Are You Ready to
Hit the Road this Summer?
Summer is officially upon us, and many people will be hitting the open road for some much-needed rest and relaxation.
We’ve partnered with Donna Hull from My Itchy Travel Feet: The Baby Boomer’s Guide to Travel and the team at Cummins RV to ensure you’re ready to hit the road this summer – with our vacation planning tips, home protection tips and RV prep tips, you’ll be road-ready in no time.
Planning Your Trip
- Have you checked out your route for road construction?
- Is your vehicle prepared for a road trip?
- Is there enough time in the itinerary to get out of the car to exercise?
- Do you have a healthy plan for eating on the road?
- Is the itinerary slow enough for exploring and having fun?
Get more tips for a Happy Road Trip.
Sick and tired of the same old vacations? Get inspiration from Donna at My Itchy Travel Feet.
Here are a few of our favorites:
Donna has an entire section on her blog dedicated to U.S. road trip destinations.
Prepare and Protect Your Home
Whether you’re leaving your home for a short road trip or an extended holiday abroad, take steps to ensure your home is ready for the duration of your vacation… because, let’s face it, no one wants to return from a relaxing trip to find their home has been burglarized or the basement has been flooded.
An important way to prep your home before traveling is to make it appear that your home is still being lived in. Taking the following actions will give you both peace of mind and security:
- Place a temporary hold on your mail or have a friend pick it up to ensure your mailbox is not overfilled or packages are left pilling up on your doorstep.
- Install timers on lights in and around your house, giving the appearance people are going in and out. Most timers can be set to turn on and off randomly.
- Reach out to a close neighbor and ask if they would park in your driveway while you are away, letting others know that someone is watching over your home.
- An alarm system will allow you to enjoy your vacation knowing your home is safe from break-ins and monitored for fires.
- Experts agree leaving a safety lock-out key around your home can give potential thieves easy access if they want to break in. Instead, leave a spare key with a trusted neighbor.
- Replace your manual thermostat with an automatic thermostat to keep the temperature in your home regulated and to save money.
- Utilize remote apps to control and monitor major appliances, such as your security system or home generator, while you’re away.
- Install a Cummins QuietConnect home standby generator to keep your home’s security, automation and appliances up and running in the event a power outage occurs while you are on vacation.
If you’ll be gone for an extended period of time, expert traveler Donna from My Itchy Travel Feet recommends hiring a house sitter to make periodic checks inside your home. They should:
- Flush all toilets so that sewer gases don’t build up, especially if your home is on a septic tank.
- Confirm mail is being held or collected.
- Make sure the irrigation system is working and water outdoor and indoor potted plants.
- Cut the lawn or confirm the landscape service is doing it.
- Adjust the thermostat a day before the end of your trip so you arrive to a comfortable home temperature.
Prepare and Protect Your RV
There’s no quicker way to ruin your vacation than to be stranded on the side of the road, when you should be enjoying the sites of your favorite national park.
Whether you live in your RV full-time or you’re a weekend warrior, ensure you’re RV is ready with these preparation tips:
- Service your home-on-wheels major systems just as you would your land-based home’s: regularly change a/c filters and have your a/c and furnace professionally inspected annually. “Walk around the coach just like you would your house in the spring,” Chris Crowel, Cummins RV Market Leader, says. “The best way to see if your home needs maintenance is to get out and look at it. Do the same type of inspection of your coach to see how it faired through the winter weather.”
- Don’t ignore other major systems: change fuel, coolant and hydraulic filters regularly.
- Both miles and time cause oil to deteriorate over time. Oil should be changed every 3,000-4,000 miles. For a Cummins engine, we recommend a CJ-4 (CES20081) oil such as Valvoline Premium Blue.
- If you did not change your oil before parking your RV for the winter, we recommend draining and changing your oil before you hit the road for a long trip. When in storage, oil can pick up moisture from condensation and additive packages in the oil can drop out.
- With the engine off, drain the fuel-water separator to ensure the diesel fuel is free of water. Water can result in inadequate lubrication of fuel system components like pumps and injectors which could result in expensive repairs.
- Check your brakes and tires before every trip. Additionally, brakes should be inspected professionally once a year.
- Tighten loose lug nus on your tires and ensure tires are filled to the proper specs.
- Maintain your generator according to the operator’s manual for your specific generator model. Replacement manuals for Cummins generators can be found by creating a free account at quickserve.cummins.com.
- Regularly exercise your RV generator.
- Check your generator’s exhaust system each time you start the generator. Make sure it doesn’t leak and that it extends beyond the vehicle’s perimeter.
- The first break-in oil change is critical to the longevity of the generator. Use a premium, quality engine oil such as OnanMax SAE-30 and SAE 15W-40. Note: Do not check the oil level while your generator is running, because hot oil can be thrown out of the dipstick hole, causing severe burns.
- Keep your generator clean and inspect it regularly for damage. Dust and debris are a part of its daily life. Dust can clog the intake system and reduce its engine’s efficiency. Remember to replace air and oil filters regularly.