Depending on where you live, winter elements can take a toll on your motor home. As well, your vehicle may have been sitting idle for a few months. Avoid waiting until the very last minute to do your inspection. If you need repairs, you have to allow for time to get them done.
Here are some time-tested tips:
Start with an exterior and motor inspection.
- Look for cracks, stains and leaks on the body and roof of your vehicle. Be sure these are repaired to avoid problems with humidity and mold.
- Ensure your tires are properly inflated and check for damage. You should consult a professional to determine whether or not your tires should be replaced.
- Remove coverings that you used to protect vents and keep insects or rodents out.
- Remove any insect nests in spots where bugs like to hide, such as furnace exhausts. You want to be sure that your ventilation systems are not blocked.
- Look for wires and hoses that may have been chewed by animals.
- Be sure your batteries are in good condition. Winter corrosion is quite common. Charge them if necessary.
- Check to see if locks and hinges are well-lubricated.
- Check signal and brake lights.
- Be certain your freshwater tank system is properly drained and cleaned. Even if you’ve drained the tank before storing it this winter, you should take the extra step to clean your tank each season.
- Change the oil and filter systems according to your user’s manual.
- Take your motor home to an authorized garage for a complete inspection on a regular basis.
- Determine whether or not you need to air out your motor home. You want to protect your family from allergens. You may want to vacuum the carpet and clean basic surfaces such as floors and shelves.
- Replace smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.
- Inspect your fire extinguishers and place them in the right locations, for example, near electrical appliances.
- Replenish your first-aid and emergency kit; it should include: flares, flashlights, medical supplies, bottled water, jumper cables and basic tools, such as a screwdriver and sharp knife.
- Make sure your kitchen appliances such as stoves and refrigerators are in good working order.
- Check your bathroom facilities, including showers and toilets, for possible leaks.
General cleaning tips
- Avoid using detergents that may damage the exterior paint surface. Ask your local home or hardware shop for a good product suitable for motor homes.
- When you’re cleaning the exterior, stay in the shade. The hot sun can cause water stains.
- Use spray-on products to protect any vinyl surfaces, such as the dashboard.
- Try a carpet deodorizer and a heavy-duty fabric refresher to eliminate odours.
- Vacuum carpet, upholstery and door panels.
- Wash all removable cushions and window treatments.