June 21 signifies more than the start of a new season: It is the signal for adventure, fun and relaxation under the sun. Recreation vehicles can add to this experience, providing the extreme road tripper with everything they need for a leisurely drive down the coast or a scenic voyage through the badlands — motels, tents and yurts not required.
If your RV is still in hibernation mode, it is a great time to start getting your vehicle summer ready. Jim Jussila, Service Manager at Olympia’s Awesome RV, says de-winterizing your RV for summer can take place any time prior to the first use of the season as long as freezing weather conditions have passed. Because freezing conditions can extend into March, de-winterizing too early can result in complications later on in the season. As we are now well into May with summer just on the horizon, there is no better time to think about getting your RV ready for summer than now.
Whether you decide to de-winterize your RV yourself or opt to take it to a specialist like Awesome RV, Jussila says the process for de-winterizing an RV varies depending how the unit was winterized in the first place. “If antifreeze was used to fill all the water lines, the process of flushing the antifreeze from the system can take significantly more time and water usage,” he says. “We have found it much more convenient and user friendly for the customer to simply use air pressure to blow all the water from the lines, which significantly minimizes the amount of antifreeze that needs to be put into the system.”
If you failed to properly winterize your RV, you may run into some other issues that can be both time consuming and costly. “The most common problems we see with units that were not properly winterized are water pump failures, toilet water valve failures, cracked water filters and faucets that literally have the top portion fly off the first time water pressure is restored to the system,” explains Jussila. “Many times, even when the trailer or motorhome is winterized, the exterior showers and faucet fixtures are often forgotten about.” Because these items are often winterized improperly, Jussila says it is a good idea to inspect these things carefully before packing up and hitting the road. Before first use, Jussila also recommends performing a propane leak down test. This simple test that takes about 30 minutes and costs $50 at Awesome RV will identify if your RV is leaking gas. “It is very cheap insurance considering an undetected gas leak will often result in a major injury or death,” says Jussila.
Upgrade for Driveability
Before you hit the open road, it may not be a bad idea to upgrade your rig for driveability. There’s nothing worse than driving long distances in a vehicle that is difficult or uncomfortable to drive. “Motorhomes simply do not handle as well as most people would like, and we often hear complaints that, after a long trip, the driver is so fatigued from driving they have a hard time relaxing, which is obviously contrary to the whole RV lifestyle,” explains Jussila. “Awesome RV has the capabilities and products available to make a poor-handling motorhome drive more like a car.” To get an idea of the kinds of parts and accessories Awesome RV offers, Jussila recommends stopping by the store and picking up a copy of Awesome RV’s parts catalog. “I like to leave mine laying around a couple weeks before my birthday and Christmas with all my wish list items boldly circled.”
Before You Go
To maximize your comfort and fun, Jussila says enjoying your first trip out starts well before the trip itself. “My recommendation is to not become a stranger to your RV during the winter months, or, at the very least, give yourself some time to react and get the RV back in usable condition prior to the first outing.” Jussila says it is common for people to think that just because their RV worked properly when they parked it for the winter that it will work just as good when they take it out eight or nine months later. This is not always the case. Jussila says when things sit dormant for months, they can often operate worse than if they had been turned on and running the entire time. Because of this, Jussila recommends driving your RV, getting comfortable with it, and ensuring that it is running properly before you hit the road.
Need a Hand?
Taking on a project like de-winterizing your RV can be a big job, especially if you failed to winterize it correctly. To make things a little easier, Awesome RV offers a $149 special designed to knock-off cobwebs, run appliances, test for propane leaks, and check for general maintenance issues that can hinder your first trip. “The $149 special also includes filling the propane tanks so you know you will be ready when the weather breaks or that impromptu trip comes up,” says Jussila. “This special used to be called our Spring Special, but it became so popular we had to rename it as we ran into year-round demand. You get a lot of bang for your buck!”
For more information about Olympia’s Awesome RV, visit Awesome RV online, give Awesome RV a call at 888-870-8031, or visit Awesome RV at its Olympia Auto Mall location off of Cooper Point Road in Olympia.