Recreational vehicles are the perfect way to get away from it all and enjoy the great outdoors while enjoying a host of amenities. Full bath, television, bunk beds, kitchenette… many options are available to make you feel at home on the road.
Planning to hit the roads in your RV this summer with your family? Here are a few things to check to avoid unpleasant surprises and ensure that your recreational vehicle will be safe and enjoyable for many years to come!
1. Check your seals
Moisture leaks are one of the main causes of wear and tear to recreational vehicles. In the spring, but also in the fall, inspect all the seals on your recreational vehicle to make sure they are watertight. Pay particular attention to roof and window seals. If you find any that are cracked or damaged, replace the sealant right away.
For the correct method and sealant to use, ask an RV dealer or consult your manufacturer’s guide.
2. Inspect your pipes
Check that your pump is working properly and inspect the plumbing to make sure there are no leaks.
3. Check your smoke and carbon monoxide detector
To ensure the safety of everyone in your RV or trailer, make sure your smoke detector is working properly and change the batteries if needed.
Also, since most of the appliances in your RV run on propane, it is important to have a carbon monoxide detector. This colourless, odourless gas can cause severe poisoning. It is therefore essential to make sure you have a properly functioning detector. Refer to the detector user manual for maintenance instructions.
4. Inspect your wheels
Make sure your tires are properly inflated and in good condition. When inflating your tires, make sure their pressure meets the manufacturer’s recommendations. If they are over or under inflated, you run a greater risk of having a blowout on the road. Also take a few minutes to make sure all the lug nuts are tight.
5. Check your headlights, brake lights and turn signals
To keep other drivers aware of your intentions on the road, make sure your RV’s tail lights (turn signals and brake lights) are working properly. Also check to make sure all your headlights are working.
6. Do a mechanical inspection
Don’t hesitate to have your mechanic inspect your recreational vehicle. They can check your brakes, wire covers, towing system and more!
7. Drive safely
Finally, when you hit the road for vacation, drive carefully. Keep in mind that over half of all recreational vehicle insurance claims are due to driver distraction.
Here are a few helpful tips to be aware of:
- At all times, remember that your RV takes up more space than a normal car and make sure you have properly adjusted side-view mirrors.
- Avoid sudden maneuvers as loss of control can happen in the blink of an eye.
- Brake earlier than usual as a greater stopping distance is required.
- If you have a towed RV (fifth wheel), avoid overloading the tow vehicle as this can damage the axles and cause the trailer to come unhitched. Follow the towing vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations for towing capacity.
- See our article on What to do if you have an accident to be prepared in case you need it.
By closely following these recommendations, you will reduce your risk of having problems and will be able to keep your RV in good condition for many years to come.