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Prep Your RV for Summer

Make sure everything checks out before your camping season begins.

Large camper

Summer signals the start of a new camping season, and if you own a camper or RV, spring is the time to get it ready.

Keep in mind that just because a component worked when it went into storage, doesn’t mean it will work now. Batteries can run down, electrical parts can corrode, and gaskets can get brittle and crack. Before your first trip, here’s a basic checklist to get your camper or RV ready for the season.

  • Check the propane tank, lines, regulator and gauges for leaks.
  • Inspect all water hoses for holes or excess wear. Replace any damaged hoses.
  • Refill, flush and test all water systems, tanks and faucets, checking closely for leaks. If you used antifreeze, be sure it’s completely flushed from the system.
  • Make sure awning mechanisms are lubricated and working properly.
  • Test all appliances that run on L.P. (Be certain the water heater is full before lighting.)
  • Replace batteries in gas, smoke and carbon-monoxide detectors, and test them to make sure they work.
  • Check all fire extinguisher expiration dates and pressure levels.
  • Test all interior and exterior lights, switches, electrical connectors, surge protectors, outlets, etc.
  • Check engine oil, transmission fluid, coolant and filters.
  • Check air conditioner filters.
  • Check underneath your camper or RV for signs of rodent damage or nests.
  • Inspect tires for sidewall cracks, cracks between treads and excessive wear. Replace any worn or damaged tires.
  • Check the generator to be certain its exhaust system is in good condition and doesn’t leak.
  • Inspect brakes, bearings and hydraulic or electric controls, and repair or replace any worn components.
  • Inspect shock absorbers, springs, etc.
  • Where possible, lubricate the chassis.
  • Check all components of the towing system including the hitch, receiver and wiring.
  • Wash the exterior of your camper or RV, and check for leaks around windows, doors and roof-mounted equipment.
  • Check your owner's manual for instructions specific to your camper or RV.

If you’re not sure how to inspect these systems yourself – or don’t have the necessary tools – contact a trained technician at a local RV dealer. Taking the time to check out your camper or RV before your travels will save a lot of headaches down the road.

While no one wants to think of damage to their camper or RV, make sure you’re insured against damage or theft. Take pictures of the interior and exterior, and keep them where you can easily access them in the event of a loss. One easy way is with American Family’s DreamVault, a free, Web-based inventory tool that allows you to document your possessions in one easy place.

Not sure if you're properly insured? Check with a local American Family insurance agent before the camping season begins.

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