A Comprehensive Guide To RV Care And Maintenance

Posted on 08/24/2022 RV Products, Parts and... 127
A Comprehensive Guide To RV Care And Maintenance

Regardless of the type of recreational vehicle (RV) you own, regularly inspecting it and performing routine maintenance are the keys to making it last for many years. Unfortunately, some RV owners neglect the importance of RV maintenance. If you’re one of them, it may result in unexpected, expensive repairs that can cost you more in the long run.

Significantly, new or used motorhomes and campervans need proper maintenance. This is crucial, especially if you plan to sell your home on wheels. So, to keep your RV in good running condition, read the guide below to know the different ways to care for and maintain your RV.

 1. Store Your RV Properly

Most RVs spend the entire winter season in storage. Properly preparing your motorhome for storage and the kind of storage you select can significantly prolong your RV’s lifespan.

There are three common RV storage types, and these include the following:

- Covered Storage: This storage protects the roof and offers partial wall protection. If you opt for covered storage, park your RV far from the open walls to keep your RV’s exterior in top condition and prevent ultraviolet (UV) exposure.

 - Indoor Storage: It’s the best type of storage that allows you to store your RV in a fully enclosed building.

 - Outdoor Storage: It’s also referred to as open-lot storage, it leaves your RV exposed to the weather elements. However, using a cover is best when storing your motorhome outdoors.

Whatever storage type you choose for your RV, it’s crucial to perform particular maintenance tasks before leaving it parked for a long time. To learn more about the right storage type for your RV, consult professionals from online dealerships similar to motorhomesforsale.co.nz/ to make a well-informed decision.

2. Check The Fluids

One of the basic maintenance tasks you should do is check your RV’s fluid levels, which may include the following:

  • Engine coolant
  • Brake fluid
  • Windshield washer fluid
  • Engine oil
  • Transmission
  • Power steering

If necessary, refill the ones with low liquid content before going on another trip. If you’re worried about leaks or something isn’t working properly, it’s best to take your RV to a reliable mechanic.

 3. Inspect Your Roof Seams And Seals

Another essential maintenance task to remember is inspecting your RV’s roof every three months. Water leaks may happen in any open seams in your vents, air conditioning unit, skylights, and roof’s edges.

Initially, the water might soak into your roof’s framework, seeping through the inner ceiling panels, which can cause water damage. Nevertheless, there are sealants you can use to fix your RV’s roof leaks. However, it’s best to use sealants compatible with your RV’s roof material, which ranges from metal to fiberglass.

4. Check Your Life-Support Systems

An RV often comes with one or more life-supporting systems, such as waste disposal, water, and gas. You must check such systems consistently. For example, your RV’s water system should be drained regularly, and use fresh water to flush it. Meanwhile, you can eliminate the stale smell in the system by adding a baking soda solution as you flush your water system.

When it comes to your RV’s disposal system, it’s necessary to drain it. If you encounter complications or issues, call a professional plumber immediately. Avoid fixing the problem yourself to prevent further damage to your disposal system.

On the other hand, gas systems for cooking and heating are typically maintenance-free. All you need is to keep the burner heads clean. Occasional tightening of fittings is also essential for your RV’s life-support systems. For instance, you can check the gas lines for possible problems like leaks.

5. Check The Brakes, Wheels, And Tires

Your tires and wheels ensure your safety on the road. For this reason, checking if they’re in good condition before using your RV is vital.

To ensure your tires, brakes, and wheels will keep you safe on the road, follow these tips:

Maintain Your Brakes

Brake maintenance must be taken care of before you take your RV on a road trip. Preferably, include it in your spring maintenance checklist. Ensure your brakes work properly by examining the rotors, brake pads, drums, and linings. Lubricate the wheel bearings to ensure that you don’t need any replacement before traveling.

Keep Your Tires Protected And Clean

UV rays may degrade your tires quickly, forcing you to replace them frequently. Hence, cleaning your tires regularly and applying a UV protectant is essential. This is helpful, especially if your RV is parked or in storage for an extended period.

In addition, covering your RV tires can also make a difference in keeping them protected and safe from possible damage.

Tighten The Wheel Lug Nuts

A tire blowout or lost wheel can result in a devastating accident. Before your trip, check the wheel lug nuts to ensure they’re not loose.

Check Tire Pressure

It’s also important to check your RV’s tire pressure and adjust it whenever necessary. Under or over-inflated tires can create hazardous driving conditions that increase the risk of an accident.

Winterize Your RV

When taking care of your RV, it’s critical to remember that seasonal chores are also essential. Regardless of the climate, you should consider winterizing your RV before storing it. Significantly, stabilizing and draining fluids with treatments like antifreeze can protect your RV’s major systems from potential damage.

To get started, here are the tips to winterize your RV:

  • Open up the refrigerator, cabinets, and appliances so they won’t develop odor or moisture issues.
  • Drain or add antifreeze to the waste tanks and water.
  • Clean up odors or food residues that could attract rodents or insects.

Check Your Batteries

If you recharge your RV battery during the winter, it must be ready for your next trip. However, if you forget about it, the first thing that you should do is to recharge it. While it’s in storage for several months, the battery might lose up to 10% of its current every month.

Meanwhile, if you have lead acid batteries, add water after they’re completely charged unless the water level is below the plates. However, ensure that the plates are covered. When the battery is fully charged, check it and consider adding distilled water when needed. If you’re not confident doing this work, it’s wise to hire professionals to do the job for you.

Check Your Electrical System

Electricity provides you with the comfort you need while on the road, whether it’s from motor home hookups, generators, or RV solar panels. This is why checking your RV’s electrical system is vital. You must ensure that it’s running smoothly before hitting the road.

Making sure your electrical system works isn’t only good for your safety but also perfect for your RV battery because it charges while you’re driving. However, if you encounter problems with your RV’s electrical system, never repair them on your own. It’s always best to leave them in the hands of the experts.

Maintain Your Furnace

Most RV owners never think of their furnace until they need it. Typically, furnaces may go unused most of the season. Eventually, furnace repair is something that many RV owners will need to deal with in the future. To avoid this, clean your furnace before the season begins.

Since it has many electrical connections, sensitive switches, and sensors, removing anything that may affect your furnace’s safe operation is critical. On the other hand, pet hair, debris, dust, and other dirt particles could potentially disrupt its operation.

Lubricate Your Slide-Out Rails

If you often hear a squeak from your slide-out rails, it’s a sign that it needs attention. It’s possible that your slide-out rails can deteriorate due to corrosion and rust without proper lubrication.

To prevent this, apply lubricant to your rails at least once a year. Meanwhile, the number of times when applying lubricant depends on how frequently you use your RV. It must be enough to enjoy a squeak-free slide-out rail throughout the season.

When shopping for the best lubricant spray, choose one specifically designed for slide-outs. The cost of such sprays will vary widely, but it’s more affordable than replacing worn-out slide-outs.

Run The Generator

Some RV owners might think that not running the generator often will save it for later use. However, the opposite is true as the fuel and oil in it can damage and break down the equipment. While you may keep the oil and fuel out of your RV’s generator, it should run regularly to keep corrosion and rust from damaging its internal components.

Starting your generator and letting it run for at least 30 minutes every month is an excellent way to keep it functioning smoothly. Remove or stabilize the fluids when winterizing your RV since you might not be cranking your generator during that season.

Bottom Line

An RV is a valuable investment, and keeping up with its routine maintenance can help extend its lifespan. Taking proper care of your RV using the above guide can save you considerable costs on replacements and repairs due to wear and tear.

In addition, keeping your RV in good condition can ensure your safety on the road and enables you to enjoy your vehicle for years to come.

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