RV Care Tips

General RV Care Tips

Since your RV is part home and part vehicle it requires a combination of home maintenance and car maintenance. Just like how all vehicles have particular maintenance requirements, so will your RV. From changing your oil to proper cleaning techniques, all RVs require routine maintenance. We have come up with a couple of general care tips for you to follow to ensure your RV runs efficiently and is in top shape.

Perform Engine Maintenance

An RV is a large heavy vehicle that seems many different types of roads and many miles. Meaning that the engine takes on a lot strain to pull such a large vehicle. In addition, many RVs spend cold winter months motionless in a storage area which can be hard on the engine. Routine maintenance is critical to keeping your RV engine healthy.

Inspect and Change Filters: The engine system in your RV depends on the filters to keep running parts clean. Every time you change the oil, inspect the air, fuel, coolant, and hydraulic filters to ensure they’re clean or change them as needed. Similar to changing the oil, by replacing these filters frequently ensure to avoid excess wear on the engine.

Change the Oil: You typically do not have to change the oil as frequently as you do for your car since RVs aren’t usually a daily use vehicle. Instead, it is recommended that you change your oil every 3,000 to 4,000 mile or even one a year- whichever comes first. Failing to change the oil regularly causes excess wear on the engine, which can lead to expensive repairs or even a replacement.

Check the Battery: It’s a best practice to ensure your RV battery is full charged at all times. Generally, you can expect a battery to last for three to five years. Check the battery charge before your trips and at the beginning of each season.

Inspect the Roof

Your roof will help protect you while you are on the road, and you need to perform certain maintenance tasks to keep it property protected from the elements. Since you do not see your RV roof often and unfortunately the inability to see the problems on your roof doesn’t mean they don’t exist. Repairing or replacing your RV roof can cost thousands of dollars. Use these quick tips to ensure your roof is in good condition.

Keep it Covered: For many RV owners, using your motorhome all the time is not possible. When your RV is parked make sure to cover the roof for some added protection. Keep your roof covered under an RV carport or traditional cover will help avoid damage from UV rays or harsh weather.

Clean Frequently: If you use your RV full-time, make sure to frequently clean the roof for extra protection. Schedule roof cleaning for full-time users or clean after each trip for vacation users. This is the best way to avoid gunk buildup on your roof’s surface.

Check for Leaks: With all the seals, seams, vents, and air conditioners on your roof’s surface it makes for many different areas that can lead to leaks. When a leak occurs, it can cause severe damage before any water enters the inside of the vehicle. Initially, the water will soak through your RVs outer framework and then it will spread before reaching the ceiling. Avoid the expensive damage that goes unseen by inspecting your roof’s edges, vents, skylights, and air conditioning unit. You can repair leaks with a sealant that is compatible with the materials of your roof.

Store it Properly

Properly preparing your RV for storage will help prolong the lifespan of your RV. The three most common RV storage types include:

Indoor Storage: This type of storage is the most protective and allows your RV to remain in a fully enclosed building.

Outdoor Storage: This is commonly called open-lot storage, and this option leaves your RV exposed to the elements. It is a best practice to use some type of cover when storing your RV outside.

Covered Storage: This type of storage includes a roof or sometimes partial wall protection. When using covered storage, try to have your RV parked as far away from open walls as possible to avoid the UV exposure.

No matter which type of storage you choose, it’s essential to perform certain maintenance tasks before leaving your RV to be stationary for a long period of time. You can continue reading to our RV Winterization Checklist below for more details on this.

Clean the Awning

Your awning should not be forgotten about and should be cleaned out after each use, if possible, and completely dried before storing away. When you can’t complete a thorough cleaning, at least make sure to brush off the awning after use, to make sure it’s free of sticks, brush, and debris.

Inspect Seals and Slide-Outs

When you hear squeaks and squeals in your slide-out, you most likely have forgotten an important maintenance task. Build-up of grime and debris in your slide-out rails can inhibit proper sealing and cause some rust and corrosion. The best way to avoid the need to replace your slide-out rails is to clean and lubricate the rails twice a year and anytime they make noises or fail to work properly.

Window, roof, and door seals naturally degrade over time and will allow moisture to seep into your RV. Keep your RV seals in good condition by inspecting them every six months for wear and tear. You can lubricate the rubber seals to keep them fresh. Make sure to inspect all seals for cracks, water stains, and deterioration.

CHeck Wheels, Tires, and Brakes

Like all vehicles, your wheels and tires keep you safe when travelling. It’s critical to ensure they’re in good shape before each trip. Take these steps to make sure wheels, tires, and brakes will keep you and your family safe on the road.

Keep Your Tires Clean and Protected: UV rays can degrade your tires pretty quickly, forcing you to replace them before the tread is worn out. Routinely clean your tires and treat with a UV protectant. It is a best practice to cover your tires with RV tire covers when stored away or parked for an extended period of time.

Tighten Wheel Lug Nuts and Check Tire Pressure: A blown out tire or lost wheel could lead to a devastating accident. Before ever trip, check your lug nuts for looseness, and your tire pressure and adjust as necessary. Both overinflated and underinflated tires could cause dangerous road conditions.

Maintain RVs Brakes: Your brake maintenance should be taken care of before your first trip of the season or during spring maintenance tasks. Ensure your brakes are working properly and engage as expected. Lubricate you wheel bearings and examine the brakes before travelling.

Properly Winterize Your RV

All RVs, motorhomes, and campers that are in areas where temps drop below freezing should undergo a complete winterization process before storing away. Follow these steps to protect your RV and extend its life through the winter months.

  • Clean your RV’s interior completely. Everything from emptying cupboards, removing linens, and towels.
  • Unplug and store away appliances.
  • Empty and defrost the freezer and fridge.
  • Inspect the RV for holes or openings and plug them with a non-rusting metal dish pads to prevent critters getting in.
  • Place dryer sheets or cedar chips inside the RV to deter pests.
  • Drain the water from your plumbing system (water lines, toilets, tanks, hot water heater, etc.) and pump antifreeze into the system.
  • Clean and dry the exterior.
  • Check seals for damage.
  • Close and lock all doors and windows.
  • Apply a fitted cover and tire covers for outdoor storage.

We hope this information and check list will help someone when it comes to general maintenance for their RV or motorhome. It’s important to use a combination of home and vehicle maintenance techniques to ensure to overall life, quality, and safety of your RV.

RV car tips

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