5 Common Errors with RV Maintenance and How to Avoid Them
The RV manufacturing industry isn’t slowing down soon. Sellers shipped over 53,290 RVs in January 2022. These sales were 16% higher than those in January of 2021. Perhaps you were one of the people who recently purchased a new RV. Or you’re planning on buying one soon. If you fall into either of these groups, you can end up having a breakdown out in the wilderness sooner or later. To prevent this from happening, you need to avoid the many common errors with RV maintenance. If you don’t know what these are, read on.
This article will get you started by describing five RV maintenance errors and how you can avoid them.
1. Avoiding a Pre-purchase Inspection
Are you eying that Thor Motor Coach for sale? If a reputable dealer is selling it, the vehicle should be in good condition. But you can never be too sure.
Anyone can offer you an RV that looks great but has several internal issues. It’s more likely you will get such a vehicle from places like Craigslist. However, it’s also possible to get a bad RV from a place that looks professional.
Inspect the Vehicle
Before purchasing an RV, you should inspect it. If you don’t trust your assessment skills, hire a mechanic to look over the RV for you. This way, you won’t have to deal with any unexpected breakdowns down the line.
Ask the Dealer
Reputable dealers selling secondhand vehicles should be honest about the problems an RV may have. You can ask them about any issues, but realize that there may be some issues that they’re hiding. Use what they say to guide your mechanic, but let the mechanic check for any other issues as well.
2. Not Using a Pre-Trip Checklist
Before you go out on the road, you should make a pre-trip checklist. This list usually includes reservation checks, things you need to pack, etc. It should also include a few different maintenance steps.
RV Cleaning Supplies
Your RV trip can become less relaxing if you let your RV get too dirty. The interior of your RV can get uncomfortable if you let it become dirty and cluttered. You can also struggle to see if you neglect to clean your RV’s windows.
Plus, many components of your RV can start to rust away if you don’t give certain parts the care they need. Make sure you put the proper cleaning supplies on your pre-trip checklist.
Pre-Trip RV Inspection
Regular RV inspections are important, but a good inspection is especially a good idea right before a big trip. Look at your RVs user guide and use the recommended RV maintenance routine to make an inspection checklist. You can then inspect all the vulnerable areas before you go on your trip.
You may want to bring your RV to a mechanic before you go on a trip. These professionals can inspect your vehicle and fix any issues. This way, you shouldn’t deal with any mechanical problems during your trip.
3. Performing Complex Repairs Yourself
Yes, RV maintenance costs can get expensive. But that isn’t a good excuse to do some of the more complex repairs yourself. There are a lot of reasons why this is the case.
Poor Quality Repair Work
Unless you’re a mechanic yourself, you won’t be able to repair your RV with the same level of skill. So your repairs won’t have the same quality level as that of an experienced mechanic. Low-quality repair work will break down more often than the repair work of experienced professionals.
Breaking RV Components
You’re more likely to break components of your RV if you don’t know what you’re doing. You’ll then have to pay to replace the parts and have them installed in your RV. You may end up spending much more than the initial RV maintenance costs you would’ve paid.
Emergencies Are an Exception
Yes, RVs can get onto some roads where there are no mechanics. In these situations, it is reasonable for you to repair these issues yourself. But you should get a mechanic as soon as you can after you finish your repair and get back on the road.
4. Not Winterizing Your RV
Most people don’t use their RV in the winter and you may be one of them. If so, you should make sure that you prepare your RV for the winter. If you don’t, you could end up not having an RV when the next summer rolls around.
Empty Any Water
When water freezes into ice, it expands. This is bad news for your RV pipes. If you have left any water in these pipes, it can expand so much that it bursts the pipes.
Before the cold sets in, drain the pipes in your RV. This way, your pipes won’t burst and your RV will be ready for you when the next summer comes.
Remove the Battery
Your RV’s battery can drain when it’s in cold weather for a long amount of time. To avoid surprises, you may want to drain your battery before winter sets in. You can then keep it warm in an indoor location.
If you want to keep it charged, you can attach it to a battery maintainer. Just make sure not to overcharge your battery or let it die. Doing so can permanently damage your battery’s capacity.
Protect Your Tires
The rubber in tires can become brittle in the cold. Tire covers can prevent this from happening. Buy them and put them on your tires if you’re going to store your vehicle in a cold place for the winter.
Tires can flatten if they stand in the same spot for too long. If you have the time, try to move your RV around once in a while. Doing so should keep your tires inflated until you need them again.
If you can’t do this, consider removing your vehicle’s tires and storing them in a safe place. You can then keep your RV up on blocks for the entire winter.
Secure the Seals
Moisture is another common enemy of RVs. When water invades your RV, it can get into the upholstery, wood, and other aspects of the home section of your vehicle. Once it’s there, it can cause mold to grow.
For this reason, autumn is one of the best times for repairing RV roofs. Look at your RV roof and make sure that everything is sealed up tightly. You should also check the seals on the windows and around the door.
Another good method is to leave a bag of moisture absorbent in your RV while it’s in storage. This will guarantee that no moisture will harm your RV.
5. Ignoring RV Limits
RVs from reputable manufacturers can be long-lasting and powerful machines. But they still have limits. You can only carry so much in your RV, and your RV can only pass under certain low-hanging tunnels.
You need to pay attention to these limits. If you don’t, you can end up having to pay costly RV maintenance costs.
You probably know that your RV has height limits. You may not consider that your RV also has height and length limits. Keeping them fresh in your mind will prevent you from driving your RV into places where it shouldn’t go.
Collect your RVs clearance limits from your user manual. Then keep these numbers where you can always see them. For example, you can keep them on your dashboard.
But remember that you can add to your RVs clearance limits. If you add an AC, solar panels, satellite dish, etc. to your RV, add the size of these items to your clearance limits. You don’t want to spend so much money on these items and have them fly off on the highway.
Some apps will help you avoid low clearance hazards. Consider getting one of these for your phone or other device.
RVs can be tough, but they can only handle so much weight. It’s never a good idea to overload your RV with too much cargo. This can be dangerous.
In addition, having an overweight vehicle can get you in trouble with your insurance. You won’t receive compensation if your vehicle is overweight during an accident. You can also receive a hefty fine.
Look in your RVs owner’s manual and locate your Gross Vehicle Weight Rating or GVWR. This consists of the weight of your RV’s cargo and the travel trailer.
You can learn if your RV weighs more than your GVWR by visiting a scale at truck stops. Leep in mind that you’ll need to pay a small fee to get this done.
Avoid Other Errors With RV Maintenance and Care
Your RV is your home away from home. If it breaks down, you could find yourself in the middle of nowhere without a place to stay. You need to treat your RV well.
If you want to learn more about some errors with RV maintenance and other RV car tips, check out our other articles. We have plenty of other articles about travel on our site.