-door latches.
Check condition of patio-awning hardware; clean and lubricate as needed.
Check condition of window-awning hardware; clean and lubricate as needed.
Check slideout-topper tension.
Check condition of slide-topper material.
Extend all awnings and check fabric integrity; clean if necessary.
Lubricate entry- and baggage-door locks (silicone-based dry lube).
Clean and lubricate entry-door step (silicone-based dry lube).
Clean and treat EPDM, TPO or PVC roof with protectant.
Clean and check integrity of roof-vent lids and covers.
Check integrity of rear or side ladder hardware and seals.
Wash and wax the exterior.

Download “Body/Exterior Inspection/Service” Checklist as PDF

Chassis Inspection

Check for excessive rust on the frame and metal parts; paint as needed.
Check condition of propane-cylinder mounting bracket, hoses, regulator and cover.
Check operation of LP-gas regulator; service by certified technician only.
Check level of propane in cylinders; fill if needed.
Check condition of suspension equalizer.
Inspect spring shackles for adverse wear and replace if needed.
Grease all suspension Zerk fittings, if equipped.
Operate slideout rooms; lubricate per manufacturer’s instructions.
Operate leveling jacks; lubricate as needed.
Service wheel bearings per maintenance schedule (12 months or 12,000 miles).
Inspect and adjust service brakes (every 3,000 miles or annually).
Check batteries for charge condition.
Inspect batteries for integrity, age, corrosion, loose cables.
Top off battery water if needed.
Check gasoline fuel level.
Check condition of fuel hose and fuel pump on toy haulers.

Download “Chassis Inspection” Checklist as PDF

House Inspection

Have an annual propane leak-down and pressure test performed by a certified technician.
Replace batteries in all safety detectors if needed (annually).
Test carbon-monoxide and propane detectors.
Replace smoke, carbon-monoxide and/or propane detector(s) if out of date.
Inspect fire extinguisher(s) for condition, pressure and date.
Operate and clean all roof vents.
Inspect for ceiling leaks and mildew.
Inspect for ceiling leaks inside overhead cabinets.
Check for proper operation of all window blinds and replace broken strings or lifting mechanisms.
Check all windows for smooth operation and possible defective latches.
Operate all emergency exits.

Download “House Inspection” Checklist as PDF

System/Appliance Inspection

Purge all water lines of antifreeze if winterized.
Check anode rod in hot-water tank if equipped; replace if necessary.
Pressurize the water system and test faucets, showerhead(s), toilet(s), washer, dishwasher and icemaker for proper operation and leaks.
Check low-point drains.
Inspect P-traps under sinks and shower pan.
Flush the water tank.
Sanitize the water system.
Test demand-pump operation.
Pressurize the water system with the demand pump and listen for cycling to indicate possible water leak in system.
Test the air conditioner(s).
Service the air-conditioner filter.
Inspect the air-conditioner evaporator and condenser for debris and excessive dirt. Professionally clean if needed.
Operate the refrigerator.
Check the refrigerator vents for debris, signs of rodents and other obstructions.
Check the refrigerator burner for excessive rust; service as necessary.
Operate the dump valves at a proper facility.
Check the vents for the hot-water tank and furnace for debris, signs of rodents and other obstructions.
Check the integrity of tank-flushing components.
Check the condition of sewer hose(s), fittings and gaskets.
Check the stovetop and oven condition and operation.
Clean the kitchen exhaust-fan filter.
Check interior lights and replace bulbs and fixtures as necessary.
Clean the electric fireplace of dust buildup.
Test all entertainment and communication components.
Install or activate the satellite receiver.
Activate or deploy the broadcast-TV and satellite antennas, and check for proper operation and signal.

Download “System/Appliance Inspection” Checklist as PDF

Generator Inspection and Service

Service the generator based on run hours and date.
Clean debris in the generator compartment, including signs of rodent infestation.
Check the oil level; change oil and filter per maintenance schedule.
Check and service the air filter per maintenance schedule.
Check and service the fuel filter per maintenance schedule.
Run the generator under 50 percent load for 30 minutes.
Service the portable generator per maintenance schedule.

Download “Generator Inspection and Service” Checklist as PDF

Tow Vehicle

Inspect the hitch receiver for rust and wear.
Check the tire condition and tread depth.
Inflate the tires (cold) for towing service.
Check the engine oil.
Check the transmission fluid.
Check mirror adjustment and function.
Check the windshield for cracks and chips.
Run the windshield wipers and washer.
Check windshield-wiper condition.
Turn on headlights at night to check alignment.
Check the function of the four-/seven-way receptacle.

Download “Tow Vehicle” Checklist as PDF

Camping season is upon us, so make sure your home on wheels is fully stocked and ready for the road. Whether you’re new to RV camping or a veteran roadtripper, keep this printable checklist in your rig. Spend a little time with our comprehensive spring RV maintenance checklist and kickoff your RV adventures!


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