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This page I wrote for my old rv website before developing the Vanabode as the best travel vehicle for cheap easy long term road trips. People still like big rv's despite the much greater cost and trouble to operate, so here's what I know about them.

RV Spring Start up

Preparations before using your vehicle after having stored the rv for some time.

A. To begin spring startup on your unit:
1. Remove all protective covers and plugs. Remove adhesive residue from duct tape with WD-40.
2. Open all windows and roof vents to air out the inside.
3. Turn on all lights and replace bulbs if necessary.
4. Remove mothballs and rodent bait from interior and exterior compartments including the hot water heater, refrigerator gas assembly, stove top and oven.
5. Wash interior of your unit with mild soap and lukewarm water.
6. Check operation of all appliances.
7. Clean exterior of your unit with mild soap and lukewarm water.
8. Lubricate hinges, locks, and moving parts as necessary.
9. Reinstall any batteries in clocks, smoke detectors, etc.
10. Close water taps.

B. Air Conditioner
1. Remove protective cover.
2. Remove air shroud and check blower fan, motor, and cooling coils.
3. Wash or vacuum the condenser coil.
4. Clean or replace air filters.
5. Clean any dust or debris from discharge air opening and ceiling grill.
6. Clean the cooling fins.

C. Awning
1. Check for damage and mildew by rolling completely out.
2. Check pull straps for wear and tear and replace if necessary.

D. Electrical System
1. Check for short circuit between positive and negative battery cables using a circuit tester or ohmmeter. Reconnect all battery cables if no short circuit is detected and reset any electronic clocks, radio, etc.

E. Furnace - 1. Remove cover.
2. Check for lint accumulation and insect nests.
3. Connect to shore power and turn on the thermostats to check for proper operation.
4. Turn on main gas supply to the furnace checking for proper operation.

F. LP System
1. Open the main LP gas valve and check the LP system for leaks. Test this by using a commercial leak detector solution or soapy water and brush applying the solution around each gas line connection.
2. For any leak problems consult a certified LP gas technician to correct any leak problems.
3. A rusted tank will not be filled by an LP gas attendant.

G. Refrigerator
1. From outside open the refrigerator vent. Look up and around looking for any nesting, rodent bait, mothballs and remove debris. Remember to remove any debris from the vicinity of the gas burner assembly.
2. See your manual for more operating tips.

H. Window, Exterior Seals, Roof Vent - 1. Look for signs of deterioration on and around vents and railings and reseal or caulk as needed with sealing compound. Note: Do not walk on roof without proper support for weight distribution.
2. Check the putty around moldings of windows, storage doors, entrance doors and repair as needed.

I. Tires
1. Remove covers and inspect tires for wear and deterioration.
a. Replace tires if tread is 1/16 inch or less and if tread side wall is cracked, cut or flaking.
b. Select tires of the same size, load range, and construction.
2. Inflate tires to proper pressure.
3. Remove tow dolly or trailer from jacks or blocks. For safety, after a few miles of traveling on your first trip check the lug nuts to be sure they are still tight.

J. Water System
1. Close the pressure relief valve on hot water heater. Remove any debris and/or mothballs from the area of the gas burner assembly.
2. Close drain valves and faucets including shower head.
3. Flush RV antifreeze by running water through entire system.
4. Reinstall drain plug which was removed in the winterizing process.
5. Add a few ounces of baking soda to the tank. Drive around the block to mix solution. Drain and refill.
6. For water that has a bad taste or strange odor, perform the following steps to kill bacteria that may be present:
a. Fill the fresh water tank half way with fresh water.
b. In a container mix 1/4 cup of household bleach for every 15 gallons of tank capacity with another a gallon or two of fresh water. Pour the solution into the water tank.
c. If needed, top off the water tank with fresh water. Drive around a block or two to mix the solution.

d. Pump water through each faucet so all the lines are filled with the water-bleach solution from the RV water tank. About a quart of water running out of each faucet is adequate.
e. To purge old water out of the hot water heater perform the following steps. About six gallons of water is held in the hot water heater so run hot water out of the faucets until this much solution has passed. Now the hot water heater should be filled with the water-bleach solution from the RV water tank.
f. Let the water-bleach solution stand for several hours.
g. Drain the entire RV water system including the hot water tank.
h. If there is a bleach odor to the water then mix 1/2 cup of baking soda with a gallon of water and pour into the freshwater tank.
i. Fill the tank completely with fresh water and run this solution through the water lines and hot water heater. The baking soda solution can sit in the system for a few days. Drive the rig around the block to slosh the water around and clean the tank.
j. Drain the entire water system and refill with fresh water to complete your rv spring startup or Visit RV sell options to compare selling the rv yourself to listing it with an rv dealer if you are tired of the hassle.


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