The fun part of owning an RV is traveling with friends and family to explore new places and spend time away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. These are the experiences you have in mind when you purchase the RV, and you’ll create memories that will last a lifetime.
That said, it’s not all fun and games as an RV owner. You need to keep up with essential maintenance points to get the most out of your investment. Today, we want to use this article to present you with a detailed RV maintenance checklist to use as the months and years pass. With regular maintenance, you can make sure your rig is always ready for the next adventure you have in mind.
And while considering the critical topic of RV maintenance, it’s also worthwhile to consider how you store your RV while it is not in use. For that project, turn to American Carports, Inc. We offer durable and affordable metal RV carports to protect your RV from the elements. Try our Build & Price tool today to see what is possible, and feel free to contact us at your convenience to learn more!
The Value of Ongoing RV Maintenance
We want to start this article with a bit of motivation. When you understand how vital RV maintenance is, you’ll be far more likely to keep up with it over time. So, consider the points below as reasons not to fall behind on these tasks.
#1 It protects your money
No matter what type of RV you purchased, there was undoubtedly a significant price tag. Most RVs are well into the five-figure range, and plenty exceed six figures. Whatever the final sale price, you want to protect the money you put into your RV by keeping up with maintenance work. The more care you provide to your RV along the way, the longer you can expect it to serve you well.
#2 Avoid more significant repairs
Speaking of money, you can also protect your money by keeping your RV away from expensive repair work. Ongoing maintenance is one of the best ways to avoid more significant problems later.
#3 Enjoy your trips
When you are out on the road exploring new places, you don’t want to be dealing with maintenance and repair work. While some upkeep on the road is inevitable, keeping those chores to a minimum will be appreciated. If you stay ahead of the game on your maintenance tasks, you’ll be less likely to run into problems on your trips that need immediate attention. After all, the whole point of owning an RV is to have as much fun on your adventures as possible, and good maintenance practices set the stage for those enjoyable outings.
Between the money you can save and the enjoyment you can gain, staying motivated on RV maintenance tasks should be easy enough. In addition to having motivation, it’s also essential to be organized concerning RV upkeep so you know what you need to do and when you need to do it. Those two points will be the focus of the rest of this article.
Regular vs. Annual Maintenance
To get your mind around the many things that need to be done for your RV, it can help divide your maintenance tasks into two general categories. Most of the work you need to do (or have done) will fit neatly into one of these two groups, so this system works well for organizing your tasks.
The first maintenance category for your RV includes tasks that must be completed regularly. Regular maintenance includes ongoing tasks that must be done after every trip. These things will keep your RV in good condition and ensure it’s ready to use as soon as you are ready for another outing. Once you get into the habit of performing these duties, they’ll become second nature.
Our other category is tasks that only need to be performed periodically. Most of these items will fit nicely into an “annual” bucket. You’ll be in good shape if you do them once yearly, perhaps right before you store your RV for the off-season. There is no need to deal with these maintenance points after every trip, but you also can’t afford to forget about them entirely.
The Ongoing Maintenance Checklist
First, let’s review the list of ongoing maintenance points you’ll want to address after each trip you take.
Wash the RV
One of the core duties of an RV owner is to wash the RV regularly. Allowing dirt and grime to build up might not seem like a big deal, but it can cause significant issues in the long run. Washing your RV is far more than just cosmetic – regular washing will protect essential parts and help you to avoid problems and repairs later on.
Empty the kitchen
Leaving food items in the kitchen of your RV is a major no-no. Empty everything after each trip and take a moment to wipe down the surfaces and dump out the trash can. Leaving food items behind invites little critters to explore your rig.
Check your tires
You won’t need to do active maintenance on your tires after each trip, but you want to check their condition and confirm that plenty of tread is left and the air pressure is appropriate. Maintaining a steady tire pressure will help you get better gas mileage and will help to keep you safe on the road.
Flush the tanks
Regularly flush the tanks after your trips to avoid lingering odors that make your RV far less enjoyable to use. You can also use sanitation products in your tanks to clean them thoroughly and ensure they are in good condition and working correctly. A problem with one of your tanks can quickly turn an enjoyable trip into a major headache, so this is one of the critical points to monitor.
Shut the windows and doors
When the work above is complete, ensure everything is closed up and appropriately locked while the RV isn’t in use. Even if it’s only going to be a week or so before your next trip, closing things up will make it less likely that an unwelcome visitor will explore the inside of the RV.
Depending on the specific type of RV you own, and the age of that RV, you might find that you need to add to this maintenance checklist. However, it’s a good starting point, so use these points to get into the habit of caring for your RV and expand the list as you see fit to keep your rig in tip-top condition.
Annual RV Maintenance
Generally speaking, on your annual RV maintenance checklist, you want to monitor for your RV relate to more extensive systems that wear down gradually over time. These things should last for a while, but when they start to break down, they can be expensive to fix or replace. Going ahead with consistent maintenance on an annual basis on the points below will go a long way toward making your ownership experience a good one.
A detailed inspection
If you have stayed busy throughout the summer months going on various RV adventures, you might not have had much spare time to pay attention to the condition of your rig. However, the end of the season is an excellent opportunity to inspect everything on board carefully. This includes looking at the roof to check for damage, checking the seals for any cracking or peeling, etc. When you spot anything that looks like it could turn into a problem, determine if you can fix it yourself or if you’ll need professional help.
The nature of RV design means there are many moving parts on board. On an annual basis, make it a point to lube any moving components that might have dried out over the year. Always refer to your owner’s manual to ensure the right lubrication type is used for this task.
Test various systems
You might find that you go on many trips without using certain RV parts. For example, if you’ve been camping primarily in warm weather, you might not have had any reason to turn on the heater. So, your annual maintenance period is a good time to turn on that heater and ensure it works correctly. In addition, any needed maintenance can be done at this time so you are sure the system is ready to go when the next travel season rolls around.
American Carports Has Your RV Covered
We hope you enjoyed this RV maintenance checklist! Performing maintenance on your RV might not be your favorite activity, but it will undoubtedly pay off in the long run. And, once you get into the habit of keeping up with specific maintenance tasks, you might find that they are pretty easy to complete – and you may even come to enjoy the process.
And remember, your maintenance life will be made easier by parking your RV under a roof when it is not in use. Explore our free Build & Price tool today to see what is possible, and feel free to contact us if you have any questions along the way. Again, thanks for visiting our blog, and we hope to serve you soon!