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Motorhome checklist

Before setting out for that all-important rally this season, review this checklist to help prevent unpleasant and costly repairs.

1. CHASSIS SYSTEM

___  Check that the fluid levels are in operating range (oil, power steering, engine coolant, windshield washer, transmission, brake fluid if equipped, etc.).
___  Check chassis engine starting battery for clean connections and proper state of charge.
___  Check operation of all lights and flashers.
___  Check horn operation.
___  Prior to trip, start engine and check all gauges for proper operation.
___  Check for proper operation of foot brake and parking brake.
___  Check wheel lugs for proper tightness.
___  Check and set tire pressure according to actual axle load.

2. GENERATOR

___  Check for cleanliness of the generating set as it affects efficiency.
___  Service the air cleaner as required by the owners manual.
___  Check oil level and change as required by the owners manual.
___  Check generator starting battery for clean connections and proper state of charge.
___  Keep governor and choke linkage clean.
___  Check manufacturer’s owners manual to ensure proper maintenance has been performed.

3. REFRIGERATOR

___  Operate refrigerator on gas and look at burner to see if flame is blue. If not, have repairs performed.
___  Check to ensure there are no obstructions in ventilation system.
___  Check to see that control knobs are not stripped causing a false thermostat reading.
___  When packing the refrigerator, do not pack so tightly as to shut off internal air flow.

4. AIR CONDITIONING

___  Check air filters and clean if necessary. Look to see if cooling unit coils are clean and free of debris.
___  Check to see that condensing unit is clean, free of obstructions, and there is nothing blocking air flow.
___  Check voltage at outside panel. Most air-conditioning systems are designed to operate at 120 volts plus or minus 10% (108-132 volts).

5. INSIDE THE COACH

 ___  Turn off the water pump switch.
 ___  Close windows and vents.
 ___  Check that cabinet doors and drawers are closed.
 ___  Check that refrigerator door is fastened.
 ___  Check that no heavy items are stored in overhead cabinets.
 ___  Check that countertops, range top, tabletops and shelves are clear of unsecured items.
 ___  Where is the location of the fire extinguisher(s) and are they fully charged?
 ___  Check that smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are installed and working properly.

6. ITEMS YOU MAY WANT TO BRING ALONG

___  Adequate supply of prescription medicines and copies of prescriptions.
___  Prescription sunglasses and prescription.
___  Camera and film, VCR.
___  Stationery and stamps.
___  Address book with telephone list.
___  Reading material.
___  Spare chassis parts, set of engine drive and accessory belts, fuel filters, oil, highway flares, light bulbs, fuses and a 12-volt trouble light with a cord.
___  Accurate tire pressure gauge.
___  Spare parts for generator (spark plugs, oil, air filter).
___  Emergency items: first-aid kit, heating pad, ice bag.
___  Special pet supplies.
___  Extra toilet chemicals and toilet paper.
___  Maps for areas you will be traveling to.

7. THOUGHTS TO CONSIDER

___  Be sure motorhome insurance is current and you have a current insurance card and vehicle registration with you.
___  Avoid carrying a great deal of cash while traveling: Use travelers checks and credit cards.
___  Confirm any reservations well in advance.
___  Make a clothing checklist.
___  Secure home and valuables before leaving.
___  Discontinue appropriate home services, mail, and newspaper delivery.
___  Notify neighbors and police of departure and return dates.

8. UNIQUE COLD WEATHER OPERATION

___  LP-gas appliances, furnace and gas operation of refrigerator are designed with sealed combustion areas. This is for safety to prevent danger from carbon monoxide or depletion of oxygen. If frost or condensation accumulates in closets or cabinets during long periods of cold weather operation, leave doors to these areas ajar to provide air circulation.
___   Be sure kitchen and roof vents are open when using oven or burners.

9. IF TOWING A CAR WITH A TOW BAR

___  Is the tow bar hooked up and checked?
___  Are the safety chains crossed under the coupling and hooked?
___  Are the towed vehicle lights working?
___  Is the transmission in the proper gear?
___  Is the driveshaft disengaged if need be?
___  Is the towed vehicle’s parking brake off?
___  Is the ignition in the first ON position?
___  Do you have a spare set of keys for the towed vehicle?  If yes, lock the towed vehicle.
___  DO NOT ATTEMPT TO BACK UP WHEN HOOKED UP! REMEMBER, YOU ARE DRIVING A VEHICLE THAT IS 20 FEET LONGER!

10. JUST BEFORE DRIVING AWAY

___  Disconnect and stow electrical cord, sewer hose and water hose.
___  Check TV antenna to ensure it is in the retracted position.
___  For safety’s sake, the propane should be turned off, or have a device to shut off the tank in case a rapid leak occurs.
___  Check to ensure that items inside compartments are secure and the compartments are properly secured/locked.
___  Are the leveling jacks in the raised position?
___  Is the awning(s) up and secured?
___  Is the slideout(s) ready for travel?
___  Is the door step retracted?
___  Is the outside door locked from the inside?
___  Are the rear-view mirrors and driver’s seat adjusted properly?
___  Is your campsite clean?
___  Is everyone buckled up?

Fasten your seat belts!

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