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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

2015 REVISED - How to Go From Winter's Slumber to Spring's Re-Awakening Or Perform A Yearly Safety Check! It's TIME!

Look Ma...No Snow!
    I cannot believe Winter is finally over. Time to wake the slumbering beast (well my RV is  more like a tame housecat than a beast.) I am going to de-winterize, inspect and repair for the upcoming season! It's about time!! I have SO many projects to get moving on. Winter is great for planning and researching projects, not so great for actually DOING them!

 If you plan ahead and prepare, getting your RV ready for the season or checking it once a year if you are blessed to live in a warmer climate, should go smoothly and easily. Yes, I know NOTHING I do ever goes, smoothly and easily. Let's hope this Spring's charmed.

Start with a list of basic tasks. The list below can be changed to suit your particular RV, but is a good guideline. Mine reads as follows:

OUTSIDE
Remove Cover Straps (guess who forgot to undo the straps AGAIN last year!)
Remove Cover
Inspect Cover for Rips and Tears, Repair if Needed/Possible
Roll and Fold Cover and Store.
Inspect Outside
Inspect Underneath For Leaks, Puddles, Dry Rotted Hoses, Excessive Rust, Gas Pipe Joints, Frame, etc.
Inspect Tires and Inflate to proper pressure (Check Dates!)
Wash RV and Inspect for cracks, chips, glass breaks, leaks, etc. Repair if needed.
Open Outside Engine Compartment, Check for Leaks and Nests.
Open Storage Compartments and Inspect (leaks, bugs, critters, etc.)
Clean Outside Refrigerator Compartment (Spiderwebs, Leaves, Nests, etc.)
Clean Outside Furnace Compartment (Spiderwebs, Leaves, Nests, etc.)
Clean Outside Water Heater Compartment (Spiderwebs, Leaves, Nests, etc.)
Replace Water Heater Drain Plug and/or Anode.
Clean Battery(ies) and Terminals if Needed. (Chassis, House and Generator)
Check Coach and Chassis Battery Water Level, Refill if needed. (Distilled Water ONLY!)

INSIDE
Open Door(s) Test Operation. Lubricate if Needed.
Turn On Lights, Replace Any Bad Bulbs
Open Vents, Test Seals and Operation
Open Windows, Test Seals and Operation. Check Locking Mechanisms
Open Cabinets (Upper and Lower)
Check for Leaks, Roof, Doors, etc.
Check for Critters. (Bugs, Mammals, Gremlins, etc.)
Clean Interior (Carpets, Walls, Floors, Cabinets, Fridge, etc.)
Check LP/Propane/CO Detector Operation
Check Smoke Detector Battery and Operation
Check Monitor Panel, Tanks and Propane
Check Converter/Charger For 12 Volt Output
Check All Fuses and Breakers (12V and 120V)
Confirm Solar Charging System Voltage and Amperage (If Applicable)
Check Bathroom Skylight for leaks and cracks.
Check and Tighten ALL screws and fasteners Everywhere!

MECHANICAL
Check Oil Level, Fill if Needed
Check Coolant Level, Fill if Needed
Check Brake Fluid Level, Fill if Needed
Check Power Steering Fluid Level, Fill if Needed
Check Transmission Fluid Level, Fill if Needed
Check Windshield Wiper Blades Replace If Needed.
Check Windshield Fluid Level, Fill if Needed
Check All Hoses and Tighten Clamps
Check Airbag Compressor for operation and leaks.
Check Air Bag System Pressure
Check Air bag System for Leaks

START-UP CHECKLIST
Check Fuel Levels
Check Battery Volts
Start Engine
Check for Oil Pressure Rise
Listen to Idle (Sound OK?)
Check Idle Speed RPM
Check for Battery Charging (Volts/Amps)
Check Temperature Gauge for Rise
Listen for "strange" noises. Clangs, Bonks, Whistles, Squeals, Chattering, Rattles, Clunks etc.
Shift Into Each Gear (Foot on Brake!!)
Switch On Dash Air Conditioner (Got Cold Air?)
Select Dash Heat and Defrost (Got Hot Air?)
Shutdown After Everything Warms Up to Operating Temperature
Re-Check Oil Level, Fill if Needed
Re-Check Transmission Fluid Level, Fill if Needed
Go Outside, Look Under RV..Any New Leaks?

GENERATOR CHECKLIST
Check Generator Compartment for Oil Leaks
Check generator and Wiring for Obvious Problems
Check Oil Level, Fill if Needed (Coolant too! If you have it)
Start Generator
Check for leaks
Check for Transfer Switch Operation
Run for 30 minutes (or so)
Check Voltage at Sockets without Load
Check Voltage at Sockets with Load
Shutdown Generator
Turn On Inverter
Check AC Power From Inverter

PROPANE SYSTEM
Turn On Gas at Main Tank Valve
Listen and Check for Leaks (Use handheld detector)
Check for leaks in Refrigerator, Furnace and Water heater Compartments
Check for leaks Inside (Stove, Water Heater, Furnace, Refrigerator)
Light 1 Burner, Check for Blue Flame and Even Burn
Turn Off
Check Other Burners.
Turn Off Stove Valves
Set Thermostat to Heat
Confirm Furnace Ignition
Confirm Heater Vent Airflow and Temperature
Shut Off Thermostat
Confirm No Leaks from All Stove Valves in the OFF Position

APPLIANCE CHECKS (On Both Shore Power AND Generator/Inverter)
Attach Shore Power (or use Generator)
Turn on Air Conditioner, Wait for it to engage
Check for Cool Air
Check for Heat Strip Operation (if installed)
Shutdown Air Conditioner
Inspect Microwave
Set Clock
Run for 1 Minute (heat something up!)
Check Coffee Maker Operation (VERY Important!)
Check Fridge DC Control Panel Operation
Turn On Refrigerator (on AC Power)
Clean Out Refrigerator Chimney/Cooling Fins/Tubes and Check for Debris/Nests/Bugs Inside
Confirm Refrigerator Heating Element is Warming Boiler in Outside Compartment)
Switch Refrigerator to Propane (LP Gas)
Confirm Flame Ignition (By Sound AND Visually Outside)
Switch Back to Electric (or AUTO)
Check Refrigerator Door Seals and Lock(s)
Turn On Entertainment System
Check Inputs (Antenna/VCR/DVD/Satellite/VGA/HDMI)
Check Sound
Raise/Lower TV/Satellite Antenna
Turn Everything Off.

WATER SYSTEM (without Sanitize) 
Re-Connect Water Pump to Tank
Set Valves to Tank Fill
Re-Insert Water Heater Drain Plug
Close Low Point Hot and Cold Water Drains
Check All Fittings
Close Faucets
Partially Fill Water Tank (Hose or Connect City Water)
Set Valves To Operating Position
Pressurize System (Pump and City Water, One at a time)
Check For Leaks
Open Each Faucet Until It Runs (to Remove Antifreeze and Air)
Check Toilet Main Drain. (Holding Antifreeze?)
Check Flush Fill and Drain
Fill Fresh Water Tank (and/or Use City Water)
Check For Leaks (Look in All Cabinets! Under Coach as Well!)
Open Faucets and Run Water until Clear
Check For Leaks AGAIN!!
Turn On Water Heater (Propane)
Check for Ignition
Confirm Hot Water and Flow
Check For Leaks (Inside Hot Side Plumbing AND Outside Water Heater Compartment)
Switch Water Heater to Electric
Confirm Hot Water and Flow
Shut Everything Down

LAST
Close All Windows
Shut Off All Appliances
Shut Down Propane Gas Flow
Turn Off Lights
Close and lock Doors.

While this list is geared toward my coach, most of it will likely apply to yours. Hopefully, it will start you off  safely and with some peace of mind this season.


Feel free to send me items to add or ask questions!

Be Seeing You....Down The Road

Rich "The Wanderman"
http://www.thewanderman.com

6 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for such a complete list. No wonder your RV is in such great condition.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anon,
      Better safe than...well...having to do expensive repairs!

      Rich "The Wanderman"

      Delete
  2. Good list! I also blow out the back of the refrigerator and up the vent, the heater inlet and exhaust and the water heater burner area.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anon,
      EXCELLENT Idea.. I do that every year, but didn't put it on the list.

      Thanks!

      Rich "The Wanderman"

      Delete
  3. I spent a ton of time dewinterizing this year (and boy was the date delayed....heck the last two nights I had to turn on the heater in there because of sub freezing temps!) and didn't do one thing: check the coffee maker. First trip out last weekend - tried to make us coffee Saturday morning and the little Keurig wouldn't fill the cup. Thankfully we had a backup coffee press and some canned coffee. That would've been a baaaaad day :-) thanks for this list, I think I did all of it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ami,
      Without coffee, morning in the RV..well...aren't really worth getting up for!

      Glad you had a backup!!

      Rich "The Wanderman"

      Delete

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