The way you use any vehicle season-to-season is going to change, and RVs are no exception. However they are different. The way you have to take care of an RV is an even bigger deal than a normal car in some cases, and there are more than normal seasonal vehicle maintenances that need to be taken care of. That’s right, there are some things that are more specific to your RV.
But first, let’s talk about those normal vehicle maintenances, just to get them out of the way.
After every long season of traveling, it’s necessary to check on the battery and all fluids in your RV. A long time of traveling certainly takes its toll, and it’s even more crucial in a big investment vehicle such as an RV that you attend to these things often.
This includes removing any corrosion off of the battery, making sure the oil is changed, windshield wiper fluid is full and cleaning the spray nozzles, and never letting the RV get too low on gas. Maybe the most important thing in vehicle maintenance when transitioning seasons is making sure everything has been inspected and works efficiently – checked up on, if you will.
As well, each season affects your RV differently. For instance, abrupt changes in temperature can cause windshields to crack more easily, and windshield cracks worsen the colder it gets. In the summer engines overheat more, so you have to make sure you have plenty of coolant.
Keep the refrigerator vent cool in the summer. Try to park in the shade when you can, and at least keep the side with the vent covered to the best of your ability! Be aware of how an RV Park’s voltage levels can fluctuate when more people are using it in the summer as well. This goes especially for you winter campers – don’t take for granted the effects of more campers!
Before it gets too cold, make sure to winterize your water system, specifically in your RV since it has a bathroom. Mark Polk from the Family Motor Coach Association has written extensively on this in his “Polk’s Top 7 Tips for Cold Weather RVing.” He adds importantly, “The amount of RV antifreeze required for the holding tanks will be based on the size of the tanks, and how much is in the tanks. It will be necessary to add more RV antifreeze as waste water is added to the tanks to prevent the antifreeze from being too diluted.”
He also goes on to explain the caution one should take with the RV’s furnace. See, it consumes gas at a higher rate than other RV appliances, so primarily use it when your RV is plugged into an RV electricity station, or else you might drain the battery!
Another common question involves that of television. Normal cars don’t usually have televisions, but many RVs do. If you have an LCD TV (common in many RVs), be aware that the verdict is still out on whether the liquid in it can freeze. Again, if you’re plugged into an RV station it might be a smart idea to keep it warm enough to prevent any TV damage, as long as you can sleep at night with it that warm. Otherwise, a blanket or gas tank fueled space heater may be necessary.