There is one thing we know for certain about RV owners: they are an incredibly diverse group that all share a passion for travel, the outdoors, and exploring. Owning an RV allows them to take the vacations of their dreams—affordably, comfortably, and with everything to their liking.
Here at Guaranty, we always want RV owners to have the best experience possible out on the open road. And sometimes that means stopping in for service once and awhile. Deciding the best methods to keep your RV in tip top shape, as well as knowing what needs expert service, what you can do yourself, and when to do it can be a challenge. In this blog post, we’ll cover our top tips for RV maintenance, how to know when your RV needs expert service, and much more.
Tips for Maintaining Your RV
Maintaining your RV goes a long way in preventing expensive repairs. If you didn’t catch our blog post about getting your RV winter ready, you can read it here. Following winter preparation tips, even if you’re just planning to stay at home during the cold months, can help to prevent damages from ice, snow, and extremely cold weather.
As well, keeping an eye on your air filters, batteries, generator, and appliances throughout the winter can ensure that you don’t encounter any surprises once spring rolls around and you want to head out on your first trip. Tires are one of the biggest areas of concern, especially after a long period of time in storage; checking air pressure throughout the cold months and keeping them from direct contact with pavement can ensure your tires stay in good condition.
Here are a few of our tips for RV maintenance after trips to prevent damage and to ensure your RV is always in perfect working order.
After each trip, wash, vacuum, and disinfect your RV inside and out. Doing so can help you notice any areas of wear or areas you want to monitor for problems.
Clean out your fridge and pantry whenever you won’t be using your RV for several weeks. This helps keep critters out and away from electrical wiring and more.
Do a thorough check of your RV frequently. Check for cracks, dents, rust, or anything else that doesn’t seem “right.”
Schedule a yearly inspection to have all systems of your RV tested.
Why Your RV Needs Serviced
You think your RV is in perfect working order. And if you’re as passionate about RVs as we are here at Guaranty, we know it probably is! But sometimes things go wrong despite taking steps to prevent it. Scheduling service is important in maintaining your RV.
All RVs, regardless of age, should have their oil changed after a long period of time in storage, especially after the winter. You can also use this opportunity to have all other systems, like your generator, battery, and water system, checked for damage.
Also check your RV’s manual and specifications to determine what they consider optimal for oil changes and stick to that schedule. Oil changes help to maintain the health of your RV so that you can spend more time on the road and having fun—and less time stressing.
Before every trip, you should go through a checklist of items at the start and finish. These include:
Checking your tires and lugnuts
Checking your batteries
Inspect the roof seals and seams of your RV
Checking your generator
Following these steps can give you an idea of what needs serviced when you take your RV for an oil change. Taking your RV in for a thorough check of every system by a RV specialist once a year is also a great way to ensure your RV is always in perfect working order.
When Is the Best Time to Service Your RV?
As we mentioned, the end of winter or the start of spring is a great time to take your RV out of service, perform a thorough check on all your systems, as well as the interior and exterior, and schedule a service appointment to prepare for your first trip.
However, service doesn’t stop there! Frequent service checks, throughout trips and the spring and summer, can help keep your RV in working order. Here are some tips for maintenance to perform frequently, both on trips and between trips:
Keep an eye on the interior and exterior. Just like at the end of trips, frequently checking all your systems for signs of wear, critters, rust, dents, and more can help notice something when it starts—instead of when you’re out on the road!
Keep your RV insulated and clean, even once the winter thaw has hit. A spring freeze is also possible, so keeping winter storage insulation in place until your first trip can help keep everything in working order.
After your first oil change of the new year, ask for tips on maintaining your RV until your first trip, areas to watch for, and anything that might need serviced throughout the season.
During trips, keep an eye on all your systems, such as battery and water. If something seems to be functioning oddly, make a note of it.
Every evening of your trip, check the exterior of your RV for any dings, scrapes, and dents that might need addressed.
Take your RV on a short drive after winter storage and before your first trip. Pay attention to sounds; if something seems off, get it checked!
Can You Perform Your Own RV Service?
When it comes to this question, the short answer is: of course, you can perform your own RV service, like oil changes and replacing filters. The longer answer comes when you consider, should you perform your own service?
Performing maintenance tasks, like cleaning your RV, checking the exterior and roof for damages, and keeping an eye on important systems, is incredibly important and part of being an RV owner. However, many warranties can include portions that stipulate that you shouldn’t perform your own service tasks, like oil changes and other repairs, because it will void your warranty on those systems. If something goes wrong, that can put you between a rock and a hard place (aka, a very expensive place to be).
If your RV doesn’t have a warranty, then you’re in the clear; performing your own oil changes and replacing filters is relatively easy (and there are lots of YouTube videos about it), plus it can save you quite a bit of money in the long run. However, we always urge RV owners to be aware of what they’re doing: if something doesn’t seem right, or if you aren’t sure you know what you’re doing, never hesitate to take it to a professional! When it comes to your RV, it’s better to be safe than sorry (and paying for any mistakes you made during the process).
Choosing the Right Service Station
Our final word on RV maintenance is on how to choose the right service station for you and when to know to bring it to a professional.
As we mentioned, if you notice anything that seems “off” about your RV, it is always worth making an appointment to have it looked over (as well as the rest of your RV serviced and inspected). As well, maintaining a service schedule throughout the spring and summer, as well as a maintenance routine for the winter, can ensure that your RV stays running and ready to take you on your next adventure.
When it comes to choosing the right place to take your RV for service, you will want to look for expert and certified technicians in your area. We highly recommend asking your fellow local RV enthusiasts for recommendations. You can also always learn more about servicing your RV from the Guaranty RV Service department; just click here.