Go the Extra Mile – 11 Tips To Successfully Maintain Your RV!

Are you someone who loves to travel around the states without any strings attached? Then you’d require a continuously maintained RV that works around the clock to satisfy your touring whims. 

Here in our guide, we’re providing 11 tips to successfully maintain your RV so that trips are conducted without much hassle on the road. 

Just like any other automobile, RVs require their share of maintenance. If you perform them regularly, bigger and much more complex issues in the future can be evaded. If you avoid them, then brace yourself for a trouble-filled on-the-road experience.

11 Tips to Successfully Maintain Your RV

Here in our interestingly informative guide, you’ll be presented with some of the most effective approaches that perhaps even the legendary Eric from Camperlio would feel like endorsing! Let’s find out what they’re all about!

Maintain your RV

1. Getting the Windows Clean

One of the top priorities while RVing is keeping the windows clean. A thing to remember while doing so is that you’d have to clean both sides of the window. 

If you don’t clean both sides, the chances are that it’ll be filled with grimes, making the entire RV look older than its actual age within a short period. 

Plus, unclean windows will obstruct the natural sunlight from entering inside, making the RV interior dull, smelly, and a harvesting ground for microscopic organisms, which won’t work in your favor. 

Get an extendable squeegee if the RV is too big; use a microfiber cloth or window cleaner if it’s small. 

You can also get it to a large-sized car wash that allows RVs. 

2. Check for Leaks

When talking about RVs, you’re talking about complete living on the roads and highways. During the winter and rains, you should be extremely cautious about the seals and seams because leaking is a common scenario in RVs.

Water can seep through multiple places, especially the roof and surrounding areas. That’s why it’s crucial for any serious RVers to often check whether the RV has any possible leak spots and use professional-grade sealants to seal the leaks to minimize the possibility of any water leakage issues in the future. 

3. Get Rid of Molds

Molds are one of the biggest fears of men with minimum experience using RVs. Molds can grow in RVs frequently, especially those that stay locked up. The phenomenon is more likely to occur during the winter when the doors and the windows remain closed all the time, making it a breeding ground for molds and mildew. 

That’s why you should never forget to have a specially reserved time in the day to let the doors and windows open and get some sun inside of the RV. 

Sunlight has a UV ray that acts like a purifier and wipes out the mold better!

4. Wheel Security

Getting the wheel secured is a crucial factor you MUST consider if you want to maintain your RV. If the wheel isn’t secured to the vehicle, it will pose a serious risk to you and the family on board. 

The first thing you’d have to do is to perform a regular wheel inspection. Lug nuts on the wheel can be loosened up due to long-distance travel. That’s why before and after any trip, you must check whether the lug nuts are tightly attached. It won’t be a good day if you lose a wheel during a ride. 

5. Maintaining Tire Pressure

Having the right time pressure is important both for safety and fuel efficiency. Due to the changes in the environment, tire pressure can go up or down significantly. 

Overfilled tires can explode before or during the drive causing havoc on the road. So always make sure you’re not overfilling the tire. 

On the other hand, underinflated tires can significantly decrease speed and mileage. Underinflated tires can also make it difficult for you to control the RV correctly. 

So, in both ways, improper tire inflation can get you into trouble, and checking the tire pressure before every trip is thus recommended. 

6. Changing Oil

Changing the oils is another common practice in all automobiles, and RVs aren’t any different. Changing the oil lubricates the engines and keeps them in the topmost performance conditions. 

For your RVs, it’s recommended to change oil per 3000-4000 miles. You can also change it once a year if you don’t want to count it based on mileage. 

Failing to change within the mentioned period will result in faster wear. You can also end up paying a large servicing charge as a result. 

So, if it’s been a year or you drove 3 to 4k miles, replace the oil right now! 

7. Clean up the Refrigerator

An unregulated RV refrigerator can mess up the entire living experience altogether. RVs, while on the road, are often closed and locked up. Especially during winter, you’re not supposed to open up much, except while you get some sun. 

That’s why it’s quintessential to have regular refrigerator checkups. See the foods stored in it and whether they’re rotten or not. 

Be extremely cautious about keeping stinky items like meat and fish too. Any power failure can result in tiresome consequences. 

So, clean the fridge every week and keep reminders whenever you’re storing foods that may fill the place with unbearable stinky smells in case of any power outages or similar events. 

8. Perform Ordered Cleaning and Maintenance

Fix a particular date in the month you’re supposed to work on the cleanliness and maintenance issues. Check if the exhaust has become smokey; clean it with a non-scratch scrub. Examine the outer body. You’d find tons of dust and debris on it; get them cleaned using detergent water. 

Also, have a close inspection on loose oil and get them figured out. Getting all these minor issues done can add a bit of comfort on the road while reducing smokey smells while riding. 

9. Fixing Mattresses

We’ve only talked about the engine issues, but an RV isn’t just a machine. It’s a home on wheels; thus, you’re required to perform other home maintenance too. One such issue is getting the linens and mattresses cleaned. 

When you’re on the road for weeks or months, things can get pretty rough on the linens and mattresses. Because of continuous sleeping, sweat can get on the surface and make them all grimy and sticky. Plus, the dead skin cells on the mattress can slowly become a breeding ground for harmful organisms, which would make a good night’s sleep almost an impossibility.

So, having two to three sets of linens would be strongly recommended. Therefore, you can change the sheet whenever you feel like it and get the dirty one cleaned in the meantime. 

On the other hand, when the mattress gives off a musty smell, and you think there’s something wrong with it, make a solution using lavender oil and water. Please put it in a sprayer and spray it on the mattress. Let the mattress air out under the sun in the day and overnight, if that’s possible. 

10. Get the brakes checked

It’s one of the most important security checks you must perform before starting the trip or midway. Brakes are the most sensitive parts of an RV. Brake damage comes with tons and tons of spend, plus the safety issue is something that everyone should worry about.

That’s why it’s highly recommended to get the brakes checked. If you’re extremely experienced in these matters, it can be done by the user himself. But, it’s suggested to get the brakes checked by a complete professional who understands the matters and can easily diagnose any existing issues. 

11. Electric Mechanism Check

Finally, get the electric system inside the RVs checked. Especially when planning for a month-long trip on the roads, highways, and woods, it’s a regular drill for any experienced RVer. 

You don’t want to waste days and weeks on the road getting the electrics fixed. That’s why you should get it to a professional who understands such issues and get them sorted out beforehand. 

Final Thoughts

Proper RV maintenance will make it last and make it safe to travel in. In addition, properly winterizing your camper is an important step in its overall maintenance and longevity. Read my step-by-step guide to winterizing your RV.

Here is another quick tip. If you use an RV cover, here are the steps to fold it correctly.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • Are RVs hard to maintain?
  • Yes, it can be a bit challenging, especially compared to regular automobiles. 

  • Are RVs expensive to maintain?
  • It depends on the users’ level of spending. But generally, it’s not counted as unreachable luxury equipment to have or maintain. 

  • How often should you service your RV?
  • It’s suggested to get your RV serviced after six months. But you can do it within a shorter period, like three months. 

  • How do I organize my RV for full-time?
  • It will take a substantial amount of time and expertise to do so. Start with installing an under-cabinet trash can and getting the required utilities like a refrigerator, stove, and other similar elements. And then learn basic technical skills to stay connected in emergencies in remote areas. 

  • What is the yearly maintenance on a travel trailer?
  • Usually, if big issues are not there, it may take around $500 to $1000 a year for your travel trailer maintenance. 

    Final Thoughts

    These are the most crucial steps you must follow before starting or while on the RV trip. RV trips can get much better and more satisfying if there are no hurdles on the path. 

    The 11 tips to successfully maintain your RV mentioned in the guide are crucial to keeping the RV in the best form possible. 

    Performing these maintenance checks would offer a tremendous performance boost while enhancing the security to a new level. 

    On top of that, regular maintenance would greatly reduce wear and minimize the cost to a certain extent.

    So, what are you waiting for? Keep the RV maintained at all times and get a stunning performance for a joyful and immensely entertaining time out on the roads!

    Photo of author

    Ray & Tammy Roman

    Ray and Tammy Roman are the co-owner/authors of Go Travel Trailers. They have been featured in AARP, RV Today, and Porch.com, among others. When not writing about RVs and the RV lifestyle, you'll find them fishing, vacationing in Red River, NM, and spending time with family and friends.