Aug 07

Before You Buy: Understanding RV Maintenance

Considering buying an RV? While hitting the open road in a vehicle you can drive, sleep and live in is a great way to see the sights, there are a few things to consider before making the investment. One such consideration is the additional maintenance a big rig requires. Below, we’ll go over a few of the many upkeep facets you should be aware of before buying your own recreational vehicle.

Just like a car, an RV needs routine maintenance to keep it in safe, working condition. From oil changes and filter replacements to tire rotations and brake checks, there are the upkeeps you should already be familiar with due to your own vehicle. RVs require several additional checks and replacements that most people don’t realize until they have an RV of their own. Altogether, these services add up to roughly $1,000 to $2,000 a year in regular maintenance.

If not properly maintained, system failures could occur, causing unexpected vehicle downtime and costly repairs. In fact, approximately 70% of the failures technicians report when repairing RVs stem from a lack of maintenance. It may also considerably lower its resale value down the road. To avoid such detriments, it’s best to understand the ins and outs of maintaining your rig.

A great place to start is to read the provided manuals. Another useful route is to create an RV maintenance checklist. Whether you opt for a travel trailer, fifth wheel or motorhome, this step should be at the top of your to-do list. Essentially, the list will itemize the tasks you should perform monthly, seasonally, annually and right before setting out on every trip. Many of these responsibilities can be carried out by you as long as you follow proper precautions and use appropriate safety gear. Certain tasks, on the other hand, require professional technicians as they have the tools and expertise to get the job done right.

Basic maintenance most owners can perform solo include inspecting the tires for proper inflation, tightening lug nuts, testing the electrical system and its connections and checking the battery. As RVs are bigger and house living activities, the batteries are under more strain and need special care. For instance, the water levels of the battery system should be topped off monthly with distilled water only. A handy battery watering system can be installed to mitigate manual refilling and make this aspect of maintenance much easier.

In addition to checking conditions under the hood, the checklist should also include points relating to any awnings, holding tanks, interior appliances and slide outs the model features. These elements must be cleaned, lubricated and otherwise maintained according to the manufacturer’s recommendations to ensure peak function and operation. There can be a lot to RV upkeep. Be sure to reach out to a qualified specialist before purchasing for help on getting used to all the particulars.

You can also check out the accompanying resource to learn more about RV maintenance.


Infographic created by Water My Battery, State-of-the-Art Golf Cart Battery Water System

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