RVs cost on average $1,500 per year to maintain. While that’s not a lot of cash for a hobby, it’s also money you could spend on leisure while you’re RVing.
It’s also reasonable to expect that you’ll want to take care of your investment. The average cost isn’t set in stone, and your vehicle’s depreciation isn’t either.
The more you do to take care of your RV, the better your investment. And luckily, taking care of your RV maintenance isn’t that difficult.
Anyone with a little mechanical know-how can do their own RV maintenance, though the mechanic is always there if you’re having trouble.
Beyond just saving yourself from getting stranded and keeping your RV’s value, maintenance also prevents accidents.
The fewer accidents you have, the lower your insurance rates stay, saving you even more money over the long term.
To help keep your investment worthwhile, we’re bringing you our best RV maintenance tips.
Let’s start small and easy. Your RV, like any vehicle, has fluids like oil, brake fluid, coolant, windshield wiper fluid, etc., that keep it running smoothly.
Over time these fluids can leak, or simply evaporate with use. Making sure they’re all topped-off is essential to ensuring the longevity of your vehicle.
While certain fluids like windshield wiper fluid aren’t crucial, low coolant or oil could cause long-term damage to your RV.
You do not want to deal with an overheated or seized engine. The repair costs alone far exceed the average $1,500 yearly maintenance.
So What Can I Do?
Taking care of your RV fluids is easy. If you’ve ever checked your car’s oil, you already know what you’re doing.
Go under the hood and locate each fluids’ dipstick or reservoir. Simply top-off the fluid and you’re all set.
If you need to buy replacement fluid, any RV specialty store and most auto stores should have whatever you need.
Just make sure to consult your owner’s manual first.
It’s easy to forget that your RV’s appliances don’t magically run themselves. Without your generator, your RV isn’t much more than a truck with a very large extended cab.
Make sure to give your generator a once over every year, if not every six months. Getting stranded with no generator means ending your RV trip early, and a costly repair.
Check your generator’s air filter, connectors, and oil. Air filters get clogged, connectors wear out, and oil burns away.
It’s also important to run your generator periodically if your RV is sitting unused. Gasoline degrades after around 30 days and the broken down gas can damage your generator’s internal components.
It’s something to stay aware of, but nothing to stress over. Run your generator once a month to cycle the gas through. This uses old gas that’s been sitting too long.
In a pinch, you can also add gas stabilizer to your generator. The stabilizer keeps the gas from breaking down, keeping it fresh for longer and saving your internal components.
Check Your Towing Setup
Driving an RV cross country is a dream, but driving one around town isn’t nearly as enjoyable. That’s why we’re always towing our cars along with us.
It’s an excellent way to make exploring an area easier. Imagine driving your RV to a national park, and then by day exploring the park in your car.
To make this happen, you’ll need to tow your car behind your RV. The process is easy enough, but without proper maintenance, the results could end in disaster.
Always check your towing setup before heading out. Make sure your brake connection works, and inspect for any cracked welds.
You’ll also need to make sure your safety chains aren’t rusted and that their connectors still hold.
At best, you’ll end up with a traffic ticket for having no brake lights. At worst, your car comes loose on the highway and causes an accident.
A few minutes could save lives, money, and time.
Spot Check Your Interior
RVs that sit unused, even in the best storage conditions, can fall victim to mold, dust, and even critters looking for a home.
It’s not as uncommon as you’d think. Even with dry So Cal air, mold can form inside nooks and crannies.
Your fridge is especially susceptible to mold. Always make sure to unplug and wipe down the fridge’s inside before storing your RV.
Other worries are less pressing, but still an annoyance. Mice find homes in stored RV, so consider setting some traps.
Dust also becomes an issue. No one wants a face full of dust the next time they open their RV.
Finally, just run through your appliances before putting your RV away for the offseason.
Turn your stove on, run the water, etc. Keep an eye out for leaks, or shorts in any of the electronic appliances.
Maintaining your RV isn’t difficult if you’re armed with the proper knowledge and a little time.
We’d recommend making an RV maintenance schedule to help keep you on track. Checking everything on this list at the same time ensures nothing gets forgotten.
For example, check everything on the first of the month. Then, check your fluids mid-month. And then repeat the process.
After a few months, everything becomes second nature and the time spent is an afterthought.
And as with any DIY project, it’s worth noting that if you’re running into troubles, consults a professional. It’s never worth making things worse on your own.
Ready to Hit the Road?
Before you hit the road, make sure you’re covered by comprehensive RV insurance. Always protect yourself against the unknown.
Sometimes the accident isn’t your fault, but hit and run drivers leave you to pay the bills.
Insurance can protect in any scenario where you might become financially liable. Peace of mind makes the open road that much better.
If you’re looking for top-quality RV insurance, get in contact with us. Our experts would love to set up a plan that works for you.
Make sure your next trip is spent on fun, not on a costly accident.