Keeping Your RV in Tip-Top Shape while Exploring the Country with Vanna Mae

Last updated on June 30th, 2022 at 02:44 pm. Originally published on May 18th, 2022

Spring into early Summer is one of the most gorgeous times to hit the road and explore the country. I recently did a 2,500 mile cross country roadtrip in my Majestic 19g RV. It was an experience of a lifetime, going through the sunkissed deserts of the West, the majestic Rocky Mountains that take your breath away, to the lush green forests of the Atlantic Coast. All with the weather changing every moment.

Thankfully, I was able to get there with zero breakdowns, leaks, or blowouts. All thanks to keeping up with my RV’s maintenance. I’m excited to share some of the ways I keep my RV in tip-top shape while exploring the country. 

woman on top of an rv holding supplies

Tire Check

Before I start any long trip, I always check my RV’s tires. First, it’s good to know your tire’s psi, you can find the recommended tire pressure in your camper’s manual or a sticker located around the driver’s side door of your camper. Once you know the psi, get a tire gauge (that matches your tires psi) that you can use on the go. I recommend the electronic gauges over the pencil gauges for convenience.

One of the most valuable tools I have in my RV is an air compressor. With an air compressor, you always have a way to put air in your tires. Make sure to get an air compressor with the right psi for your tires. I recommend the Stanley Fatmax line because it’s versatile and multipurpose. It comes with USB ports to charge your small gadgets, battery clamps, and a flashlight. It’s a great tool that can help me if I need it. 

It’s okay if you need help filling your own tires. Most mechanics, and tire shops will fill them for you for free. If I get my tires filled by a professional, I will always give them a tip. They can also help answer any questions about your tires’ quality.

rv tire gauge

RV Fridge & Undercarriage 

Having a fridge on the road comes with many conveniences. But one of the biggest causes of RV fires is our propane refrigerators. An easy way to prevent fires from happening is to check your RV’s exterior vent. It’s easy to pull out and make sure there are no critters making a nest or any major debris accumulating inside. I do a vent check once a month. I use an air duster to clear out all the dust and leaves that get inside. 

A way to keep your vents (including your furnace exhaust vent) from having any unwanted debris is by adding vent covers that slide on the wide holes in your vent.

To prevent water damage from happening from your fridge vent, make sure the vent hose is pointing and draining outside onto the ground and not into your RV.

It’s important to check the interior of the undercarriage, behind the drawers and cabinets where there are wires. Mice, rats, and other unwanted guests might be tempted to chew into the interior and make your space a home. Checking your undercarriage, sealing holes, and keeping it clean can help stop them from coming in. I also keep food that’s not in the fridge in air-tight containers to prevent lingering smells that might attract them.

woman cleaning an rv exterior

Sealing & Rooftop 

A rooftop check can help prevent major leaks from happening. It’s good to do a monthly walk-through to make sure all the seals are secure and don’t need to be changed. Keeping up with rooftop maintenance can save you some stress and money in the future by catching any defects early.

Every 6 months, I reseal my caulking all around my RV to prevent leaks and cracks from happening. If I see an area where the caulking is getting old and peeling apart, I know it’s time to take the old one off and apply a fresh layer. I learned the proper way to seal my RV by following how-tos from professional RVers and maintenance people on youtube. It’s okay if it doesn’t look great the first time, the important part is to keep your RV sealed with the proper caulking.

For campers, it’s important to get the right caulking materials for the project, your interior, roof, and sides might need different types of caulking. It’s also uncommon to be able to pick up RV caulking at any regular box store. I make sure to do my research on which type of caulking I need for the job and order ahead of time and buy extra to keep in storage.

Oil Changes 

Did you know that most small to midsize RVs can get oil changes and services done at Jiffy Lubes across the country? I get all my oil changes done and topped off at Jiffy Lube while I’m traveling. It’s important to note not all Jiffy Lubes have the height clearance for bigger rigs. Just call ahead of time and ask them if that location can service your RV. The newer buildings can.  

I love going to Jiffy Lube for my oil changes, it’s convenient and everyone I’ve met so far has been friendly and helpful. I also like that they have my RV’s maintenance history on file and will notify me via email when I’m due for my next oil change. They will also top off your fluids for free before your next oil change. It’s convenient to have a consistent place to take my RV no matter what part of the country I’m in. 

It’s also good to have extra supplies of oil and engine fluids on hand. Make sure to check your fluids before heading out on any long adventure or if your camper has been sitting for a long time.

rv at jiffy lube

Squeaky Clean

My last but most favorite RV maintenance tip is getting your rig washed. I usually go to Truck Wash stops, I personally like Blue Beacon Truck Wash. They do an excellent job in spot cleaning and my RV looks great for months. They are big enough to wash any rig you have and you can stay inside your Rig while they clean. It’s very convenient and is usually located next to a travel center.

rv exiting a car wash

Do you have any RV Maintenance ideas you would like to add? I’d love to hear them in the comment section!

Till next time!

About the author: Vanna Mae is a visual artist and influencer, traveling around the country in her 19ft Class C RV with her cat Indigo. Keep up with their adventures on Instagram @artistontheroam and on YouTube.

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