The RV life comes with exciting benefits – traveling, camping, and exploring the great outdoors, to name a few. Yet it does require a little work to obtain those rewards. In order to take advantage of all the amenities and opportunities associated with RVing, it is essential to keep up with routine maintenance so that your used Class A gas RV or other motorhome is in top shape for your adventures. Therefore, it is important to understand the regular maintenance that is required for all RVs. Whether you are a new or seasoned RV owner, RVT has provided a refresher on the basics of routinely maintaining your RV.
Check Your RV’s Tires
Since your RV may experience drastic changes in elevation and temperature – two factors that can significantly affect tire pressure – it is crucial to evaluate your RV’s tire pressure before each trip. Consult your owner’s manual on the exact PSI for each tire, as some RVs differ from others. Additionally, it is also important to check your RV’s lug nuts before each trip.
Clean Slide-outs and Seals
Cleaning and lubricating your RV’s slide-outs will help them do as their name suggests – slide out efficiently, allowing less resistance on the motors. Forgetting to do this can create buildup around the seals, which could cause damage to your slider mechanisms.
Check Your RV’s Battery
It is imperative to check the battery in your Class B+ camper van or other RV on a regular basis. Since batteries last approximately five to seven years, it may not seem essential to frequently check your RV’s battery; however batteries lose capacity over time, and it’s good to know your RV’s current battery status before you travel. Make sure your RV’s battery is fully charged before each trip and replace the battery if needed. To extend your RV’s battery life, store the battery somewhere warmer during the winter season, such as your garage.
Check Hoses, Clamps, and Fluid Levels
Ensure that all hoses and clamps are fastened correctly and securely. One faulty component can lead to leaks in the system, which can be detrimental to your RV. While under the hood, it is also useful to top off the oil, coolant, and wiper fluid levels so they will be functioning well on your next adventure.
Inspect the Roof and Seams
Where your RV is housed and where it has traveled may dictate how often you should inspect the roof. Ideally, you should inspect the roof and the seams every six months. If your used Class C motorhome or other RV has been parked under trees that shed debris, it is beneficial to wash the roof immediately. Thoroughly inspect the seams as these are the areas in which leaks most likely occur. When necessary, apply a sealant after your roof is clean for further reinforcement to prevent water damage.
Clean the Holding Tanks
RVs are typically equipped with three types of holding tanks for freshwater, gray water, and black water.
- Fresh Water Tank: On a bi-annual basis, fill the tank with a bleach and water solution. Allow it to sit for at least one day, then flush and refill multiple times to ensure the bleach has been eliminated from the system.
- Gray Water Tank: Cleaning out your gray water tank periodically will help prevent your system from getting clogged. Add a holding tank safe cleaning agent and drive your RV to allow the solution to move around the tank. Drain the solution and rinse the tank with a flush valve. To deodorize, add an odor blocker when you dump the solution.
- Black Water Tank: Drain this tank with an RV sewer hose, then use a flush valve or tank rinser to remove buildup and clean the tank. Flush the toilet to reintroduce water into the tank.
Maintain the Awning
Make sure to clean and protect your RV awning from any debris. Mold, mildew, tree sap, and other debris are a number of main culprits to neglected awning cleanings, which can be detrimental in the long run. By washing your awning regularly, you will detect any imperfections before it leads to a bigger issue.
Change the Oil
A general rule-of-thumb for RVs is to do an oil change on a seasonal basis or every 3,000 to 4,000 miles. Neglecting to change the oil will cause excessive wear on your RV’s engine, which will require expensive replacements.
If you are diligent in keeping up with these various maintenance tasks, your rig will have a longer lifespan, and a higher value if you ever decide to sell your pre-owned RV. Keep all your maintenance receipts as future owners might want to see them!
And, if you’re ready to find your next motorhome to drive, maintain, and make good-life memories in, browse the current offerings on RVT.com.
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