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Hot Weather Maintenance 101 by: Mark J. Polk

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I would like to tell you a short story about Joe and Fred. Joe and Fred are neighbors and they both own RV's. As a matter of fact their RV's are the same year, make and model. Their families always plan and take trips together in their RV's. The story begins last year when their camping season was coming to an end as winter quickly approached.

One day Fred saw Joe working on his RV. Joe was winterizing and cleaning his RV, charging the batteries, changing the oil and covering the tires. Fred went back inside his house and poured another cup of coffee. He chuckled to himself thinking what a waste of time. I drained the water out of the RV it will be fine.

Soon spring arrived. Fred was walking out to get his newspaper one morning and he saw Joe working on his RV again. He was de-winterizing and cleaning it, putting the batteries back in, checking the air pressure in the tires, and testing all the appliances. Fred laughed, thinking about how Joe makes all this extra work for himself.

Their first trip of the year was in April. They planned a weekend getaway to the mountains. Both families were packed up and ready to go. Joe had to wait while Fred tried to jump start his battery. They finally hit the road. Less than one hundred miles into the trip Fred called Joe on his cell phone and told him they had a flat tire. Fred told them to keep going and as soon as he had it fixed they would meet up at the campground. When Fred finally arrived at the campground Joe had his RV hooked up and was cooking hamburgers on the grill.

Soon it was dark and Fred was hooking the water and electric up with a flashlight. Fred's wife came running out of their RV and told him that water was running all over the floor. Fred turned the water off and told his wife they could drink bottled water. Joe was enjoying a hot shower after a long days drive. The next morning, after a big breakfast, Joe was on the practice green putting some balls. Fred was trying to figure out why the burners on the range wouldn't light. Fred's wife was telling Joe's wife about all the mice that got into the food they forgot to take out of the cabinets last winter. Joe came back and relaxed under the awning with a cold iced tea and a magazine.

That night Joe decided to cook some steaks and baked potatoes. Fred was busy taking the food out of their freezer and refrigerator that was spoiling because the refrigerator wasn't working. The next morning Joe and his wife enjoyed a leisurely walk around the campground. Fred, dirty and tired from working on the refrigerator half the night, sat at the picnic table eating tuna from a can with a plastic spoon.

That afternoon they packed up and got ready to head home. Joe waited again while Fred jump-started his battery. When they got home Fred parked his RV and went in the house to take a shower and a nap. Joe cleaned his RV inside and out.

Before they knew it June was here and in less than two weeks they would be taking their RV's to Florida for a two-week vacation. Early one morning Fred saw Joe out by his RV and walked over to see what he was doing. Joe told him that since they were going to be traveling in hot weather there was some routine and preventive maintenance he needed to do to get the RV ready. Fred saw a checklist in Joe's hand and asked him if he could look at it. It was a “Preventive Maintenance for Hot Weather” checklist from his “Checklist for RVers” e-book http://www.rveducation101.com/ebooks.htm?siteID=0 It listed items to check on the chassis and the coach. Fred told Joe that he dropped his RV off at the dealership to have a few things fixed and it would be good to go on their trip. The day finally arrived to leave on their vacation. Both families were packed and ready to go.

Joe smiled as he waited for Fred to jump-start his RV and thought to himself, at least I'll have some entertainment with Fred along.

“Preventive Maintenance for Hot Weather”

Chassis

Check your owner's manual for Routine and scheduled maintenance intervals. Service as recommended.

  • Check all fluid levels: engine oil, transmission, power steering, brakes, windshield washer
  • Check air filter
  • Check for any leaks: Look under the RV for any indications of leaks
  • Check radiator coolant: level, condition & concentration
  • Check radiator hoses & clamps: worn, cracked, soft spots or brittle
  • Check heater hoses & clamps: worn, cracked, soft spots or brittle
  • Check belts: worn or cracked & proper tension
  • Check all lights
  • Check wiper blades for wear & poor operation
  • Check battery state of charge, water level, cables & connections
  • Check condition of tires: uneven wear, tread depth and for proper tire inflation
  • Start engine, warm up & check all gauges for proper operation
  • Check dash air for proper operation
  • Check emergency kit to include a flashlight, extra batteries, jumper cables, first aid kit, basic hand tools, warning devices & cellular phone

Coach

  • Test roof air conditioner(s) clean or replace A/C filters
  • Test refrigerator in A/C & LP gas mode. Install a thermostatically controlled refrigerator vent fan.
  • Strategically park your RV to take advantage of shade. This can make the refrigerator and roof A/C more efficient.
  • Install Maxx Air vent covers over roof vents to allow ventilation even when it's raining.
  • Check all awnings for proper operation.
  • Check auxiliary battery(s) state of charge, water level, cables & connections.
  • Check operation of generator under load. Check generator engine oil & all filters. It may be necessary to change oil with the manufacturers recommended oil viscosity for hot weather operation. Put the summer/winter preheat lever in the summer position (if equipped).
  • Check all appliances, electric and gas, for proper operation.
  • It may be necessary to add more chemicals when treating the black tank during hot weather camping.
  • Check fire extinguisher, smoke alarm, carbon monoxide and LP leak detector
  • Take all precautions when traveling with pets in hot weather. Never leave them inside a hot RV. Give them plenty of fresh water and ventilation.

 

Fred called Joe on his cell phone and told him he had a flat tire. Fred told them to keep going and as soon as he had it fixed he would meet them at the campground. Four days into their two-week vacation Fred and his wife met up with Joe and his wife at the campground. Joe just smiled.

Another good e-book is our “RV Care and Maintenance” http://www.rveducation101.com/ebooks.htm?siteID=0

Happy Camping,

Mark


Copyright by Mark J. Polk owner of RV Education 101


RV Expert Mark Polk, seen on TV, is the producer & host of America's most highly regarded series of DVD's, videos, books, and e-books.http://www.rveducation101.com/

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