It’s summertime. A time to get out and explore the California coast, find a new campsite, or enjoy a festival. For RV owners, this is your time to shine. This sturdy vehicle is jam-packed with everything you could possibly need for a week, month, or year of road trip adventures.
But nothing upends a trip quite like a breakdown. When an RV breaks down, the fixes aren’t always easy. You need to find someone who is familiar with this complex vehicle. And with all the amenities that are standard parts of an RV, the likelihood of an issue arising is more possible than it would be for a car.
Many people invest a lot of money into their RV’s and want to see it last many years without incident. That’s why having regular and frequent maintenance checks is so important. But what do you need to be doing to keep your RV in top shape, and how often? These are our top tips to avoid breakdowns in the Grand Canyon on your family vacation.
Inspect the standard vehicle operations every month.
It’s important to do a general inspection of some of the smaller items every month. Make sure your tires have adequate air pressure and the tread isn’t worn. Do an overall inspection for holes or cracks in the RV that wildlife can enter or broken seals that can let in water. Clean the vents for your air conditioning unit and do a sweep of the roof. By keeping an eye on some of the smaller problems that can pop up, you can avoid even bigger problems later on.
Go on a joy ride.
If you don’t use your RV frequently, it can sit in the driveway for months without use. You might think it’s good for your RV to rest for a while, but that’s not the case. Your engine wants to run and will have problems when it’s neglected. Take your RV out at least once a month to let your engine run. You can take it to work and have lunch in the RV or bring it to a restaurant and order takeout. Let it be an excuse for something fun.
Do a thorough cleaning quarterly.
There are some cleaning tasks your RV needs a few times a year. Depending on the age of your RV, this is the time when you’ll want to change out the oil and the fluids. You also want to do a deep cleaning of the entire area. Just like your home, your RV can collect dust and have messes hidden under the seats. And that goes for the outside, too. Give the exterior a good shine to make your neighbors jealous. This is also the time to filter the water in the water tank.
Check the big stuff annually.
Lastly, we have the annual tasks. These are the big things that can be a pain but are vital for a healthy RV. Every year, you need to totally clean your water system with bleach, drain out the water, and add fresh water back to the tank. You should also inspect other potential issues: faulty brakes, headlights and tail lights, and the propane system. This is also the time to reseal your RV, even if everything has seemed fine each month. There is always something you might miss and it’s better to be safe. Keep a log of everything you do each inspection so that you don’t fall behind later on.
This might seem like a lot, but it’s a way to avoid the much bigger headache of breaking down on the road. We hope these tips help you enjoy every road trip a little bit more. See you out there!