Oliver Travel Trailers

The Simple RV Preparation Checklist

camping trailer tips for spring
April 18, 2017

10 Steps to Help Get Your Travel Trailers Ready for Spring and Summer!

As the days get longer and the temperature rises, our thoughts are on spring, and you know what that means for so many of us travelers! It is time for an inspection and the summarization of our RV travel trailers to prepare for some fun in the great outdoors! Whether you like going on caravans or camping, there will always be comfort in knowing you have covered all angles with the travel trailer preparation guide we have prepared.

Let’s get started, shall we?

Cleaning and Wash

oliver elite travel trailer

A thorough wash and detail after the RV winterization is the best place to start. There is something about having a clean camper that gets my motivation pumping!

I preferably use a gentle soap or RV wash and wax soap. Many owners are using a product called Reliable for the awning, washing 3 feet at a time. After the wash, some travelers use 1 cup of Murphy’s Oil Soap in a pail of warm water, brush the awning, and rinse. This will make your awning look brand new and make cleaning next season a breeze, as you will see the oak drips, pine pitch, needles, and fine dust rinse right off.

Next, I will check for damage and wear and make sure everything is up to standard for any planned road trips.

Tire and Wheel Inspection

tire wear

Look for any cracks, leaks, wear, or dry rot. If you notice wear on the tires, there is a good indicator of what may be the problem. I’ll check each tire’s air pressure; you can find the PSI (pounds per square inch), usually written on the side of the tire in small print.

Tire Wear Patterns

Center wear is caused by overinflation of the tire. To prevent center wear, lower the tire pressure to the recommended PSI. Wear on the outside is caused by underinflation; raising the tire pressure to the recommended PSI will solve this problem. Tires are a crucial part of traveling, and keeping them well-maintained is important. We recommend checking tire pressures monthly and wearing them even more often. Balance is the key to getting the most out of the tires on your vehicle and RV travel trailers.
Next, we will inspect the RV camper appliances, such as the water heater, refrigerator, propane gas tanks, and batteries. If you have solar panels on your RV trailers, those will also need to be checked to ensure they are in working order to power the RV and charge the connected battery.

Propane Tanks

gas propane tank

Make sure all propane tanks are turned off and there are no open flames, sparks, or smoking nearby. Does your RV have a leak detector? Make sure it is turned on inside the RV. Let’s open the propane valves. Do you smell any propane leaks? If you smell propane, have a professional inspect and repair the tank for you. Occasionally, the seals will dry out over the winter months, causing new leaks that did not exist before.

Battery Maintenance

battery tray

I will inspect the battery first for cracks where it may have become frozen over the winter. If I find any cracks, it’s time to replace the battery. Suppose I find the battery in good working order. In that case, I will disconnect and clean the battery connections with corrosion-resistant cleaner and lubricant, check the fluid levels, and charge the battery until fully charged. Re-connect the battery, and we’ll be all set.

battery monitor

Our Legacy Elite and Legacy Elite II models come with a battery monitor to ease checking battery levels. You can always check your battery levels from inside the comfort of your Oliver. The monitor also reads water levels in all tanks.

Water system

water system

Time to test the water lines before filling the travel trailers with water. Ensure the water heater bypass valve is in the normal position and all faucets are closed. On the outside, to fill your tank, use the freshwater connection found on the left, and to use city water without filling the tank, use the city water connection on the right. Turn on a hot and cold water faucet, allowing the air to escape while the water flows and fills up the tank. Now, I am looking for any leaks from faucets and pipes.

If you used antifreeze for the winterization of the camper RV, then you should run water through it until all of the antifreeze is removed from the system. Ensure the water pump runs by starting it and wait 30 minutes to hear if it cycles on again. If it does, there is likely a leak or pressure drop. The water system is ready to use if it does not cycle on. If you need more clarification or have questions about this, you may join our Oliver Travel Trailer community forums and gain many new insights into the care and use of your RV.

Stovetop Gas Burner and Refrigerator

stove top burner
dometic refrigerator

Turn on the propane tanks and light the stove burners. Turning on the gas-burning stove will release any trapped air in the lines. After you verify the lights and stay on, you can turn them off and light the refrigerator. To do this, press the gas button on your refrigerator panel to ensure the LED stays lit.

We do not recommend leaving the refrigerator running while driving; in some states, this is illegal. You can run the refrigerator by switching to D/C power, thus powering it from the batteries. The last thing you want is to get to your destination and find that the food has spoiled because the light went out halfway there.


Water Heater

You should inspect your water heater for corrosion and loose connections at least twice a year. On a well-traveled RV, we recommend changing the Anode rod (pictured right) once a year. If you find any problems, you should have them fixed by a qualified service technician. This becomes a serious business concern for propane gas or electrical connections.



Inspect the outside furnace to ensure good airflow and nothing is blocking it. Sometimes, insects, birds, mice, and other critters can block and interfere with these furnace vents.


For the Oliver travel trailer, we recommend getting the round Valterra Bug Screen for the Suburban RV furnace. These fit right over the vents and help prevent unwanted guests from entering.

Smoke Detector and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

carbon monoxide detector

Last but not least, I always install new batteries every year; this way, I always know my batteries are good, which is one last thing to worry about. After installing new batteries, test to ensure they are in working order. On the Oliver RV, we also have a propane gas detector; be sure to check this is working. Be sure to check your fire extinguisher and make sure the needle is in the green and full.

I learned from Boy Scouts “Be Prepared”; this invaluable information still serves me today. Building an emergency kit for our travel trailers is as essential as our inspection. When we’re out in the wilderness or on the roadside, and something happens, staying prepared will help tremendously. Here are a few of my top necessities to get started:

Emergency Kit

Emergency Kit
  • Canned, food bars (2400 calorie)
  • Drinking water
  • Water purification tablets
  • First Aid Kit
  • Solar Radio with NOAA / FM / AM
  • Flashlight
  • Batteries (Flashlight)
  • USB Mobile Phone Charger
  • Hand Warmers
  • Waterproof matches
  • Candles
  • Waterproof Poncho
  • Lightsticks
  • Coast Guard whistle
  • Utility Knife
  • Shop rags and Paper towels

Emergency Roadside Kit

Emergency Kit
  • Emergency Roadside Triangle Reflectors
  • Road Flares
  • Basic tool kit (4-way lug wrench, socket set, pliers, screwdrivers, crescent wrench, wire cutters, tire valve stem tool, etc.
  • Blue Tarp (5×7)
  • Fix A Flat Tire
  • Heavy Duty Gloves
  • Latex Gloves
  • Ice and Snow Window Scraper
  • Jumper Cables
  • Tow Rope
  • Duct Tape
  • Extra Fuses (variety)

This sums up our travel trailer preparation guide. If you wish to participate in the discussion, you can join our forums here: Travel Trailer Preparation Forums Discussion.

Now I know what you’re thinking… we’re all a little spoiled and I love it.

Happy camping everyone!


Start Your Adventure Today

Are you ready to create the perfect travel companion for your next adventure?
Get Started