Get Ready for Spring Camping! 12 Must-Do Tasks

Camping season is revving up and so are RVers! Here’s what you need to do to get ready for spring camping.

It’s time to dust off the RV sitting in storage (literally and figuratively) and get it ready for spring camping. There is a LOT of camping fun just around the corner but we need to put in some work to prepare.

Here’s my list of must-do tasks to run through every spring. Of course, you’ll need to tweak this list based on your RV, camping style, and whether you store your RV in the off-season.

But overall, this list will get you going (again, literally and figuratively) for spring.

Replace your water filter © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

1. Replace your water filter

As you probably know, I recommend using a water filter on your freshwater system and spring is the perfect time to change it. If you camp regularly I recommend changing it at the top of every season.

That way, you have clean, good-tasting water from the start of the season. Some filters may last longer especially if you don’t camp that often.

2. Replace your water hose

Many RVers replace their drinking water hoses every year. Bacteria can accumulate in the old hose over time or while sitting in storage.

You may be able to use it longer if you buy a quality hose, keep it clean, and carefully store it. However, it’s always good to start with a fresh one every spring. Otherwise, it’s just too hard to know what’s growing inside.

3. Lube the wheel bearings

If you have a travel trailer or fifth wheel, add lubing the wheel bearings to your must-do list. It needs to be done at least once a year as well as being inspected.

You can take it to your local tire shop to get them inspected and greased up. Or, you can do it yourself if you know what to look for. Gooping it up isn’t rocket science but you’ll need to know what to look for to make sure the bearings are in good shape before you hit the road.

4. Inspect and seal your roof

You don’t want to start your spring season with a leak during your first camping trip.

If you’re not comfortable getting up on the roof, hire an RV tech service or employ the help of a handy family member or friend. Look for cracks, bubbling, or discoloration. Then use RV caulk and sealants and repair accordingly.

5. Evaluate your internet service provider

Remote programs change constantly. Make sure that whatever Internet system you have does not lock you into excessive rates. Make sure that the amount of data you’re paying for is what you’re actually using and that it’s at the best possible price.

One phone call to your Internet provider to discuss your rates will often result in savings and/or better speeds.

Check your awnings © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

6. Check your awning

Before you head out, check your awning to make sure it extends and retracts properly. Awnings are one of the most common things to break in an RV. So, make sure it’s in working order.

While it’s extended, check for mold or mildew on the material. This often builds up when RVs are in storage during the wetter seasons. If need be, give it a good clean with tips from my RV awning cleaner guide.

While it’s extended, check for mold or mildew on the material. This often builds up when RVs are in storage during the wetter seasons. If need be, give it a good clean with tips from my RV awning cleaner guide.

7. Check all lights on your RV

Check all of the lighting on your RV, especially exterior lights, turn signals, and brake lights. Having to stop at an auto shop mid-trip wastes a lot of time when it’s an easy fix to do at home.

If you don’t have a spotter to help you check the lights, back up to a wall or garage door at night. Then, you should be able to test the lights by looking for the reflection.

If none or most of the lights aren’t working on your travel trailer or fifth wheel, check the electrical harnesses that connect the trailer to your tow vehicle. Make sure there’s no corrosion or build up on the metal pins or prongs on the connectors. Sometimes all you need to do is rub or clean them off and plug them back in.

8. 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. 

Some items that might have been removed are your running batteries, smaller appliance batteries, and liquids (cleaners, repellents, etc).

And before you put these items back in, you’ll want to check your batteries: clean them if that seems necessary and check their charge.

Tip: If you’re removing things because you don’t want them to freeze, don’t just leave them in the garage where they might freeze.

9. 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 annually 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.

Check water and plumbing systems © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

10. 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.

11. Check the electrical

It’s always a good idea to check the 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 in working order, that your trailer brakes are good, and check the condition of your tires.

Fixing an electrical short is much more pleasant when the kids aren’t already packed in the truck ready to hit the road!

12. Inventory 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 or past the due date, replace or replenish.

It’s time for spring cleaning © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

What about spring cleaning?

Spring is always a great time to give your RV a thorough cleaning. There’s something about spring showers and fresh flowers that inspire us to refresh our living spaces.

When the weather starts turning warmer and thoughts turn to planning epic RV road trips, there are numerous RV maintenance tasks to complete including RV spring cleaning. Here are some articles to help you get started.

RV Spring Cleaning Tips for Every Season

Spring is a great time to give your RV a thorough cleaning. There’s something about spring showers and fresh flowers that inspire us to refresh our living spaces.

But, really, any time is a good time to declutter and spruce up your RV. No matter the season, these RV spring cleaning tips will help you clean, declutter, and organize. So, whether it’s spring or winter, summer or fall, here are the tools, tips, and tricks you’ll need for RV spring cleaning.

Go to the full article…

Get Your Rig Ready for Spring Camping

It’s spring and with the traveling season right around the corner now is the perfect time to clear out the cobwebs and tidy up your RV.

Spring is right around the corner and your RV is calling. The beginning of camping season is the perfect time to assess the condition of each distinct part of your motorhome or trailer. So go ahead, break your RV out of storage.

Go to the full article…

Cleaning Your RV Interior

Just like your home, your recreational vehicle requires a thorough cleaning on a regular basis. It’s a fact of life that nothing stays clean for long—and that includes your RV. A newly mopped floor is just waiting for a spill. That’s especially true with a young family.

The need for cleaning never disappears. Fortunately, most cleaning isn’t difficult. Occasionally, though, you run into something that refuses to come clean, or you are convinced that there must be a better way.

When cleaning an RV interior start from the top and work your way down. Begin a thorough cleaning by dusting the ceiling, wiping light fixtures, and cleaning ceiling vents.

Go to the full article…

Clean your RV exterior © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Cleaning Your RV Exterior

Following are a few RV cleaning tips to use the next time you clean and maintain your RV.

Since there are myriad RV cleaning products on the market, choosing the one that’s right for you can be a challenge.

Opt for a high-quality cleaner that will help make the finish on your RV last longer. Look for a multi-purpose RV cleaner as well to save some money.

Go to the full article…

A helpful checklist

Of course, there is a LOT of little things you need to do to get ready for spring camping from packing to food prepping. The above covers a lot of the big tasks but here is a helpful checklist:

Worth Pondering…

Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing up is like shoveling the walk before it stops snowing.

—Phyllis Diller

RV Spring Cleaning Tips for Every Season

When the weather starts turning warmer and thoughts turn to planning epic RV road trips, there are numerous RV maintenance tasks to complete including RV spring cleaning

Spring is the traditional start to the traveling season for many RVers. While you’re busy planning trips and dreaming of life on the open road, don’t forget to get the RV ready for the season by giving it a good deep cleaning. And for those who live full-time in their RVs, spring is also the perfect opportunity to clean out all that dust and dirt that has been building over the winter.

Spring is a great time to give your RV a thorough cleaning. There’s something about spring showers and fresh flowers that inspire us to refresh our living spaces.

But, really, any time is a good time to declutter and spruce up your RV. No matter the season, these RV spring cleaning tips will help you clean, declutter, and organize. So, whether it’s spring or winter, summer or fall, here are the tools, tips, and tricks you’ll need for RV spring cleaning.

Cleaning the RV © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Tools needed to get the job done

Just like any project, the right tools make a job easier! So, the best way to begin is to gather your tools and cleaning products for a good spring cleaning.

The following items come in handy:

  • Microfiber cleaning cloths
  • Clorox wipes
  • Swiffer dusters
  • Paper towels
  • Q-tips
  • Favorite interior cleaning solution
  • Favorite exterior cleaning solution
  • Mop or steamer
  • Bucket for warm water
  • Garden hose
  • Vacuum with hose attachment and/or hand vacuum
  • Ladder
  • Power washer (optional)
Dawn dish soap © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Make your own cleaner

If you’re concerned about toxic chemicals and would rather not use commercial cleaning solutions, you can make your own.

A damp cloth and hot soapy water go a long way. Or you can add a cup of bleach to a gallon of warm water for bleach-safe surfaces. You can easily google how to use household items like lemon juice, vinegar, and baking soda to make DIY cleaning solutions.

Okay…you’ve gathered your cleaning helpers—it’s time to get down to business!

Like any big project, you’ll have better luck with your RV spring cleaning if you go in with a plan. After all, your motorhome (or other type of recreational vehicle) is just that—a home on wheels. There’s a lot to tackle!

The interior © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

RV spring cleaning: The interior

It’s a good idea to start with the inside and work your way out. Or, you can divide and conquer with your travel companions.

However you tackle the job you’ll want to thoroughly clean the interior including the furniture, appliances, floors, and walls. That means vacuuming, wiping down surfaces, and removing any built-up dirt and grime.

When cleaning any space, it is always most logical to start at the top and work your way down. In an RV, this can also allow you to check for leaks or other potential issues that may have sprung up over the winter or while the RV was in storage. Depending on the texture of your ceiling, you may need to wipe it down or even vacuum it if the ceiling is carpeted. Be sure to clear out the cobwebs in your vents and begin clearing off your fans as well. Depending on how much build-up there is, your fans may need to be unscrewed and hand washed.

You’ll also want to sanitize surfaces to prevent the spread of germs. This includes wiping down counters, sinks, and toiletries and disinfecting high-touch areas like door handles and light switches. (Cue the Clorox wipes)

The kitchen © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Kitchen

Wipe down all countertops and cabinets (inside and out). This is a great opportunity to declutter your kitchen cabinets.

Take out all of the items and only put back the ones you’ve actually used on your last three RV trips. You’ll be surprised at how much space you’ve been wasting with unused kitchen appliances, excess pots and pans, etc.

Be sure to clean the nooks and crannies of the oven and microwave, as well.

You will also want to wipe out and sanitize your fridge. RV fridges are known for getting a musty smell over time. To avoid this, take out everything and clean every nook and cranny. And use this opportunity to throw out expired products (Yep, we’re coming for you, mustard!)

Most RV fridges can have the drawers and shelves removed for deep cleaning and anything that is not removable can be cleaned with cleaning spray and rags or paper towels.

Bathroom

When cleaning the RV bathroom, start from the top and work your way down. Organic matter may stick to walls and mirrors and as you work your way down it may fall to other surfaces or the ground. By starting tall, you avoid spreading the matter around.

NEVER use bleach or abrasive cleaners in the RV kitchen and bathroom sinks, shower-tub, or toilet. These products can damage the surfaces and holding tanks and degrade the seals around your tanks—causing an unpleasant and messy problem. Use only mild soaps or products specifically made for RVs. Or, use a mixture of baking soda and white vinegar.

Give your RV toilets a good cleaning by scrubbing the bowl and wiping down the outside. Then wipe down the sink countertop and the outside of any cabinets.

Finally, wipe down the shower walls and bathtub or shower floor. This is also a good time to check your shower curtain for rips, tears, and mold.

As you clean, consider how you can better organize your bathroom.

Cab area

If your RV is drivable, don’t forget to deep clean the cab area. Remove and wash any seat covers and wipe or dust the dashboard area. Don’t forget to clean the big window too as well as the driver and passenger windows as well. In addition, be sure to vacuum out the seats and any hard-to-reach areas that your broom may not be able to access.

The bedroom © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Bedroom

Aside from the funky built-in nightstands and other storage spaces, your RV’s bedroom should need similar cleaning to the one in your house. If you stored your RV with the bed made, be sure to strip the bed and wash everything. If not, you may need to give your mattress a quick vacuum depending on how dusty it became. In addition, be sure to clean the nightstands and other storage areas inside and out. 

Smoke alarm © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Ceiling fans and vents

If your RV has ceiling fans, giving them a quick wipe is a good idea. These are often overlooked and have many dust bunnies hiding in plain sight.

The same goes for vents and screen windows. Use a vacuum, duster, or those nifty Swiffer dusters to remove dust from vent covers. If you have air filters, swap them out.

Test smoke alarms and CO and LP gas detectors and replace the batteries as necessary. Check fire extinguishers, and refill first aid kit and emergency kits as needed.

The interior © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

RV floors

The floor material in your RV will vary but most come with a laminate floor of sorts which can be easily swept and mopped. Any areas with carpet will need to be vacuumed. It makes sense to save this step for last since lots of dirt and debris will be falling on the floor while you are cleaning all the other areas of the RV.

Sweep, vacuum, and mop the floors in each room. Notice I said and not or. Granted, you don’t want to mop your carpet. But my point is to clean your floor in multiple stages.

For hard surfaces, sweep any debris out from corners, vacuum everything, and mop for the final touch.

Of course, it’s a good idea to do this last so you can exit the RV while the floors dry. That way, you avoid making them dirty again by walking on them.

You will also avoid having to wait until they dry to clean other spaces in the RV.

The interior © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Organize as you go

RV spring cleaning isn’t just about scrubbing. It’s also about decluttering and organizing. This is especially true of storage spaces, kitchen cabinets, and closets.

Here are some helpful resources:

Springtime is a great time to look for great dollar-store finds for your RV including organizers for closets and drawers and dehumidifers.

Dehumifer © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

RV spring cleaning: The exterior

Keeping the RV’s exterior in good condition not only enhances its appearance but also helps protect it from the elements. This may involve washing and waxing the paint and repairing any chips or scratches to maintain its shine.

Wash the exterior in the shade with mild soap remembering to clean the tires.

Wash the exterior of your RV to remove any built-up dirt and grime. This may be done by hand or with a pressure washer and may also involve cleaning the wheels and undercarriage.

Dehumidifer © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Since there are myriad RV cleaning products on the market, choosing the one that’s right for you can be a challenge.

Opt for a high-quality cleaner that will help make the finish on your RV last longer. Look for a multi-purpose RV cleaner as well to save some money.

Some cleaners are created for special purposes such as cleaning awnings or rubber roofs but others can be used for a variety of cleaning applications inside and outside your coach. The best solution is an RV cleaner with several applications to save your pocketbook.

It’s best to clean the RV from the top down. First, head up on the RV roof. Inspect the sealant around the roof vents, air conditioner, and all roof seams for signs of cracks or deterioration.

Giving your RV a good wax will also help protect it over time from the elements. It will also make it look nice.

Water filter © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Here are some helpful resources:

Storage areas

Over time your RV storage space can get crowded. Many people toss items they might need on a trip that never gets used. Some forgotten things take up precious cargo space and unnecessarily add weight to your rig for years.

A storage area is a small space, so thoroughly clean it to make the most of it. Organize the items that you want to leave in there. Take out and discard unused or expired items (like chemicals).

Water system © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Check for damage and perform routine maintenance

While washing the exterior, inspect the RV for any damage that may have occurred over the winter months. This includes checking for cracks, dents, or other damage to the body, roof, and windows.

You will also want to check for any leaky seals on the roof and slides. 

Plumbing system © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Plumbing system

This involves checking the pipes, faucets, and toilets for leaks or damage and ensuring that all systems are functioning correctly. It may also include flushing the water tank, cleaning the filters, and checking the water pressure.

This is a great time to clean your holding tanks and sanitize your water system.

Sewer system © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Electrical system

This involves checking the electrical system for any issues, such as loose connections, frayed wires, or damaged components. It’s essential to ensure that all electrical systems are functioning correctly, including the lights, fans, and appliances.

HVAC system

The heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system should be checked for proper function including the thermostat, ductwork, and fans. This can help to ensure that the RV is comfortable and energy efficient.

Awning

One part of your RV that’s easy to forget during the RV spring cleaning process is your awning. But trust me—you’ll remember it the first time you go to use it. What RV spring cleaning routine would be complete without these key components getting tidied up at the same time?

As part of your spring cleaning, take care of your awning so that it’s ready to take care of you when the time comes this summer. Keeping it clean is a great way to make sure it’s ready to use and will last for many years to come.

RV tire check © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Tire Check

Don’t forget the tires during RV spring cleaning. Check the age of the tires—RV tires usually age out before they wear out.

Check that all tires are properly inflated. Improperly inflated tires means increased fuel fuel costs. Under-inflated tires can increase fuel consumption by up to 4 percent, according to International Energy Agency. Proper inflation also reduces the incidence of tire failure and blowouts.

RV tire check © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Inspect tires for evidence of any splits or cracks in the sidewalls or between the treads. Treat these seriously and get them repaired before you head out for your first camping trip. Don’t forget to check that your lug nuts are tightened. If you have a travel or fifth wheel trailer you may need to pack wheel bearings.

Thoroughly clean the rims and tires and then apply UV protectant to help reduce the effects of exposure to the sun. For this part of our RV spring cleaning, I like to use Aerospace brand products—303 Wheel and Tire Cleaner and 303 Automotive Protectant.

Use latex gloves © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Battery Check

Check your RVs batteries and top off cells with distilled water. Be sure to replace multiple battery banks together. If your batteries need to be cleaned, make sure they are disconnected and use a hot water and baking soda mixture to clean them. Wear safety glasses and latex gloves.

Other important systems

In addition to the plumbing, electrical, and HVAC systems, it’s essential to check other vital systems such as the brakes, suspension, and tires. Regular maintenance can help prevent issues during the camping season, ensuring a smooth and safe trip.

And finally, admire a great job well done.

A cleaning job well done © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

There, what a beautiful RV.

It is now time to crack open your favorite beverage and sit back and admire your gleaming rig. Best to let it all soak in quick because that next rain, dust storm, or mud covered adventure is on the way.

Worth Pondering…

A bad day cleaning the RVing—is better than a good day—working.