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Annual RV Maintenance

05.02.2012 · Posted in RV Maintenance and Repairs

With the new year here I thought I’d throw out some  maintenance reminders which basically apply to most RV types.  Some apply even more for those of us who  live in our RV’s.  I may go over board (it must be the firefighter in me but my trailer still looks and performs like the day I picked it up. Feel free to chime in and ad your own as I am only covering a few items that come to mind and my situation. Above all read your manuals and follow the maintenance guidelines in them. I’ve seen many who “use and abuse” and never do any maintenance and it’s not pretty……

Speaking of fire:  Let’s start by checking the smoke and propane leak detectors. Don’t forget your carbon monoxide detector. While you are at it check the fire extingquisher too.

Water Heater Tanks…
Don’t forget to change the Anode Rod (if you have one). Most Suburban water heater tanks have them. I do mine twice a year and just did it. Boy was I surprised (again) at all the crud that came out of the hot water tank when I flushed it. I’m sure doing this sure extends the life of the tank.

Water Fittings…
Check all your water fittings. They will and can come loose over time and by checking them and tightening them you’ll avoid a “flood”. It happened to me last year. I even crawl in the basement, pull the wall where a lot of the water fittings reside and check those. That’s where I had my leak and luckily caught it before it became a major problem. When did you last change your water filters? How about your pressure regulator? They fill up with crud too.

TV Antenna….
For those with the Winegard bat wing type antenna. I had developed a small leak down the shaft at the crank handle. Who ever reads the manual and care instruction for these? I didn’t. It calls for a little silicone spray down the shaft every 6 months or so to keep the rubber o-ring/seal from drying out and preventing these type leaks! Nothing worse than a water leak over your bed.

House Batteries…
Should be checked often for proper water level in the cells. This prolongs the life of the batterys and will insure a proper charge and juice in those things when you need them!

Refer and Hot Water Exterior Compartments…
Check and keep these ares clean and clear of debris for proper operation. Bug, Bees and all kinds of things like to get in there and make a mess.

Tires!…
At least once a month check your tire pressure! Nothing worse than to have your sidewalls cracking because of low air pressure. The host I replaced here had a bad situation. He was here almost a year and never checked his tires. They were half flat and sidewalls cracked to the point I’d be afraid to pull the trailer any distance. The tread was brand new but the tires were shot! Tire covers help to and prevent damage from the sun’s ultra violet rays and other weather components. CHECK THOSE LUG NUTS for proper torque. Losing a wheel go1ng down a highway can be costly to say the least.

Slide Seals…
I treat my slide seals with a protection  at least twice a year. It also contains a UV protection. This keeps them from drying out and cracking. Mine still look brand new thank goodness after 2 years.

Rubber Roof…
You should at least inspect your roof every 3 months or so. It should be cleaned and inspected for any areas where the sealant has deteriorated. Water is the #1 enemy to RV’s! Be sure to check around ALL vents (hidden areas) A/C’ units, TV Antennas and any other place there is a seal. It saved me. During one inspection I found a problem with my roof which was repaired by Keystone right away. Had I not caught this it would have been a worse situation down the road.

Misc Lubrication…
Don’t forget to lube those areas and things you don’t think of often. Awning rollers and Stabilizers come to mid as well as anything else that needs lubrication. Locks and entry steps also. It keeps things free and helps with corrosion control.

A/C Unit…
If you are not traveling and stationary for any length of time you might want to cover your A/C unit. This prevents UV damage to the covers, keeps unwanted debris out of the unit and in some cases can prevent damage during a storm. Also if your A/C unit has filters, inspect them and replace as needed.

RV Exterior…
Keep it cleaned and waxed! Makes for a happier RV. Also consider using a UV protection on the graphics such as 303 or Protect-All.  It does work. Mine still look new after 2 years.

Special thanks to a popular RV fulltimer who goes by the handle “Firedude” for putting this list together.

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