Winterizing a Roadtrek can prevent several mishaps. Roadtreks, if not appropriately inspected before the winter’s cold arrives, can cause damage to  the pipes of your Roadtrek. The harsh cold can create freezing water that can damage the Roadtrek’s systems. The winter elements can also cause damage to tires, batteries and other Roadtrek’s system’s overtime.

Maintain proper tire pressure.

Protect tires from losing pressure by covering them with a tire cover when not in use. Spray a tire dressing onto tires to keep the sunlight from weakening the tire. You can even jack op your Roadtrek to prevent further loss of inflation if they have been sitting for long periods of time. Also be sure to inspect and replace the spare tire in necessary.

Inspect batteries periodically.

Use baking soda and water to wipe down the roadtrek’s batteries from corrosion and dirt. Recharge the Roadtrek’s batteries using the isolator switch to reduce unwanted electric leak, which happens when poor grounding connections draw energy. Remove the battery from the Roadtrek during extreme cold weather conditions to keep it from freezing. Place battery in a dry, storage area such as a garage, and charging it at least once a month.

Drain the water from your Roadtrek.

Park the Roadtrek with rear wheels elevated a few inches before draining. Shut off  all water faucets and fill the water tank with RV antifreeze. Turn water pump on and open toilet, shower, and all other faucet valves so that RV antifreeze can be released. Turn water pump off when the RV antifreeze starts to flow.

Drain the hot water heater tank. First, remove the heater tank’s door latch. Open the pressure release valve by moving the lever up vertically, removing the plug at the bottom of the heater. Step aside to prevent spillage on clothes. Take special caution to ease the plug out. Next, flush the hot water tank with a water hose until the water becomes less murky. Reassemble and use plumber’s tape to secure valve shut.

Air the lines out.

Open the faucet valves and the water tank fill valves to air out its lines. Replace the valves when finished.

Change your Oil.

If needed, don’t forget to change your Roadtrek’s oil. Also, inspect the generator, brake fluied and engine coolant before putting it away for the winter. Another important thing to remember is to fill the gas tank to maximum to prevent gum-forming oxidation.

If you take these simple precautions, your Roadtrek will stay looking new for years to come.  Roadtrek Class B Campers are easy to care for and a blast to drive. Call 1-866-975-3287 or fill out the contact us form with any questions.

Roadtrek Class B Vans get great gas mileage but there are some simple ways to get a few miles better.  Dave Arbogast Van Depot can help keep your Roadtrek in top shape, ensuring your getting the best MPG’s possible.  Take a look at Polk’s top seven steps to better fuel economy. Are you getting the most out of your Roadtrek?

1. Check and replace your air filter if it’s dirty. That’s right, something as simple as a clean air filter can improve your fuel economy up to 10 percent.

2. Checking and adjusting your tire pressure to the proper pressure can increase fuel economy by 3 percent. Of course, it can also prevent premature tire wear, tire failures and blowouts caused by overinflated or underinflated tires. Tires can look normal when they are seriously underinflated. Use a quality air pressure gauge and check your tires when they’re cold, before traveling more than one mile.

3. For each 5 mph you go over 60 mph, you pay 10 cents more per gallon of fuel. So if you’re traveling down the interstate at 70 mph, add 20 cents to the price on the pump. Speeding and rapid acceleration reduces fuel economy from 5 to 33 percent depending on your individual driving habits. Wow, that can add up quick.

4. Keep your Roadtrek tuned up and in top running condition. A poorly tuned engine can lower fuel economy by 10 to 20 percent. Poor emissions and/or a faulty oxygen sensor can cause a 40 percent reduction in fuel economy. Can you believe that, a 40 percent reduction? To have your engine or emissions checked call 1-866-975-3287.  Arbogast’s Roadtrek Service Department will be glad keep your systems in top shape.

5. Follow the recommended service and maintenance schedules.

6. Using synthetic oils will increase fuel economy by 2 or more percent.

7. Adding weight that you don’t need reduces fuel economy significantly. We’re all guilty of this one. As a friend once told me, if you haven’t used it in the last six months you don’t need it.

At Dave Arbogast Van Depot its our goal to keep you safe and sound in your Roadtrek.   Nothing will ruin all of the fun and adventure quicker than an unexpected breakdown. Polk has put together a pre departure maintenance checklist so you don’t find yourself on the side of the road.  Our award winning Roadtrek service department and Roadtrek parts department can take care of all these items for you.  If you have any question please feel free to contact us.

There are three basic types of maintenance for your motor coach: preventive maintenance, scheduled maintenance and emergency maintenance.

  • Preventive maintenance is maintenance you can perform on your Roadtrek Class B Van before a problem exists. These checks are designed to prevent or identify potential problems that could lead to mechanical breakdown, malfunction or failure of a component or system on your RV. Preventive maintenance consists of cleaning, inspecting, lubricating, adjusting and servicing your RV.
  • Scheduled maintenance, or routine maintenance, is performed in intervals normally based on time, mileage or hours. Scheduled maintenance is designed to keep your Roadtrek in top operating condition and prevent untimely breakdowns and repairs. It is essential that you read your owner’s manual and warranty information to find out who is responsible for what when it comes to scheduled maintenance. Scheduled maintenance that is required by the manufacturer and not performed can void your warranty.
  • Emergency Maintenance is maintenance or repairs required when you least expect it due to component, system or mechanical failure.

The lack of preventive maintenance or scheduled maintenance will eventually result in emergency maintenance. If you don’t check the air pressure in your tires (preventive maintenance) the under-inflated tire overheats and prematurely fails, resulting in emergency maintenance.

1. Check all fluid levels:

a. Engine oil: Automotive wise, this is perhaps the most important PM check you can make. Check your engine oil on a regular basis. Add oil as required, but do not overfill. Consult your owner’s manual for the type of oil to use. Have the oil and oil filter changed at manufacturers service intervals.

b. Transmission fluid: Transmissions in Roadtreks get worked extremely hard. Transmission fluid cools and lubricates the transmission. Checking and maintaining the fluid will extend the life of the transmission. Follow your owner’s manual for directions on how to check the fluid; i.e. hot, cold, in park, in neutral. Add the proper type of fluid as required, but do not overfill. Have the transmission serviced at manufacturer’s service intervals.

c. Power steering fluid: Check the power steering fluid. Most power steering reservoirs have a hot and cold level check on the dipstick. Consult your owner’s manual. Add the proper fluid as required.

d. Brake fluid: Check the brake fluid level in the master cylinder reservoir. If it’s not a see-through reservoir, clean the cap off before removing it to prevent dirt from getting in the brake fluid. Consult your owner’s manual for the proper type of brake fluid and add as required, but do not overfill.

Note: The brake system is a closed system and ordinarily does not require additional fluid. If you have to add fluid it may be an indication of a leak somewhere in the brake system. Have it checked out and repaired immediately.

e. Radiator coolant: Check the radiator coolant reservoir level, condition and concentration. Never remove the radiator cap when hot or under pressure. The coolant reservoir is usually a see-through plastic reservoir with “add” and “full” marks on the side. Add coolant as required. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendation for having the radiator flushed and for the proper type and concentration of coolant to use.

f. Windshield washer fluid: Check the washer fluid often and keep it full. During winter weather use a washer fluid that will not freeze. Inspect the operation and condition of the wipers and blades. Don’t wait until the wiper blades are worn and brittle. Replace blades at the first indication of poor operation. Cleaning the blades will prolong their life. Use windshield washer fluid on a rag to clean wiper blades.

2. Check for leaks: Inspect the engine compartment and underside of the Roadtrek for any signs of leaks. Leaks of any type can lead to costly repairs and untimely breakdowns. Catching a leak early can save time and money. Identify the source of the leak and have it repaired before using the RV.

3. Check the starting and auxiliary batteries: Check the battery(s) state of charge, water level, cables and connections. If you’re not familiar with working around lead acid batteries, have them checked by a qualified service center.

4. Check the condition of your tires: Look for uneven wear, cuts and poor tread depth, and check for dry rot on the tire sidewalls. Check all tires for proper tire inflation with a quality tire inflation pressure gauge. Check the tire pressure before traveling each day and always check the tire pressure when the tires are cold, before traveling more than one mile. Adjust inflation pressure to the manufacturer’s recommendation.

Note: Any tire with a 20 percent or more loss in tire pressure should be checked by an authorized tire center.

5. Check all hoses and belts.

a. Radiator and heater hoses: Coolant hoses deteriorate from the inside out. Inspect all hoses for wear, cracks, soft spots, brittle areas and leaks. Inspect hose clamps for secure mounting. Replace any damaged hoses or clamps as required. Inspect the face of the radiator for bugs, dirt and debris and clean as required.

b. Brake hoses: With the vehicle on a level surface, in park, and with the wheels chocked, inspect the hydraulic brake hoses for cracking, scrap marks or wear. If there are any signs of visual damage, have the hose replaced immediately. The brakes on a Roadtrek get worked hard and often times are abused due to the amount of weight they are required to stop. Follow the manufacturer’s service schedule for your vehicle brakes. Let a professional inspect and repair the brake system. If you hear a high-pitched squeal, or scrapping sound when you apply the brake pedal, have the brake system checked and repaired immediately.

c. Belts: Inspect all belts for wear, glazing, fraying, cracks and proper tension. Replace damaged, worn or stretched belts as required. Belts with an automatic tensioner do not require adjustments.

6. Check all lights: Make sure all of the lights are clean and working properly. Check the headlights (low and high beam), running lights, turn signals, brake lights and emergency flashers. Check all lights on any vehicle or trailer you are towing behind the Roadtrek. Carry spare bulbs and fuses for the lights. Repair or replace as required.

7. Gauges and instrument panel: Start the engine and warm it up to operating temperature. Verify that all gauges are operating properly. Always monitor your gauges when operating the vehicle. If a gauge shows a reading other than its normal range, or if a warning light comes on, pull over as soon as it is safe and have the problem checked out and repaired.

And don’t forget the emergency kit, too, just in case there is a breakdown. At a minimum it should include a flashlight, extra batteries, jumper cables, first-aid kit, basic hand tools and warning devices.

Before your next Roadtrek trip, make your pre-departure maintenance checks. Then, have a great time exploring this wonderful country we live in. Dave Arbogast’s Roadtrek Service Department can perform all of these maintenance items for you!  Call us today at 1-866-975-3287.

Dave Arbogast Van Depot wants to make sure your Roadtrek Class B Van Stays in top shape. We came across this checklist provided by Polk. If you have any questions or would like Arbogast Class B Service department to help you with the upkeep of your van call 1-866-975-3287!

There are so many things to maintain on a Roadtrek Class B Van, sometimes we overlook the simplest maintenance requirements. As the old saying goes, you can’t see the forest for the trees. But simple oversights can result in costly repair bills to correct the problem.

Let’s look at my top 7 Class B Van owner maintenance mishaps.

1. Checking and adding air when the tires are hot
I see this all the time, people checking their tire pressure when the tires are hot. You should always check and inflate tires when the tires are cold, before traveling more than one mile. Hot air expands and will give you a false reading. If the tires are already hot, wait several hours before checking and adjusting inflation pressure.

2. Neglecting to check the water level in batteries, periodically
Eighty-five percent of lead acid batteries manufactured in the United States die before they should. One of the leading causes of battery failure is overcharging the battery. Overcharging a battery results in severe water loss and plate corrosion. This is a common problem with Class B Vans.

The RV converter has a built-in battery charger. Many RV owners are under the impression that if you leave the RV plugged in when the RV is in storage, the converter will keep the batteries topped off. While keeping batteries topped off is extremely important, the problem is that many, but not all, RV converter chargers provide a constant charge of about 13.5 volts. This is too high for fully charged batteries, and the electrolyte is boiled off, which results in an early death for the batteries. There have been advances in converter charger technology, thought. Many of today’s converter chargers are three-stage chargers that will prevent batteries from overcharging.

Another problem is that during times of high battery usage and recharging, the electrolyte is boiled off. Periodically checking and adjusting the water level in the batteries can save and extend the life expectancy of the battery. When you add water, use mineral-free water. Distilled water is best, and only fill the battery cell to 1/8-inch below the vent well.

3. Not rinsing and flushing the black water holding tank after you empty it
The only way to get a long service-free life from the RV black water holding tank is to rinse and flush the tank after you empty it. Some RVs have a built-in system for flushing the black water tank, but many don’t. If your RV doesn’t have a built-in flushing system there are aftermarket products, such as tank cleaning wands and reverse flush valves, that will assist in keeping your black water tank clean, clog-free and odor-free.

4. Not performing pre-departure checks
I think nearly every Class B Van owner, at one time or another, has learned this valuable lesson. Pre-departure checks or a final walk-around before leaving can save you costly repair bills. Common RV repairs relating to this are repairs to the steps, TV antenna, awnings and power cords. Take a minute to walk around the RV, and look on top and underneath the Class B Van before heading out.

5. Not periodically inspecting your Class B Van for water damage
Water leaks on a Class B Van can cause extensive damage and can be costly to repair. To protect your investment and your wallet, take the time to inspect your RV for water leaks. The outside of your Class B Van may look fine, but the internal damage caused by water over a period of time can result in the entire roof, floor or wall rotting away without you even knowing it, until it’s too late.

To prevent a leak before it starts, thoroughly inspect all roof and body seams, sealants and around any openings cut in the Class B Van roof or sidewalls. Reseal any seams or sealants that show signs of cracking or separation. Consult your RV owner’s manual for inspection intervals and for the type of sealants compatible with different types of materials.

6. Not performing routine safety checks
It’s not uncommon for a Class B Van to sit in storage for periods of time. If dry-cell batteries aren’t removed from devices like smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors, these devices won’t work when you need them. By simply getting in a habit of checking the smoke, CO, and LP-gas leak detectors prior to each trip you can prevent this from happening. Follow the testing instructions found in the owner’s manual or on the device itself. If you remove dry-cell batteries during storage remember to reinstall them next spring.

Also, get in a habit of inspecting the fire extinguisher before each trip. Look to see if the arrow is pointing in the green area in the sight gauge. If it reads empty or needs charging replace it or have it recharged immediately. If it’s a dry powder type fire extinguisher the arrow pointing in the green doesn’t always guarantee that it will work. Every month you should turn dry powder extinguishers upside down, tap on the bottom of the extinguisher and shake it so the powder that settled on the bottom is released. Make sure you know how to operate the fire extinguishe, too.

A simple pre-trip checklist can serve as a reminder to test all safety devices prior to leaving on a trip.

7. Not maintaining the RV water system
The potable water system in your Class B Van requires some routine maintenance to keep it trouble free. Something I’ve run into quite often is the complaint that there is a stale odor coming from the RV water system. When you return from a trip and you’re not going to use the RV for a while, drain the entire water system to prevent it from getting stale and musty. You should drain the water heater, low-point water drains and the fresh water holding tank.

Caution: Never drain the water heater tank when it is hot or under pressure. With the drains still open you can turn the water pump on for a moment to help force any remaining water out of the system. Do not let the pump continue to run once the water stops draining. Close all of the drains.

If by accident you forget to drain the water system and you get that notorious stale odor, all is not lost. You just need to sanitize the water system. Start by draining all of the old water out of the system, and then close all of the drains. Take a quarter cup of household bleach for every 15 gallons of water that your fresh water tank holds. Mix the bleach into a 1-gallon container and pour it into the fresh water holding tank. Fill the fresh water tank completely full of water. Turn the water pump on, open all hot and cold faucets and run the water until you smell the bleach at each faucet. Close the faucets and let it sit for about 12 hours. Drain the entire system and refill the fresh water tank with potable water. Open all of the faucets and run the water until you no longer smell any bleach.

It may be necessary to repeat this process to eliminate all signs of bleach from the water system. Once this is done it is safe to use your water system. It’s also a good idea to use a water filter at campgrounds and to keep bottled water on hand for drinking.

If you don’t feel comfortable performing any of these steps you should take your Class B Van to Arbogast’s Class B Service Center to have the maintenance performed.

At Dave Arbogast Van Depot, our highly qualified technicians are here to provide exceptional service in a timely manner for your Roadtrek. From oil changes to transmission replacements, we are dedicated to maintaining top tier customer service, for Roadtrek Class B Vans.  Allow our staff to demonstrate our commitment to excellence.

Dave Arbogast Van Depot has dedicated technicians to make sure your Roadtrek Class B Van stays in optimal condition.  We also have a large inventory of Class B Van Parts and Accessories. No matter what you need for your Camper Van, Dave Arbogast has the answer.

Call 1-866-975-3287 to schedule your appointment today!