First-Trip Checklist: Get Your RV Ready to Roll for Spring!

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Hi everyone!

As the weather is starting to warm up, many of us are thinking about spring RV trips.  If you put your RV away for the winter months, you likely did a number of things that you need to “undo” before it’s trip worthy.  In the March 2022 issue of RV Magazine, my article “Get Ready To Roll” is a checklist of things you should be looking at before heading out on your first trip.  The list in the article contains about 30 steps and checks.  But don’t let the size of the list deter you from completing it!  Try to have a little fun with it, like we did in this video!


We didn’t complete the whole list in the video, but just hit a few of the main ones.  The point of the checklist is to ensure that you don’t have any unpleasant surprises during your first trip of the season.  You’ll have tested out all your major systems before hitting the road, so you won’t have stuck dump valves, malfunctioning fans, or an air conditioner that doesn’t blow cold.  (We’ve had all of those over the years, and none of them are any fun!)

Also – even if you’re like us and RV during the winter months, you should run through this checklist once a season.  It’s your RV’s annual checkup!

For the whole article and the complete list, check out RV magazine.  It’s available on newsstands now (if you’re reading this in March of 2022), or you can subscribe to the print or digital editions.  Stef and I both write for them monthly, and we don’t post all of our articles here, so if you like our tips, you know what to do.  AND!!!  If you use our discount code (FitRV25), that will get you TWENTY-FIVE PERCENT OFF your subscription!  Sweet!

Have a great first trip of the season everyone!

James is a former rocket scientist, a USA Cycling coach, and lifelong fitness buff. When he's not driving the RV, or modifying the RV (or - that one time - doing both at once), you can find him racing bicycles, or building furniture, or making music. In his spare time, he works for a large IT company.

    16 thoughts on “First-Trip Checklist: Get Your RV Ready to Roll for Spring!

    1. Anke

      Another great video. I hadn’t seen the app that you’re using to check your solar. Could you please share what it’s called. I’d like to get it for our Ekko too.

    2. Linda Shelburne

      Hi James and Steph,
      As we get ready to take a few trips this spring, I was trying to remember the camp chair you liked in one of your videos last year. Can’t remember the video! Have you found chairs that you recommend?

    3. Bill Sprague

      James and Steph,

      Do you find Number 1 to be nearly as nimble as was Lance? I like the EKKO but I’d like to have something that pretty much fits in a standard parking space. I’ve towed two travel trailers and a small (27’) Class A over the years and am tired of the exercise. The closing blup on the video was priceless!


      1. James - Post author

        Lance did have a better turning radius, but other than that, we don’t really have any mobility issues with Number One. The length and width are approximately what we had in Lance, so there’s not any difference in where we go (or where we think we can go).

    4. Craig Moody

      Great tips, thanks. Question: I noticed that you have a “tent-style” window covering on your dinette window (zippered screen & blackout shade). Where did you find this and do you use them on all your windows in the coach?

      That’s exactly a solution I’ve been looking for to address the bug egress issue with our Ekko. When we were at the Tampa RV Show/Ekko Meet Up, a rep from Lippert (manufacturer of the Ekko window cassettes) spoke to our group saying they had developed a user installable “brush strips” to close the gaps around the sliding screen and that prototypes had been sent to Russ Garvin at Winnebago for final approval. He also said Winnebago would send these out to all Ekko owners once approved (Russ was standing right next to him and didn’t comment or correct that statement). I’ve not heard anything more about it and can’t find any updates on the Winnebago site or the Ekko Facebook group site.

      So long winded way of saying I like your solution to the bug problem but also curious if you’ve heard anything about the Lippert upgrade. Thanks.

      OBTW: thanks for the recent Amp-L-Start video. It, along with the comments from others, was perfect.

      1. James - Post author

        The window shade is a project and a product we’ve been working on. There will be an announcement soon.

        1. Craig Moody

          Hi James & Stephanie, hope your both doing well. I’m just checking in to see if there’s any news on your window shade project (earlier thread above). Or, have you heard if Winnebago has come up with another solution to the bug infiltration issue.

          I created a temporary solution by cutting a pool noodle into quarters lengthwise so they easily slip between the screen and the window cassette frame. Works ok but only with the screen fully deployed. It doesn’t work so well with the shade deployed because of the stiffer pleats (afraid the noodle will damage them). Not ideal as it creates one more set of “things” to store away when not in use and probably will eventually cause undue wear & tear on the shade/screen.

        2. James - Post author

          No news on that project yet, unfortunately.
          This is a case where we’re not the ones controlling it, and we’re not their only priority.
          We are still pushing on them though, and hope to have them out this summer.

    5. Cameron

      Here’s a tip for a fire extinguisher carried on a RV, car or boat. The vibrations of the vehicle will compact the dry chemicals in the extinguisher into a hard mass that can render it useless during a fire. Every year, gently tap the extinguisher with a rubber mallet, or block of wood while holding it upside down and then give it a good shake. That will break up the powder and keep it in good condition.

    6. Michael McKie

      I noticed you added a Weboost interior antenna kit. In a previous video you placed the standard antenna behind the panel on the driver’s side. I have been reading all the feedback and reviews on the Weboost system and it seems like the standard interior antenna is pretty much useless unless your device or hotspot is right next to it. Does the larger antenna resolve all the range issues or conflict with the exterior antenna?

      1. James - Post author

        We do notice improved performance with the larger indoor antenna, particularly in the dinette area. We have not noticed any conflict with the outdoor antenna at all – it’s about 20 feet away.

      1. James - Post author

        Depends on where you have it installed as labor rates vary across the country.
        Anywhere from $7,000 to $10,000 depending on if they have to relocate your spare tire, exhaust, etc.


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