What to Look for When Planning an RV Road Trip
Is the plan to explore the California coastline, travel Route 66, or meander from Texas to Montana? No matter, the call of the open road plus an RV are a wonderful way to vacation. While RVs are on the highway year-round, warmer months are favorites for loading the RV and heading on an adventure. However, plan your trip and inspect your rig first. Likewise, this includes maintenance. So, as you begin, here’s a top-to-bottom list to prepare (inspection and paperwork) and perform preventive maintenance (with AMSOIL synthetic oil & grease) to be road-ready!
Looking Ahead- Planning, Paperwork, Packing
Do a thorough inspection several months before your trip. This gives you time to make any upgrades (internally, externally, or under the hood) to your RV. After all, no one wants to get sidelined a day into the trip because of something that could have been prevented! Along with your vehicle inspection, consider getting a weigh ticket at a truck stop with scales. Knowing the actual weight of your vehicle is useful when traveling in unfamiliar territory over bridges and through construction zones. When you come across a sign reading, “Max Weight, 10 Tons”, you’ll know if your RV is able to cross safely.
Look Behind- AMSOIL Synthetic Grease, Pins, Hitch
If traveling with a 5th-wheel, check all hitching components are appropriately greased. The best grease can be found through East Central Synthetics, your AMSOIL dealer. In addition, ensure all bolts and welds are secure. And lastly, check to ensure the coupler and pins connect properly. If using a bumper hitch, it must be fastened correctly so there are no dropped items as you travel.
Look Up- Roof, Seals, A/C
Go on your RV’s roof and check for signs of wear and tear. From the sealing around the sunroof to the feel of the roof (it should be smooth, nearly chalk-like, and without cracks), be sure it is waterproof. If you are uncomfortable with being on the roof, talk to a local RV dealership. They will be able to suggest a reputable location to inspect it.
Look Around- Tires, Trim, Lights
When traveling in an RV, ensure your tires are in peak condition! You don’t want to deal with blowouts, flat tires, or other issues. Before your trip, inspect your tires for any deterioration in the tread and sidewalls. Also, most RV tires have a lifespan of 6 years. If your tires are older than that (or you can’t recall when they were replaced), now is a good time to update them. Other tire concerns include checking for the correct tire pressure for your specific RV make and model and ensuring the tire lug nuts are correctly tightened.
Look Under – AMSOIL Synthetic Oil, Filter, Fluids
Looking under the hood and under your RV is essential to safe travel. Look at the manual for your RV and familiarize yourself with its parts and pieces. You don’t have to be an RV mechanic but the more you know, the better. Then as with any vehicle, take time to take care of these critical components- be it the DIY approach or by a local RV mechanic:
- Be sure that brakes, axles, and the differential are adequately greased.
- Replace any filters (engine air filter, cabin air filter, oil filter, and fuel filter) past their prime. Visit East Central Synthetics to find the perfect filters for your particular RV.
- Check and top off all fluids. Fluids make or break how well-or if- a vehicle runs. A few minutes spent topping off the power steering fluid, transmission fluid, brake fluid, radiator and antifreeze, and engine oil will go a long way. Should an oil change be in order, AMSOIL synthetic oil (such as AMSOIL’s Signature Series) from the East Central Synthetics is an excellent choice.
- Check the battery to ensure it is fully charged and that water levels are correct.
Look Inside- Plumbing, Heating, Generator, etc.
Take an hour or two and test out all appliances, the water heater, plumbing lines, generator, slide-outs, awnings, etc., that comprise your RV. You don’t want to discover something is broken or faulty at the campsite.
In. Up. Around. Behind. Under. Simple directions, but they make a huge difference. And, when you have ensured your RV is ready from every direction, you are ready to load up and have fun.