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Like any other vehicle travel trailers need care and maintenance. The last thing you want is for your travel trailer or any of its systems to break down during a vacation or on a weekend getaway. Here are some travel trailer maintenance tips to keep you safe on the road.
Below are the major steps to help you take care of your travel trailer
- Exterior routine inspection and maintenance
- Wash the exterior
- Avoid power washers
- Interior routine inspection and maintenance
- Interior vacuum, dust, and wipe
- Clean floors
- Clean bathrooms
- Disinfect counter-tops
Detailed steps are provided in the travel trailer maintenance guide below.
We are going to g over what you need to do to keep your travel trailer in optimum operating conditions. We have separated this guide into the following sections. Exterior, Interior, Systems, and Winterizing. Let’s begin.
Travel Trailer Exterior Care
Taking care of your campers exterior involves a routine inspection, preventive maintenance, and cleaning.
Walk around the exterior of your travel trailer and look for the following:
- Loose or missing screw or nuts
- Deteriorating rubber seal around storage panel, hose inlets and outlets, and other areas where seal are used.
- If your travel trailer has a slide-out check around the perimeter for damage or obstruction. Even though its part of the systems check can take the time now to make sure your slide-out is operating smoothly.
- Check for cracks in the fiberglass if you have it, and check for sign of rust
Once you are satisfied everything is in order and no repairs need to be made it’s time to wash the exterior of your travel trailer.
How To Wash Your Travel Trailer
To wash your travel trailer follow these simple steps.
- Use a soft-bristled brush. Using a soft bristle brush is recommended since you won’t damage the exterior of your travel trailer. Get a brush that has an extendable handle for those hard to reach places.
- For a rubber-roof use a cleaner that will help protect the roof from the sun.
- Use a soap designed specifically for vehicle or travel trailers. You don’t want anything harsh that may damage the paint and seals.
- Keep your slide out running smoothly by using slide-out lubricant.
- After you have completely wash your travel trailer let it dry fully.
- Apply a coat of wax to all exterior surfaces. Don’t wax in direct sunlight and only do it after the surface of your travel trailer has cooled.
Can I Pressure Wash My Travel Trailer?
One of the questions I see often asked is if you should power wash your travel trailer? In our opinion, you should not, since a power washer is typically too hard on many of the seals and surfaces on a travel trailer. About the only place, we would use a power washer would be a rubber roof and even then with extreme caution, and the tires.
Travel Trailer Interior Care
The interior of your travel trailer needs just as much care as the exterior after all you spend quite a bit of time in it. Keeping the interior clean will make your travels comfortable and healthy. You don’t want an unhealthy, smelly or an unsanitary living environment in your RV so take the time to clean the inside properly. It won’t take much but some elbow grease and typical household products so let’s get started.
Vacuum, Dust, and Wipe
The best tool to use for vacuuming the interior of your travel trailer is a small portable vacuum that comes with an assortment of attachments. Our resource page has a Black and Decker portable vac that we highly recommend. It’s affordable and works very well.
You are also going to need a duster, preferably one with a long handle to get to those hard to reach places. The Swiffer on our resource page works well.
Use the vacuum on your floors, drapes, blinds, upholstery. Using the vacuum attachment vacuum drawers, inside cabinets, along with window edges and just about any nook and cranny you find.
Once you are done mopping use a good disinfecting antibacterial wipe on your countertops and cabinets. This will make for a safe food prep environment.
Wet mop floors (tiled floors, bathroom floors) using a household floor cleaner, preferably a no-rinse cleaner. You can go over the floors again with a squeezed mop so your floors can dry a bit quicker.
You can purchase cleaners made specifically for the surfaces you will find in a travel trailer bathroom. They are might and do not contain any harsh bleach or abrasive that can damage the surface. For the shower use a squeegee, wipe all surfaces and fixtures with the cleaner you purchased. For the toilet use a scrub brush and cleaner and you should be good to go.
Prepare For Your Trip
Before you set out on your trip there are a few things that you should check. Check your fluid levels which will include your grey water tanks, battery acid levels, LP gas tanks, and black water tanks.
Just about every travel trailer has a fire extinguisher if yours does not go ahead and add one. It’s a good safety item to have. Make sure you check the fire extinguisher often. You should also have an LP gas leak detector in your travel trailer. Check it often, about every 3 months along with the carbon monoxide and smoke alarm batteries. Do not neglect this as it can save your life
Before you hit the road make sure to inspect the tires carefully and repair or replace as needed before you load up. Tires can easily start to crack and rot from sitting in the sun. Think about purchasing RV tire covers they will prolong the life of your tires.
Before pulling out of the driveway inspect all of your mirrors to make sure you have good visibility around your travel trailer. Make sure you know your blind spots before you hit the road as well
If you are towing a travel trailer check your towing equipment and hitch. Maintain it as necessary. Inspected it regularly and grease as necessary
Just like an automobile, your travel trailer has lights that need to be inspected. Ensure the brake light is working properly as it is one of the most important lights on your travel trailer.
Another major item to inspect, which a lot of people forget, is your roof. Sometimes low-hanging branches cause damage to the rooftop. Make sure you inspect it and make any necessary repairs.
If your travel trailer has an awning make sure that is in working condition and that it has no tears. To avoid mold and mildew let it dry prior to rolling it up.
How To Clean Your Travel Trailer Awning
Before you begin to clean your travel trailer awning you need to know whether it’s a fabric awning or vinyl. Cleaning and caring for your fabric awning will be different than your vinyl awning.
Fabric Awning – This is a breathable material that can withstand UV rays and is designed to dry quickly. Fabric awnings have a special finish applied to it that makes them water and oil-based stain resistant. This finish can fade over time. If not treated a fabric awning will become permanently soiled and can possibly leak.
Vinyl Awning – When cleaning your vinyl awning do not use any cleaners that contain bleach or harsh chemicals. These are harmful to vinyl. Not using these harsh cleaners will extend the life of your awning.
Wash your awning with a high-quality cleaner that is made to work on outdoor vinyl. We recommend this cleaner.
Once you have washed your awning thoroughly let it dry and treat it with a surface protectant made for vinyl such as this one.
Regularly reapply a coat of the protectant spray so your awning stays cleaner longer.
How To Care For Your Travel Trailer Summary
Keeping your travel trailer clean is going to add many years of safe, and sanitary enjoyment, as well as protect your investment. It does take some effort to keep your travel trailer looking great but in the end, it is well worth it.
Don’t overlook this important aspect of owning a travel trailer. If you liked this article please share and don’t forget to take a look at our best travel trailers article right here.
Ray Roman is the main contributor to this site and an avid researcher of travel trailers and the RV industry in general. He loves flyfishing, vacationing in Red River, NM and spending time with family and friends.