3 tips to get your RV ready for the summer
Did you know that for safety reasons, it is recommended that you do preventive maintenance on your recreational vehicle every spring?
The camping enthusiasts out there who are itching to get behind the wheel of their recreational vehicle (RV) need to take a moment as soon as possible to think about how they should be preparing for their next excursion. Here are a few seasonal tips to consider when setting off on your next adventure… so that you don’t leave town without your peace of mind.
1. Putting the winter season behind you
The first step for preparing your class A, B or C RV or travel trailer for the summer is always to inspect and clean it inside and out.
A close inspection of all the seals is essential to making sure your RV is and remains watertight. This step is not only necessary before hitting the road in the spring but is also an important part of storing it for the winter. Manufacturers even recommend regular inspections of your RV. Damage caused by water ingress is unforgiving, as is mold. The careful repair and maintenance of your RV over the years will help clinch the best price when the time comes to sell it.
To keep everyone safe, make sure your smoke detector is working properly and change the batteries, if needed. Also, check that the carbon monoxide detector is working and that your propane tank is in good condition and is no more than 10 years old.
Then, continue to prepare as you would. Reconnect and flush the plumbing. Reboot the electrical system and turn on all the appliances (fridge, stove, lighting, heating and air-conditioning) to make sure everything is working properly. Need a hand? Turn to the owner’s manual and a more experienced friend.
2. Perform routine mechanical checks
Now that your RV is spick and span, it’s time to make sure everything is running smoothly. During your vacation, peace of mind is priceless; making simple mechanical checks now can help prevent headaches down the road.
To keep other drivers aware of your intentions, make sure your RV’s tail lights (turn signals and brake lights) are working properly. Also, check the headlights and windshield wipers.
Make sure your tires are properly inflated and in good condition. When inflating your tires, make sure the pressure meets the manufacturer’s recommendations. Oil and other fluids (windshield, engine, anti-freeze, steering, brake) must also be checked.
Don’t hesitate to have your mechanic inspect your RV. If needed, consult the vehicle’s repair manual. Ideally, the maintenance schedule indicated in it should be followed to a T.
3. Carry out minor maintenance work
Last summer, you may have noticed that adding some new equipment could prove useful. You may have thought to yourself, “a backup camera would be so practical!” Or maybe you started a couple minor repairs or maintenance projects… without getting the chance to finish them. Whatever the case may be, the best time to finish the job is right now! Don’t let regret creep in when you’re in the middle of nowhere, heading to your favourite vacation spot.
You should also think of bringing all the equipment you’ll need. Camping—especially when we can count on all the luxuries of an RV—can be so refreshing, as long as you don’t forget anything at home! Thinking of chopping wood? Don’t leave your axe behind. Family or friends meeting you there? You’ll need extra folding chairs. Firing up the BBQ? Keep your spices fully stocked. Got a group of little rascals that’s always on the go? Make sure the first aid kit’s near at hand. Planning to check out a cave? Headlamps are a must.
All this planning beforehand will allow you to take a load off and enjoy the moment. Ask your family to help write lists of the various items you’ll need. That way, you’ll be able to sit by the campfire, s’moring instead of stressing.
Before hitting the road
Finally, when you’re on the road, drive carefully. Keep in mind that over 50% of recreational vehicle insurance claims are due to driver distraction.
Speaking of: Now’s the perfect time to review your insurance coverage. Are you still happy with it? Don’t forget that recreational vehicle insurance is its own product, separate from auto insurance and home insurance. Coverage varies depending on how you use your RV, if you will be driving it or if it will remain stationary.
In Quebec, it is mandatory to insure your recreational vehicle for civil liability; coverage in the order of one million dollars is often the recommended standard in the property and casualty insurance industry. And if you’re travelling to the United States with your RV, two million dollars of coverage is recommended.
It is also appropriate to get covered for fire, theft, vandalism and damage to your vehicle after an at-fault collision. An insurance agent can advise you on the best coverage to make sure you’re protected in case of a claim. You can get a quote and find out how you can save by grouping younr auto and home insurance with your recreational vehicle insurance in one place!
And one last thing: before hitting the road and basking in nature, don’t forget to submit a request to the SAAQ to take your vehicle out of storage. This step can be done online. So… when are you heading out?
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