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Opening Your RV

Opening Your RV

Yay, spring is finally here and it’s that time of year we have all been waiting for, camping season! Before you start cleaning and packing the camper there is some general maintenance that should be performed each year so that you can try to avoid any mishaps and enjoy your adventures.

Battery

Look at the age of the battery and test the voltage. Make sure its fully charged and posts are clean. Unfortunately ours did not past the test this year, even though it is only two years old. Luckily we found this out ahead of time instead of while on our trip, can you imagine the problems that would have occurred traveling 1000 miles and finding out the battery was dead?!

Exterior Wash & Inspection

Examine the doors, moldings, seams, seals, roof vents, and antennae.
Check interior, exterior, and trailer lights to make sure they are working properly. Clean the roof, sides and then awning and make sure there are no leaks. An inexpensive cleaning product that works great is Awesome All Purpose Cleaner.

Windows

Inspect windows. Lube window slides to ensure they move smoothly. Use the 3-in-1 RV Care Window Lubricant that is included in the Spring Box subscription box from Out of the Box Camping. For instructions on how to use the Window lubricant see this video from RV Education 101.

Appliances & Electronics

Remove the refrigerator vent cover (on the roof) and the AC shroud to make sure they are free of debris. Check the refrigerator vent and hot water heater on the side of camper to make sure they are clean. Examine the anode rod (if applicable) clean or replace if needed. Turn on refrigerator let it run for 1-2 days on gas and then electric to verify it’s working. Try all other appliances and electronics to make sure they are functioning properly. Including the heater, air conditioning, stove, microwave, television, etc.

Extinguisher

Change batteries in the carbon monoxide and smoke detector(s). Test to see if they are defective. Replace if over 10 years old. Verify fire extinguisher is installed.

Mechanical

Test brakes. Check tires for dry rot and thread wear. Check tire pressure. and spare tires(s). View under carriage, inspect frame, hitch, suspension, tongue jack, and stability jacks.

Slides

Use the slide(s) if you have them to verify they are functioning. Administer Slide out lubricant to ensure they slide smoothly.

Propane

Check for leaks. Fill tanks for the season.

Water

Dewinterize the water system and disinfect lines. Replace water filter if applicable. Clean the holding tank. Use Aqua-kem including the Spring Out of the Box Camping subscription box. For tips on how to take care of the your toilet system listen to this podcast from RVFTA.

To keep track of your maintenance, you can download our printable checklist RV Opening Checklist. Once you are finished performing your maintenance you can go ahead and start cleaning the interior, organizing, and packing the camper. Stay tuned for additional blog posts with our favorite tips on how to complete those tasks.  What ways do you tend to the maintenance of your RV?

What to do While You Wait For Camping Season

What to do While You Wait For Camping Season

Are you just sitting there wishing the snowy weather would disappear and that you can get outside and go camping? Me too! I like to think there are two seasons; camping season and non-camping season.  Non-camping season can seem like it lasts forever, especially when you are getting hit with arctic cold and snowy weather.  This year I have been trying to bring a bit of the camping lifestyle to my everyday life by enjoying some camping themed activities.  It’s really been helping me to get excited for the camping season and I wanted to share it with you!

1.  Plan out your Camping Trips for the Season

Nothing helps me get through the winter more then having an upcoming trip to look forward to.  Most campgrounds start taking reservations at the beginning of the year if not earlier, so its important to plan early to get the best sites.  Make time to research different destinations and campgrounds to determine where you want to go.  Take into consideration what availability you have in your schedule and your budget.  Book those trips and let the countdown begin.  For inspiration, check out a review of one of our favorite campgrounds – Camping on the Battenkill.

2. Listen to Other Peoples Adventures

T’here are so many great camping podcasts that are so entertaining.  I get a ton of great tips from the podcasts and ideas for organization, recipes, and activities to do while camping.  They also provide great reviews of campgrounds and products.  Some of my favorites are RVFTACampground of the Week, and Girl Camper Podcast.  Listening to these always gets me in the camping spirit.

3.  Do a Camping Themed Craft

Get all of your camping friends together and plan a camping themed craft night.  Make decor for the camper or something to display in your home to enjoy while you wait for camping season to begin.  One of the things on my list is to make a cute Burlap wreath like that is camping themed. There are also some great ideas for DIY firestarters  here.  Another craft if you have a Cricut or other vinyl cutting machine is to make fun camping t-shirts for you and your family or friends to wear camping.

4. Try out Some New Camping Recipes

It can turn into a disaster if you try a new recipe while camping and it doesn’t go right.  You may not have a back-up meal or a substitution ingredient, so I like to perfect new recipes at home before I take them on the road.  Check out The Campground Gourmet for some inspiration and to take your campground cooking to the next level.

5. Subscribe to your Favorite Subscription Box

Is there anything better then receiving some happy mail to brighten your day?  I love subscription boxes that are offered seasonally because they are easier on the budget than monthly subscriptions and it gives you plenty of time to enjoy all of the awesome items that come in the box. Out of the Box Camping is a quarterly subscription box for campers, glampers, and, RV enthusiasts.  Each season you will receive a box full of camping themed surprises.  The Winter Box is currently available and will help keep you warm & cozy while you wait for the spring to get here. See Why Campers Love the Out of the Box Camping Subscription Box.

So far these activities are keeping me busy this winter and I’m more excited for camping then ever!  What do you like to do to occupy yourself during the non-camping season?  Share your ideas in the comments.

Happy Camping!