If you are an RV owner, you understand that it is a significant investment. You spent a lot of money to own that RV so you would think most owners would do everything they can to make sure your RV is in good shape.
Unfortunately, many RV owners let routine maintenance slip through the cracks. Skipping out on RV maintenance leads to some costly repairs down the road so I wanted to share some of the most overlooked maintenance worked to save you an expensive headache down the road.
1. Don’t Neglect the Roof
The roof of your RV is the most important and commonly missed area for maintenance. Most RVs have vinyl or fiberglass roofs and they tend to crack over time. A cracked roof causes leaks to seep into walls and begin to damage the RV from the inside. Check your roof once a year for cracks to prevent costly repairs.
2. Check the AC
You need to service your AC once a year to get all the dirt and dust off the coils. In a home AC, you have air filters but an RV AC usually has a flimsy piece of foam that doesn’t do a good job of keeping gunk out. A dirty AC unit will cause it to spend more on electricity and even cause the RV to fill with an unpleasant musky odor. This odor is the biggest indicator that your AC unit is dirty. Using your RV without a yearly AC inspection can also the air dam that seals onto the AC vents to become dislodged. This makes your air conditioner virtually worthless.
3. Drain the Water Heater
You should drain your water heater once a year. This will get rid of the minerals that accumulate in the heater and can cause corrosive damage. Corrosive minerals are the biggest reason why water tanks start leaking. It is also recommended you drain your water tank during the offseason. You shouldn’t have your tank filled with water if you are not going to use your RV for months.
I also recommend emptying your RV water line and toilet valve and filling it with antifreeze. A cold night can cause these lines to freeze and destroy your water pump and toilet.
4. Exercise the Generator
A lot of RV owners think you can just leave your generator not running for months and just start it up again. You can’t do this which is why it is important to exercise your generator during the offseason. Once a month turn on your generator and let it run for a minimum of thirty minutes with your air conditioning on. This will ensure that the springs, cylinder wall and power inverter are all running properly.
Doing this easy routine maintenance and getting your RV inspected once a year can easily catch a number of these problems that are too often missed. Doing your due diligence and fixing these minor issues before they become big will save you a lot of money in the long run. A good time to perform regular maintence is before you put your recreational vehicle into storage for the off-season.
Matt Farnham is a mobile mechanic and owner of Auto Repair 2 You. Farnham is an expert in RV repair and has serviced thousands of RVs across Arizona.