Properly maintaining your RV is the most important thing you can do to keep it running and help retain its value. It is recommended to follow the manufacturer’s owner’s manual to see exactly what you should do to keep your RV in top condition however, we’ve listed a few tips below.
1. Change Oil and Oil Filters Regularly (Drive RV)
Like cars, RVs need their oil and filters changed at regular intervals. This is necessary to keep your engine running properly. Most manufacturers suggest an oil change every 3,000 to 4,500 miles, but you should check your owner’s manual for advice on your specific vehicle.
2. Service Your RV Generator According to Schedule (Drive or Towable RVs)
Servicing your RV generator is important as well. Again, check the manufacturer’s recommendations for how often the oil and filter should be changed. Remember to run your generator regularly when your RV is stored too. It would be a bummer to go use your generator and it does not work properly.
3. Replace Air, Fuel, and Other Filters (Drive or Towable RVs)
Replacing the air, fuel, coolant and hydraulic filters in your RV should also be done regularly. Damage could result from increased fuel usage or overheating issues with the cooling system and oxidization in the hydraulic system.
In towable RVs many use a hydraulic system for their jacks & slides. It never hurts to check the level of fluid or for any possible leaks.
4. Regularly Inspect the Roof (Drive or Towable RVs)
Inspect the roof seals and seams of your RV every six months. Water damage can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars to repair if it’s not taken care of immediately. If repairs are necessary, follow the manufacturer’s instructions because it varies by material used.
5. Have Your Brakes Checked by a Mechanic (Drive or Towable RVs)
Keeping your brakes maintained is important for your safety and those of everyone else on the road as well.
6. Take Care of Your RV’s Sewer System (Drive or Towable RVs)
Keep your wastewater system in good condition by using biodegradable RV toilet paper and using proper tank treatments will make your travels more enjoyable. It’s also extremely important to empty your RV’s holding tank to prevent unwanted backup. The right RV sewer connections can make this process much easier. It’s also important to empty your holding tank every so often. The more the liquid in the tank before draining is best.
7. Have Rubber Roofs Treated Annually (Drive or Towable RVs)
If you have a rubber roof, make sure to have the roof treated at least once per year. This prevents the sun from doing damage. Follow the manufacturer’s owner’s manual to see exactly what you should do. You can also have your roof inspected 1-2 times a year by a professional as a precaution.
8. Check Your Tire Pressure (Drive or Towable RVs)
Check your tire pressure and lug nuts before every trip. Tighten lug nuts as necessary and add air to tires based on proper specifications. TPMS systems are a great safeguard to add in your tow vehicle or RV to monitor your tires as you are traveling.
While you are checking your tires, just take a quick glance at the suspension to make sure everything looks good as well.
9. Check Your Batteries Regularly (Drive or Towable RVs)
Check your batteries before your trip. Deep cycle batteries last 3-5 years and should be replaced after their life cycle is complete. For a lithium battery, keep your batteries at room temperature. The worst thing that can happen to a lithium-ion battery is to have a full charge and be subjected to elevated temperatures. Avoid completely discharging lithium-ion batteries. If a lithium-ion battery is discharged below 2.5 volts per cell, a safety circuit built into the battery opens and the battery appears to be dead. The original charger will be of no use. Only battery analyzers with the boost function have a chance of recharging the battery.
10. Store Your Battery Properly (Drive or Towable RVs)
Take your battery out during the winter months and store it somewhere warm. They have the possibility to freeze and break, voiding the warranty and rendering them unusable. For extended storage of lithium batteries, discharge a lithium-ion battery to about 40 percent and store it in a cool place.
11. Maintaining Your Camper Seals (Drive or Towable RVs)
Constant inspection of the seals is the key to keeping water out and your RV looking like new. We recommend that you caulk your camper twice a year; once after you de-winterize and once right when you are winterizing in the late fall. Or as needed when you are cleaning or doing your inspection.
For Rubber camper roofs, we use Dicor roof sealant. Dicor is the industry choice for sealing RV roofs because it is a self-leveling sealant.
For the remaining exterior of your camper, Geocel MHRV (Motorhome/RV) heavy duty sealant. Geocel has a high UV rating, which makes it an excellent choice for truck campers.
Seals around your RV slide outs need regular maintenance as well. We recommend using Thetford Premium RV Slide Out Rubber Seal Conditioner & Protectant. The Slide Out Rubber Seal Conditioner coats the surface in a water-repellent film, cleans, conditions, shines, and protects against UV rays, Cleans, conditions and shines. Prevents fading, cracking and deterioration.
With the proper maintenance and care, your RV exterior will keep looking good, and most importantly, it will keep you from running into expensive problems in the future.
Different maintenance activities have different maintenance intervals. Some components may require yearly maintenance, while others may need to be maintained every time you use them. Creating a maintenance schedule will help keep you on track, so you don’t accidentally forget to maintain a vital component.