Before you head out on your next trip, make sure that your RV has gotten the routine maintenance it needs. After all, if maintenance is ignored, repairs can be expensive and could potentially take time away from your vacation schedule. You should check your owner’s manual on the specifics of what your RV needs but here are some basic tips and tricks.

Oil Change and Filter: this one is a no-brainer, as you have to make sure your car or truck also gets the oil changed, but maybe by mentioning it, you’ll ask yourself “how many miles has it actually been since the last change?” The typical recommendation for an oil and filter change is every 3,000 to 5,000 miles.

Before every trip, check your tires and lug nuts. Fill up the tires with air at your local convenience store if necessary, and again, check your owner’s manual for expected PSI, as it could be different for each axle.  This is also a good time to check the tread on your tires and especially make sure they’re aren’t balding. A blow-out while driving could cause axle damage or possibly, damage to other vehicles. Also, be aware of your brakes and how long it’s taking for you to slow down. RVs are bigger vehicles so they’re more likely to cause big damage in the case of brake failure.

If you have to store your RV for long periods of time it’s important that occasionally the generator or motor is run to prevent a build-up in the carburetor. Also if you live in a cold climate, take your battery out and store it somewhere warm. During winter months, batteries have the possibility to freeze and break, which voids the warranty on them.

Purchase a water heater tank rinser a few times a year to help combat calcium build up. If you are traveling in areas with hard water, this should be done more often. First drain the water heater, then spray the inside.

Clean the Holding Tanks: Freshwater tanks should be cleaned at least twice a year, Black Water Tanks should be cleaned regularly when drained, and Gray Water Tanks should be cleaned at least four times a year. Visit an RV store to find a tank-cleaning product that works with your system. Keep in mind that the natural enzyme-based products are less toxic and safer overall than the formaldehyde options.

Give your RV a thorough washing. Traveling accumulates road grime, bug build-up, and bird droppings. To maintain its exterior, wash your RV often. This will also give you a chance to inspect the exterior and the roof for any water damage or potential concerns.

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