Top 10 Start-up Checklist for Upcoming Camping Season

With camping season near (Opening day is April 19) we thought we’d send out some helpful hints to get you started thinking about some processes that you should do to get your camper/trailer up and running.

  1. BATTERY: Make sure your battery has been fully charged. Typically, you should take it home in the winter and have it fully charged before arriving.  Letting it sit through the cold weather can degrade or damage the battery.  I charge mine on a trickle charge at home throughout the winter.  Doing this extends the battery life, sometimes, by years.
  2. ROOF: Check your roof. The heavy snow accumulation can cause structural damage and falling branches can puncture your very thin membrane and allow water to wick into the USB board under the membrane.  This can have a devastating effect on your camper.
  3. LEVEL OF CAMPER: Double check the blocks that are holding up your camper. During the winter these can shift and cause your camper to become out of level.
  4. WATER AND HOT WATER HEATER: Never turn on hot water until you have connected the hose to the camper and turned the water on. This applies to every time you leave your camper and turn the water off. If you turn the hot water switch on without connecting the hose to the water, you can damage or ruin your heating element in your hot water heater. It is advisable to turn your water pressure on low at first so if there’s a problem then you won’t have too much water flowing.  While the water is on low, check all your connections. Check at the post where the water is attached to the hose, under cabinets for leakage, faucets, toilet and check at the water heater (Look and listen) After finishing your water test then turn the hot water switch on and the flow back up to high.
  5. CHECK FOR EVIDENCE OF MICE: If you have evidence of mice, check all areas where wiring and water lines enter the camper. It is best to check under the camper and inside under cabinets anywhere where wiring and water enter the camper. Best way to treat that is to use expanding foam. Make sure your slide-outs are tight.
  6. PROPANE: If your RV uses propane, reinstall your propane tanks on their mounts and connect the propane line. Perform the soap test (50%water 50% dish soap): Turn on the propane valve slightly to open the gas line. Apply soapy water to each of the hose connectors using a paint brush, sponge or small spray bottle. Watch to see if any bubbles form, indicating that there may be a propane leak. Tighten the fitting and repeat the process to make sure it is tightly connected. Check your propane tanks to make sure they are full.  If your camper has a receptacle for 2 tanks make sure the lever/switch on the regulator is turned toward the tank you want to use.  Many times, the propane isn’t working because you forgot to switch the lever to the full tank!  Always connect BOTH tanks (even if one is empty) as regulators can go bad. You can have your tanks filled at U haul.  Keep in mind that if your tank is expired, they will not refill and you’ll need a new propane tank.
  7. SMOKE DETECTORS AND FIRE EXTINGUISHERS: Check your fire extinguisher. Check the expiration date. If it is expired, replace it. Loosen the powder if you use Dry Chemical fire extinguishers.  Over time they compress and become hard (like concrete).  If you hold firmly and turn them over once or twice a year and hit them with a rubber mallet, this will loosen the powder up enough to be taken up the siphon tube. Make sure you have sufficient smoke detectors/carbon monoxide monitors for your size camper/trailer and bring fresh batteries for the new season if they are not AC powered.
  8. FIRST AID KITS: PURCHASE OR UPDATE YOUR FIRST AID KIT (There are many resources on the web for first aid kit contents and many on Amazon for you to order) Keep in mind expiration dates on contents or toss if anything looks like it has moisture damage.
  9. INSURANCE: Make sure your insurance is up to date. One storm could cost you’re your whole camper!
  10. PACK LIST: Start making your pack list for your next adventure. Camping season will be here before you know it!

-by Dave Gieck & Joni Mast, Quality Home and Business Services

Meet Dave Gieck, the dedicated owner of Quality Home and Business Services LLC, where craftsmanship meets experience. Licensed and insured in the State of Wisconsin, Dave brings over 40 years of expertise to the table, combining his early years as a skilled builder with an impressive 43-year tenure as a Master Mechanic at Springs Window Fashions. Specializing in deck and patio construction, as well as limited RV/Trailer repair, Dave’s commitment to quality is unwavering. At the campground, he has left his mark through a range of improvements, from building conventional and floating decks to troubleshooting electrical issues, installing TV mounts, and adding thoughtful amenities like outlets and slide-out awnings. With a meticulous approach, Dave has pressure washed decks, hand washed campers, stained decks, and transformed interiors, including finishing the first four cabins. For those eager to secure his services for the 2024 season, act swiftly as scheduling operates on a first-come, first-served basis. Reach out directly at 608-333-1270 or contact his wife, Joni Mast, at 608-658-8001. Texting is welcomed at either number, just be sure to include your name and site number for a prompt response. Quality Home and Business Services LLC, under Dave’s guidance, promises top-tier craftsmanship and personalized attention to detail.

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