Fluids, Filters & Battery.
A primary element of RV maintenance is regularly checking fluid levels, including engine oil, brake fluid, engine coolant, transmission fluid and power steering fluid. Make it part of your pre-trip routine to check these important fluids and top off any that are low. It is also a good idea to check these fluids on a monthly basis if you haven't used your RV lately or if it is in storage.
While you are at it, also check the battery to make sure it is free of corrosion and has an adequate water level (if it is not a maintenance battery) and the air filter to make sure it is clean.
Fluids and filters should be regularly changed. Check your RV owner's manual for its maintenance requirements and schedule.
As part of your pre-trip routine, also
examine the RV's exterior. Inspect the body and the roof of your RV for any
separation or cracks. If you have a towable RV, inspect the hitch system for
cracks, general wear or loose bolts. Check the tire pressure while also looking
for cracks, uneven wear and any objects stuck in the tire that could create a
leak. Make sure the lug nuts are tight on both the inner and outer wheels. And
DON'T forget the spare tire as it's equally as important.
underneath the RV, taking a deep breath to see if you can smell gasoline,
Diesel or LP gas. If you do, shut down all pilot lights and seek professional
Also check for leaking fluids, if you
discover a leak, move the RV and check again, noting the color and location of
the leak in relationship to the RV. Have a certified RV technician at a dealer
or service center inspect the vehicle if there is a leak. Be sure to relay the
information about the color of the leaking fluid and the location of the leak.
These are some helpful hints that any RV'er, regardless of mechanical ability, can do to help maintain the vehicle and ensure that each trip starts out on the right note.
The vehicle's owners manual should provide
more detailed information and maintenance schedules.
Servicing your RV.
Proper care and maintenance of your RV is the best way to keep it in good running order, save you money in the long run and prevent any untimely breakdown from spoiling your camping experience.
owners should follow the maintenance schedule recommended by the manufacturer
and have regularly scheduled maintenance and repairs done at an RV dealership or
service center - no one understands RV's better.
Here are some tips to help select an RV dealership or service center and ensure that you have a quality service experience.
It is important that you feel comfortable
with the professionals you entrust to service your RV, with confidence comes
the ability to communicate openly about your concerns and needs.
No matter how good future technology
becomes, periodic inspection of your vehicle by a professional will NEVER be
obsolete. A check-up by an experienced RV service technician can be a real
lifesaver and money-saver.
Winterizing your RV
If the freshwater storage tank is located inside
the coach, the normal heating of the coach during the cold weather should be
enough to ensure its not freezing. In severe cold weather however, it is wise
to monitor the water temperature in the tank and take appropriate steps to
drain and winterize if necessary. In severe cold it may be necessary to open lower
cabinet doors at night in both the bath and kitchen areas to keep warmer air
circulating around water fixtures.
If you are going to have to leave the coach
unheated for any length of time in severe cold conditions, it is best NOT to
keep water in the fresh tank. It may work best for you to carry cooking and
drinking water with you in plastic jugs instead.
If you will be using your RV when
conditions fall below the freezing level, it will be necessary to protect the
drainage system components from damage by the addition of an approved
antifreeze solution as outlined on the product directions. Drain lines which
are exposed outside the RV are especially susceptible to freezing, and steps
should be taken to protect them from being damaged.
In the event the RV is left for a period of
time without the furnace in operation, canned goods and other foods packed in
water should be stored as high as possible, since heat rises. They might also
be stored in the refrigerator as insulation against the cold. Store dry foods
and other items that are not damaged by freezing in the lower areas.
LP Gas System.
Make sure to use an LP gas that will
vaporize properly in the colder temperatures. Check with your LP gas
representative for the proper fuel, and reread the information on LP gas
selection in the LP gas section of the owner's manual.
Use ONLY the furnace to heat the RV. It is properly vented to the outside.
NEVER USE THE RANGE FOR HEATING - ASPHYXIATION COULD RESULT.
Cooking produces large amounts of moisture. Not just as steam from pots and pans but also as a product of combustion.
Make sure to use the exhaust vents and open windows slightly to control the humidity. At night leave a roof vent and / or a window slightly open.
When storing your RV for the winter (or other extreme conditions) certain precautions need to be made to protect it until you open it for use again. Make sure you talk to your local dealer concerning any special requirements for storage in your particular geographical area.
The following steps are general, and your dealer can help you choose those that are most appropriate for your needs.