Spring Maintenance for your RV
Ah, spring cleaning — that time we take each year to go through everything and make sure it’s fresh, clean, and in good working order.
And for RV owners, that effort is twofold. Spring cleaning and maintenance isn’t limited to just your home; your RV could use a little springtime love, too!
When you’re performing spring maintenance on an RV, however, it’s a little more involved than just grabbing your latex gloves and cleaning supplies and applying a little elbow grease. (Or, if you’re into shortcuts, simply exhausting your supply of Clorox wipes.) From checking out all your mechanical systems to giving the interior of your coach a thorough once-over, there’s quite a bit to do on your spring RV maintenance checklist.
But don’t feel overwhelmed! We’re here to help you get down to business and make sure your rig is in ship-shape and ready to go for your upcoming summer travels. Once you’re done with this post, your rig will be in great shape for your next epic adventure.
Here’s our spring RV maintenance 101 crash course for travel trailer and motorhome owners.
RV Maintenance Tips
Setting up a regular preventative maintenance schedule is one of the most important parts of owning an RV. Just as you would for your regular, around-town vehicle, you need to make sure you keep up with your RV’s basic engine and mechanical systems.
That means checking all your fluid levels about every 3,000 miles, as well as doing (or having professionals do) regular oil changes and all-around vehicle checkups. As with any other car or truck, your rig will need certain parts replaced or repaired over the course of its lifetime, and the best way to stay ahead of those needs (and thus to keep them from getting more expensive) is to have regular checkups.
Also be sure to check out your RV’s tires before and after every trip you take, as well as periodically during times when your rig isn’t in use. Having well-maintained tires is critical to staying safe on the road, so don’t forget to perform these checkups!
If you haven’t already set up a preventative maintenance schedule for your rig, this spring is a great time to do a thorough once-over and then create a schedule to keep up with it in the future. Once you have your chassis and engine under control, you can take on more detailed spring cleaning projects in your RV’s coach and interior.
Camper Spring Maintenance
Although RV repairs are a fact of life, you’ll minimize your costs by regularly checking for any damage that might be just starting. That means thoroughly checking for water leaks and other problems that could cause a large repair bill if left alone to get worse.
You should also take the time to climb up the ladder and make sure your RV’s roof is in good repair at least once a quarter, including during springtime. Be especially vigilant around any roof openings, such as fans, A/C units, and sewer vents — leaks can occur at the seals, necessitating RV roof repair. While you’re up there, give the roof a good cleaning; debris and detritus such as bird droppings can ruin your roof’s paint job and finish, which can lead to water damage and integrity issues down the line.
Spring is also a great time to give your RV’s holding tanks and holding tank sensors a complete cleansing, using diluted bleach to ensure the interior of the plumbing system is totally sterilized. Here’s our post on how to clean your RV’s holding tank sensors. Don’t forget to use approved RV toilet chemicals to promote waste breakdown and reduce odors after you’ve emptied the tanks!
HVAC Spring Maintenance
Spring is a great time to take on air conditioning, heating, and ventilation maintenance, especially if you’re planning to travel in your rig in the upcoming hot summer months.
Although every RV air conditioning unit is different and you’ll want to consult your manufacturer’s literature for exact instructions, there are simple maintenance steps that every RV owner should be aware of and perform. For example, a simple visual inspection of the exterior unit on your RV’s roof can alert you to any splits or cracks in the casing, and interior filter screens need regular replacements to ensure the air you’re breathing is clean and free of debris and microbes.
RV air conditioners naturally deteriorate over time and are expensive to replace. By keeping up with HVAC maintenance each spring, you’ll have the best chance of finding any serious problems well enough ahead of time to avoid a large repair bill.
Travel Trailer Maintenance
The inside of your travel trailer or motorhome also needs some springtime attention, just like the inside of your house. Take the time to go through all of your cabinets, drawers, and your RV refrigerator to make sure you don’t have any old, useless items collecting dust (or, in the case of food products, creating bad RV odors).
You’ll also want to do a thorough deep cleaning, including dusting all the surfaces, using cleansers like Windex on your RV’s mirrors and window interiors, and cleaning your RV’s bathroom with toilet bowl cleaner and bleach products. Don’t forget to vacuum and mop! Floor maintenance will help keep your interior feeling and smelling fresh and inviting for many coming camping seasons.
It’s a good idea to do a total RV interior clean-up job like this at least once a quarter, and preferably every time you take a camping trip. Doing so will help reduce interior RV odors and alert you to any necessary repairs or replacements you may need to plan for in the near future. Plus, it’s always nice to step into a fresh, well-organized rig when you’re getting ready for your next big adventure — you’ll have one less thing to worry about when you’re trying to get your show on the road, so to speak!
For more RV maintenance tips and tricks, check out the following posts here at the RVshare blog.
- Creating a Preventative RV Maintenance Schedule
- RV Cleaning, Storage and Maintenance: Must-Have Products
- Easy RV Cleaning Hacks for People Who Hate Cleaning
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