Tips & Advice
How to reduce RV wear and tear
Keep the RV covered when it's not in use. The sun's UV rays can fade the RV's paint and damage its roof.
Wash the RV frequently using a mild soap. This will help preserve the vehicle's exterior finish, and the RV should always be washed following a long trip.
Have the RV's exterior waxed a couple times each year. Waxing can help protect the vehicle's paint job.
Regularly check for signs of water damage. Water damage can be easy to miss, and, if left unaddressed, it can lead to an expensive repair bill. Every few months, check the RV's roof, side walls, moldings, windows, doors, and vents for signs of water damage. A sealant can be used to make the necessary repairs.
Make sure the tires are inflated according to the manufacturer's recommendations. Under-inflated tires are more likely to suffer blowouts. Check your tires every month or so to make sure they're adequately inflated, and always check your tires before beginning a long journey.
Take care when turning. RVs are large vehicles, and it's easy to damage the exterior when making turns. Take long, wide turns, and use your rearview and side mirrors to guide you.
Use a spotter when parking. It's easy to scratch or scrape an RV when parking. Use a spotter to help make sure you don't damage the vehicle while parking.
Use an RV GPS device to avoid low bridges. Bridges with low clearance can damage the roof of your RV. An RV GPS device can help you avoid routes with bridges that are too low to allow clear passage.
How often should an RV be serviced?
When it comes to RV servicing, most manufacturers recommend an oil change every 3,000- 4,500 miles. Battery service, which includes the cleaning of the terminal and posts, should be performed annually, along with coolant service that includes visual inspection of the radiator, hoses, and clamps. Brake shoes should be inspected annually for excessive wear, and the steering linkage and drive shaft should undergo annual lubrication.
How long does an RV battery usually last?
RVs typically use two types of batteries. The first is known as a starter battery; it's similar to the standard car battery, and it's used to help start the engine. A starter battery can last between one and five years, depending on usage.
The second is known as a deep cycle battery or a coach battery, and it's used to send electricity to the RV's cabin. Deep cycle batteries usually last four to eight years.
What is included in routine RV maintenance?
Routine RV maintenance includes things such as changing the oil and filters at regular intervals, regularly replacing brake pads to prevent rotor damage, coolant service, axle service, tire alignment, and chassis lubrication service. It's also important to make sure the RV's generator is regularly serviced, and the RV's roof seals should be inspected every six months to prevent water damage.
How much does it cost to maintain an RV?
It typically costs anywhere from $100-$1,000 per year or more to maintain an RV. Smaller travel trailers will be less expensive to maintain it's not uncommon for the largest RVs to rack up annual maintenance costs of $5,000 or more on such things as oil changes, brake pad replacement, radiator servicing, tire alignment, and transmission servicing. RVs that experience only seasonal use will cost less to maintain than those that are driven all through the year.
What are the most common RV repairs?
Some of the more common RV repairs include battery replacement, which you can help prevent by making sure your RV battery is charged every seven to ten days; tire blowouts, which you can take steps to avoid by making sure your RV's tires are always inflated according to the manufacturer's recommendations; and repairs to fix exterior damage, which you can prevent by being careful when driving.