Having an RV camper can be a lot of great fun, but it can also mean a lot of serious maintenance. Come springtime there are things that just have to get done before you can head out to the campground. Here’s a run down of all the things that you should and could do to get your camping trailer ready for summer!
And, to make sure you don’t forget anything, grab the printable Opening the RV Camper for Spring Checklist!
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Getting the camper ready for camping
Do you have a camping trailer or RV? There’s such a wide variety of units that it’s hard to ensure this list is completely comprehensive, but you’ll find it’s a pretty good start!
We have a camper (a very small and old one – wanna see it?), and the plumbing isn’t hooked up, so opening the camper takes less time for us than it might for some of you with larger and newer units.
If you feel I’ve left anything out on this list, please feel free to add a comment below or send me an email and let me know:)
How to get your camper ready in the Spring
1. Return everything you removed in the fall
If you removed anything in the fall because of freezing or attracting animals, you’ll need to replace all those now. We keep a Rubermaid tub in our house for everything that’s been removed and that way it’s super easy to bring it all back to the trailer in the spring.
Some items that might have been removed are your running batteries, smaller appliance batteries, and liquids (cleaners, repellents, etc).
You’ll want to check your batteries, clean them if that seems necessary and check their charge.
2. Air everything out
Opening the windows and airing out your linens will help freshen up the camper after being closed for the winter.
I like to bring out all the cushions and such and lay them outside on a breezy and sunny day to really give them a good freshening up.
3. Do an inspection for critters or water damage
Check all the cozy dark corners for signs of rodents: chewing, little black poops, and piles of stashed food.
Then, look under your windows and doors for evidence of water entering the trailer. You could also get up onto the roof and inspect the seams and connections for gaps.
Hopefully you don’t find anything, but if you do, you’ll need to attend to that.
4. Check your Detectors / Batteries / Extinguishers
Spring is a good time to ensure your smoke alarm, carbon monoxide detector, and fire extinguisher are all in working order. It is recommended that batteries in detectors are replaced yearly and this would be a good time to do that.
You’ll also want to make sure your flashlights, headlamps, and lanterns are still working and being stored in their proper place.
5. Attend to the water and plumbing
You’ll need to flush water through the lines – especially if you winterized with anti-freeze in the fall. Even if you didn’t winterize it’s a good idea to flush and clean the lines and make sure the plumbing is still working and there aren’t any leaks anywhere.
This video gives you a detailed how-to on flushing your camper’s water system:
6. Your Electrical
It’s always a good idea to hook up your electrical and make sure all your appliances are still working (fridge, stove, microwave, etc). You might also want to move the slides in and out and check for water damage there and to ensure they’re working smoothly.
This is also the perfect time to hook up your unit. Make sure the lights are still all working, that your trailer brakes are good, and you might as well check the condition of your tires too!
Fixing an electrical short is much more pleasant when the kids aren’t already packed in the truck ready to hit the road!
7. Propane Tanks
There’s nothing worse than arriving at the campsite and realizing your tanks are empty! Check them now and if they need filling get that taken care of so you’ll have one less thing to attend to when you’re packing before your first trip.
Don’t forget to check those smaller tanks you might have for your camping stoves too!
8. A quick clean
While you’re already in there you might as well do a quick wipe down, wash the windows, and sweep or vacuum.
9. Your first aid kit and tool box
Do a quick inventory of your first aid box and take a peek into your tool kit to make sure everything that should be there actually is. If something’s missing, take note to replace or replenish.
10. Do an inventory of your gear
Since you’re already in the camper digging around, start a running list of all the items you need to replenish, gear you’d like to replace, and stuff you’d like to purchase.
Would you like a printable spring RV checklist?
Here’s another video about getting your camper ready for the season with a few different tips:
Get your kids involved with opening the camper:
Get your kids involved in this process of getting the camper ready. It will help them take more ownership of the camping equipment and help them get excited for upcoming trips.
This might also be a good time to sit down as a family and make a camping bucket list: what the kids would like to do while camping, so you can start making plans and preparing.
While you’re setting up the camper in the spring, chances are you’re getting excited to plan ahead to the summer camping months. And, if next summer is anything like the last, you might want to be spending a little more time thinking about how to keep yourself and your unit cool in those hot months ahead.
Hopefully getting your RV or trailer ready for the camping season won’t take too long! Just follow the steps and video advice above… remember, finding those problems now is so much easier than finding it as you’re packing up, or worse yet, at the campsite. So, print out this RV checklist, and get ready for camping!
Other camping tips you’ll want to check out:
- Simplify your family camping with this printable camping planner set!
- Camping necessities – Really, what is essential for a successful family camping trip?
- How to keep you and your family safe when camping in bear country