An­nual RV Main­te­nance CHECK­LIST

Snowbirds & RV Travelers - - — Hi Tech! — - Words by Perry Mack

Main­te­nance of your RV is a part of the RV life­style. Some are reg­u­lar items that you need to do be­fore each trip, and oth­ers are on an an­nual check­list like this. You can do it your­self, or en­list the help of your friendly neigh­bour­hood RV ser­vice cen­tre.

Hot Wa­ter Heater Who doesn’t want hot wa­ter, right? But you sure will end up in it, if it stops work­ing while you’re in that per­fect spot you had to re­serve months ago. Ev­ery wa­ter heater has its own unique set of specs but items com­mon to all heaters in­clude; flush­ing with fresh wa­ter to clear sed­i­ment and cal­cium de­posits, check­ing the pres­sure re­lease valve, clean­ing the burner tube in case any in­sects have nested in there over the win­ter, and look for any cor­ro­sion. Most steel wa­ter heaters have an an­ode tube screwed in at the drain plug. This tube of mag­ne­sium, zinc or alu­minum ‘sac­ri­fices’ it­self so your steel tank doesn’t rust. If you see the drain plug is cor­roded, it’s prob­a­bly time for a new one.

Brake In­spec­tion Check out the Brake In­spec­tion ar­ti­cle in this is­sue from Kal Tire. Tire Ro­ta­tion Ro­tat­ing the tires on your RV is im­por­tant for the same rea­sons it’s im­por­tant to per­form on your car. Tires don’t wear evenly for a num­ber of rea­sons; the weight on the front and back axles aren’t uni­form, the front tires wear on the out­side edges as they lean through the turns; and fi­nally any align­ment is­sues can cause un­even wear. Ro­tat­ing the tires will help them wear evenly so you get the most value from a set.

Fur­nace There are a few dif­fer­ent heat­ing sys­tems for RV’s. Most are forced air in­duc­tion liq­uid propane (LP) units. A clean fur­nace makes for a happy RV’er. The flow of air through the sys­tem is nat­u­rally go­ing to pick up dust, lint and de­bris. In ad­di­tion, your fur­nace can suf­fer from the same nest/in­sect is­sues as your wa­ter heater. Turn off the LP and make sure the ther­mo­stat is in the off po­si­tion. Gain ac­cess to the fur­nace fans to vac­uum out as much dirt as you can, then us­ing com­pressed air blow out the rest (wear eye pro­tec­tion), fi­nally give it a wipe with a damp cloth. Make sure in­take and ex­haust vents are also clear.

Thor­ough Tank Clean­ing The grey and black wa­ter tanks should get an an­nual clean­ing and now is the time. For a de­tailed ‘how-to’ ar­ti­cle grab a copy of Snow­birds & RV Trav­el­ers Vol­ume 13 Is­sue 8 or read it on­line at http://sun­cruis­er­me­dia. com/Home/tech/tips-for-tanks-us­ing­happy-campers/

Clean­ing the Fridge Could you do a com­plete RV fridge main­te­nance your­self? Sure. With the right tools, time, ed­u­ca­tion and de­ter­mi­na­tion. But I would sug­gest you stick to clean­ing. Mold and bac­te­ria don’t need your left­overs to grow, just some mois­ture, which can ap­pear dur­ing the cool­ing and warm­ing that oc­curs through the win­ter. Use some dis­in­fec­tant wipes to make it sparkle. Care­fully clean out the ex­te­rior parts you can ac­cess in­clud­ing the baf­fle and coils. Again, be­gin with the fridge and LP turned off.

Main­te­nance is a key com­po­nent of worry free RV’ing. Make it part of your spring clean­ing, and then plan that next ad­ven­ture!

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