to Get­ting the RV Ready for the Trip South

For many Cana­dian snow­birds, head­ing south—whether it’s to Fort Laud­erdale, Scotts­dale or Palm Springs—is an an­nual af­fair, one that takes care­ful plan­ning and or­ga­ni­za­tion. Of course, be­fore you can even be­gin to pack up, you’ll want to make sure your RV

Snowbirds & RV Travelers - - Tech Talk -

1. IN­FLATE & IN­SPECT

No one wants to start their trip south with a flat tire. One of the best ways to en­sure your tires are healthy and ready for the jour­ney ahead is to check their pres­sure and con­di­tion. • In­flate tires to the rec­om­mended PSI, in­clud­ing your spare tire. • In­spect side­walls for signs of weath­er­ing and ag­ing, in­clud­ing crack­ing, feath­er­ing and fad­ing. • In­spect the tread for depth and un­usual wear (which could point to an align­ment prob­lem that could de­crease the life of your tire. For a jour­ney like this, where you may be cross­ing through the snow and mud of Canada be­fore hit­ting the dry, hot pave­ment of the South, it’s best to have a tread depth of at least 6/32”. Your tires should still be in good shape for the trek back to Canada in the spring if you fol­low this guide­line.

2. PRE­PARE

Even with all that in­flat­ing and in­spect­ing, you can’t al­ways ward off de­bris on the road. Be­fore you head out, make sure you have the nec­es­sary equip­ment to change a flat tire, in­clud­ing: • An ac­ces­si­ble, well-in­flated spare tire in good con­di­tion • Jack or ride-on ramp • Chock (for dou­ble-axle trail­ers and to keep other tires in place) • Tire iron • Cones to place around your RV as a warn­ing to other driv­ers

3. GET YOUR BRAKES IN LINE

This is an es­sen­tial step with any ve­hi­cle you plan on driv­ing, and on any road con­di­tion. Even if your brakes are not mak­ing that hor­ren­dous squeaky noise when you de­press them, a pro­fes­sional brake in­spec­tion should be done at least once a year, and an ideal time is in the weeks ahead of your cross-coun­try jour­ney.

A cer­ti­fied me­chanic will check to see if your brake fluid is clear and trans­par­ent like cook­ing oil, and will re­place it if it’s dark and cloudy. They will also check to see if your brake pads and/or discs need re­plac­ing or if there is any dam­age to your brake lines.

4. MAKE SURE YOUR WHEEL BEAR­INGS ARE BEAR­ING UP

Most peo­ple find out about their wheel bear­ings when they hear a loud rhyth­mic and vi­brat­ing noise em­a­nat­ing from be­low their RV while driv­ing. Some peo­ple con­fuse it with tire dis­tress, but it usu­ally means the seal on your wheel bear­ings is bro­ken or dam­aged and the bear­ings are not ‘rolling’ prop­erly. Wheel bear­ings are a set of steel balls that ride the axel in­side your wheel’s hub and help your wheels spin fast and with as lit­tle fric­tion as pos­si­ble. A cer­ti­fied me­chanic can check to see if the wheel bear­ings re­quire repack­ing with new grease or if they need re­plac­ing. This can be done when you get your brakes in­spected.

5. GET POWER TO THE PEO­PLE

Be­fore you em­bark on any road trip, it’s im­por­tant to in­spect your RV’s elec­tri­cal sys­tem (AC and DC), in­clud­ing all plug-in out­lets, ap­pli­ances, bat­ter­ies, ca­bles, AC unit, and es­pe­cially your cir­cuit breaker and fuses. Know­ing where your cir­cuit breaker is lo­cated and test­ing your fuses is im­per­a­tive in pre­vent­ing any power surges and your cir­cuit from over­heat­ing, which in the worse case sce­nario can cause a fire.

If you’re un­sure of how your RV elec­tri­cal sys­tem works, visit your lo­cal RV dealer or a cer­ti­fied me­chanic. For this task, it’s best to get as­sis­tance, as there is a risk of shock and se­ri­ous in­jury.

6. EN­SURE LIGHTS ARE READY FOR AC­TION

Now it’s time to make sure your ex­te­rior lights are in work­ing or­der. First, en­sure head­lights, high beams, in­di­ca­tor lights, marker lights and brake lights shine in front and back of your RV, and triple-check that the wiring is work­ing if you are tow­ing your ve­hi­cle be­hind your RV. Hav­ing some­one in­spect your lights while you are in the driver’s seat, turn­ing them on and off, is best.

7. HAVE SUP­PLIES AT THE READY

If your RV does break down, be­ing pre­pared will go a long way. Carry an RV sur­vival kit with emer­gency food and water, an LED flare, so­lar and hand-crank NOAA ra­dio, LED flash­light, can­dles or lanterns, mo­bile phone charger, water pu­rifi­ca­tion tablets, hand warm­ers, etc. Of course, dou­ble-check you’ve got what you need in the event of a flat tire, and that you’ve got tools to check your tire pres­sure through­out the jour­ney.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.