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Spring Set Up

Or, how to reverse the winterizing I did last year

For those of us who "winterized" our pop ups before the winter, we need to begin thinking about setting them up for a new camping season.

Some of the things we need to do are obvious, like flushing the RV anti-freeze out of the fresh water tank and lines, others may not come to mind.

All photos are thumbnails, click to see an enlarged version

HWHeater.jpg (26324 bytes) If you removed the hot water heater anode rod, inspect it and then re install (replace if necessary) it.  Remember to use Teflon tape on the threads if it is recommended by your manufacturer.

If you bypassed the hot water heater do not re-connect it quite yet!


WaterTankFill.jpg (19328 bytes)  

Begin filling your fresh water tank with your hose.  After it is about half full, begin draining the tank via the valve or by removing the tank plug if necessary.  You may need to stop the filling as the hose will fill the tank faster than the water will drain from the tank.

You may need to repeat this process several times until the tank is clear of RV anti-freeze. Leave the tank about 1/2 full.

WaterTankDrain.jpg (52421 bytes) On my Santa Fe I have added a drain hose with a valve in place of the tank plug.
  Turn on the water pump and run all water faucets until clear water runs out of them.  Remember the outside shower if you have one and the cassette toilet if it draws water from the fresh water tank.

After you have fresh clear water running out of all water faucets, turn off the water pump.  Hook up a hose to the city water connection and repeat the process (remember last winter you also winterized this area).

Now, disconnect the city water connection, leave the water pump off and open the faucets (both hot & cold) to releave all pressure in the system.  It is now time to disconnect the hot water heater bypass and reconnect the hot water heater into the system.


AddBleach.jpg (18499 bytes) Sanitize the water tank per your manufacturers instructions.  Most recommend the use of household bleach (no scent or additives).  Run the water lines to get this solution into all water lines.  You may need to tow the pop up around for a short while to move the solution around in the tank.  Flush the tank and lines of all sanitizing solution.
Some people use commercial solutions such as Camco Manufacturing, Inc Spring FreshTM Fresh Water System Cleaner & Dewinterizer.  It is advertised as safe and biodegradable dewinterize your fresh water tank and lines.
HitchCoupler.jpg (27368 bytes) Check and adjust the hitch coupler assembly as necessary. Looking up into the cup that sits on the hitch ball you will note that when you move the lever on the top of the hitch, a metal plate moves into place to "capture" the hitch ball.  Lubricate these parts as necessary. Be sure the trailer hitch is firmly tightened and engaged on the ball. On level ground the tongue weight will keep the hitch on the ball, but when traveling on uneven terrain, like backing down ramps,  there may be a point as the trailer moves over the crest of a bump when the tongue weight may become negative and the trailer will try to lift the hitch off the ball.
Chock.jpg (6889 bytes) Check the tires carefully for damage.  Remember most pop up tires need replacing well before the tread wears out due to age.  Check the condition of all sides of the tires (yes, look under the pop up at the inside of the tires). Remember to check for proper air pressure and lug nut tightness.
BattTop.jpg (29610 bytes) Reinstall the battery and check it's state of charge.  Remember there should be a fuse or circuit breaker installed on the positive wire close to the battery that will disconnect power should a short circuit happen in the electrical system.
Heater1Web.jpg (29757 bytes) Uncover/unseal any openings sealed during the winterization process.
2Tank.jpg (16383 bytes) Inspect all LP Gas hoses and fittings.  Please don't do this with a match!
WinterParts.jpg (43496 bytes) Bag up all the parts needed to "winterize" the pop up.  This would include the hot water heater bypass, caps to close off the HWH pipes and any other small parts laying around.  Put the bag in a safe place that you will remember!


Other Chores

Check all appliances for proper operation in all modes (i.e. LP Gas, 120v electric, 12v electric)

Restock food items to be kept in the pop up for the season.

Lubricate the lift system

Lubricate any moving parts (locks, bed slides, hitch....)

repacking the wheel bearings (if you didn't do it in the winterization process)

Check the brakes for proper operation

Check all lights (illumination as well as brake and running lights)

Check overall condition of the body and frame

Go camping!

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   Revised: May 08, 2007

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