Preparing Your Home for a Long RV Trip

RV-home

It doesn’t matter if you plan to travel the open road full-time or just plan to get away in the RV for a long summer vacation: you need to think about what you’re leaving behind too. Getting ready to go away on a long RV trip will require you take the time to both get your RV ready for the road and also make sure your home base is ready for your absence.

Here are some things you can do to prepare your home for a long trip.

Refrigerator

The last thing you will want is to return home after a long trip to a smell that will make you want to stay a night in a hotel. Go through and clean out the refrigerator completely. This includes any beverages, food, and condiments that will expire while you are gone. In fact, depending upon how long you plan to be away, it may be best to empty the fridge all together and unplug it to save on electricity.

Electricity/Gas

In addition to unplugging the refrigerator, it’s a good idea to turn off and unplug anything electric in the home. This will save on energy costs while you are away. It will also help reduce the chances of electrical fires starting where appliances and other items are plugged in. Same thing should be done for all items in the home that run on gas power.

Water

There are many little hoses that run throughout the home. These hoses bring water to and from the kitchen, bathrooms, and utility room. If any one of these hoses should spring a leak, become disconnected from the wall, or break completely, it can cause catastrophic damage to your home – especially if you will not be returning for weeks or months after the hose breaks. Before leaving, make sure to turn off all of the water supply valves to the home.

Insurance

Make sure the insurance policy you have on your home covers everything that could happen while you are away. This includes theft and property damage. Coverage for fire, flood, and other disastrous events need to be included in the policy you have. That way when you return, you have the coverage you need to replace, rebuild, or repair anything in the home that could be damaged while away.

Security

Help reduce the chances of the home being broken into by locking everything up and making it difficult for thieves to enter your home while you are away. Your pre-travel checklist should include closing and locking all doors and windows, as well as adding any additional security features to entry points in the home. Cut shrubs and trees away from windows and add outdoor security lighting that are motion controlled. Other security options you can do before leaving include closing up blinds and curtains, as well as setting some lights in the home on timers to give the perception that someone is home.

The last thing any long RV trip goer wants is to worry about their home while they are supposed to be enjoying the road, or worse, to come home to something disastrous after their trip is completed. By taking the time to prepare your home for your upcoming absence, you can enjoy peace of mind and help reduce the risk of damage to your property.

Now that your home is squared away, it’s time to get your rig ready for the road. Download your free pre-trip checklist here.

Pre-Trip-Checklist
Discussion
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38 Responses to “Preparing Your Home for a Long RV Trip”
  1. ROBERT

    RV Make: Cougar Lite, RV Model: 30RLS, RV Year: 2012

    Trailer has Permatemp Temperature Package. To what degree of cold does that cover?

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hi, Robert. Thank you for visiting the RV Repair Club site and the opportunity to assist with your all season question. I am not familiar with the Permatemp name, however I have camped in some very extreme temperatures and have some tips. Even with the best “All Season” package in the industry you will still want to add supplemental heat to critical areas such as the fresh water tanks/lines, water pump, and living area. Unlike our homes, RV’s have poor cold air circulation, usually only one cold air return for the AC unit so there are “pockets” that are created inside the unit. Some manufacturers simply route one furnace duct into the basement or service center and call it heated! Again, poor air circulation creates pockets and I have frozen the 1/2” water lines inside a heated basement compartment at a mere 20 degrees! A good side wind can created freezing temperatures in a hurry. It’s a good idea to get an aftermarket heat pad or install a small space heater to assist in these areas. I would also get a catalytic heater for the living area which I’ve used in zero degree temps and with the space heater in the service compartment, had no freezing.

      Reply
  2. Jim frost

    RV Make: Forest River, RV Model: Cardinal, RV Year: 2011

    New at RV . Wanna do the states all them , full
    Timer for a year or so at least .

    Reply
  3. Earl Kelleher

    RV Make: Winnebago, RV Model: Adventure, RV Year: 1994

    My batteries keep going dead even when I have everything turned off and all circuit breakers turned off. Anyone have any ideas?

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hi, Earl. We would be happy to assist you; we just need some more information. What is the make/model/year of your RV?

      Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hi, Earl. Thank you for visiting the RV Repair Club site and the opportunity to assist with your battery issue. This first thing I would check is a parasitic draw or drain. Remove the negative cable from the battery and place one end of a test light on the post, the other on the cable. If it lights up, you have something still draining the battery, usually the LP Leak Detector. If the light does not come on and your batteries are still draining, you have bad batteries. If they are not properly charged and stored, they will become sulfated and will not hold a charge.

      Reply
      • Tom

        RV Make: Springdale, RV Model: ct, RV Year: 2016

        Install a battery disconnect and you will stop all electrical drain. They are available at auto stores. Propane monitor was my problem.

        Reply
  4. Debby Christofferson

    RV Make: Grand Design, RV Model: Solitude 369RL, RV Year: 2013

    Went full time in June

    Reply
  5. John

    RV Make: Tbd, RV Model: Tbd, RV Year: 2017

    I’m going to be brand new to RVing next spring. I’m looking for a list of all the ‘must haves’ and nice to haves’ supplies and equipment to have in the 5th wheel when I make my first trip.

    Reply
    • Earl Balentine

      RV Make: Open Range, RV Model: Light 319RLS, RV Year: 2016

      I believe one of the most important things to have for your traveler is a Tire Pressure Monitor.
      It monitors your tire pressure and temperature. It has a high & low configuration. Instead of driving until your wheel tire and wheel flying apart and damaging your RV you will hear an alarm and flashing light to alert you of a problem giving time to pull over before more damage is done.

      Reply
  6. gil

    RV Make: wildcat, RV Model: sterling, RV Year: 2012, Brand: girard, Model Number: gswh-1

    hot water doesn’t get hot enough at kitchen area,and takes for ever to even get hot enough to do dishes.

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hi, Gil. Thank you for visiting the RV Repair Club site and the opportunity to assist with your hot water issue. You water heater should have a thermostat that kicks the unit on when the water drops below a specified temperature, usually 140 degrees and an Emergency Cut Off (ECO) next to it that shuts it off in excess of 180 degrees. You might have a defective t/stat that allows the temperature to get well below 100 degrees which then would be even cooler at the faucet. Depending on the make and model, you should be able to Ohm out the t/stat? Check your owners manual and if it doesn’t give you the info, contact either Atwood or Suburban to get the reading and temperature. Some models have an adjustable t/stat while others have two different temperature t/stats!

      Reply
  7. lydell

    RV Make: Dutchman, RV Model: Aerolite, RV Year: 2017

    Looking for the the best portable grill utilizing my ancillary LP gas connection

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hi, Lydell. Thank you for visiting the RV Repair Club site and the opportunity to assist with your portable grill question. The Coleman “RoadTrip” seems to be a very popular grill and can be converted to a low pressure quick disconnect by purchasing the adapter kit.

      Reply
  8. Debbie

    RV Make: Coachmen, RV Model: Pathfinder, RV Year: 2007

    Trying to find ductwork in the water tank area

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hi, Debbie. Thank you for visiting the RV Repair Club site and the opportunity to assist with your search for ductwork in your rig. To provide more specific information we need to know the make, model, and year of your RV. I’m assuming you are referring to heating ductwork to the fresh water tank? It may be that your rig does not have this feature? If the tank is above floor level, most manufacturers have no ductwork going directly to them, just rely on ambient temperature from inside the coach. If it’s underneath in a service compartment it might have one duct going into the basement which is generally not sufficient to keep it from from freezing. I’ve seen basement model units freeze at 20 degree temps because the standard heater can only supply the main floor! If you are doing any cold weather camping I would recommend adding a tank heating pad or stick a ceramic heater in the compartment. You will need electricity in both cases.

      Reply
  9. Barry

    RV Make: Fleetwod, RV Model: Bounder, RV Year: 1999

    My question is How did Fleetwood ever stay in business, My wife & I purchased one and it has been a money pit for the last 3 1/2 years, the wiring is a total mess & it is how it was installed, the installation of the kitchen was amateurish & the waste was put in in such a way that they had to put tiny short draws because the pipes were 4″ away from the wall, the oven, hob unit was way too close to the extract as to be illegal
    England, Mechanically- this is a three axle vehicle & the third axle has a master cylinder that is between the two rear axles which by the looks of it had never been filled up since new all it was full of was rust, the tank for the levelling system is up behind the battery box and is impossible to top up, the master cylinders are under the drivers feet and you need to be a contortionist to top them up, one of the worst pieces of engineering I’ve seen is the position of the front levelling legs they are on the weakest part of the chassis an when they are lowered the chassis bends & pushes the body up it has cracked the dashboard & moved the windscreens. When I find out how to put a blog on I will tell you of all the modifications I’ve made.

    Reply
  10. Kelvin Hull

    RV Make: Forest River, RV Model: Wildcat, RV Year: 2007

    Hydraulics work both slide out and front leveling legs. When operating either slide out or legs the hydraulic pump stops intermittently, after 5 – 10 seconds it will restart. Have been advised that breaker gets week and kicks out, needs to be changed but we cannot locate , any ideas where breaker is located, not in panel inside trailer…

    Reply
  11. Will

    RV Make: Thor, RV Model: A.C.E., RV Year: 2018, Model Number: 30.4 (31'6"

    Our new Thor is equipped with a outside propane connection for a portable grill. If this line comes off the RV’s propane tank pressure regulator do I have to bypass the one installed on the portable grill or is it okay to also run the propane through the 2nd regulator?

    Reply
  12. Doug & Mary

    RV Make: Holiday Rambler, RV Model: Endeavor, RV Year: 2001

    I can’t figure out how to install the slideout stabilizer on the slideout when traveling?

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hello Doug & Mary,

      To provide more specific troubleshooting information on how to install the
      slide room stabilizer we need the make, model, and year of your RV as well
      as the specific slide room. Some have a tie down located at the
      bottom, others have a clasp, and others have a bar that is wedged at the
      top from the slide room flange to the wall?

      Thanks,
      David RVRC Video Membership

      Reply
  13. Reid Prinkey

    RV Make: Winnebago/Itasca, RV Model: Suncruiser, RV Year: 2017

    Unit has 3 slides–the bedroom slide has just stopped functioning and will not extend. I can hear a click but see no movement and do not know how to check to find problem

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hello Reid,

      To provide more specific troubleshooting information on your slide room issue we need the make, model and year of your rig to help determine which slide mechanism manufacturer. Bedroom slide could be AccuSlide with a cable slide, or the Schwintek slide now owned by Lippert Components Inc. The AccuSlide version has a manual override, however the Schwintek version needs a motor replacement which is hidden behind the upper frame of the slide.

      Thanks,
      David RVRC Video Membership

      Reply
  14. Chuck Reese

    RV Make: Keystone , RV Model: Lardio , RV Year: 2013

    Our cable TVs have snowy effect on some channels while parked for the winter in our Florida park. Park says it’s not there cable. Have heard you can buy a cable power booster that will help on this,what do you think and what should I look for.

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hello Chuck,

      Snow or interference on only some channels typically means you have a signal lose in your cable or connections or poor cable? Check to make sure you have at least RG6 shielded coax and check all your connections. Anything that is loose or looks corroded should be replace with a quality coax crimped to the wire vs the screw on type. Another issue could be to many splitters in the line? Every splitter reduces the feed and once again the weaker channels would have an issue. You can get an amplifier, however if you are getting a cable signal at the campground try calling the cable company as they can verify the strength and probably have a solution?

      Thanks,
      David RVRC Video Membership

      We’d love to have you be a part of our community. We are convinced you will enjoy the benefits of becoming a member and having access to the best instructional how to videos and professional tips. We would like to offer you a special promotion for your first year membership.
      http://go.rvrepairclub.com/C9317

      Reply
  15. Andy

    RV Make: R vision, RV Model: Trail lite, RV Year: 2004, Brand: Chevrolet, Model Number: Workhorse

    Hi there
    I am having problems with idling speed on my rig. The engine keeps surging. I am told that the problem may be a air flow velocity sensor located in air intake. Engine in 8.1ltr petrol chevy . Anybody have any idea where I can get one if these, if indeed it is that componant that has failed, given I live in the UK?
    If any members have had any similar issues with this engine, could they please share their solutions with me.
    Love the RV , want to make her better!
    Cheers
    Andy

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hello Andy,

      To provide more specific information on finding the parts you need for an 8.1 ltr chevy engine and possibly more troubleshooting assistance, we need the make, model and year of your rig. Finding parts in the UK will be difficult so you’ll probably need to find a source that is familiar with your manufacturer. Several US companies provided motorhomes in the UK over the past 30 but most have gotten out of the market. I would suggest contacting a parts supplier that worked for Winnebago for many years and left to start his own parts company and has several experts that may be able to source your air flow velocity sensor? You can find them here: http://www.winnebagoparts.com/

      It’s a little confusing, even though the website is winnebagoparts.com, it is an independent parts supplier and worth a try.

      Thanks,
      David RVRC Video Membership

      We’d love to have you be a part of our community. We are convinced you will enjoy the benefits of becoming a member and having access to the best instructional how to videos and professional tips. We would like to offer you a special promotion for your first year membership.
      http://go.rvrepairclub.com/C9317

      Reply
  16. Edward Peck

    RV Make: R-vision, RV Model: Trailcruser, RV Year: 2002

    Thanks for all your help

    Reply
  17. ROBERT

    RV Model: REDWOOD, 38RL, RV Year: 2015

    Last December we had a issue with the axles undercarriage of our 5th wheel. A bolt came out and the two tires on the passenger side were rubbing together causing smoke which fortunately I noticed in time and pulled off the interstate and prevented a fire. Road side assistance replaced a bolt, to get us a short distance to home, but the damage had been done. The frame was bent, and other damage. The insurance company paid to have the frame cut and a replacement, and a new axel. NOW MY QUESTION: The tires on both sides are only about 1.5 inches apart. How far apart should the tires be? Is 1.5 inches safe? thanks. Robert

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hello Robert,

      To provide more specific information on the appropriate distance between the tires on your axle we need to have the make, mode, and year of your 5th Wheel as well as what replacement axle was actually installed? 1.5” sounds a little tight, but it all depends on the weight of the unit which would determine the axle size and the distance.

      Thanks,
      David RVRC Video Membership

      Reply
  18. Pierce Newsom

    RV Make: Forrest River, RV Model: Blue Ridge 3600RS, RV Year: 2015, Brand: Lippert

    If Hydralics fail, is it possible to retract Levelers and slide outs?

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hello Pierce,

      To provide more specific information on retracting leveling jacks that are
      not working we need the make, model, and year of the jack system.
      HWH hydraulic jacks have directional valves that can be switched and the
      jacks retracted manually, then the slide room can be retracted using a
      crank mechanism inside the rig with straps to the slideroom floor and a
      mounting bracket on the other side of the room. Lippert Components
      System (LCI) have a socket indention on the top of the hydraulic motor and
      a special tool inserted into a drill. Two different valves will
      direct fluid to either the jacks or the slide room for manual
      retraction.

      Thanks,
      David RVRC Video Membership

      Reply