If you’ve just purchased an RV or are considering doing so, you may wonder what’s involved in caring for one. RVs require some special care and maintenance, but nothing too difficult or time-consuming. Keep reading for tips on taking proper care of your RV.
How to Maintain an RV
RVs need regular maintenance, just like any other vehicle. Keeping up with the recommended schedule can help ensure your RV runs smoothly and lasts for years. When you’re not driving your recreational vehicle, RV storage maintains the condition of your RV and keeps it from getting damaged. Always clean your RV before putting it into storage by washing the exterior, cleaning the interior, and removing any debris. Also, ensure it’s completely dry before storing it. If you’re storing your RV for an extended period, fill up the gas tank and run all the appliances to ensure they’re in proper working order when you take it out again.
You’ll also want to familiarize yourself with the different parts of your RV and what needs to be done to maintain them. The chassis is the foundation of your RV and should be inspected every time you take it out for a drive. Make sure the tires are properly inflated, and all the lights are working. The engine, transmission, and brakes should also be checked regularly. The interior of your RV should also be cleaned periodically. Start by vacuuming all the surfaces, then use a damp cloth to wipe down everything else. Check the ceilings and walls for leaks that may have developed over time.
How to Check Fluid Levels
Checking fluid levels is crucial to your RV’s overall health and safety. You should regularly check all fluids—engine oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid, power steering fluid, windshield washer solvent, antifreeze, and coolant—according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. If you’re not comfortable checking these levels, find a local mechanic with RVs experience to help you out. However, knowing how to do it yourself is helpful if you’re planning a big cross-country road trip.
To check fluid levels, ensure your RV is parked on a level surface, and the engine is turned off. Then, open the hood and locate the dipstick. The dipstick will be a metal rod with a loop on one end, or it may be an elongated plastic tube. Pull out the dipstick and wipe it clean with a cloth or paper towel, then insert it fully into the oil fill hole and then pull it back out again. Be careful not to let any dirt or other contaminants enter the hole while checking the level. Look at where the end of the dipstick meets its handle. There should be two lines marked on it, one for minimum (lowest acceptable level) and one for maximum (highest acceptable level). The oil level should fall somewhere in between these two lines. If it’s below the minimum, you’ll need to add more oil; if it’s above the maximum, you’ll need to drain some off until it falls within safe parameters.
How to Maintain RV Appliances
When using the appliances in your RV, you should keep a few things in mind. First, always be sure to read the owner’s manual that came with your RV. This will give you specific instructions on using each appliance safely and effectively. Some manuals provide additional insight into how to clean your appliances properly, so be sure to follow those directions when it’s time to clean them. At the very least, you need to clean the oven of any residue and the stovetops. Clean the coils on the back of your refrigerator at least once a year. Another thing to remember is that not all appliances are meant for use while the RV is moving. Some, like the stove and oven, should only be used when the RV is parked. Others, like the air conditioner and furnace, can be used while driving, but you need to be careful not to overload the electrical system.
Always ensure that all the appliances are turned off when you’re done using them. This includes switches on the appliance itself and switches on the circuit breaker panel. Leaving appliances running can overload the electrical system and cause a fire hazard. Also, check the seals on your refrigerator and freezer doors regularly and make sure they are tight—a good seal will help keep cold air in and prevent the appliance from working harder than necessary.
Taking proper care of your RV is important to keep it in good condition and prolong its life. By following these tips, you can keep your RV looking and running like new for years to come.