The Ultimate Guide to Getting Your Motorhome Ready for Spring
Before Moving Motorhome Out of Storage
- Inspect the motorhome’s tires. Inflate tires to proper levels, and check tire surfaces for uneven wear, cuts or chunks of rubber missing. Note the ages of the tires, and confirm they have not timed out (7-10 years, depending on care).
- Confirm operation of the tire-pressure monitoring system, if so equipped. Check brake-, tail-, signal- and clearance lights for proper operation, and replace any bulbs (or LEDs) that have burned out.
- Secure interior doors, including those on the refrigerator and cabinets.
- Secure exterior doors, including those on storage compartments.
- Make sure antennas are down, and the awning has been retracted.
- As with any motor vehicle, ensure the vehicle registration and license plate tags are current.
- Inspect the roof’s condition and the security of the ladder to the motorhome. Check sealant integrity around vents, the TV antenna, the satellite dish and all other accessories.
- Check sealant/caulking integrity at all seams on the motorhome’s exterior. Look for cracks or tears that can lead to water intrusion. Closely inspect the caulking around window frames, clearance- and taillights, and around compartment doors and other accessories.
- Make sure the compartment doors securely latch.
- Inspect the condition of the hardware for the awnings and windows; clean and lubricate as needed. Also check the tension on any slide toppers, and verify the fabrics and materials are in good condition.
- Extend all awnings and ensure the fabrics and materials are in good condition; clean if necessary.
- Lubricate entry and baggage door locks with the appropriate solutions, and also lubricate the entry-door step using dry lube.
- Ensure the entry-door step is working properly, including the engine-switch on/off feature; clean the entry-door step.
- Clean and treat EPDM or TPO roof materials with protectant. This is a good time to check on the integrity of the roof vent lids/covers, and to clean them, if necessary. While you’re on the roof, make sure the antennas are in good condition and working properly.
- Wash and wax the exterior with the appropriate materials for the surfaces involved.
Chassis Inspection (use a bright flashlight)
- Thoroughly check for any signs of fluid and/or oil leaks.
- Look for cracked or fatigued metal components, including excessive rust on frame, metal parts and the LP-gas tank.
- Inspect the condition of the LP-gas-tank’s mounting brackets, hoses and regulator. Make sure there is enough LP-gas in the tank for your plans.
- Inspect the condition of suspension components. Confirm the shock absorbers are not leaking and that mounting hardware is secure. Check the condition of air springs (bags) and air lines/fittings.
- Run the chassis engine to confirm proper air pressure is reached. Drain the air tanks of moisture.
- Check for hydraulic fluid leaks at leveling jacks/hoses. Operate leveling jacks to ensure proper function. Check the hydraulic fluid level in leveling-jack system reservoir.
- Look for signs of oil on wheels, hubs or brake components. Also check the level of oil-filled hubs, if so equipped.
- Look carefully for any evidence of rodents or unwanted critters.
- Inspect the hitch receiver for rust or missing bolts.
- Look for evidence of chewed wiring due to rodents.
- Thoroughly search for any signs of oil leaks.
- Check the coolant level/integrity of the overflow tank.
- Inspect the conditions of the coolant hoses and radiator cap, and replace if necessary.
- Test the diesel engine coolant with test strips (if diesel). Flush the coolant if required by mileage/date.
- Check the condition of the air cleaner.
- For diesels, the air-dryer filter should be replaced at least every 3 years.
- Maintain the fuel filter(s)/separator per service dates and mileage.
- Get the oil changed if required by mileage/date.
- Check the level of the windshield-washer fluid reservoir, and ensure the integrity of the rubber lines running to the pump and to the windshield.
- Check all fluid levels, even if a flush/change is not required by mileage or service date. This includes engine oil and transmission fluid.
- Check the condition of the battery. Inspect the battery for integrity, age, corrosion or loose cables. Charge, if needed. If the battery water needs to be topped off, now is a good time.
- Examine the LP-gas regulator.
- Have an LP-gas leak-down and pressure test performed by a certified technician.
- Check and/or replace batteries in all the safety detectors.
- Test the smoke, carbon monoxide and LP-gas detectors; replace any detectors that are out of date.
- Operate and clean the manual and/or power roof vents.
- Inspect the ceiling for leaks and mildew. Also check the ceiling condition inside the overhead cabinets.
- Test all the blinds for proper operation and replace broken strings or lifting mechanisms if necessary.
- Check the windows for proper operation and potentially defective latches.
- Operate all emergency exits.
- If you winterized the freshwater system, purge the RV antifreeze.
- Pressurize the water system and test the faucets, showerhead(s), toilet(s), washer and dishwasher (if so equipped), and icemaker for proper operation and to check for leaks. Also check low-point drains, and inspect P-traps under all the sinks and the shower pan.
- Flush the freshwater tank and sanitize the water system. Test the demand-pump operation.
- Pressurize the water system with the demand pump and listen for cycling (which would indicate a possible water leak in the system).
- Test the air conditioner(s) and service the filter(s). Inspect the evaporator and condenser for debris/excessive dirt.
- Operate the refrigerator and check refrigerator vents for debris, rodents or any obstructions.
- Also check the refrigerator burner for excessive rust, and service as necessary.
- Check the condition of sewer hose(s), fittings and gaskets. Operate the dump valves at a proper facility and check the integrity of the tank-flushing components.
- Check the condition of the anode rod in the hot-water tank and replace if necessary.
- Deploy and retract all slideout rooms.
- Check the stovetop/oven condition and operation, and clean the kitchen exhaust fan filter.
- Check all interior lights and replace bulbs/fixtures as necessary. If the motorhome has a fireplace, remove any dust buildup.
- Test all the entertainment and communication components. Activate the broadcast antenna (if so equipped) and make sure it is functioning properly. Install (or activate) the satellite receiver.
Generator Inspection and Service
- Service the generator based on run hours and the date.
- Clean any debris in the generator compartment, including signs of rodent infestation.
- Check the oil level.
- Check/service the air filter.
- Check/service the fuel filter.
- Check the coolant level, if needed.
- Run the generator under 50% load for about 30 minutes.
- Inspect the tow bar for wear and/or missing parts.
- Inspect the dinghy power-cable plug and receptacle.
- Hook-up the dinghy and check tail- and clearance lights.
- Install/set-up the dinghy braking system to confirm operation.
- Check the backup and sideview cameras.
- Adjust the mirrors and make sure they are functioning properly.
- Make sure the instrumentation and gauges are working.
- Check the fuel level.
- Take a close look at the windshield for any signs of cracks or chips.
- Test the sunshade operation.
- Run the windshield wipers/washer; check the condition of the wipers and replace if necessary.
- Turn on the headlights at night to check alignment.
- Road test the motorhome before loading it for a trip.
Camping season is here and that means it’s time to make sure your home on wheels is ready for the road. This checklist is a valuable resource you’ll use year after year, whether you’re new to the motorhome lifestyle or a seasoned veteran. Simply check off the boxes and kick off your RV adventures!