Summer is just around the corner and it’s time to start thinking about DE-WINTERIZING your rig! After months of being unused and exposed to harsh winter weather, your van needs some love and attention to ensure it’s ready for your summer adventures. Here are six simple steps to de-winterize your van and get it ready for the road ahead.
Step 1: Give Your Exterior a Good Wash and Inspection (Including Your Solar Panels)
The first step to de-winterizing your van is to give it a good wash and inspection. This includes the body of your van and your solar panels. Washing your solar panels with water and a non-abrasive sponge or cloth is essential to ensure they’re functioning properly. Any dirt or grime on the panels can decrease their efficiency.
Step 2: Charge and Inspect Your Electrical System
The second step is to charge and inspect your electrical system. This involves reinstalling your lithium batteries if you had taken them out for the winter and plugging your electrical cord into the ship-to-shore port. Ensure that your inverter is turned “ON” and that your batteries are charging. On your interior control panel, make certain that your battery is charging via the ship-to-shore and solar.
Step 3: Sanitize and Fill Your Water Tank
The third step is to sanitize and fill your water tank. To do this, close all your drains and faucets and sanitize your fresh water tank with a quarter-cup of household bleach mixed into 1 gallon of water. Pump the mixture into your water tank and run water into your faucet until you smell the bleach mixture, then close the faucet and let the mixture sit for 8-12 hours. Drain the tank in full and refill it with fresh water. Run each faucet until you cannot smell bleach, and drain the remaining water from the tank. Refill and empty your tank until you cannot smell bleach. Now, you're good to go!
Step 4: Run Your Heater on High
The fourth step is to run your heater on high to unclog any of the fuel that may have gelled up in the line. Running your heater on high for around 30 minutes every week or two will keep it happy and clean.
Step 5: Test Your CO2/Smoke Detector and Ensure your Fire Extinguisher is not Expired
Step 6: Take a Test Drive and a Close Overnight Trip!
The final step is to take a test drive and a close overnight trip. Get out to a local camp spot and test your systems. A closer trip will allow you to head home quickly if you run into any major issues. But most importantly, have fun! De-winterizing your van may seem like a chore, but it’s essential to ensure you have a safe and enjoyable summer on the road. With these six simple steps, your van will be ready for your next adventure in no time!