By Andrew Stratton
Recreational vehicles provide much joy and entertainment to their owners. But to keep the fun going and their RV running smoothly, owners need to take the proper steps to maintain it.
RVs require a good amount of attention and a little extra maintenance. After all, caring for an RV is like maintaining both a motor vehicle as well as a home. But following a simple up keep routine after the end of each adventure will keep your motor home looking nice, feeling comfortable, and running fluently for your future excursions.
The last thing you want is to be stranded in the middle of nowhere because your battery died or because your engine overheated. To prevent this from happening make sure you take care of the engine and drive train of your motor home just as you would your favorite car.
Change the oil regularly, refill all fluids, keep the battery from corroding, and check the tire pressure. Remember that recreational vehicles are generally used for long road trip and rack up a lot more miles than the average car used daily, so don’t be surprised if you find yourself changing the oil or doing other routine procedures much more often.
As far as the home part of the motor home is concerned, one of the most common problems that occur is moisture buildup. Moisture buildup resulting from shower and kitchen stove use causes staining and mildew issues. This can be avoided by always opening the roof vent and using the bathroom fan when showering.
It may be helpful to close all other doors, windows, and vents while showering to ensure that the moisture flows out of the roof vent. Also, avoid cooking or boiling water on the stove, especially in cold weather. Opt to use your microwave instead. If you must boil water on the stove, make sure the roof vent is open and possibly some other windows as well.
Like your permanent home, drains will get clogged and need to be clean out. The trap of the bathroom sink will need to be detached and cleaned out manually every other month while the shower drain can be blasted clean using the high pressure mode of your basic garden hose. Before storing your motor home away for the winter all water lines must be drained. If lines are not drained before storage and temperatures drop low enough, the remaining water may freeze, expand, and possibly burst the pipes or water lines.
If this happens repairs or replacements may be pricey, so it is more cost efficient to take preventative measures. Draining the water lines before winter includes disconnecting the ice maker and water feed lines, draining and flushing the hot water heater, and flushing the entire system with RV specific antifreeze.
Also, before storage remember to unplug all appliances and disconnect all batteries. This is important because some devices continue to use energy even when switched to the off mode. You will want all battery to be well charged so that you can take off on your next adventure without delays. Many people also cover their RVs in storage with tarps to protect it from ice and water damage. This will keep your motor home looking clean and new.
Probably one of the easiest and most important steps you can take to maintain your recreational vehicle is to give it a good cleaning after each trip. Make sure you leave no food that will spoil or attract rodents or bugs. Also remove all cans of liquid that might expand and explode with freezing temperatures. Cleaning the RV inside and out after every trip will help you get on your way in comfort the next time you want to travel.
Your motor home can provide you many happy years of outdoor fun and adventure as long as you take the time to keep it in shape.