← Back to Blog

Top Spring Maintenance Mistakes to Avoid for New RV Owners

Don't let rookie blunders ruin your maiden RV voyage - steer clear of these all-too-common spring tune-up trip hazards.

By Willow @ Vanly

March 25th, 2024

Cartoon scene of an overwhelmed family dealing with various spring RV maintenance issues

Hear that? It's the siren song of the open road calling your name. With spring's arrival, those dormant wanderlust vibes are no doubt kicking into high gear as visions of epic RV adventures dance in your head.

But before you hitch up the rig and race off towards your bucket-list destinations, there's a crucial item to check off the pre-departure list: spring maintenance. Yep, even your sweet new set of wheels requires a little love and TLC to ensure a hiccup-free maiden season.

As a freshly-minted RV owner, this tune-up process can feel overwhelming, leaving you more lost than a snapped slinky on a rollercoaster. That's why we're shedding light on the top rookie missteps to avoid when prepping your pride and joy for that first warm weather getaway.

With our tips, you'll steer clear of these cringe-worthy blunders and hit the road with confidence. Let's get this RV reawakening party started!

Mistake #1: Forgetting About Exterior Detailing

After a winter of parking lot purgatory while your rig sadly collected moss and bird souvenirs, presenting a sparkling clean exterior is key. Why? Beyond representing your RV #vanlife pride, neglecting a proper wash and wax routine can leave dirt buildup, gunk, and even mold overstaying its welcome.

This grime isn't just unsightly - it can potentially accelerate wear on your paint and finishes over time. Avoid this rookie pitfall by scheduling time to wash, wax, and thoroughly degrease areas like the awning and slides before hitting the road this season. Trust us, future you will thank present you for keeping things impeccably spiffy.

Mistake #2: Overlooking Those Tires

A man checking his RV tires

There's nothing funny about blowing a tire mid-voyage and getting stuck roadside (okay, maybe a little funny from a safe distance.) But upfront prevention is key. Why risk this total buzzkill when simple inspections now can save your trip?

Before setting out, conduct a thorough tire check - that means scrutinizing for cracks, weather rot, and wear while also verifying the spare is properly inflated. And don't forget to align and balance those rubber doughnuts as needed. Riding smooth is always the vibe.

Mistake #3: Blanking on Battery Maintenance

Ask any crusty RV veteran - a drained battery while dry camping is right up there with finding a trucker bomb in your morning oatmeal on the list of Joy Killers. So if you've let battery care slide since last summer, wake those cells up from their winter slumbers!

Cleaning terminals, topping off fluid levels, and testing voltage output are smart places to start. While you're at it, inspect for any corrosion, leaks, or swelling too. If you're unsure of replacement needs, refer to your RV manual's recommended battery life for peace of mind.

Mistake #4: Being Lax About Water Line Integrity

There are few scenarios more panic-inducing than discovering a pinhole water leak AFTER you've already spread out, unpacked, and settled into your campsite for the week. Yeah...no thanks.

Avoid this dampening dilemma by thoroughly performing water line checks this spring. Inspect all connections and plumbing joints for any cracks, discoloration or deterioration caused by temperature extremes. This proactive examination could save you from a catastrophic cascade inside your rig's pristine interior when you finally do arrive at that totally Instagrammable lakeside campsite you booked.

Pro tip: Don't forget to reconnect any lines you disconnected or bypassed during winterization too. If you're feeling extra ambitious, a water filter replacement is fair game while you're at it!

Mistake #5: Ignoring Sealant Issues Around Windows & Doors

A classic 1970s Winnebago motorhome parked at a campsite, sunlight streaming in through the large front windshield

Remember last autumn when those pumpkin spice novelty candles made your RV smell like a confused potpourri shop? Well, those fragrant fumes (while delightful) may have caused some unfortunate side effects around the windows and door seals.

If not properly maintained, sealant can dry and crack over time, letting in moisture and potentially dooming your interior to mold, mildew, and water damage when spring storms hit. Yuck. As tempting as it is to ignore this oft-overlooked to-do, spend time checking and re-sealing as needed so water stays out where it belongs.

Mistake #6: Skimping on Appliance and Accessory Testing

That shiny new RV has cool toys and gadgets galore, right? From entertainment systems and WiFi boosters down to the trusty coffee maker, these interior extras require a little springtime pampering of their own.

Make sure you go through the essential power cycling process for onboard appliances and accessories - things like TVs, microwaves, sound systems, antennas. The last thing you want is to roll up to the campground only to be greeted by glitchy equipment when that new season of your favorite show just dropped.

Plus, this thorough testing allows you to quickly pinpoint any gremlins or electrical issues that need professional inspection or repairs. Catching problems now prevents bigger headaches (and repair bills) on the trails ahead.

Awaken Your RV Properly With a Little Help from Vanly

At the end of the day, completing this checklist of spring prep procedures is what separates the RV novices from the salty road dogs out there. While it all might seem tedious or daunting at first glance, these small steps provide huge peace of mind when you finally get that rig rolling towards adventure.

Luckily, you don't have to go it alone! In addition to Vanly's network of private landowners offering RV-friendly overnight accommodations, we also maintain a curated list of mechanics, mobile repair technicians, and DIY videos to help troubleshoot any issues that may arise. Because when your RV is running smoothly, those scenic road trips are guaranteed to hit just a little bit differently.

Now go forth and awaken that glorious new RV from its winter hibernation. With a bit of T.L.C. and our checklist in hand, you'll be rolling right past those rookies still stuck spinning their wheels while you're already halfway to your dream destination. Smooth sailing, happy camping!

← Back to Blog