These 10 practical tips will help you to maintain your motorhome successfully and protect your investment.
RV Maintenance – Inspect the Roof
Check the roof of your RV or motorhome for tightness every few months. Water leaks can occur in various ways: First, water enters the outer wooden frame and roof, then it seeps through the interior of the motorhome and causes significant water damage. Unfortunately, leaks are easiest to notice when washing your RV, but at least this will likely be when it’s easy to fix.
There are a number of sealants that can be used to patch leaks in the roof of your motorhome, but it is important to use a sealant that is compatible with the material of the motorhome roof.
RV Maintenance – Check the Tire Pressure
Check the wheel nuts of your vehicle so that they have not loosened during previous journeys or storage. Riding on loose wheels and nuts is dangerous and can cause the wheels to fall off or blow out on the road and cause accidents.
Underinflated tires are dangerous because they cause control problems and create more resistance on the road, which affects mileage. Checking the tire pressure on your RV’s tires is important as overinflated tires can explode and damage the motorhome and cause an accident on your road. Tire pressure changes as the temperature rises and falls and can drop significantly if the motorhome stops in winter.
RV Maintenance – Battery Maintenance
One of the last things you want to do on a camping trip is run your motorhome’s battery dead, so check the batteries in your motorhome before you start and ensure they are in good condition.
Batteries behave like water levels, so they are mostly maintenance-free, but can cause many problems on a camping trip, especially when it’s least convenient.
The goal with motorhome batteries is to do everything possible to keep them fully charged at all times. Batteries normally last 3-5 years, but low-cycle batteries in lose their capacity after three years. RV batteries can last up to five years, and electric vehicle batteries last about four years; batteries usually need a tender in the “off season” to keep them fully charged when you need them.
RV Maintenance – Sewage System
Maintenance of your RV’s sewage systems involves using chemicals that are designed to work in the system, whether it’s a gray water or black water system. Keep your sewage systems in good condition by keeping them as clean as possible, even when they are not in regular use. If you do not maintain your RV water system you may experience accumulations that can lead to seizure valves, water leaks and other problems.
RV Maintenance – Brake Maintenance
It is important to maintain the brakes on the motorhome for your safety, just like everyone else. The brakes should be mounted on the camper’s springs, so make a checklist and keep them in your camper.
Also, make sure that the brakes still contain enough material to ensure good functioning in the trailer. Make sure your wheel bearings are nice and lubricated in the spring or before you take it our each year.
The brakes can be replaced for $300 to $500, and the replacement usually involves repackaging the wheel bearings and replacing the seals.
RV Maintenance – Slides and Seals
To clean your motorhome’s slides, you need to lubricate the sliding mechanism to ensure that it retracts in and out with the least wear on the motor. If you do not clean the slide, this can cause problems with the sealing of the motorhome. Therefore, treat and clean all the gliding seals on your motorhome. To prevent dirt from accumulating in the seals, clean all slides and outlets before cleaning them.
For the window seals there is also a lubricant that can be used on the rubber to keep it fresh and pliable. This creates a good seal, but can also cause problems with the seals of other parts of the motorhome.
When the windows start are exposed to UV rays over the course of time, the felt or rubber seals on the window slides may start to crack and need to be replaced. Using a UV protectant on these surfaces allows for a better seal between the glass and the other parts of the motorhome, such as doors and windows.
RV Maintenance – Change the Oil
Like regular maintenance for your car with oil changes, change the oil in your motorhome at least every spring, if not more often f the RV is used regularly throughout the season. Most RV owners will store their equipment during the off-season, so the fall and spring are important parts of the RV maintenance shedule.
It is important to change the oil at least once a year to ensure that everything is optimally lubricated and running. If you do not change your oil, your motorhome will get excessive engine wear and tear and may require expensive maintenance or cause you to buy a new engine.
RV Maintenance – Fluids and Filters
Similar to the oil change in a motorhome, you also need to replace the air, fuel, coolant and hydraulic filters seasonally in a motorhome. It is usually recommended to check these items every time you perform an oil change.
RV Maintenance – Awning Maintenance
Excessive wear and tear can occur on the awning, and regular inspections allow you to detect and repair cracks early before they become large. Keep the awnings of your motorhome maintained and it is important to keep them clean so that you do not get mold.
After cleaning your RV awning, we recommend applying a fabric guard to help with water repellancy.
If you do not clean your awnings before travelling with the motorhome, a moulded part could get stuck, tear the fabric or get stuck. A crack in your fabric can cost up to $600, depending on the type of damage caused to the awning, and replacing the awning base itself costs between $1,300 and $2,400.
RV Maintenance – Electrical Connections
The connection between the motorhome and the towing vehicle is crucial for the safety of your motorhome and others when travelling.
The electrical connection ensures your motorhome is safe when you are travelling day and night and ultimately ensures that your motorhome has a fully charged battery and working lighting. The advantage of the electric connection is that the towing vehicle charges the battery in the motorhome via a charging circuit while driving. You can switch the brakes and lights on and off when you press the brake pedal on the towing vehicle.
If you have any questions or concerns about the maintenance of your motorhome, please contact your local RV or motorhome dealer. Our friends at Gold Eagle also have a great article on RV Maintenance Musts that’s worth checking out.
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