12 Simple RV Maintenance Tips

Taking the time for preventative maintenance on your recreational vehicle will pay big dividends down the road.  Most maintenance procedures are fairly simple and can be done without seeking out an RV tech. You can tackle these 10 simple items yourself.

Lubrication 

A little lube goes a long way. Keep all the hinges, locks, sliders, and basically, anything that moves well lubricated. A good lube to keep on hand is dry silicone. Works well in almost all applications and resists attracting dirt.

You will find this old Airstream along the white sand beaches of the Florida Panhandle at Seaside. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

You will find this old Airstream along the white sand beaches of the Florida Panhandle at Seaside. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Tighten 

Your RV is basically a house on wheels and exposed to minor earthquakes during every trip. Things will come loose. Every so often grab a screwdriver and a wrench and give everything a re-tightening. This little preventative maintenance can save you big time. Pay special attention to items attached to the outside that may fly off during transit and cause safety risks.

Clean it 

Mechanically everything works better when clean. Dirt and grime causes wear. A good coat of quality wax and UV protectant will keep the rig looking sweet and extend its life.

Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge in southeastern Georgia. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge in southeastern Georgia. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Tires 

Inflate to recommended specifications and check them often. Inspect for any imperfections before travel. Keep lug nuts tightened to proper torque settings. Get a torque wrench and learn how to use it. Minimize exposure to the sun.

Tanks 

Sanitize the fresh water tank as needed. When dumping ensure your tanks are three-quarters full to properly expel the solids with a good flushing action.

Lights 

Carry spares for every type of bulb your RV uses. Check the signal lights, brake lights, headlights, and fog lights prior to every travel day.

Seals and Seams 

Keep close tabs on the external seals and seams. Look for any cracking or holes, especially on the roof. Water leaks and high humidity can cause severe damage to RVs and over time and cause rot and mold to develop.

Life is slow and simple in Amish Country, Indiana. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Life is slow and simple in Amish Country, Indiana. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Voltage Checks 

A safe voltage range is between 108 volts and 130 volts. Anything lower or high can be harmful to your system and may result is costly repair. I highly recommend getting an electrical management system such as the one available from Progressive Industries to monitor voltage, protect against power surges, and check for polarity.

Look Underneath 

It may be a pain but it’s well worth inspecting under your rig on a regular basis. Check for loose, corroding, or broken items and fluid leaks. A quick inspection can save you from being stranded on the side of a highway.

Exercise all systems 

Systems that are left dormant in the RV for long periods of time should be run periodically. As an example when on full hookups for extended periods it’s a good idea to use the water pump occasionally and run the generator on full charge for a half hour or so every month.

The Snake River at Twin Falls, Idaho. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The Snake River at Twin Falls, Idaho. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Deep-Cycle Batteries

Deep-cycle batteries are designed to discharge power at a slow rate for an extended period of time. In RV applications, deep-cycle batteries power the comforts of home like your cooking appliances and lights. Add distilled water when the electrolyte level falls below a half-inch above the plates. Do not overfill. keep the water level an eighth of an inch below the battery’s internal vent-wall.

Protect Against Fire, Propane Leak, and Carbon Monoxide

Check your smoke, propane, and carbon monoxide sensors on a regular basis and replace batteries annually.

Those are some basic things I recommend to maintain the life of your RV. Want to see some more handy tips? Click here.

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Worth Pondering…

Speed was high

Weather was hot

Tires were thin

X marks the spot

BURMA SHAVE

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