Whether you’ve owned an RV for years or you’re new to the RV world completely, one thing you will quickly learn is that constant maintenance and care is crucial. There are a lot more components that go into an RV as opposed to a car and there is definitely a lot more to keep track of. Sure you have the normal things to keep track of like you would in a car (oil, gas, coolants, etc.) but in addition to that RVs are mobile homes as well which introduce a whole another realm of things. You got your tubes & hoses, your waste management, your water source, your electrical components, your storage areas, your interior, the list goes on and on and quite frankly it can be quite stressful trying to stay on top of it all especially when you find yourself in the middle of a road trip or family vacation. Fortunate for you, we’ve done all the hard work and we’ve compiled a straightforward list of all the major areas you need to address when maintaining an RV.
1.) Keep Things Clean
This may seem obvious but it really does go a long way to keep not just your exterior clean but to keep everything as clean as possible. This means your interior, windows, carpets, countertops, storage spaces, underneath the RV, all the tubes and connections, all the electrical areas, you name it. This is critical because by keeping every nook and cranny of your RV clean things will just perform as best they can and you will reduce the chance of accidents, corrosion, and damage to any of your vital RV components.
2.) Keep Things Tight
Cleaning goes a long way but so does keeping things tight. With all the crazy hoses and tubes and electrical connections that go into the performance of a modern day RV something as simple as keeping things tight ensures the best performance of everything. Everything is almost guaranteed to come loose at some point and the last thing you want is something vital disconnecting when it’s least convenient. You especially want to pay attention to connections on the outside that could potentially come loose or disconnect while your vehicle is in transit.
3.) Keep Things Lubricated
Even just a little lube can go a long way. Lubing all your sliders, locks, hinges, and moving parts ensure they operate smoothly without any resistance. The dry silicone type lube is often the best choice to have on hand at all times. It’ll work well in almost all situations.
It’s also crucial to constantly check on your tires to make sure they are in good condition and properly inflated. Before any trip you want to always check for any imperfections, leaks, or wear. You also want to make sure your lug nuts are tightened appropriately. You might want to invest into a torque wrench as well.
You want to sanitize your freshwater tank as often as possible, especially if you are using it quite often. Every few months or so (depending on how often you use it) s it’s nice to run a bleach mixture through the entire system to flush it out. Using brands such as Borax and Calgon water softener in your black and galley tanks will thoroughly clean them and sanitize them effectively.
An often overlooked thing in RVs are the lights. You want to carry around with you every type of spare bulb as possible. Also be sure to check your signal light and your marker lights before every trip.
7.) Seals and Seams
It is also very important to constantly check up on all the seals and seams of your RV. Check for cracks , holes, or damages everywhere and especially your roof. Water damage is notorious for causing a lot of problems in RVs so this step cannot be stressed enough. Leaks can often go unnoticed inside a wall or underneath the floor for long periods of time which can lead to rotting and worse mold to develop. Eternabond tape is a convenient tool if you ever find yourself needing to replace your seams. It can provide an even better sealing then caulking alone.
8.) Check Your Voltage
Another thing you can keep track of is to constantly check your voltage levels. You might want to invest in a cheap multimeter or a tester lights to keep track of your main voltage. The main coach batteries you want to keep your eyes out for should be between 12.4 and 12.8 volts when not being charged, anything that is less than 12 volts is far too low. When it comes to the voltage of the AC however, anything that exceeds 130 volts is too much and anything that falls below 108 volts is much too low. Also worth investing in is an EMS (electrical management system) to assist you with monitoring things and will provide any necessary protection.
9.) Check Underneath the RV
As frustrating as it can be it’s well worth the time to get on the ground and look underneath your RV. Keep your eyes peeled for anything loose, corroded, or damaged at all. Taking a few minutes to inspect your RV can be the difference between a successful road trip and from being stranded on the side of the highway.
10.) Don’t Leave Systems Idle
Any systems on your RV should be run at least every now and then to prevent them from being dormant for too long. Even if you’re not using your water pump for example it’d be beneficial to go ahead and run it at least once a month or so.
Follow these tips and your RV is guaranteed to look the best it ever has. Liked this blog? Check out our other blogs here for more vehicle maintenance tips and tricks.