Can you feel that? That’s freedom, the power to go anywhere, anytime. Now you’ve got it, and it greets you in the driveway with yearning whispers of stretching highways. You finally bought the RV of your dreams, and you want to drive…to the oceans, to the mountains, across the plains, over rivers and through forests. But the last thing you want is your vehicle to breakdown miles and miles from home while you’re on the road trip of a lifetime. RV maintenance begins with care, and care starts with you. By paying attention to the needs of your vehicle, you can ensure it will work properly, for longer, with less hassle on your hands.
To keep the RV working as well as it can be, certain duties should be performed occasionally and as needed, including
– Lubrication of pieces such as slides, hinges, and other moving parts that run the risk of dry-scraping.
– Tightening of screws, bolts, and anything that might be loosened by the continual rumble and movement of the vehicle.
– Sealing of cracks and locations where water or the elements can enter and damage the interior of the RV.
By checking on these and making a clean house of the vehicle, you can reduce the long term wear on the structure and it will pay off down the road.
Be sure the electrical system of the car is in good shape. Check the connectivity of all components of the vehicle, occasionally running rarely used electronics to prevent their systems from falling into disuse. It might be a good idea to get tester lights or a multimeter to report on the main voltage and to make sure the system is running the ideal range of voltage.
Also make sure the battery has adequate charge. While it’s necessary to have a set of jumper cables in an RV, it’s also worth the trouble to check and prevent having to restart a battery. All this will help to protect the electrical system from failing and halting an otherwise great trip.
The Mechanical workings of the vehicle are also important for its functionality and longevity. Get your RV’s engine and brakes checked as much as necessary for them to work to their full potential. Watch for excessive wear on the engine or the drive train. While an extensive knowledge is not necessary, a working knowledge of the engine and inner workings of a vehicle can’t hurt.
Regardless of whether one knows enough to tinker with their own vehicle or gets someone else to, it is still ideal to have everything working as it should.
Essential as they are, the well-being of one’s tires is far too often taken for granted, with tire care neglected until a problem occurs. In preserving tires, it is important to regulate
– Tire Pressure – Maintain tire pressure within the recommended range for your tires and vehicle.
– Tread – Use the quarter test to check your vehicle’s tread. Insert a quarter in a tread groove on the tire with the head of George Washington touching the base of the groove. If the head is not reached by the tread, it may be time to get new tires.
– Lug Nuts – Take care that the lug nuts on the tires are tight.
Tire care is simple but necessary, especially in a vehicle as large as an RV, where there is much stress placed on a tire. This will keep blowouts from leaving you stuck by a road side.
Certain fluids and parts of a vehicle must be replaced from time to time so they do not underperform or create further problems instead of alleviating them. You should replace or refill
– Filters – Including the air, fuel, and hydraulic filters.
– Fluids – change the oil, change the transmission fluids, and refresh the coolant.
For your own comfort, the RV comes equipped with certain luxuries. But to make sure they don’t stop working and cause you to breakdown, they require a little work
– Make sure the wastewater system is in good condition
– Be careful to have a clean fresh water tank, clean it as often as you feel necessary
Mainly, just be prepared; have jumper cables, a tool kit containing wrenches, hammers, and other tools that might prove useful to have in an RV. It is an investment that pays for itself.
Besides eliminating hotel hunting and room fees, the RV provides a means of travel with room for those closest to you, as well as an aspect of control over the situational blunders that many fall victim to, left to the uncertainty of a road trip. By taking care of your vehicle, you will spare yourself the pain of having an unreliable ride.