As we move closer to the departure date for our Summer road trip, we have begun making preparations and getting everything in order.
This isn’t our first go around, but it seems like we almost always forget something. Last time we made the journey to Yellowstone National Park, I forgot my camera of all things. Nothing like going to the most scenic place in the country and not having a camera. I used my phone, but it was no substitute for a professional grade camera.
This year we are taking extra precautions. We have made three lists and continue to add to them as things come up. The first list is for things we need to buy like groceries, camping supplies, extra DEF for the RV and everyday necessities.
The second list is things we need to remember to pack in the RV such as my camera, fishing equipment, pet supplies and clothes for both warm and cold weather. You never know what you are going to get in Yellowstone. I have been there five times, all in the summer months, and it has snowed two of those times. Best to be prepared for both scenarios and hope for warm weather.
The third and final list is things we need to get done before we set off on our adventure. This is without a doubt the most important list of the three. Almost everything on the list is safety related in preparation for a long drive. Before we leave, we always check the RV and our Jeep to make sure all of the fluid levels are good.
Additionally, and of the upmost importance, we inspect the RV tires and check the tire pressure to make sure they are all properly inflated. It is extremely important to make sure there are no signs of cracking on the tires and that your RV tires are properly inflated. The RV forums on social media platforms and websites are littered with horror stories and photos of blowouts on the road. Some of these incidents were probably very preventable if people would have taken the time to inspect their tires before hitting the road. This is a two fold issue. On one hand, RVs come from the manufacturers, sometimes with cheap tires on them, and sit on the dealer lot for an untold amount of time before being sold. The integrity of tires can become compromised just based on this alone. On the other hand, a lot of people only use their RV in Spring and Summer and sometimes only very sparingly. When your RV sits unused for any length of time, your tires begin to deteriorate. The sun will dry out the rubber and cracks will begin to form. Add to that any tire being under inflated causing excessive heat buildup and you have a recipe for a blowout.
There are products than can be purchased such as tire pressure monitoring systems that will give you a warning when you are losing air pressure and RV tire covers that can help slow down UV damage to your tires. But neither of these are a substitute for performing a proper inspection before you leave on a trip.
As everyone begins their Summer vacations, it is important that you have a checklist for safety items and preventive maintenance that needs to be performed before hitting the road. Don’t just create a list for things to buy and things to bring. None of those things matter if you don’t reach your destination safely.
When you hit the road this Summer with all that excitement and anticipation, just remember that your family is relying on that vehicle being able to make it to your destination safely. Not only that, but the people around you on the road are also relying on you taking care of your equipment and to make it as safe as possible before traveling.
We can’t be responsible for everyone else on the road, but we can be responsible for ourselves and our equipment. We all need to do the best we can to make sure our RVs are in great working order before we get on the road.
Happy and safe travels to everyone.
We are now on instagram at https://www.instagram.com/rvonfire/ and will be documenting our road trip which starts at the end of June. Please follow us and leave a comment.
What are your Summer plans? Are you hitting the road or hanging around the old sticks and bricks homestead? Leave a comment below with your plans for the Summer and how you prepare for your adventures.