With April Showers past and May flowers in bloom, it’s time to pull the RV out, dewinterize it and get it ready for camping season. For us, that means a series of steps that once complete, means the camper is set for use all spring and summer long (and well into fall). Prepping the RV for the first camping trip of the year is the most involved so today I’m sharing with you exactly what we do to get our RV ready to roll.
De-Winterize the RV for First Camping Trip of the Year
Here in the Northeast, winters are cold. That means that campers should be winterized to avoid cracked pipes and tanks. This means that every spring, the camper’s water lines and tanks need to be flushed thoroughly to undo the winterizing. This is always the first thing we do.
Fill Propane Tanks and Test All Systems to Prep the RV for the First Camping Trip of the Year
After the water lines are flushed and ready to use, the next thing we do is take our propane tanks to be filled. Once back in place, we test all systems including hot water heater, refrigerator, all faucets and toilet, water pump, lights (inside and out).
Inspect Exterior of the Camper for the First Camping Trip of the Year
While testing lights outside, we also do a thorough inspection of the exterior of the camper. We check seams and caulkinga round witners and doors, do an inspection of the roof including seams around roof vents, etc. Anything the needs repaired, we fix.
We also check the tires. The last thing we want to do is loose a tire going down the highway and even though there is never any guarantee, doing our part to make sure we are as safe as possible is important. I mentioned when talking about buying a used camper that we replaced all the tires this year on our camper. We didn’t love paying for it but knowing we are rolling on a brand new set of “Sneakers” is a good feeling.
Finally, we check the awning. Ours is mechanical so we make sure the motor is in working order and the canvas has made it through the winter. We give it a good cleaning as well since things like bugs, leaves and other debris can leave stains on the material.
Clean the Camper Top to Bottom for the first camping trip of the year.
One of my favorite thing to do before our first camping trip of the year is give the camper a good cleaning from top to bottom. I wipe everything inside down from front to back. Clean the vinyl, vacuum the carpet and upholstery and we scrub the exterior.
This task takes some time but because we don’t put the camper away in the fall dirty, this process is a great way to freshen everything up after being closed up for nearly 8 months.
Take inventory and stock the camper for the first camping trip of the year.
Once everything has been inspected and cleaned, we then take inventory of what we need to stock the camper for the year. We go through the totes of our “camper stuff” and load what we have, making a shopping list of other things we need. I make the bed, stock the linen closet and make sure we have everything in the kitchen that we need.
We do also keep certain dry foods in the camper all season including certain spices, cooking oil, etc. so we stock those items as well. We always keep a stock of paper plates, napkins and paper towels in addition to the “real” dinnerware we keep in the camper. One good stocking in the spring means we’ll have everything we need all camping season long.
Organize and Made Ready for the First Camping Trip of the Year
Finally, after everything is inspected and basic stocked items are in place, it’s time to go through the cabinets and storage compartments to make sure everything is organized and put away so that when you’re ready to pack for your first camping trip fo the year, your camper is tow-ready in no time.
Once your prep work is done for the start of camping season, with each trip you take you should only need to pack trip-specific items. This saves you time so that you can spend more time enjoying your camping trips and less time preparing and packing.