Now is the time to get your RV ready. Hopefully more places will open up as the spring changes to summer, but South Carolina and more states open up, beaches are filling up, and campgrounds are trying to social distance, many of us will finally get to take our campers/motorhomes out. Don’t wait until the last minute to get your RV ready, and not just food and clothing.
Are you ready for a vacation?
Just because you are don’t mean that your RV or tow vehicle is! Bring them in for any services that they may need as well as any put off repairs.
- Make sure you bring it in for service 3 to 4 weeks before you go for any repairs you need, as well as services. Covid-19 has made it hard to get some parts on time, and a few of the part manufacturers have their staff working at home, so calling to find warranty information, updated part information (many of the systems have been updated and parts that are 12-20 years old are no longer made, shoot we ran into a stove that was 2 years old and no longer supported), and more must be emailed in and we wait for our turn for them to call us! Lord help you if you need the part to be manufactured! Make sure they service your bearing, check tire age (5 years and older can be dangerous), as well as any services your coach might need.
- Bring in you tow/towed vehicle as well. This can be done a week or two before. If you have a known repair (that A/C that didn’t work last September but it wasn’t that hot then) bring it 2 to 3 weeks before so that all parts and services can be performed. Let them know that you plan on going on a trip and that you will be towing (or towed) with this vehicle. At Lake Gaston Auto & RV we check over every vehicle so lights, fluids, filters, hoses, leaks, and belt issues as well as tires, brakes, and more are checked over and wear and tear noted. Brakes that might have been ok until the next oil change in the city, will be considered a must do now if you are going to the mountains or towing a heavier weight. Transmission service that might be put off for 3000 miles will be recommended now.
- Make sure your license plate has been renewed! This could give you a few tickets along your way….
- Check your reservations to make sure the campgrounds are open and you actually have made the reservations. Just because you looked over their site and began to fill it out, doesn’t mean you finished! Also, sometimes computers are quirky and your reservation is lost. It is better to get it fixed weeks before than the night you pull in.
- Make sure where you are going allows pet – what kind and how many. Some will let you bring a pet pig but not a large dog 😉
- Make sure all needed medications for your family and pets are refilled and packed. Realizing at 10:00 pm 1000 miles from home that your daughter’s medicine is sitting in the bag she forgot in her bedroom and then getting that prescription filled when you JUST got it 3 days before…. no like that never happened….
- Clean your RV before you start packing. A good vacuuming as well as a quick wipe down will make it smell so much better when you stay in it. Plus, if it has been sitting, it is better to find out you have little “friends” making a home for themselves before you give them new food sources as well as your clothes to live in. Yes, I put my hand in, had one run up it, and yes I screamed like a girl…. Have grime that is not coming up? Magic Erasers work well in you bathroom and kitchen area, plus any walls that your children just had to put their hands on while they were dirty. Febreze can do magic on doggy smells as well.
- Pack most of the food and necessities you typically need. Going out to eat can be fun, but even the grocery stores at destination cities tend to have a higher over all cost as well as extra taxes (yes they tax you for not living there!). Freezing the meat, or even precooking some of your meals will make dinner time easier! Don’t forget the trip to your vacation location might have lunch right in the middle, so have prepared food or quick food available if you stop in a location where you cannot open completely up.
- Breakdowns do happen. Tires blow, fuel rails quite working, springs break, antennas were left up and smacked into tree limbs or signs when you tried to leave, slides slide out into post because you were chasing children and dogs instead of watching the slide, your truck looses power while pulling up the Rockys, am I missing anything? Yes these happen and have happened. What makes an issue from ruining your vacation is being prepared for MOST of them. Flash lights, tools, safety flares, spare tires, and a jack took care of the the tire (as well as body panel repairs when we got home). A nice Highway Patrol Officer in Nevada helped get us off the highway, into a truck stop, and a location for camper parts when the spring broke – and some great Mexican food! That plus a few hours had us back on the road with only one day lost on a cross country trip. The slides were caught by a nice neighbor before too much damage was done, and well that was the first trip we took, so everyone messes up on their first trip. The fuel rail, well that was a real big bump in the road, don’t expect any warranty parts from a car manufacturer during the last 2 weeks of a year. If they have to order it, you are not getting it. The antenna – well we fixed it then hit it again (the next day), and then I got a big, fluffy keychain to put on the handle when ever the antenna is up. Point is, make sure you have your ducks in a row. Have your spare tire checked once a year. Make sure you have safety flares, signs, and flash light. These will help you see and be seen on the side of the road.
- Before you pull off, don’t forget to check lights as well as brake before you pull off.
- HAVE FUN!!!! This has been a stressful and odd time for all of us. We all need some down time from what we have all been going through.