RV Care: Keeping Your Rig in Tip-Top Condition During Summer & Beyond
RV care includes the exterior, interior, and mechanical upkeep with your RV. Use these tips to maintain all aspects of your home away from home.
Summer is always the time when you want to take your RV out and get exploring. If you’re going to hit the road, though, you need to ensure you’re taking good care of it. Good RV maintenance during the summer and winter months is essential. Here’s what you need to do to keep your rig in top condition all year long.
Exterior RV Care
The exterior of your RV will take some wear and tear, whether you’re on the move or not. Here’s how to take care of the exterior and keep it in good condition.
Check the tires: The tires will take the most wear as they sit between the RV and the ground. Before you take your RV out, check the tires for wear or imperfections that could cause you problems. If you see anything you don’t think is safe, don’t hesitate to get the tire taken care of.
Tire pressure is essential, so keep checking it to ensure it’s at the right level. This is often printed right on the tire, so look for that if you aren’t sure. Keep them inflated to the recommended specifications, and you shouldn’t have any problems.
Protect the roof: Your RV roof is what comes between you and the elements, so you will want to take good care of it. When you’re not driving it, keep it parked under an RV carport or cover. These will help protect it from sun damage and are much less costly than you’d think.
Every season, take a good look at your roof for leaks. If you keep up with this, you’ll be able to catch leaks before they can cause any real issues. Patch these up with a sealant that’s compatible with your roof, and you should be able to avoid any serious problems.
Keep the roof clean, by both installing that carport and scrubbing it down regularly. This will help it stay in top condition year-round.
Maintain slide-out rails: If you have slide-out rails on your RV, then they’re going to need some maintenance now and again. Once or twice a year, make sure you lubricate them with an appropriate lubricant. Lubricant helps avoid corrosion and rust.
Clean and maintain the awning: As well as the rails, check the fabric of your awning. Look for any tears, and repair them as soon as you find them. Keep the material clean, too, to avoid mold and mildew or even nests forming.
Keep it clean: Make sure you’re regularly scrubbing down your RV. This keeps it clean, keeps debris off it when it’s parked up, and helps it look better year-round. Don’t forget to clean down the roof and polish up the headlights.
Interior RV Care
The inside requires RV care, just as the outside does. Follow these tips to ensure you can have a comfortable and safe trip every time you take the rig out:
Clean after every trip: This is something you’re probably already doing, but make sure you keep it up. Vacuum and mop the floors, clean down the kitchen, strip down the beds, and be ready for fresh linen when you next go out. When you do this, it’s just so much more pleasant to spend time in your RV.
Maintain safety features: There should be several different safety features in your RV, including fire extinguishers and carbon monoxide detectors. Just as you would in your home, check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors twice a year. It’s easy to remember if you do it when the clocks change. Replace the batteries, too, to ensure they’re fully working if you should ever need them.
Keep extra light bulbs: The one thing you should have in your RV is a stash of light bulbs. Eventually, they’ll burn out in your RV, and you don’t want to be stuck in the dark if you’re miles away from the nearest store. Keep a box in the RV somewhere so that you can change them out quickly. Put more in when you come home from a trip, so you’ll never run low.
RV Mechanical Maintenance
Your RV is a vehicle, after all, so there’s plenty of mechanical maintenance you need to consider here. Here are some things you can do to keep the RV in top shape.
Check the batteries: If you’re out on the road, a dead battery can spell disaster for your trip. Know what battery your RV uses and how to maintain it. Some have water levels that need to be topped up, so be aware of that. Batteries last around 3-5 years, so ensure that you know when the battery is nearing the end of its life cycle.
Maintain the brakes: It’s hard to overstate how important this is for your safety. Every spring, check out the brakes and ensure there’s enough material left on them and that they’re working correctly. Be prepared to replace them if they’re looking like they’re on their way out.
Change the oil: Your car is on the road a lot, but your RV may sit for a few months at a time. Because of this, it’s best to change out the oil every season. That keeps everything adequately lubricated. If you don’t do this, you run the risk of excessive wear and tear on the engine, which will cost you more in repairs in the long run.
Change out the filters: There will be filters for the air, coolant, and hydraulics in your RV. You’ll want to change these out every season, just as you would with the oil. These are something else that can cause damage to your RV’s engine if you’re not checking them regularly.
For more technical maintenance help and tips, reach out to your local RV service center.
RV Care: Final Thoughts
Keep up with this checklist, and you’ll be able to keep your RV rig in top condition year-round. Use these tips to maintain all aspects of your home away from home. You’ll see that RV care makes heading out on trips just that much easier when you know everything’s in good condition.