How to Get Your RV Ready for Summer: The Ultimate Spring Cleaning Checklist

By: South Thompson RV   |   23 Feb 2018
Two people in hammocks in the woods enjoying the summer camping


Well, folks, it’s that time of year again! The time when summer playlists start popping up, the rain won’t stop, and we all start looking forward to the summer. While we love exploring Kamloops during the winter, our hearts are in the camping season. Below, we share how to get your RV summer-ready.

How do I Prepare to Take My RV Out of Storage?

It’s easier than you think! To prepare your RV for the upcoming summer months, it’s necessary to undo all of the (very important) winterizing activities that kept your RV safe during the winter.

Remove Antifreeze

While we can’t say enough good things about how important it is to protect your RV in the winter using antifreeze, we don’t want it sticking around during the summer. All antifreeze agents will need to be removed from the trailer and flushed thoroughly, as you don’t want to have your family accidentally catch a sip from the tap.

When removing any antifreeze agents, make sure that the forecast is consistently above zero - it’s better to wait a little longer than remove it too early and have a pipe freeze or burst. To ensure that all antifreeze is removed, run both hot and cold water through all taps, run the shower, and flush the toilet multiple times. Make sure that all water runs clear and shows no signs of the antifreeze colouring.  

Check the Exterior: Openings, Tires, and Connections

Next, inspect the exterior of your RV for leaks. Whether it be our harsh BC winters, the wind, or poor storage options, sometimes leaks happen. Some RVs are better-equipped or better-stored to prevent leaks, but none are immune. When inspecting the outside, check the caulking around doors, windows, and openings on both the inside and the outside of the unit. This is one of the most common areas where leaks can occur. If you do find leaks, our professional service team can help you get them repaired and road-ready.

Because of the drastic changes in temperature we experience during our Canadian winters, tire pressure and air can change as well. Tires will require a visible inspection to ensure that no cracks have happened over the winter, and the tire pressure will require testing to ensure that it is at (or restored to) appropriate manufacturer-recommended levels. It’s also important to look for uneven wear patterns, rocks, and damage.

External connections are next! Most RVs have multiple types of hookups to the outside world, such as electrical, generator, gas, and sewage. While these are most-often covered by plastic guards, it is important to make sure that no dirt, debris, or insects are interfering with your connections. Each of these systems will need to be checked and tested thoroughly before use. If you’re unsure about any of these things, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Our team can help you test these and give you a green light for the road.

Slideouts and awnings are also important to consider. Each extendable piece should be tested, checked for cracks, and in working order. If you are experiencing trouble with awnings, the tension in their extension mechanism may need to be readjusted. If this is the case, we would strongly recommend professional assistance, as this can be very tricky, and a little risky if they snap back.

Other Considerations

  • Test appliances
  • Plug-in and test power in all outlets
  • Test dump hoses
  • Check your liquid propane reservoir and its connections
  • Battery health check
  • Test your generator
  • If applicable, check and replace oil as needed
  • Insurance and safety

How do I Get Camping-Ready in my RV?

This is the fun part! Now that your RV is fully inspected and ready for the open road, you get to start planning where you’re headed, what snacks you’re bringing along, and what you’ll be doing. To ensure that all of your adventures go smoothly, we also have some packing suggestions and inside tips.

Check the Smoke Detectors

The cold can degrade and wear out batteries. Be sure to test and replace any batteries in your smoke and/or carbon monoxide systems. This will keep you and your family safe and smoke-free. If you're a smoker, we suggest smoking outside of your RV instead of inside; smoking inside can negatively impact the resale value of your RV and there is limited airflow within small spaces.

Pack Your Picnic and Check Your Kitchen

The most important part of any camping adventure is the food. Many campers remove their steel cutlery from their units at the turn of the season and wash it before putting it back into the cupboards. This is a practice that we recommend to ensure that any bacteria is long gone. Be sure that you have enough supplies for everyone, not forgetting the lesser-used items like tongs and spatulas.


People cooking over a campfire during a summer RV camping trip

When camping, your unit can sometimes be without power. Because of this, we recommend including non-perishables as part of your grocery list. When packing your fridge, pack foods that you expect to consume while on your trip and not too much more (unless you have a great cooler!). This way, if you lose power, you’re not losing an excess of food. Beyond packing a nice mix of frozen, refrigerated, and non-perishable food items, think crafty! There are snacks beyond s’mores, such as campfire grilled cheese sandwiches, loaded fruit on the run, cheesy grilled dogs, and more. Some great camping recipe ideas can be found here.

Get Some Rest

Sometimes sleeping away from home can be hard. Take comforts such as a favourite throw or pillow with you to keep your mind at east. When packing your RV, pack enough sheets and blankets for every bunk, as well as extras to use by the fire or in case of any spills (just don’t cry over spilled milk). Don’t forget pillowcases, light and heavy blankets, towels, and bath maths when loading up the laundry.

That’s it! While there are a-million-and-one things to consider, don’t stress! If you’d like to have the professionals take care of your summerizing services, South Thompson RV has you covered. Our professional and knowledgeable team would be happy to answer any questions that you may have, as well as provide advice based on our years of servicing and camping in RVs. Happy camping!


Contact Us

(250) 374-4949