10 Steps to Get Your RV or Trailer Ready for the Road

When your spring and summertime recreation revolves around an RV or trailer, there’s a certain amount of maintenance to be done before you hit the highways and back-country roads. We can help you simplify those chores with 10 easy steps that start at your local Les Schwab.


At Les Schwab

  1. We’ll Check Your Tires: Depending on where and how you store your vehicle in the winter, tire condition can degrade due to sun and weather exposure. Even parking in one spot too long can cause flat spots on your tires. The Les Schwab experts will look at your overall tire condition, checking for cracks around the valve stems, top-off your tire pressure, and show you how much life is left on your RV or trailer tires. If you need new tires, you’ll be in the right place.

Les Schwab Tip: proper tire pressure helps reduce the chance of tire failure.

Les Schwab technician charging an RV battery.

  1. We’ll Check Your Brakes and Suspension: Our experts will take a good look at your brakes and shocks and make recommendations to help keep you and your family safe all summer long.

  2. Your Battery Might Need a Charge: The Les Schwab team will look over your battery for corrosion, clean it, and charge it if necessary. Our FREE battery and charging system test includes a visual inspection and look at the overall health of the battery.

  3. We’ll Check Your Bearings: Even if your tires look good, your wheel bearings might need to be serviced. If your bearings fail, it can leave you stranded on the side of the highway. If you haven’t had this done in a while, the Les Schwab team can help you repack or replace them.

  4. Don’t Forget the Spare: Even if you never use your spare, hot and cold weather can cause your tire to degrade and become unusable. It will even lose pressure over time. Our team will check your spare so that a flat tire doesn’t derail your adventures.

Les Schwab Tip: Sometimes, spare tire mounting hardware is different from what is used on the wheels of your RV or trailer. Be sure you’re carrying the right tools for the job.


At Home

  1. Check the Fluids (RV) and Structure: Start up the engine and let it idle for a bit to get the fluids moving around. Now, check beneath the vehicle for engine leaks, such as oil and other fluids. On both RVs and trailers, check the outside for cracks, rust, and other damage. Repair as needed. You’ll also want to check for rodent damage to wires and hoses.

  2. Check and Clean the Pipes: If you used antifreeze to protect the water system, drain it completely. Then, flush the plumbing with clean water by adding fresh water to the holding tank, turning on the water pump, and opening up every faucet. Make sure the water cycles through the ice maker, outdoor shower, and water heater.

    To sanitize the plumbing, use a chlorine-free water system cleanser or one-quarter cup household bleach for every 15 gallons of water. Close all the drains and put drain plugs in place. Then pour the cleanser or bleach into the fresh water tank and fill with water. Turn on the water pump and run water through all hot and cold faucets until you detect the cleanser, turn off the faucets and pump, then let it sit in the system for 12 hours. Drain, refill with water and drain again until all the remaining bleach or cleanser are flushed.

  3. Try the AC, Heater, Hot Water Heater, Stove, and Fridge: Refer to your owner’s manual as you check to make sure everything is working. If your fridge or other appliances run on both electric and propane, try them both ways. If something isn’t working, check the gas connections or breaker switch.

  4. Check the Awning and Pull-Outs: This is a great time to repair any holes or tears in your awning. Check to make sure the pull outs can fully extend. Add lubrication or hydraulic fluid as needed to keep them moving smoothly.

Camp trailer with teh awning expanded.

  1. Turn on the Lights, Check Indicators, and Safety Equipment: Make sure your headlights (RV), tail light, indicators, and other safety equipment are working. This includes smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, fire extinguishers, emergency road kits, and first aid packs.


Start Your Adventures at Les Schwab

Before you go anywhere in your RV or hitch up your trailer for a weekend away, swing by your local Les Schwab. Our pros will help make sure you get to where you’re going with a quick check of the tires, brakes, and battery on your vehicle as well as your RV and trailer.