MAINTAINING YOUR RV
How to Maintain Your RV
To keep your RV in tip-top shape you’ll need to know how to maintain your RV appropriately. Our service department is happy to take on any or all of these seasonal and annual tasks for you. Book an appointment online, and let RV professionals take care of the rest.
There are some tasks that you can do yourself. Staying on top of simple maintenance tasks will keep your RV in its best condition until you’re ready to upgrade your RV, sell your RV, or rent your RV out. Check out these step-by-step videos to learn basic RV maintenance procedures.
Basic RV Maintenance Videos
How To Maintain Your RV Holding Tanks
Aside from properly emptying your holding tanks during regular usage, you’ll want to completely clean and flush out your black water holding tank every few weeks. Use your black tank flush, if your RV is equipped with one, or fill your tank with fresh water and flush to remove residue. Add in the appropriate tank chemicals to make sure your tanks stay in great shape.
How To Maintain Your RV Water Heater
Every six months, check your anode rod to see if it needs to be replaced. Use compressed air to clear out the burner tube or burner chamber. It’s also a good idea to keep replacements for water heater parts and accessories that are most likely to break, such as door latches and thermal cut-off switches. If your water heater has stopped heating altogether, it’s time to learn how to choose a new water heater for your RV.
How to Maintain RV Toilets
Using only the minimum amount of RV-specific toilet paper is step one in maintaining an RV toilet. That means everything else (baby wipes, feminine hygiene products, etc.) goes in the trash instead of down the toilet.
In addition, pre-fill the bowl with a small amount of water before each use. This will help the paper flush completely and reduce the chance of clogs. Finally, use appropriate sewer chemicals and deodorizers as needed and as directed by your RV owner’s manual.
Try these tips for maintaining your RV toilet for the best results. And while you’re at it, here are a few additional helpful resources:
- How to Replace a Thetford Flush Ball Seal
- How to Replace a Dometic Flush Ball Seal
- How to Use Your RV Black Tank Flush
How to Maintain RV Water Pumps
Your annual maintenance routine should also include visually inspecting the water lines leading to and from your RV’s water pump. Look for loose connections or fittings, as well as cracks or splits in the lines themselves.
Also visually inspect the line leading from your water inlet into your freshwater holding tank. If all lines and connections look good and you’re still not receiving steady water flow after turning on the pump and opening your faucet, it’s time to replace your water pump. Winterizing and de-winterizing your RV properly is also vital to the health of your water pump.
How To Maintain RV Slideouts
You should clean and lubricate seals and slide-out mechanisms at least once a year, Ideally, you also add this to your winterization checklist when prepping your RV for winter storage, as well as your spring de-winterization checklist when you’re taking your RV out of storage.
It’s also a good idea to install slide-out supports if you leave your slide-out extended for long periods. There are several different slide-out designs on the market, so check your RV owner’s manual to make sure you’re servicing the correct components.
Here are some tips for operating and troubleshooting a Schwintek Slide.
Roof Repair and Maintenance Tips
First, and most importantly, make sure your RV roof is walkable before you go up there. Not all RV roofs are meant to support your weight and, if yours isn’t, you’ll need an RV ladder to access certain parts of your roof.
As often as necessary, wash your roof with water and an exterior cleaning solution. Every month or two, inspect all the seals around the edge of your roof and slide-outs, around your RV roof vents and fans, and around your air conditioning unit. You may need to caulk around these seals to ensure no water leaks damage the internal structure of your RV.
Here is how to do a full RV Roof Inspection.
How to Maintain RV Air Conditioners
The most important step to maintaining your RV air conditioner is to regularly clean the unit’s air filter. Check your filter monthly if you’re living in your RV full-time or make it part of your regular pre-trip checklist if you use your coach less frequently.
To clean it, simply rinse it out and allow it to dry completely before replacing it. You may use a mild detergent to aid in cleaning a particularly dirty filter. If it becomes damaged or clogged due to long periods of neglect, you’re better off replacing your AC filter rather than using hard chemical solvents to try to clean it.
How to Maintain RV Awnings
At the beginning of each season, inspect your RV awning for any damage, mold, or mildew. Every 30 days, fully extend your awning to allow it to dry out and check for damage, mold, or mildew again. Before storing your RV for a longer period of time, use an approved chemical cleaner on both sides of the awning and let it dry completely before retracting.
How to Maintain Electric RV Steps
Proper step maintenance starts with proper use. Make sure you allow the step to extend completely and the motor has stopping running before you place any weight on it. If your steps aren’t extending or retracting, make sure the switch is turned on inside your coach.
Every 30 days, check your electric RV steps for hydraulic leaks and lubricate moving parts. At this time, visually inspect to make sure all hinges and hardware are secure and there are no obstructions preventing your steps from operating properly.
How to Maintain Manual Stabilizers
Maintaining your stabilizing jacks starts with knowing how to stabilize your RV properly. Don’t overextend your jacks when stabilizing your coach and make sure they are completely retracted before towing.
You should also clean your stabilizing jacks after returning from each trip. This is especially important if you camp in areas close to the ocean because the salt in the air will cause rust to develop quickly on your stabilizers. Two to four times per season, lubricate your jacks in several different positions with a dry lubricant.
How to Maintain RV Tires
Throughout every RV trip, be sure all tires are holding the manufacturer-specified pressure. Consult your RV owner’s manual for the recommended tire pressure for your coach, as the recommended pressure on the tire’s sidewall can sometimes be misleading.
Installing a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) will help you monitor tire pressure from the captain’s chair of your RV. Before every trip, check the sidewalls of your tires for any damage. When in storage, lift your tires off the ground and install tire covers to prevent damage from moisture, UV exposure, and other elements.
RV Engine Maintenance
RV engines need the same routine maintenance a car or truck engine would: oil changes, air filters, etc. Things like oil changes need to be done even if your motorhome isn’t driven much. Consult your manual for a maintenance schedule.
Basic engine maintenance tasks can safely be done at home with the right tools and guidance. However, we recommend scheduling regular check-ups with an RV professional to maximize the life and performance of your RV engine.
Any questions? Our team of certified RV techs is here to help. Contact our service department with any RV issues, repairs, or renovations.