RV Buying Guide: Maintain Your RV 1191

Let’s face it, there’s really no such thing as “maintenance-free.” Everything needs a little routine care in order to work and perform at its peak, and that includes your motorhome, trailer, or fifth-wheel RV.  

Learning how to maintain your RV doesn’t have to be a monumental task. Join RV Expert, Ian Baker, as he runs through the simple basics of RV maintenance in under four minutes. Or, use our outline below to make sure you’ve covered all your bases.  

How to Maintain Your Holding Tanks 

Most RV’s come equipped with three different holding tanks, each requiring its own kind of attention. For a comprehensive breakdown of care, consult our tutorial for how to maintain your RV’s holding tanks.

Freshwater Tank 

Freshwater tanks simply require a bi-annual flush, typically when bringing your RV out of seasonal storage. Bacteria can build in a moist environment, so a gentle bleach and water solution can sanitize the tank, and a few fills and flushes of the system will clear out the bleach. Take a look at our step by step process for sanitizing your freshwater tank in 5 simple steps.

Grey water Tank 

Grey water tanks require very little maintenance. Still, it is common with normal use for grey tanks to develop a smell. If your tank starts to have an odor, consider an odor blocker to keep foul scents away. 

Black Tank 

When using your black tank, always use approved black tank chemicals to break down solids. After emptying the tank, use your RV’s black tank flush system, if it is equipped with one, to keep sensors clean and reading accurately.  Our 5 tips for maintaining your RV toilet can help keep your black tank in working order as well.

holding tank rv

How to Maintain your Water Heater 

Your water heater will need an occasional check to ensure the burner tube or chamber are clear of debris. Use compressed air to remove any build-up. Check to see whether the anode rod needs replacing. Wash out sediment, which accumulates with regular use and when stored outside. 

How to Maintain your Slideouts 

Proper slide out maintenance can prevent costly repairs down the road. Make sure seals aren’t sticking when retracting your slide. Keep seals clean of debris and lubricated with slideout lubricant. 

slideouts on an rv

How to Maintain your RV Roof 

RV roofs take a lot of abuse from harsh weather like hail, sun, wind, and rain. Roofs should be checked periodically for damage.

As a general rule, if your RV comes equipped with a factory-installed ladder, your roof is walkable. If not, use a stable ladder to maintain your roof from the side. Keep your roof clean by washing it with a light solvent and water. Parking under sappy trees warrants a wash as soon as possible. 

Inspect the roof at its seams for possible culprits for leaks. Apply sealant to a clean rooftop to prevent harmful water damage over time. If inspecting your roof by yourself feels dangerous or precarious, elicit the help of Camping World Service Technicians to handle it all for you.  

Proper care of your RV roof includes gentle cleaning a couple of times a year.

How to Maintain Your Awnings 

Awnings can develop damage, mold, and mildew over time if not properly cared for. Before putting your RV into storage, give your awning a wash and let it dry before retracting it in. Never have your awning out in high winds, as this can damage the alignment of your awning and prevent it from storing effectively. For a comprehensive breakdown, refer to our guide on how to maintain your rv awning.  

Minnie Winnie

How to Maintain your RV Tires 

Maintain your RV tires just as you would your car. Use a tire pressure monitoring system to gauge pressure. Give the tires a visual check to check for uneven tread wear. Improperly loading your trailer can wear the tires down in specific spots, leading to a blowout. Keep in mind, tire pressure changes with temperature fluctuations and altitude changes. Learn how to keep your tires in good condition while in storage so you’re ready for camping season. 

New Tires For RV Camper Van. Taking Care of Motorhome and Travel Trailer Tires.
Image from Getty

How to Maintain Your Motorhome Engine 

For motorhome owners, your coach’s engine requires maintenance just like a car. Refer to your motorhome manual for guidelines on when and how to maintain the engine, like changing the oil and engine air filters. When in doubt, consult the manufacturer’s guidelines found online. 

Photo Tripping America - Handle Maintenance - Camping World 

RV maintenance isn’t rocket science. In fact, it’s quite simple and usually requires a little focused attention a few times a year to ensure everything is functional and clean. Keeping an eye on these aspects of your RV will not only save you money on repairs over time, but will keep your RV’s resale value up.  

Looking for more help? Explore our other helpful guides on how to maintain your RV. 


  1. I’m trying to send this again. In error I just sent my comment before finishing it. I was saying I need to buy a RV to live in but have poor credit due to years of medical issues. I can make the payments and am willing to do that by auto deductions monthly, I have the down payment saved up but I’m not being taken seriously. What can I do to make the purchase so I will have a place to live? I need help please, I. am about ready to give up. Thank you for any advice you can give.

    1. Hi Peggy, without knowing all of the specifics of your situation, I’d say to call your local dealer and talk to the financing department. They may be able to help you find something you can get approved for that’s affordable enough for your situation. Another alternative is to look at the used market, both Camping World’s inventory and elsewhere. I wish you the best of luck.

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