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The Best Things You Can Do to Keep Your RV in Good Shape

Updated on July 20, 2017
TIMETRAVELER2 profile image

I have traveled extensively throughout the US for many years and enjoy helping people to enjoy their own vacations.

If you own an RV, there are many things you need to do to keep it in good shape, but eleven of them are vitally important to the overall health of your coach.

These are the ones that you will help you to avoid problems, travel safely, maintain the value of your vehicle and save money

Doing the 11 most important things for your RV will keep it road ready and safe to drive.
Doing the 11 most important things for your RV will keep it road ready and safe to drive. | Source

1. Inspect Regularly

It's extremely important to inspect your travel unit regularly whether it’s in storage or is being used for travel.

Taking walks through and around a coach to look for small problems will help you to find and repair issues before they get out of hand.

Checking oil levels is one of the best ways to make sure that engines and generators keep working.
Checking oil levels is one of the best ways to make sure that engines and generators keep working. | Source

2. Caulk Generously

Making it a point to use caulk on any area of your RV where water may possibly enter is one of the best ways to protect it.

It only takes a few minutes to load up a caulk gun and spread the material around areas where sinks and tubs connect to the areas around them.

You should also spread caulk around exterior lights, windows and any areas where items such as awnings attach to your coach. This includes rooftop items such as air conditioning units and vents.

Water has a way of seeking out the smallest crack, seeping through it and creating major problems such as black mold, so caulking is your best defense against it.

When you do this job, be sure to use Geocel Pro Flex Sealant which is made especially for use on recreational vehicles. This is the product my husband and I always use because it is goes on smoothly and looks great. It's important to use a quality product like this because you can trust it to last quite awhile once you finish using it.

Geocel 28127V Pro Flex Bright White RV Flexible Sealant - 10 oz.
Geocel 28127V Pro Flex Bright White RV Flexible Sealant - 10 oz.

You should always use this product when caulking because it is made for RV use, does a great job and is easy to use. It also lasts a long time.


3. Maintain Your Batteries

Your RV uses batteries to run numerous functions. Therefore it’s important to maintain them and replace as needed.

To do this you need to keep note of the dates when they were installed or inspected and upgrade or replace them as needed.

  • In the case of coach batteries, adding water when needed may be all you need to do.
  • In the case of smoke and gas detectors, replacing batteries on a regular schedule is vital.

4. Clean AC Filters

It’s important to change and clean the filters in air conditioners regularly.

If you don’t, they will clog and can cause problems that can ruin your AC unit.

Cleaning these filters is very simple to do.

After you turn off your AC unit, you simply remove the grate that covers them, take them out, wash and dry them and return them to their regular position.

When you are using your AC units often, you should check them at least once each week, and you should always clean them prior to taking trips.

5. Check Oil Levels

When the oil levels in generators and engines are too low, or when the oil gets dirty, generators and engines will not function properly.

Checking them regularly by using a dip stick will tell you if levels are OK and oil is still clean.

If not, you’ll know it’s time to have a mechanic change your oil unless you know how to do so yourself.

6. Run Generators and Engines Regularly

You should run your RV’s generator and engine at least once each month to make sure they stay lubricated.

If you don’t do this, their internal parts will dry up, and they’ll stop functioning.

7. Check Propane Lines, Smoke and Gas Detectors Often

You should make it a point to check propane lines, smoke and gas detectors regularly because to do otherwise can be life threatening.

Spread soapy water on propane tanks to check for leaks. If you see bubbles, immediately turn off the tanks and keep them off until you can get the leaks repaired.

Change the batteries in smoke detectors as soon as you hear them sounding off and replace gas detectors every three years unless they are hardwired into your coach.

8. Take Care of Holding Tanks

Black, Gray and Fresh Water tanks are the heart of any RV.

No matter how well maintained the rest of your travel unit, if you don't properly care for these tanks, your coach will smell so bad that you won't want to travel or live in it.

In some cases, you won't even be able to use it without spending a good deal of money for repairs due to breakage and clogging.

How to Dump, Clean and Protect Your RV's Black Water Tank and How to Care for Your RV's Fresh Water Tanks provide specific directions that will help you with these issues.

Learning how to maintain your RV tanks is important.
Learning how to maintain your RV tanks is important. | Source

9. Keep Drains Clean

Shower and sink drains become clogged with debris over time. For this reason, you should take the time to clean drains regularly and do the same for shower heads.

This will keep the water flowing properly and will help to avoid flooding.

10. Check Appliances Regularly

It’s important to check appliances to make sure they are working, especially when you are getting ready to leave for a vacation.

In many cases, this is a simple matter of turning them on, washing filters to rid them of dirt and dust or using a compressor to clean out clogged pipes.

Refrigerators that have been stored for awhile may not work because their vents have become clogged with leaves, dead bugs or dirt, so using an air compressor to simply blow out the vent that is located behind the outside door of the refrigerator is usually enough to get a unit working again.

Webetop Heavy Duty Truck RV Cars Tire Pressure Gauge 0-200PSI Stainless Steel Dual Head for Dual Rear Tires With Large Backlit LCD
Webetop Heavy Duty Truck RV Cars Tire Pressure Gauge 0-200PSI Stainless Steel Dual Head for Dual Rear Tires With Large Backlit LCD

The perfect tire pressure gauge for recreational vehicles Accurate and easy to use, which makes it possible to maintain proper pressure.


11. Give Tires Good Care

Taking good care of your RV’s tires is extremely important.

The Best Ways to Buy, Maintain and Safely Use RV Tires explains how to do this.

At the very least, you should

  • check tires regularly for damage,
  • make sure their air pressure is adequate and equal,
  • use the same size and brand and
  • use a gauge to make sure that each tire has the proper amount of air pressure.

If you don't have a tire gauge, there are several types on the market that will do the job. However, the best and most reliable is the one we use that is manufactured by Webetop.

If you look at the attached video, you'll see why paying a bit more to have a gauge like this is a smart move. If your gauge isn't accurate, it's worthless!

We've tried the less expensive gauges but were never sure they were giving true readings. With this one, there is no question.

When traveling, you should always use a good quality gauge like this one several times each day in order to avoid blowouts.

Of course, RV tires should always be of good quality and properly rated to carry the weight of your coach.

The Big 11 Are Worth Doing

If you want to have an RV that runs well and is safe to drive it will pay you to follow the advice in this article.

You can do many things to maintain a coach, but the eleven items mentioned above are the ones you should pay close attention to, because if you don't, you can ruin your RV and worse.

There is a big difference between washing a recreational vehicle and making sure that it's tires can handle the load they must carry.

  • Not washing a coach will result in a dirty coach.
  • Not properly maintaining tires can result in death.

You owe it to yourself and all who travel with you to make sure that you do what is important so that your RV vacations will be safe and enjoyable.

Do you think that doing these things is a good idea?

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