Just like your automobile, you’ll want to keep you RV running at its best at all times. It doesn’t matter if you bought a diesel pusher or a pop-up, you made a decision to purchase a major investment. To take care of that investment, it’s crucial to keep up with routine maintenance so you can enjoy it as long as possible.
First things first, you’ll want to clean the inside and out of your RV. Doing this regularly will keep it looking pristine. And in case you plan on selling it one day, having the exterior looking good will raise the selling price.
Cleaning is for aesthetics, and although that’s important, if it can’t be driven on the road, your RV is useless. Below is a simple but extensive list of mechanical things to do and check before heading out on your trip.
Under the Hood
- Oil Change– This is so important to any vehicle. Good, clean oil is what keeps things running smoothly. Using a synthetic oil which lasts much longer than any regular oil and change it regularly.
- Filters– Most oil filters are changed with every oil change, but double check with your maintenance guy to be sure. Air filters must also be changed.
- Fluids– Checking your fluids doesn’t take long at all and neither does topping them off. Forgetting this step could turn a weekend trip into a trip to the RV maintenance shop!
- Fan Belts– Check for tightness and look for any cracks in the material.
- Tires– Check for general wear and make sure they have enough air in them. The tire should say what pressure they run best at. A quick way to tell if your tire pressure is low is if your RV pulls one way or the other. Or, if your RV ride isn’t smooth, your tires may need more air.
- Wipers– No one likes driving in the rain with squeaky windshield wipers! Check and replace these as needed.
- Exterior lights– Look at headlights, taillights, license plate lights and turn signals.
- Air Conditioner– This is a must-have, especially if you’re traveling to a warm climate. If you turn it on and it doesn’t blow cold air, you might need more Freon.
Other Important Checks
This is a list of the other things in your RV you should keep an eye on, but aren’t related to the engine.
- Dump Valve– This has to work perfectly at all times.
- Black and Grey Water Tanks– Clean and sanitize thoroughly.
- Window Seals– Check for any leaks or cracks. Anything that is cracked needs to be replaced.
- Entry Steps– Make sure these extend fully and with ease.
- Converter Charging System– Make sure it converts the way it’s supposed to. If it doesn’t, it probably needs to be replaced or serviced.
- Generator– The oil needs to be changed regularly along with the oil and air filters.
- Water Heater– Make sure you have hot water.
- Refrigerator– Make sure it’s running and cool.
- Stove– Check all burners and make sure they turn on.
- Fresh Water– Clean and fill tank.
Checklist for Towable RVs
Most of what we just discussed applies to motorized RVs, but this list is specific to towables.
- Trailer Brakes– Take your trailer out to see how your brakes stop. If you hear any squeaking or grinding, they might need to be replaced.
- Slide Seals– Check for cracks and pitting. Be sure to lubricant them so they slide smoothly.
- Awnings– Check to make sure they deploy easily. Also look for any tears or rips.
- Propane Gas Tank– Refill as needed.
- Frame– Check for rust, cracking or any kind of damage.