How to Perform Routine Maintenance on Your RV
RVs are not cheap. For this reason, you’ll want to make sure you’re taking really good care of yours. As is the case with any vehicle, taking good care of your RV requires routine maintenance in addition to repairing any issues that may pop up.
Many people are completely unaware of what their trailer or motorhome maintenance routine should be. Others neglect maintenance, thinking it is unnecessary or a simply a nuisance. Unfortunately, RVs that are not properly maintained don’t last long.
Use the tips in this article to ensure your RV stays on the road for years to come.
The Importance of Your RV Owner Manual
Let’s first discuss your RV owner manual. This little book is chock-full of super important information about your rig. Make sure you hold onto this book so you can reference it whenever necessary.
Don’t know where your owner manual has gone? Try searching for it online! Most manuals can be found in PDF form. You can then print this out or save it to your computer.
No matter how you save your manual, you’ll want to take a peek at it right away to check out the maintenance schedule. Put reminders in your phone or on a calendar when it’s time to perform routine maintenance to ensure these things are done promptly.
You’ll also want to pull your manual out anytime you are making a repair or performing a maintenance task you are unfamiliar with. Often, the manual will provide tips on how to do these things properly, along with information on little quirks your rig may have.
Regular RV Service Tasks
Routine maintenance keeps your rig in tip-top shape and helps prevent breakdowns and other issues along the way. Wondering what kinds of routine maintenance tasks you should be doing? Below is a list of jobs every RV owner should be keeping up with:
- RV oil change (motorhomes only) — quarterly
- Check fluid levels (motorhomes only) — quarterly
- Brake testing and parts replacement — every 6 months
- Clean and re-pack wheel bearings — every 12 months
- Check tires for wear, cracks, and correct pressure before every trip
- Replace RV tires as needed and every three years, regardless of tread depth
- Check batteries for corrosion and proper connection; clean and adjust as needed — quarterly
- Before every trip check the signal, brake, and marker lights
- Check visible wiring, lighting fixtures, and converter for loose connections, overheating, dirt, and/or corrosion — every 6 months
- Use AC plug tester to check all outlets — every 6 months
- Check all pipes and water lines for leaks — quarterly
- Flush out holding tanks — monthly or after each trip
- Clean fresh water tank — every 6 months
- Winterize water system — before each winter
- Flush water heater of debris and replace anode rod (if applicable) — every 6 months
- Check torque on all nuts and bolts on RV and hitch — every 6 months
- Clean and lube hitch — every 12 months
- Reseal all seams, including those on the roof — every 6 months
- Clean and treat slide rubber seals — every six months
- Clean and lubricate awning — every 6 months
- Clean roof and exterior walls — every 6 months
- Clean refrigerator and A/C covers — every 6 months
- Check propane lines and hardware for leaks and obstructions — every 6 months
A Quick and Dirty RV Repair Guide
Of course, even the best maintenance can’t prevent all problems. Therefore, it’s a good idea to know how to take care of at least some RV repair tasks. Luckily, many motorhome and travel trailer repair jobs are fairly straightforward.
Below, we’ve made a list of some of the most common RV problems and linked to solutions to these problems:
- RV Awning Repair — RV awnings are not as durable as one might assume. If something happens to yours, check here for info on how to fix it.
- RV Water Heater Problems — Nobody wants to be without a water heater. Learn how to find and fix your water heater problems in this article.
- RV Refrigerator Problems — Having a fridge is one of the best things about camping in an RV. If your refrigerator is giving you issues, try using these tips to fix it.
- RV Roof Leaks — Leaks are one of the most common and most destructive problems an RV can have. Learn how to fix a roof leak here.
- Water Line or Pipe Leaks — Just as roof leaks can be extremely destructive, so can water line and pipe leaks. These tips should help you repair your leak.
- Holding Tank Troubles — Clogged holding tanks are some of the most disgusting RV issues you can have. Check out this piece to learn what to do about it.
Where to Find Motorhome Parts
Looking for something that can’t be found at one of these stores? Try contacting your RV’s manufacturer to find out where you can find the item.
When You Can’t Fix the Problem
There will be times when you can’t—or don’t want to—fix a problem your RV is having. Luckily, there are plenty of professionals to help you get the issue taken care of. Simply search the internet for “RV service near me” and you’ll be well on your way to finding a friendly repair person to get you back on the road.
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