Hey, RV’ers! What exciting travel plans do you have coming up? If you’ve planned a longer than usual adventure, you’re not alone. After a year of crazy lockdowns, many Americans are planning for extended vacations. Many will be new to the RV scene and looking for advice. At Kingston Ideal Storage we value our customers and celebrate their adventures with them. When it’s time to take your RV out of storage and hit the open road, be sure to read our 10 tips on RV maintenance for safe travels.
1. The Roof
Proper RV maintenance is an ongoing job of checking critical parts to your RV each season, but it is especially important just before a big trip.
Create an RV maintenance checklist and start from the top to the bottom of the RV. Keep this checklist in a binder with warranty information and notes about any maintenance work.
If you are not providing protection from the elements throughout the year, it’s wise to check your roof often. Inspect around skylights, vents, and the ac unit for any signs of cracking. Look inside closets for any leak stains.
Your RV dealer can advise you of any warranty coverage for leak repair or recommend the correct products to seal against leaks.
2. Slide-outs and Seals
Leaves and debris can accumulate throughout the year along the seals to your slide-outs and awning. Clean these out regularly to prevent tears. Inspect regularly for insect infestations such as bees nests.
Lubricate the trim around windows to prevent cracking. Check how well the windows slide open and lubricate if needed.
Clean all filters each season. Don’t forget filters and vents to the fridge. Check that your heat, ac, and dehumidifier systems are all working properly.
Electrical problems can occur on the road that trips these systems, so before heading out, review common troubleshooting in your manual. Make sure that you know where the electrical panel is located and have extra fuses on hand.
4. Water System
Prior to winter storage, you will need to winterize your RV. When ready to travel again, you will de-winterize.
The easiest method is to have your RV dealer take care of this process. However, many RV’ers are able to complete these processes themselves.
To de-winterize your water system, flush out all antifreeze from the lines. Next, sanitize the holding tanks with either bleach or hydrogen peroxide. Ideally, let sanitizer sit overnight and flush again.
Check the water flow from all faucets and toilet flushing. This is a good time to also check your water heater for corrosion. You can purchase an RV rinse wand to reach within the tank to remove any debris.
Check your propane level and check that the cooktop and oven ignite properly.
If you have a Class A or C RV, check all fluids just as you would for your car. Change the oil.
6. Battery and Generator
Every few weeks, start a class A or C RV to prevent corrosion and battery problems.
Aside from an engine’s battery, you also have a battery and generator that must be maintained. Check the water level of the battery before each trip.
Inspect the lines and connections to the generator for wear. Clean around the generator and let it run for a few minutes.
7. Brakes and Towing
Check the brakes on a driveable RV for proper stopping. Lubricate wheel bearing and check that lug nuts are tight. Also, check that brake lights are operating properly for a towable RV.
In addition to the electrical connection for brakes, check all towing parts for corrosion. Check landing gear is operating properly. Weeks before a planned trip, check that all connections still fit properly to avoid delays waiting on replacement parts.
8. Safety Devices
Check that smoke alarms, gas leak detectors, and carbon monoxide detectors are working properly.
Each of these has test buttons. Hold the button down and listen for beeping or alarm. If you do not hear anything or the sound is faint, check for battery replacement.
You should always have fire extinguishers at the front and rear of your RV. If you have an outside cooktop, a fire extinguisher should be stored in the closest compartment and taken out each time you use the outside kitchen.
Fire extinguishers do not last forever. Check manufacturer labels to see when an extinguisher needs to be replaced.
Going from winter temperatures to warmer weather causes fluctuations in tire pressure. Inflate tires to the manufacturer’s specifications. Tires that are overinflated can explode, and underinflation can cause steering problems.
Inspect the tires for adequate tread. If tires have not been covered, check thoroughly for any cracks. Check the area around the valve stems for wear.
Operate all mirrors and clean around connections on the outside.
Inspect backup cameras for operation. Clean the camera lens with alcohol or cleaning agents normally used for glasses and cameras.
Check that ties that secure doors during movement are in good condition. The last thing you want is to be on the road and a bathroom door flies open to obstruct your view.
More Tips for RV Maintenance and RV Storage
We hope that our guide for RV maintenance is useful and your travels are always safe and enjoyable. Check our blog often for future tips for all your recreational vehicles.
For information on covered RV storage at our facility and how to store an RV properly, please contact us at Kingston Ideal Storage. We are happy to assist you in protecting your investment.