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Thursday, 22 October 2015 21:42

Prepping Your RV for the Road Ahead

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You'll be spending a lot of time in your RV, so you need make sure that it's properly outfitted for whatever may lay ahead. The problem here is that you can't prepare for absolutely everything that you might encounter on the road, and you can drive yourself a little nuts with over-worrying. Relax because we've got you covered. Follow these tips for a more stress-free trip in any season.

rv on roadStaying warm and dry is your first priority, and you may not realize how much your state-of-the-art, brand new, six-figure RV will still let the warm air seep out through tiny cracks. So insulate the windows and doors and save yourself some energy costs, just like you would in your own home. Curtains work great for this and look a little nicer, or you can even just bubble wrap and cover it all up (if you're going for the more practical option.)

For hot water in very cold weather it's recommended that you buy rather than make your water hoses. If you'll be in milder climates, then you can save some cash by just using heat tape and regular pipe insulation. Ensure that any exposed pipes are also well insulated. The plastic in PVC pipes fares much better in the cold over the standard sewer drain hose, so consider replacing it so you won't have to use the bathroom outside in zero-degree weather.

It sounds a little feminine, but you can also skirt your RV to keep it warmer. It's exactly what it sounds like, and looks like a dust ruffle or actual skirt along the outside bottom portion of your RV. If there's lots of snow on the ground and you plan to be in one location for a while, then make like an Eskimo and pile up the snow around your RV to keep the interior warm. You may need to put a space heater under your RV (which won't actually melt the snow as long as it's packed very tightly.) While you may use that space heater down below, you may want to use another device for the living areas. If you bring your own pellet stove or propane heater it may heat the actual RV much better (and cheaper!) than the heating unit it comes with it. You'll always have it as a back-up though, which is a good thing because the pellet stove will shut down if you lose battery power. Also, you'll need to properly vent the entire RV should you use the propane heater or else you will risk carbon monoxide poisoning.

For rough terrain, you may want to consider bringing along tire chains. These slip over your tires and can give you the extra traction you need on snowy roads or if you get stuck somewhere. You may also want to tape down the electrical components on your RV for bumpy roads, since the wires have a tendency to become loose and then short.

Fuel up with winterized diesel, and beware of condensation. Mold is a common problem with RVs as they age, so you may want to consider purchasing a portable dehumidifier in order to minimize the moisture that is in the air of your RV. On the less paved roads, get a screen to protect from rocks and gravel getting stuck in your grille.

If you're getting your RV out in summer after a long winter, it's going to be a little easier. You need to flush out your systems with water to get the antifreeze out, and make sure you all your tanks are refilled. Check, light and run all of your appliances, which will help clear out any air that was trapped after your RV was out of commission. Also make sure that safety features like your fire extinguisher, carbon monoxide and smoke detector are all in good shape (that should be on your check-list for every season.)

A lot of these will seem extremely precautionary, and that's because they are. You're always better being safe than sorry when it comes to protecting yourself on the road, so if you're going to prepare you might as well do it all the way. Plus, you'll be much more comfortable. Of course, you should also be performing regular maintenance besides the more extreme measures: replacing lights, checking for water leaks and sealing off any gaps in the sky-light, windows, door or flooring.

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