Buying an RV, whether it’s brand new or used, is a substantial investment. It’s not cheap. As with all things expensive, you owe it to yourself to take care of your RV to make sure that it lasts as long as possible while keeping your repair costs down. That comes with proper maintenance of the RV. Haven’t done much maintenance on your RV in a long while? It’s probably time to start getting into a maintenance routine. Here are seven of our go-to tips for starting to develop your own maintenance plan for your RV.
Routine Roof Inspections
The roof of the RV is one of the first lines of defense against the elements and debris. A strong roof protects the rest of your RV from the weather, especially the rain. Water damage is one of the most common damages that your RV can sustain and a majority of the time it is due to leaks in the roof.
The roof of your RV will be one area that receives constant maintenance. Also keep in mind that the more that you travel, the more you’ll need to have your roof checked. The roof also protects your RV from debris that could range from rocks to branches. If you’re in an area known for a lot of wind, then your roof is at a higher risk of being damaged. But having routine roof inspection by a trusted RV technician could end up saving you thousands in the long run.
Owner’s Manual And Brochures – Know Your RV
Owner’s manuals and RV brochures are a great resource to be able to know the ins and outs of your RV. Thanks to the ever-growing world of technology, most manuals are even available offline. Make sure that when you buy an RV you store the manual in a place that is easy to remember. If you’re buying a used RV, ask if it comes with the original owner’s manual. The manuals and brochures can provide you insight into a lot of specifications for the RV.
Keep Tires In Peak Condition
Traveling in an RV can often come with accumulating a lot of miles in a short period of time. It’s important to keep in mind that combining the amount of travel time, travel distance, and traveling in an RV means that your RV tires may not last as long as the tires on a normal vehicle. Keeping your tires in good condition will reduce your risk of incidents on the road like tire blowouts, and can also help with maintaining decent gas mileage.
Oil Changes And Oil Filters
Just like cars, an RV needs its oil changed out on a regular basis to keep the engine in good health. Just like the tires, the more you drive your RV the more often you’ll need to change the oil. It’s recommended to use high quality oil as the cost is more than worth the benefit. Make sure to check the owner’s manual for the manufacturer recommendations for oil changes.
Water Tank Maintenance
When you’re using the RV and when you’re storing your RV, you need to make sure that you maintain the water tanks. This is a crucial part of maintenance in any RV that has water tanks. Your freshwater tank should be flushed and sanitized at least twice per year. It’s not recommended to keep stagnant water in the tank for long periods of time in between travel. Bacteria can grow in the tank, especially when the water is stagnant.
Gray water tanks, luckily, don’t require much maintenance. Over time, though, these tanks can still develop an unpleasant odor. The black water tank is likely going to be where most of your water tank maintenance occurs. You should ensure you use only approved chemicals in order to break down solids in a black water tank.
Maintain Electrical Systems
Electric systems are something that you often don’t have to worry about when you’re looking to buy a regular vehicle. But RV’s have more in depth electrical systems. Actual electrical outlets and wiring are common, as well as appliances you’d find in a home like a fridge or even a washer/dryer combo in some RV’s.
Always Follow Good RV Storage Practices
Proper storage of your RV is important to keep issues to a minimum. If you’re going to store your RV for a long period of time, you should probably clean it out. Many of the above-mentioned tips for maintenance can be utilized before and after storage as well, like cleaning out the water tanks and emptying the freshwater tank. If you’d like to read more about storage tips for RV’s, you can read our article on that.
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