Your recreational vehicle is more than just a vehicle. It is your home away from home when you travel, providing you with living and sleeping quarters as well as a place to cook your meals and relax with your family. An RV is a big investment for your family, with some costing well over six figures. For this reason, you want to keep repairs at a minimum and keep your RV running smoothly for many years to come. These five simple tips can help you keep your RV on the road and out of the garage.
Inspect and Protect the Roof
Every three months inspect the roof of your RV for leaks which can occur at seams, around skylights or vents and even the air conditioning unit. In an RV, you may not notice a leak inside as water will first seep under the metal covering, into the wood framework and finally through the inner ceiling panels. By the time you notice the leak inside, the damage may be extensive. Look for any discoloration and feel for soft spots near areas where a hole has been cut into your RV as well as all the seams. If you find any areas that have damage, use an RV sealant to close any gaps before they cause significant damage. If possible, park your RV under a cover or purchase an RV cover from a reputable dealer to minimize sun and wind damage when you are not using the vehicle.
Clean and Lubricate Slide-Outs
Dirt can build up on the seals of your slide-out so be sure to clean them regularly. Once you have cleaned them, lubricate the mechanism to be sure they move in and out easily as this will reduce wear and tear on the motors. Lubricate the window seals to keep them pliable as well as to allow for easy movement of the windows. If your windows catch, you could damage the felt that they slide on.
Inspect Your Awning
The awning on your RV is susceptible to mold and mildew build-up. Open the awning regularly to identify any areas that need repair. Be sure to clean the awning after each trip so that debris build-up does not lead to insect nests, such as bees. Items could also damage the fabric if you don’t remove the debris. A tear in the fabric of your awning could lead to a repair bill of between $600 to $1,400.
Run Your Generator
Gasoline only has a shelf life of about 30 days, after which it begins to break down. Letting your generator sit for too long without running it could result in significant damage. Run your generator two hours each month at around 50 percent load in order to keep it primed. If you don’t, your carburetor could varnish which keeps fuel from powering the machine effectively. If this occurs, you will need to replace the generator as there is really no method for cleaning it.
Open the Vents
When you are not using the RV, open the vents to allow air to circulate. In the summer, the interior of your RV can reach a temperature above 130 degrees. This can lead to the breakdown of wall coverings, flooring, seams and other items that are expensive to replace. Air flow keeps the temperature down and protects your interior. If possible, invest in covers for your vents to avoid rainwater seeping inside. If you have a location to store your RV that is covered, this will also help protect your interior from rain when the vents are open.
These are just a few simple tips you can use to keep your RV operating at peak efficiency. If you need assistance with any of these maintenance projects, visit our dealership to talk to one of our knowledgeable customer service staff.