10 RV Maintenance Tips to Keep Your Motorhome in Great Shape
No matter what type of RV you drive or how often you spend time living the RV life, there will always be routine maintenance to do throughout the lifetime of your motorhome. An RV maintained in prime condition keeps you on the road and enjoying your many adventures with minimal downtime.
Here are 10 tips for keeping your motorhome or RV in great shape:
1. Oil Changes
Anything with a motor is going to need an oil and filter change on a regular basis. Engines that run on old oil for too long can break down or seize, costing you thousands in repairs and even requiring you to replace your entire RV engine. Take the time to swap out the oil and filter about every 4,000 miles as a general rule, but more frequently if your RV owner’s manual calls for it.
Like your engine, your electrical generator (or generators) also need regular service to keep them in good working order. You definitely do not want to find yourself parked somewhere with no RV electrical connections and no AC or lights. Change your oil and filter according to the timeline found in your RV owners manual. Failing to do so could mean a repair or replacement cost in excess of $9,000.
Your RVs air filter, fuel filter, hydraulic, and coolant filters need to be exchanged with fresh filters according to the schedule in your owner’s manual. Damage caused by clogged or faulty filters in any of the aforementioned systems can lead to burning excess fuel and cause your engine to overheat. Save yourself thousands of dollars in repairs and make sure you get those filters swapped out when they need it.
4. Seals and Seams
With used and older RVs, this is probably the most important task of all. Motion while driving or towing, sunlight, and humidity all play a role in the wear, loosening, and cracking of seams in the body or roof of your RV. Any leaks that are left unchecked and unrepaired can cause thousands of dollars in damage due to water leaking in or mold formation. Look for leaks carefully, and seal them immediately with a high-quality silicone all-weather sealant. Keep a few tubes and a caulking gun handy for leaks that show up while you’re on the road too.
Got a rubber roof? Get it treated annually to prevent sun damage. Be sure to check it out twice a year as well to make sure it’s not contributing leaks of its own even where it doesn’t meet the other seals and seams on the body of your RV.
Common sense automotive safety dictates you keep your brakes in top condition at all times. This keeps you and other motorists safe on the roadways and ensures you don’t damage your brakes by putting excessive strain on a worn out or broken brake system. Replacing all brake pads, shoes, rotors, and other parts of brake systems can be an expensive proposition, so check and maintain your brakes regularly to keep these costs to a minimum.
6. Water and Sewer
No one wants to deal with a clogged or backed up wastewater or sewage system when they are out on the road. Don’t let it happen to you. Make sure you always use biodegradable RV toilet paper and use the appropriate chemicals in your wastewater system to prevent buildup.
7. Tires and Wheels
Always examine the tread and sidewalls of your tires before rolling out, and verify that all your tires are at the correct pressure. Furthermore, always check the tension on the lug nuts of every wheel to ensure they aren’t loosening.
A battery test should happen before every trip, and deep cycle batteries on RVs typically require replacement every 3-5 years. Keeping a battery in optimal condition in your RV keeps you on the road and out of the shop, so be sure to replace any battery approaching the end of its life cycle immediately.
There are a few necessary tasks for storing your RV during the off-season. First, fire up the generator once or twice a month during storage. This will keep carbon and other debris from building up in the carburetor and save you from a $400 minimum replacement. Second, remove your battery during storage in colder seasons of the year and store it someplace warmer than the great outdoors. Frozen batteries burst, which voids your battery, RV warranty, and renders the battery useless. Finally, be sure to cover your RV if possible when it is not in use to protect it from direct sunlight and inclement weather. This alone prevents many issues like leaking seals and seams or water pooling on the roof and eventually causing a leak.
Following these 10 simple maintenance steps can make all the difference between many happy adventures and excessive amounts of work and money being invested into keeping your RV roadworthy. Not confident in your RV maintenance skills? If you’re local to the Greater Seattle Area, bring your RV to Kirkland RV sales and service in Everett. Our expert team of technicians can help you keep your RV running like new all year long for many years to come. Call or visit our website today for details.