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Mowery Clinic
KSN

Becker Autos & Trailers On Point

Brooke Christie - February 21, 2017 9:31 am

Spring is in the air!! Time to get your camper and trailers ready to play!

Hi, I’m Lydia Housh with Becker Autos & Trailers of Beloit. In this blog, I will go through some basics of what you need to do to get your camper and trailer ready for the year after it’s been in hibernation and just thru the winter temps.  If you have any more questions or want a more detailed explanation, please feel free to call/text me at 785-534-1227 or shoot me an email at beckerautos@nckcn.comDon’t forget to come see us for our Camper show and open house April 7-9th on our lot in Beloit!

 

Trailers

Check tires for proper inflation and make sure no severe weather cracking from sitting or age.

Grease your hubs

Check your wheel bearings; is it time to pack them?

Check that all your lights work.

Check that your brakes work.

Check that your floor is still solid.

 

If it’s a Camper include:

Run water through and flush out antifreeze. Check water heater and plug put in.

Do you have any leaks from something that didn’t get fully winterized? Check lines and stool

Trickle charge battery and get ready for use.

Test the AC and fridge.

Check the awning.

 

Those are just some quick tips on getting your trailers and camper trailers ready for the season!  Below is a scheduled maintenance and quick pre travel check-lists for year round care of all your vehicles and recreational vehicles!

 

Tips to properly maintain your trailer:

Pre travel checklist:

1 Make sure your maintenance schedule is up to date

2 Check hitch for wear and lubrication

3 Fasten safety chains and breakaway switch. Make sure breakaway battery is full

4 Inspect towing hookup for secure attachment

5 Load your trailer so that approx. 10% of the trailers total weight is on the hitch. For light trailers this should be increased to 15%

6 DO NOT OVERLOAD. Stay within your gross vehicle rated capacity

7 Inflate tires to specs and check wear

8 Check wheel mounting nut/bolts with a torque wrench

9 Check brakes, make sure are synchronized and functioning properly

10check tightness of hanger bolt, shackle bolt and u bolt nuts

11 Check operation of all lights

12 Check that your trailer is towing in a level position and adjust the hitch height if required

13 Check that the structure of your trailer is solid and doesn’t have cracking or broken parts or boards

Axles:

Every Use-

Test that all brakes are operational,

check battery charge and switch operation on the breakaway system

Weekly –

inflate tires to mfg’s specifications

3 month’s/3,000 Miles –

Adjust Brakes to proper operating clearance,

Grease suspension Wet Bolts & Equalizers,

Grease Extreme Duty Bushings,

Tighten Wheel Nuts and Bolts to torque specs,

inspect tire condition for wear cuts and bulging.

6 months/6,000 Miles

Inspect for wear and current draw on brake magnets

Check for correct amperage and modulation on brake controller

Inspect suspension parts for bending, loose fasteners and wear

Inspect wheels for cracks, dents or distortion

12 months/12,000 Miles

Inspect brake lines and lining for wear, contamination and cracks, leaks and kinks

Check brake cylinders for leaks and sticking

Inspect trailer brake wiring for bare spots and fray

(Maintenance Schedule and pre trip schedule taken from Dexter Axle Owner’s Manual)

 

 

Tips to properly maintain your camper

Pre Travel Check list

Exterior

Fill the LP Bottles

Empty the holding tanks

Connect the trailer to the tow vehicle and test all exterior lights

Inspect the awning and ensure that it is properly retracted and secure for travel

Inspect all exterior baggage doors and hatches to ensure they are locked

Inspect the tires and check the pressures

Check the wheel nut torque

Connect the breakaway switch and test brakes; adjust controller

Secure the rear leveling jacks up

Position the batter disconnect to the on positions

Ensure the steps are retracted

Interior

Close all vents and windows

Place the television antenna down

Retract the slide rooms

Inspect the interior of the unit ensuring that all cabinet, interior and the shower doors are closed and secured

Secure all loose items in storage compartments

Insure that the refrigerator door is closed and latched

Verify the smoke, carbon monoxide and LP alarms are in working condition

 

After each use

Flush the back and gray water system

Drain the water heater and fresh water system

After each month

Lube the pin box and & Hitch Equipment

Clean the roof AC

Lube latches, locks and entry steps

Every 3 Months

Clean the fiberglass/Gel Coat or metal siding

Adjust the brakes

Every 6 Months

Wax the exterior finish

Inspect/Reseal window sealants, corner molding other molding, roof seams & Joints,

Inspect/Reseal and Lube Slide Out System

Inspect Roof Vents

Touch Up Frame

Yearly  

Propane System Leak Test

Clean Furnace and Refrigerator

Flush Water Heater

Sanitize Fresh Water System

In Colder climates it is also important to winterize your system before the freezing temperatures arrive if your camper is not in use or not an all season camper. You will then need to de-winterize your system prior to use the next time.

(Maintenance Schedule taken  from Keystone RV Owner’s Manual)

 

Tips to help maintain your vehicle:

Each vehicle is equipped very differently. For exact specs on how to maintain your vehicle please refer to your specific owner’s manual.

 

Automatic Transmission Fluid
Check fluid level with engine running and transmission in park. If low, add the type of automatic transmission fluid specified in the owner’s manual and/or on dipstick. For maximum performance, change every two years or 24,000 miles, or as directed in owner’s manual.

Battery and Cables
Battery should be securely mounted. Battery connection should be clean, tight and corrosion free. If the battery is three years old or more, it should be tested and replaced if necessary.

Belts
Check V-belts and serpentine belts for looseness and condition. Replace when cracked, frayed, glazed or showing signs of excessive wear. Replace timing belt per interval specified in owner’s manual. Typically this is 60,000 to 90,000 miles. Not replacing the belt as required could cause a breakdown or serious engine damage.

Brakes
Check the entire brake system every year, including brake linings, rotors and drums.

Cabin Air Filter
Replace annually, or more often in areas with heavy airborne contaminants or whenever heating or cooling efficiency is reduced.

Chassis Lubrication
Many newer cars are lubed-for-life; some still require this service. Check owner’s manual. Replacement steering and suspension components may require periodic lubrication.

Check Engine Light On
If light comes on while driving or remains on, your vehicle may have an emissions or sensor problem and should be analyzed. If light flashes, the condition is more severe and must be checked immediately to prevent catalytic converter damage.

Cleaning and Polishing
To prevent stripping the vehicle’s wax finish, use only automotive car wash products, not dishwashing liquids. Polish at least twice a year to maintain and protect the finish.

Coolant/Antifreeze
Check level at reservoir. Never open a hot radiator cap. If low, add 50/50 mix of approved antifreeze and distilled water. Change coolant annually on most vehicles.

Engine Air Filter
Inspect filter at each oil change. Replace annually or when leaking, torn, water or oil soaked, dirty or showing other signs of wear.

Engine Oil and Filter
Check level with engine off at every fill up. For maximum engine life, change oil and filter every three months or 3,000 miles or as directed in your owner’s manual. Use specified oil grade and weight.

Exhaust
Inspect for leaks, damage and broken supports or hangers if there is an unusual noise. Exhaust leaks can be dangerous and must be corrected without delay.

Fuel Filter
Inspect filter at each oil change. Replace if restricted or water contaminated or once a year on cars with carburetors. On cars with fuel injection, replace filter every two years or 24,000 miles.

Hoses
Inspect hoses at each oil change and replace when leaking, brittle, cracked, rusted, swollen or restricted.

Lights
Replace bulb immediately if light is out. Check fuses first.

Power Steering Fluid
Check the fluid with the car warmed up. Add correct type of fluid if low. If frequent topping off is required, inspect for leaks and replace if contaminated.

Steering and Suspension
Inspect system annually, including shock absorbers, struts and chassis parts, such as ball joints, tie rod ends and other related components. Replace if leaks, damage and loose mounting hardware are found. Symptoms of worn suspension include uneven tire wear and excessive bouncing after bumps.

Tire Inflation and Condition
Check the pressure of all tires, including the spare, at every oil change. Check the tread for uneven or irregular wear and cuts or bruises along the sidewalls. Inflate tires and maintain at recommended pressure. Replace tires if worn or damaged.

Windshield Washer Fluid
Check fluid level monthly. Some vehicles have two reservoirs. Do not use water. Use washer fluid only. Wiper Blades
Replace every six months or when cracked, cut, torn, streaking or chattering.

(Above listed Be Car Aware Tips taken from AutoZone.com)

 

Vehicle, trailer and camper ownership should be fun and not break the bank.  Remember these things have moving parts and are mechanical, so anything can happen even if you do everything to prevent it; Pre-maintenance will make that instance a lot less likely! There are many more pieces that play in… but hopefully I’ve helped with a few of the main things you should know when making sure your investment holds its value! Bottom Line: Pre-Maintenance is the key!

 

Any other specific questions or anything else I can help with, feel free to give me a call or text me at 785-534-1227!  Also you can email me at beckerautos@nckcn.com.

Don’t forget here at Becker Autos & Trailers we have over 60 vehicles, 75 trailers and 50 campers on the lot and we’re here to help you pick out what fits you best!  You can check out our website at beckerautos.com!

Thanks for reading!

 

Lydia Housh

“Always makin’ deals on things with wheels”

Becker Autos & Trailers in Beloit

City of Salina