If you have been the fortunate owner of an RV for any significant period of time, you understand just how amazing owning a recreational vehicle can be. The freedom to live on the road, visit national parks, and take extended vacations is one of the most liberating feelings that is greatly enhanced by owning and using an RV.
However, you probably also know that there are various roof repairs and other maintenance tasks that need to be done from time to time on your RV. From roof repairs to appliance repairs and new parts for your RV, there can be quite a bit to keep track of. Considering that the average RV owner uses their RV for 30 days out of the year, that leaves a lot of time for the vehicle to sit in RV storage or next to a home without being used. Because of this, it is common for RVs to develop small problems that go unnoticed until your next big trip. Here are some of the most common maintenance issues that RVs face, and what you can do to prevent or fix them.
Engine Maintenance: As mentioned before, your RV is likely only used for about 30 days out of the year, and usually those 30 days are grouped into two or maybe three rips. Because of this, there could be engine troubles that go unnoticed as the vehicle sits in storage or at your home. Engine troubles aren’t nearly as noticeable as the need for roof repairs, but if gone unchecked they can lead to catastrophic failure. In order to keep your engine in great condition, be sure to frequently check the engine coolant levels and keep the right type of coolant on hand. Additionally, be sure to change air filters and other car filters to ensure proper engine care.
Battery Failure: Batteries are another common point of failure in RVs. Because the RVs are sitting for extended periods of time between trips, it is easy for corrosion or rust to build up on the battery. Additionally, batteries naturally leak charge. With a normal car that is being driven frequently, the alternator is used to keep a charge on the battery each day. For an RV sitting in storage, every seven to 10 days you should run the engine for about an hour. This will ensure the battery stays sufficiently charged.
Tire Blowouts: RVs see a lot of road time and miles. Because of this, wear and tear on tires is pretty common, especially if the tires aren’t properly cared for. Replacing blown tires can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000 (or more) and are not covered by most RV insurance policies. Develop the habit of inspecting your tires each time you stop for gas. Check for even wear, proper tire pressure, and any punctures you might have sustained while driving.
Electrical Overload the AC 110-Volt: RVs have lots of “home” appliances in them. Microwaves, stovetops, traditional house plugs for items like hair dryers, blenders, coffee, etc. Because of this, they draw significantly more AMPs than a normal car would. The air conditioner consumes a large amount of power too, and having too many appliances running at once could overload the electrical in your car or trip a circuit breaker. Be cognizant of not running too many electrical appliances at the same time and you should be fine here.
Exterior Damage: This is usually very noticeable and can result in anything from paint or dent repair to roof repairs. Tree branches, bridges, and other protruding objects are often the culprit of damage to the exterior of an RV. To avoid exterior damage, be very conscious of the size of your vehicle and slow down when approaching any overhang or other protrusion that could damage your RV. Additionally, the roof of the RV is constantly taking a beating from the sun, hail, and other weather conditions, so it is important to clean and maintain the roof to avoid unnecessary roof repairs.
RVs are fantastic opportunities to take vacations and view all the beautiful National Parks. Take care of your RV and it will take care of you.