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Fall Foliage - Getting your RV Camper Ready for Autumn

As fall approaches, the end of the RV season draws near. This means two or three things, chasing the leaves, winterization or head south! Fortunately, this year seems to have treated us quite nicely so far with warm weather well into September. We may have an extended season since we didn’t get off to a particularly warm beginning of summer. But as with any RV’ing, planning is how you succeed. So let’s get into what to look forward to when we move into fall together. 

 

Heading north to or to the countryside to see the leaves change colors is an absolutely beautiful spectacle. Getting a spot in a park with leaves slowly falling off the trees, changing colors, blanketing the ground with soft, fluffy fun. Heading out for a hike or bike ride during the day, coming back to the campsite to relax with loved ones to watch a sunset holding a warm drink, blissful. But what does your camper think about all of this after this is all done? What does your camper need to be happy? As beautiful as leaves are to watch, they also can cause havoc on your camper if you don’t take a few minutes to make sure they’re all cleaned out. So after your trip, in addition to your normal routine of cleaning out your tanks and checking things out, give these items a shot:

  • Clear the roof of any stuck leaves – they can cause things to grow on and destroy things
  • Check your air-conditioner cover – you may have damage from low hanging bare branches or be clogged up with leaves
  • Look under the camper – wash out and clear any mud, leaves and other debris which could cause harm during the winter
  • Check other compartments and vents – your refrigerator, stove, heaters, etc have vents which may have collected during the trip. Make sure they are clear so the leaves don’t pose a fire hazard. 

If you’re season is over, then it’s time to clean up the camper so it’s ready for the next season. Winterization is an important part of maintenance to keep your camper in good shape for years to come. Although many people think it is only required in areas that freeze over, it should be done to any camper that is stored and not regularly used for an extended period. So what do we need to do??

  • Buy a few gallons of RV antifreeze, it is usually pink.
  • Buy a water hose with the correct fitting to fit into your water pump so it can be used to siphon the RV antifreeze from the bottle and feed it into your water pump. 
  • Make sure that your water heater is completely turned off and the water inside the water heater is not hot. 
  • Turn off your water pump and close all faucets. 
  • Remove the drain plug from your water heater and let it drain, keep the drain plug in the compartment so you don’t lose it. 
  • Close your water heater bypass so no fresh water can enter or exit it. 
  • Select the freshwater selection to use water from your tanks. 
  • Connect your hose into your water pump fresh water feed and insert the other end inside the anti-freeze bottle
  • Turn on your water pump and open one faucet until antifreeze flows that outlet. Repeat for all plumbing items that have water, showers, toilets, sinks, etc. 
  • Turn off the water pump and detach the siphon hose to the water pump. 
  • Reattach fresh water feed hose at the water pump. 
  • Open all drain points and leave them open.

For those of you that are not going to winterize and head to warmer weather, normal maintenance should be considered before heading out. Many of your dealerships and service centers may be busy getting other folks serviced and winterized, so plan to be armed with an appointment. The normal maintenance items that you can do at home will help out keeping your trip as planned:

  • Check the air in your tires, including the tow vehicle and spares. 
  • Lubricate, lubricate, lubricate!
  • Check for debris and blockage at your vents and drains.
  • Inspect all of your lights and break-away brakes.
  • Inspect your electrical and gas connections.

Have a great fall season, wherever your travels may take you!