Maintaining Your RV: Seasonal, Annual, and Pre-Trip Checks


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Subscribe to the Camping World YouTube channel for the latest RV service and maintenance tutorials.

Camping World’s RV product specialist Ian Baker and Camping World Service Technician Sean Harless provide helpful tips on maintaining your RV, including DIY maintenance tasks and frequently asked RV maintenance questions.

Guides to Maintaining Your RV

Make sure you download Camping World’s RV ownership and maintenance booklet to track your RV’s seasonal maintenance needs. Then you’re ready to learn more about the ins and outs of maintaining your RV.

For any task on this RV maintenance checklist, you can always schedule service at your local Camping World.

Washing Your RV

Recommended Frequency: After each trip

Use the right cleaning products to ensure you don’t damage your RV’s decals or exterior finish. Your RV’s finish will determine the right solution, so consult your manufacturer or owner’s manual to learn which products to use (and what to avoid) when you clean your RV.

Here’s a tutorial on how to wash your RV.

Checking RV Tire Pressure

Recommended Frequency: Before and after each trip

Your tires are the foundation of your RV. If you don’t maintain them properly by regularly checking tire pressure, monitoring tread depth, tracking tire wear, and covering them when your RV is sitting idle, you’ll decrease their lifespan and possibly endanger your next RV trip.

Here are some resources to help you maintain your RV tires:

Maintaining Stabilizing Jacks

Recommended Frequency: After each trip (or 2-4x per season)

This RV maintenance task might require the help of a certified technician, especially if your RV is equipped with an auto-leveling system. Those systems can put your entire RV, and anyone inside, in danger if they aren’t adjusted and maintained properly. Consult a service center to see if your stabilizing system needs to be inspected and adjusted accordingly.

If you have manual stabilizers, there’s a little more you can do on a regular basis. That includes inspecting the hardware securing the stabilizers to your RV’s frame and proper cleaning and lubrication.

You should also know how to level and stabilize your RV properly to avoid unnecessary wear and tear on your stabilizing jacks.

Inspecting Seals

Recommended Frequency: Every 90 days

The seals on your RV’s roof, windows, doors, and compartments should be inspected regularly. This helps you avoid leaks and water damage that will result in much more expensive repairs on your motorhome or travel trailer.

Checking Your RV Battery

Recommended Frequency: Every 90 days

Checking the charge, cleaning the terminals, and inspecting the cables are three of several checks you should complete on your RV batteries every three months. Here are a few more resources to help you keep your RV batteries in good condition:

Maintaining Holding Tanks

Recommended Frequency: Every trip (and seasonally)

Your RV’s gray, black, and fresh water holding tanks require proper maintenance to avoid clogs and other septic issues. This can be a major learning curve for new RVers, so here are a few additional resources:

Sanitizing Your Fresh Water Tank

Recommended Frequency: Seasonally in the spring (or after 2-4 weeks of non-use)

Using an RV water filter is key to keeping dirt and corrosive chemicals out of your RV’s fresh water tank. But even with diligent filter use, you should sanitize your RV’s fresh water tank regularly. Here’s our complete step-by-step tutorial for sanitizing your RV’s water distribution system.

Flushing the Water Heater and Checking the Anode Rod (if applicable)

Recommended Frequency: Seasonally (usually during winterization and dewinterization)

An anode rod is a sacrificial element that attracts corrosive chemicals to keep them from damaging your water heater tank. Once it’s diminished, it must be removed and replaced to keep your water heater tank safe.

Packing Wheel Bearings

Recommended Frequency: Annually

This is a maintenance task that has quite a bit of nuance. You need the correct type of grease, specialty tools for removing and packing bearings, and expertise to inspect trailer brakes while your tire is removed. We highly recommend contacting a Camping World RV Service Center to schedule your annual wheel bearing maintenance.

Rubber Roof Maintenance

Recommended Frequency: Annually

Rubber RV roofs should be inspected and cleaned seasonally, at the very least. But they should also be professionally inspected each year to ensure all the seals are intact and there’s no significant damage to the roof membrane.

Of course, there are other types of RV roofs besides rubber, such as fiberglass and aluminum. Check your manufacturer’s instructions for the proper roof maintenance procedures for your RV.

Covering Your RV

Recommended Frequency: Anytime your RV will sit idle for an extended period

Installing an RV cover is the best way to prevent exterior fading and other weather-related wear and tear. RV covers are fairly easy to install, and they can save your roof, seals, windows, exterior decals or paint, and tires from harmful UV exposure, moisture, and other environmental factors.

Maintaining Your Air Conditioner

Recommended Frequency: Every 90 days

Cleaning the filter in your RV’s air conditioner is important for efficient operation. You can also look into blocking air vents, installing insulated window treatments, and other solutions to keep your RV cool when camping in hot climates.

Maintaining Slideouts

Recommended Frequency: Annually

Working on RV slideouts should be left to a professional RV technician. They are driven by complex systems, and you can significantly damage your RV if you aren’t careful. That said, there are ways to manually retract slideouts if you’re stuck in an emergency situation.

If your slide-out is stuck, here are a few resources to help you pull them in so you can make it to the nearest Camping World Service Center:

Inspecting and Maintaining RV Awnings

Recommended Frequency: Every 90 days

Awnings are a useful RV accessory for protection from sun and light rain. But they can easily be compromised if you don’t operate and maintain them correctly. Here are a few more resources to help you maintain your RV awnings:

Winterizing Your RV

Recommended Frequency: Seasonally

When your RV is sitting idle, and there’s the possibility of freezing temperatures, winterizing is essential to protect your plumbing lines, tanks, and fixtures from damage. Camping World offers a basic winterization and a complete winterization package. Contact a service center to find out which package is right for your RV.

Here are a few more helpful resources:

Dewinterizing Your RV

Recommended Frequency: Seasonally

When preparing for spring camping, you’ll need to flush the RV antifreeze out of your fresh water and wastewater systems. There are several other tasks that all RVers should know to get their unit ready to hit the road for camping season.

Here are a few more tutorials to assist with spring RV prep:

Other RV Maintenance

For more RV maintenance tips, check out our YouTube How to RV Playlist.

Meet the Speakers

ian baker rv product specialist

Hi folks, I’m Ian Baker! I have been an RV Product Specialist at Camping World for 4 years, so you can call me an expert in the RV industry! If I’m not at work, you’ll find me outdoors with my wife and kids – I am a family man at heart. I hope to answer many of your questions about maintaining your RV.

sean harless rv service technician

Hi everyone, I’m Sean Harless! I am a Service Director for Camping World, based out of North Carolina. Let’s review the ins and outs of maintaining your RV. If I’m not at work, you’ll find me behind a barbeque with friends and family!

  • Comment (2)
  • Denise Tyrolt says:

    we just purchased an RV & it has no manuals with it at all….you used to offer a kind of “walk thru” class that teaches you how to work everything properly. Do you still offer this service? Or do you know how we can possibly get ahold of the “owners manuals” that would go with the make & model of the RV that we purchased? Any help you can give us would be much appreciated. Thank you so much.

  • David J Fariello says:

    Great info. I’ve been RVing for a few years and did pick up some interesting tips. Will now subscribe to your info sessions.

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