How to Prepare your RV for Busy Summer Travel
Summertime means summer travel, especially among the RV-loving set. These three bright, beautiful months offer some of the very best motorhome and travel trailer adventures possible.
But if it’s been a while since the rubber’s met the road, so to speak, your rig may need some TLC before it’s ready to get out there and enjoy the sunshine with you. (And, along with regular RV care issues to consider, there’s also the additions to your packing list that need to be made.)
We know you can’t wait to head out for an unforgettable summer vacation. But we want to make sure you have everything all set and ready to go before you do!
So without further ado, here are our top seven tips and tricks to make sure you’re prepared for the busy upcoming summer travel season. (That way, you won’t have anything to worry about except sitting back, relaxing, and enjoying your destinations.)
RV Camping Checklist: Summer Edition
Like everything in life, RV camping always takes a little bit of preparation in order to do it as well as possible. By ensuring you’ve crossed your Ts and dotted your Is before you get out there, you can keep yourself from having to deal with a costly and time-intensive fiasco when you should be enjoying your vacation instead.
We’re just about to dive into the summer specifics. But there are certain preparations it’s *always* a good idea to make, such as figuring out a basic itinerary ahead of time, finding prospective campgrounds, and ensuring you’re up to date with your regular maintenance schedule!
If you haven’t been on an RV trip for quite some time or just want a quick refresher on some of the most basic ways to keep abreast with your RV care and vacation planning needs, check out the following posts on RVshare:
- Creating a Preventative RV Maintenance Schedule
- How to Perform Routine Maintenance on Your RV
- How to Mindfully Choose your Next RV Destination
- It’s Time to Start Planning your Summer Vacation! Here are Some Worthy Spots
- The Most Underrated Campgrounds in the US — and How to Find Them
RV Maintenance to Take Care of Before You Go
We know you’re champing at the bit to hit the road — but there are a few essential items to take care of first! Here’s how to get ready for summer camper travel.
1. Un-winterize your rig.
If you’d put down your rig for a long winter’s nap, one of the first things you’ll need to take care of is waking it back up again. And that means un-winterizing your water system, if you winterized it in the first place back in October or November.
Since you’ll be washing all that antifreeze out of your rig’s pipes and plumbing anyway, it’s a great opportunity to give those tanks a nice, thorough scrub by using a bleach rinse. It’ll also help clean up your RV’s holding tank sensors, which can get less accurate as they get gunked up over time.
2. Give everything a good once-over. Do you need new tires or an oil change?
Even in the very best storage scenario possible, it’s a fact of life: things deteriorate when they sit for a while. That’s why it’s so important to set (and keep up with!) a preventative maintenance schedule, even during the off-season.
But along with staying up-to-date on your latest maintenance tasks, it’s a good idea to just give your rig a checkup every once in a while, particularly before a busy travel season like summer. The last thing you want to do is get out on the road and *then* find out that you have an issue that needs to be dealt with.
Give all of your RV’s mechanical systems a thorough inspection, and consider hiring professional help if you’re not exactly mechanically inclined. Include both motor-vehicle-related issues like oil changes and tire tread, as well as household items like your appliances.
3. Give your RV a deep cleaning.
There’s nothing like a nice, fresh RV to make your camping trip feel that much more luxurious. And if your rig’s been sitting in storage all winter, chances are, it could use a bit of a touch-up!
Pre-summer is the perfect opportunity to give your RV a much-needed deep cleaning. Include often-overlooked areas like the refrigerator and freezer, as well as cleaning the oven if you have one. Open all the cabinets and wipe them out; go into those nooks and crannies you usually neglect. It’ll be a little bit of work now, yes… but your future self will thank you when she’s kicking back at her next destination in a spotless travel trailer or motorhome!
RV Packing List, Summer Essentials Included
Now that you’ve got the maintenance out of the way, let’s move on to your packing list. The rig itself is in ship shape… now, what do you need to bring aboard?
4. Add outdoor furniture to your must-bring list.
No matter what time of year you’re doing it, camping is, in large part, about getting outside and reconnecting with Mother Nature. And that’s especially true during these long, lovely summer months!
Of course, it’s all too easy to forget about that goal and spend your camping trip nestled inside on your cozy couch, watching TV. So we suggest adding some comfortable, high-quality patio furniture to your packing list to ensure you spend the time outdoors you want to. (Here’s a great post on how to choose some of the best outdoor camping furniture currently on the market.)
Psst: if you’re an owner listing your rig for rent on RVshare, consider adding patio furniture to your package. Your renters will be extra pleased, which is a great way to drum up repeat rental business!
5. Think about your adventures. What else do you need to bring?
Summer heat means fun activities that aren’t so winter friendly, like paddling, cycling, or hiking alpine peaks. Be sure to add whatever gear you need to make it happen to your packing list, whether that means big equipment like a kayak or bicycle, or just your best pair of lightweight trail shoes.
6. Carry extra water.
No matter where you’re headed this summer, chances are, it’s gonna get hot — and even if you’re somewhere temperate, you’ll likely work up a sweat with all those fun outdoor recreational activities you’ll be doing. Staying hydrated is key, and especially if you’re boondocking, we recommend against relying solely on your RV’s fresh water tank. Instead, invest in a couple of collapsible water containers so you can double down on your drinking water supply. (That said, try not to fill them until right before you reach your destination, especially if you’re in a towable vehicle. Water is heavy to haul around and can add a significant amount to your total trailer weight!)
7. Don’t forget sunscreen!
We know, we know, it may sound obvious. But no summer packing list is complete without sunscreen, and it’s all too easy to forget! These days, there’s a huge range of products available on the market, from easy spray-on sport sunscreens to breakout-free, face-friendly lotions. Whatever your preferred method, however, it’s imperative that you protect your skin, and use an SPF of 30 or higher! Trust us, you can still get a tan even with sunscreen… and no amount of golden glow is worth skin cancer later on down the line.
Ready to Take Your Ultimate Summer Vacation?
Now that your summer RV camping essentials are taken care of, all that’s left to do is to choose a destination and hit the road — and, if you don’t have one of your own, to secure the RV rental of your dreams!
When you rent through the peer-to-peer market at RVshare, you’re supporting local RV owners and adventurers just like you, not to mention saving a bundle of money on what you might pay to patronize the big guys. Plus, our rigs are backed by A-rated insurance coverage from the moment you pick up the keys, so you never have to worry about what might happen if you run into unexpected surprises.
Already have an RV of your own and not planning on using it every single week this summer? Consider listing your rig as part of our nationwide fleet. It’s super easy and you always have control over who gets to rent your baby… and that extra cash in your pocket makes for a great little travel fund in the future.
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