Are you an adventure lover who just loves to crack up the old RV and go to new places? I know I am. Exploring new places in an RV is the best way to travel and satisfy your inner wanderlust. You can go on short as well as long trips with the utmost comfort, and that too on a budget. What more can you ask for?
To go on adventures regularly, you need to increase the life of your RV and maintain it with the utmost care. When you do this, your RV will pay big dividends down the road. Mentioned below are some tips that will help you tune up your motorhome and make it look brand new all the time.
As an RV user, I have developed a habit of inspecting my RV once a month to check for any issues. This just takes 10-15 minutes and can save you from a future hefty bill of repairs. You can do this on weekends or before going to work. This small habit can do you huge favors. You need to inspect the roof seals and seams of your RV. Inspecting the roof of your RV is important because:
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- Major water leaks are found primarily in the roof. This can be due to any open seats in the roof edges, vents, skylights or the air conditioning unit.
- If there is a leak, then the water will be stored on the outer surface and slowly make its way to the inner framework. This can damage many parts of your RV. Once the damage is done, you will have no option other than to buy new parts. This is why inspection should be your utmost priority.
- The best solution to this is to locate the leak and then use sealants to patch up your RV’s roof. Ensure that the sealant used is compatible with your RV’s roof.
- Don’t ever underestimate even a small leak as it can cause huge damage, and when you notice, then it is too late. You should inspect the roof every three.
2. Tire Check
Here’s a situation: it is raining heavily at night, and you are driving on a secluded road, and suddenly your tires give out. Sounds familiar, right? No passerby comes to save you after your vehicle breaks down, unlike they show in the movies. You are left alone to deal with it. To avoid these situations, make sure to maintain your tires regularly to prevent any foreseeable damage.
- Pressure check – When you are on long trips in your RV, driving with low tire pressure can be dangerous as you don’t know when they can give out. Always check the tire pressure before use, especially during winter, as the pressure drops with low temperatures.
- Wear check – Check your tires for any wear and tear to make them durable for a long time. You can reduce the amount of wear by rotating your tires regularly. The front tires wear fast compared to the back ones, so by rotating, you can even out the wear. This will also reduce the number of trips to the mechanic, and you can get it repaired in one go.
- Alignment – Now, people tend to remember the above points but always forget to focus on the alignment. If your tires are not aligned, then it can lead to a major road accident. It also can damage your tires and other parts of the car. Re-align your tires on a regular basis.
- Spare tire – Always keep a spare tire handy to avoid any obstacles in your trip. Not keeping a spare tire will make you rely on nearby garages which are not an available option always. If you face a breakdown then changing a tire takes about 15-20 minutes and avoids any detours on your trip. Also, ensure that the spare tire is inflated.
3. Clean It
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Take a good look at your RV. Does it look the same as the day when you first bought it? No, isn’t it? Many people have this perception that after using an RV for a while it is bound to look old and rusty. This is a misconception as if you regularly polish and wax your RV it will look brand new even after years of use.
Cleaning it is the most simple and efficient way of maintaining your RV by simply cleaning it with extra stress on the exterior. Apply a good coat of wax and polish it on a fixed schedule. Also, don’t forget to use the UV protectant as this way the exterior material will not fade even after prolonged exposure to the sun.
Maintaining the interior of your RV is as important as maintaining the exterior. I know you might have a very furnished interior of your RV with the best RV mattress and other commodities. The thing you need to focus is also a proper cleaning system of the interior by setting up bins, inspecting the furniture, checking on molds, etc. these tiny steps which take the very little time can save you a lot of trouble in the future.
4. Crank Up Your Engine
The engine is the most important part of your vehicle, and ironically that is the part we ignore the most. We stress more about the looks and forget about the inside. Your engine should be proper and updated. Change the oil on a seasonal basis as RV sits for a long period which can reduce the lubrication and decrease the quality of your engine parts.
It is recommended to change the oil of your RV every 3000-4000 miles or every year. Also, check for rust as it can cause some serious damage to your engine and cost a fortune to repair it.
5. Manage a Proper Toilet System
RV can give you a feeling of a free traveler and a great sense of independence. You will feel free from everything and think that you don’t need to rely on anybody for anything and can have a perfect life on the road. While you are perfectly happy with that travel vibe you have going on, you will face the sudden harsh reality of lack of toilet and clean drinking water. These are the things you take for granted for which you realize their importance in their absence.
Stopping every time for restrooms and using improperly maintained public toilets can take a toll on your hygiene. This is why many people hesitate to go on long trips. You can easily prevent this by building a proper toilet in your RV.
RV’s are now equipped with a proper toilet, but many people fail to maintain it. You need to maintain the toilet by regularly cleaning it and inspecting it for problems. Have the best RV toilet, and most of your problems will be solved. The best way to do is to set up separate holding tanks for different water systems.
6. Create a Good Waste Management System
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During long trips, we live in an RV which means an accumulation of a lot of waste and products. Your main focus should be on the water system. Having an efficient water system will avoid many problems and give you a smooth trip.
You need to use an adequate amount of fluids and flush the system on a regular basis. Clogged water can create a lot of hassle and also damage the parts of your RV. You can create a good waste managing system by following a routine check on the wastes. It can be a solid or liquid waste. It is advised to have a separate system for both for proper maintenance.
There are three main storage tanks in a camper or a motor home which are fresh water, gray water, and black water tanks. These holding tanks provide you a higher level of personal convenience like a hot shower, clean and fresh drinking water and a sanitary place for a toilet. Having these three tanks in your RV is going to make your travel a lot more convenient and comfortable. Trust me on this.
Long trips require driving a lot and especially at night. You need to have a properly maintained set of lights to drive efficiently. I remember once getting stuck on a road at night with a busted light. There was no garage nearby and no phone signal. I had to spend my entire night there as I got help in the morning. That situation spoiled my entire trip as all the planned stops were delayed, and I was tired the whole day.
Just a small busted light can do a lot of damage. Lesson learned always keep your lights in a working condition and never drive with busted lights as it can be dangerous. For precaution, always keep spare lights with you at each trip.
8. Carry the Right Set of Tools
Having a toolkit is a basic necessity for every RV owner. Your tool kit should include all types of wrenches and screwdrivers. Also, keep a kit of bolts and nuts ready if you require them on a trip. Once you hit the road, there is no looking back, that is why planning and packing all the essentials is the most vital step for a successful trip.
The right set of tools also includes an emergency kit. An emergency kit should be present in your RV at all times. You never know when you might need it, so it is better to be safe than sorry.
9. Battery Check
Invest money in a good multimeter or tester lights to keep track on the main voltages and battery. Batteries have to be maintained properly as a dead battery is the last thing you want on your trip. There are some batteries available which have water levels, and there are some batteries which are maintenance free.
They have a life of around 3-5 years after which they start to lose the capacity. The best option for you is to keep your battery charged at all times. The main coach batteries should be between 12.4 volts -12.8 volts when they are not charged. If the battery is below 12 volts, then you have to get them charged.
Now for the AC voltage, the range is from 108-130 volts, and anything above or below that is not appropriate.
I have gotten an EMS (electrical management system) to monitor the battery and other voltages, and I have been satisfied with the results. This is the best way to keep your batteries and other voltages in check and provide protection whenever needed. I highly recommend this for maintaining your RV.
10. Maintain your RV’s brakes
Always have an efficient brake system as it is important not only for your safety but also for others around you. Improper brakes can lead to dangerous accidents. The wheel bearings should be proper and lubricated all the time. Brake replacements cost a lot of money so make sure that your brakes are in a good working condition. Stress more on the wheel bearings and seal as they are the parts which wear very easily. Before going on a trip check that there is sufficient material on the brake to avoid any obstacles on your trip.
Following all the steps is a difficult and time-consuming task. For this reason, prepare a maintenance checklist and follow that properly. From my personal experience, this is the best way to keep your RV young and ready to hit the road. This also increases the life of your RV by many years. Before going on a trip, complete all the tasks on your checklist for the best trip.
So what are you waiting for? Go out and satisfy the wanderlust in you. If you find this post knowledgeable please share it with others and if you have different views about this, then please let us know in the comments.