by Robyn McCarthy on May 16, 2018
Summer has arrived, and while you might be ready for a family camping trip, or road trip, can the same be said about your RV? If your Class C camper or trailer is still winterized, it’s time to get it summer-ready. You’ll want to begin your preparations a week or more before your first camping trip of the season, to ensure you have time to replace any necessary parts and pack for your trip.
Begin with a basic spring or summer maintenance check, which will ensure your safety while enjoying your RV. Start by checking your batteries and smoke detectors, and checking for any rips or tears in seams. Next, check for leaks to your water system. Run fresh water through the whole system, checking valves, and if desired, sanitize your water pump system with a bleach-water solution after filling your fresh water holding tank with water. Here’s how: turn the water pump on and run water through all hot and cold faucets until you smell the bleach (1/4 cup for every 15 gallons your tank holds). Close the faucets and let sit for twelve hours. Drain and re-fill the tank with potable water, running the water until you no longer smell any bleach.
The day of your camping trip, it’s time to pack up your RV, taking care to secure all loose items. It can be a good idea to place a pad or cushion on the floor of the RV in case items fall (you’ll probably pack a few to sleep on anyway).
Take a walk around your RV, making sure you’ve secured everything on the outside, too, such as bikes and scooters, lawn chairs, or awnings. Check antennas and satellite dishes, and lock all external doors (closing internal doors, too). Empty your black and gray water tanks, and disconnect any cables or cords connected to your RV.
Once you’ve secured everything for travel, it’s time for final safety checks to your headlamps, trailer brakes, tires, and mirrors. It will be hard enough backing into narrow campsites without worrying about your mirror placements!
When you arrive at your campground, it’s a good idea to park near the entry booth (taking care not to block others) and first check out your campsite on foot. This way, you can double check that the needed amenities are ready to use, including any hook-ups or water, and you can make a plan for approaching the site in the RV (backing up or driving through).
Check for any low-hanging branches or rocks in the way, then be sure to stabilize your RV once you’re settled in your spot. At many campgrounds, a campground attendant or camp host is happy to assist with this process if the campground is not busy. Connect your water and power, ensuring they are in working order, then switch your refrigerator from portable power to plugged in power. Set up your campsite with any chairs or awnings, and take a stroll around the campground to meet your neighbors.
The small space afforded by most RVs can make camping challenging, especially if you like to camp in comfort, but it’s possible to save space while still bringing (most of) what you want. Focus on elevated space saving measures: hang items from magnets or hooks, install hanging trash receptacles and organizers, and add dividers or lightweight shelving to your top cabinets.
Dividing storage areas into smaller spaces can help you stay organized and find gear faster; divide bigger cabinets and shelves with office file folder baskets, tension curtain rods, or simple wooden slats.
Keep as much bigger gear outdoors as possible, including your grill, bikes, chairs, and larger kitchen items. Enjoy the great outdoors while keeping your RV neat and organized.
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