You’ve got the RV of your dreams, and you’re ready to take it on countless trips to your favorite places. But do you know the RV maintenance tips to keep it running for years to come?
The ownership of RVs in the U.S. has reached record-breaking levels in recent years. People are discovering that having a home on wheels is an amazing way to see the country. An RV is a big investment, but it’s a worthwhile one – as long as you know how to take care of it properly.
Wondering what motorhome maintenance you should be doing? Don’t worry – we’re here to help. In this guide, we’ll go over the top ways to keep your RV in tip-top shape over the years. Keep reading before you plan your next trip!
1. Change the Oil
An RV is a lot like a car – it needs to have its filters and oil changed regularly to keep running smoothly. If you don’t do it, your engine can’t run properly, and the engine might even seize up if you let it go too long.
Having an engine seize up can be pricey to fix – as much as $10,000. While there are reputable shops that can fix it for you, like Quality RV Solutions – RV Repair Fort Worth TX, it’s best to stay on top of oil changes so you’ll only spend on the repair work that’s absolutely necessary.
The manufacturer should give you a recommendation for how often oil changes need to happen. Most of the time, you can anticipate changing the oil about every 3,000 to 4,500 miles. However, make sure to look through the owner’s manual to find the exact recommendations for your vehicle.
2. Service the Generator
One thing that sets RVs apart from cars is, of course, the generator.
The manufacturer will also give a recommendation for how often this needs to get done. If you don’t regularly take care of your generator, you might end up spending thousands on repairs.
If you store your RV for a long period of time, such as during the winter, don’t forget to run the generator from time to time. Otherwise, the unit could grow build-up on the carburetor, which is typically a $400 fix.
3. Replace the Filters
The hydraulic, air, fuel, and coolant filters all must get replaced on a regular basis.
If you don’t, you could end up with overheating problems due to issues with the cooling or hydraulic systems, or increased fuel usage. These repairs may cost you as much as $2,500 – it’s much more cost effective to remember to change the filters when you need to.
4. Inspect Seams and Seals
Every six months, take the time to inspect the roof seals and seams.
If water damage can leak in through these places, you’ll have to pay for repairs that may run up to thousands of dollars.
5. Check the Brakes
RVs are large vehicles that stop slowly and need brakes in good working order for safety. Keep yourself and other drivers safe by maintaining the brakes. Brake damage costs thousands of dollars, and can also result in irreversibly injuries if it leads to an accident.
6. Maintain the Waste System
To keep the wastewater system in good working order, make sure to buy biodegradable toilet paper that’s suited for RVs. Trust us – you don’t want to have to deal with wastewater issues.
7. Get the Roof Treated
If your RV has a rubber roof, an important aspect of RV maintenance is getting the roof treated once a year.
This keeps the sun from being able to damage the roof. If the roof gets damaged, water can get in and cause the expensive water damage mentioned above. Make sure to get a roof inspection twice a year, too, to avoid these costly issues.
8. Check the Tires
Before you head out on every trip, check the lug nuts and tire pressure for safety.
9. Check the Batteries
You’ll also want to check the batteries before you leave each time. If your RV uses deep cycle batteries, they should last about three to five years, and they’ll need to get replaced once this life cycle is up.
10. Store the Battery Properly
If you put your RV up for the cold winter, take out the battery and store it in a warm location. Otherwise, the battery could freeze and then break, which will void the warranty and make it useless.
11. Cover it Up
Roof maintenance is a critical part of RV ownership. But storing your RV under a roof does a much better job of protecting it, so you have to do less maintenance work over time.
The sun, rain, and other environmental damage will take its toll on your roof more than you may realize. If you have to repair or replace your RV roof, it can cost thousands. Use an RV cover or a carport to protect your investment.
Even if it’s covered, you’ll still need to clean and inspect your roof regularly, but you’ll cut down on the amount of dirt and damage that will accumulate.
12. Open Up
When it’s summer and you’re not using your RV, the temperature inside can reach heights of 130 degrees or more.
With such high temps, the materials inside your RV will start to deteriorate. Your flooring, wall coverings, furniture, seams, and seals will all need repairs sooner rather than later if exposed to this kind of heat.
To prevent damage, just open up your RV vents during the hot times of the year. This will let air flow throughout the vehicle, keeping temperatures down. Just be careful to cover the exterior vents so rain can’t get in.
Start Working on RV Maintenance Today
If you keep up with these RV maintenance tasks throughout the year, they won’t seem so daunting.
On their own, each RV maintenance task is simple and inexpensive. It’s only when you allow issues to compound over time that you end up spending lots of time and money taking care of your RV. Don’t wait – start working on RV maintenance now.
Do you have some RV repairs that you’re hoping to do on your own, too? Check out our DIY auto repair archives to learn how to do it yourself.