Proper RV maintenance will go a long way to keep your RV adventures going as long as possible. There might be more things than you think that you need to check before you take off. Below, we’ve laid out a detailed checklist of RV maintenance check-ups that you should perform before you head out on your trip. (Please note that RVs vary in shape, size, and equipment. However, this list covers the basics of RV maintenance to get you on the road to your next fun and exciting RV adventure!)
- Check Your Tires
- Check All Your Lights
- Lock Your RV And It’s Storage Compartments
- Secure All Lose Or Fragile Items
- Check ALL Your Fluids And MECHANICAL Parts
- Your Engine
- Engine Oil
- Your Transmission
- Transmission Fluid
- Brakes And Brake Fluid
- Power Steering And Power Steering Fluid
- Engine Belt(s)
- Gas Lines, Filter, And Pump
- A/C System
- Blower Motor
- Windshield Wiper Fluid And Pump
- Air Filters
- Water Pump
- Waste Tanks And Tubes
- Sanitize Your Water System
- Your Vehicle’s undercarriage
- Check Your Electrical System
- Check Your Seals
- Medical Supplies – (first-aid kit, etc.)
Check Your Tires:
Your RVs tires are the rubber on the road. The crucial 4 or more pieces on your vehicle that need to be check periodically and changed when needed. This may be a tedious task, but keeping your tires in good condition could save your life. Make sure to check the air pressure in your tires and tire wear. If the air pressures are low, fill them to specs. If the tires are worn too much, either on one side or all over, replace them.
Check All Your Lights:
Make sure your RVs lights are up to par. Interior lights are your choice whether or not you fix them when they break. However, when it comes to the outside of your RV, the lights must all be working. This is not only for your safety, but for others’ safety as well. If someone does not see you on the road at night because your lights are out, they could hit you and it could be fatal for either party. Plus, you can get pulled over and get a ticket, (a juicy ticket in some places).
Lock Your RV And It’s Storage Compartments:
It doesn’t matter if you are in your RV or not, lock it. This can save your life and your stuff. There are plenty of thieves waiting to steal your stuff. It may seem harsh, but this is a reality that you must keep in mind before going anywhere. This may seem silly on a list for RV maintenance, but we feel that it should definitely be included. You don’t want to lose your stuff right? Of course not. Who wants to lose the items that they paid for? Not us, and we are sure you don’t either. So lock it all up and pocket the keys.
Secure All Lose Or Fragile Items:
Securing your items in your RV can save you a lot of headaches. If your items are not secure, the smallest shift in your RV could make something topple over and break. Remember, an RV is essentially a house on wheels. So your items and equipment must be secured. Trust us, you will not regret spending the extra time when you have to pull a weird driving move because you are in such a big vehicle.
Check ALL Your Fluids And MECHANICAL Parts:
There are a few vital fluids in your RV that need to look good before you take off. Check your engine fluid, your transmission fluid, your coolant, and wiper fluid. Making sure that all are levels are correct and do not smell or look funny at all. A little stench is normal, just make sure nothing smells burnt or overly pungent.
RV batteries and vehicle batteries in general are crucial to your vehicles’ operating ability. The battery powers your whole vehicle by giving your alternator a “jump-start” when you crank the engine. In turn, when your battery fires electricity into your vehicles’ alternator, the alternator (once the vehicle is started), powers the battery. Make sure your battery reads 12-14 volts and starts your vehicle with no struggle and you will be all set to go.
If your engine oil looks brown or golden, you should be fine. However, if it looks darker than usual or black, change it immediately. Your engine needs to have the right amount of oil, the right kind, and grade of oil that it specifies in your RVs manual. It also needs to have uncontaminated oil. Quick Tip: If your engine oil smells burnt or looks black, it could mean nothing or it could mean that you are on your way to costly repair if you do not keep up Maintainance on your RV. If your engine oil has any white in it, you might have water in your engine. If that is the case, you will need to take it to a mechanic for further analysis before you go anywhere. You do not want to get stuck out there.
Brakes And Brake Fluid:
Check your brakes and brake fluid before you go. If your brakes are squeaking and squealing, you might need to replace them. Or, you might just have to replace the brake fluid.
Power Steering And Power Steering Fluid:
Power steering fluid is very important to the driveability of your vehicle. If your power steering fluid is low or worse, you might not be able to steer. So make sure your power steering fluid is in check before you leave.
Your engine belt or belts are very important. The engine belts keep your accessories like your a/c running. They keep your engine running by helping the engine move.
Gas Lines, Filter, And Pump:
Check your RVs gas lines, filter, and pump. They all work together at the same thing. Getting fuel to the engine. If your fuel system is not working properly, your engine will either not run or it will run inefficiently. This can cause issues with your engine and choke it. This can kill your gas mileage.
Your engine coolant is an important part of your engine. Luckily, your coolant is fairly easy to check. If it looks green, red, orange, or a solid color that your engine coolant is supposed to look like, you are good. However, if your engine coolant has a rusty or dark color to it, you will want to get it checked out and changed if needed. If your coolant is in bad shape, your engine could suffer quite a bit.
Your A/C system is important. If you did not have it, you would have no cold air at all. Make sure your a/c system is running properly and is topped off with refrigerant so that it can get as cold as you need it to get.
Your RV blower motor is what your RV uses to blow the cold air into your vehicle. If it does not work, you will not have any A/C blowing into your vehicle.
Windshield Wiper Fluid And Pump:
Your wiper fluid is crucial to your ability to wipe things off of your windshield. Such as random debris and, pine needles, bird poop, etc. The same goes for the pump. If your windshield wiper pup is not working or not working correctly, your wiper fluid won’t even make it out of the holding tank.
Usually, there are two or more air filters in your vehicle. One for the engine and one for the cabin where you sit. The engine filter helps your vehicle’s engine breathe and the cabin filter cleans the air before it gets into the cabin. Check both before you head out.
Check that your water pump is operating correctly. Check that it is flowing properly and if anything needs cleaning or replacing.
Waste Tanks And Tubes:
Check that your waste tanks are not full, and if they are, drain or empty them. If the tubes or tanks need cleaning, you will want to clean them. Otherwise, they could back up and that is never fun to deal with.
Sanitize Your Water System:
Your water system can pick up a lot of germs. So make sure you sanitize it fully before you head out.
Check Your Vehicle’s undercarriage:
If there are any issues with the undercarriage. Such as any issues with pipes, tubing, wires, and moving parts. Make sure everything is acceptable and up to par. Also, check things like sway bar links and bushings. Ball joints and control arm bushings. As well as things like your RV’s driveshaft and
If there are issues with the fluids in your RV, it could mean that a problem is not far away. Quick Tip: If your RV transmission fluid smells burnt, do not immediately replace it. You could destroy your transmission. You see, if your transmission is on its way out and the fluid smells burnt, you might still have a couple of years on the transmission.
If you replace its fluid in this condition, it might only last a couple more months until an issue finally rears its ugly head. This is because when your transmission is on its way out or failing, you might not notice. Your transmission could be barely hanging on because of the particles of metal inside of its fluid from its breakdown over time.
This is not always the case with the transmission, but it is a very real possibility that you definitely want to avoid. You could cause your transmission to begin to skip gears, cause engine trouble, or even not shift at all. So check your fluids, it could save you some serious cash.
Your Electrical System:
Your RV’s electrical system is important as well. If there are any serious issues with any wiring, get them fixed immediately. Unless it is something that you can live without. Such as heated seats, etc.
Check Your Seals:
The seals on your RV are crucial to the temperature control in it. If the seals on your RV are bad, you might be really uncomfortable. This is especially true in the wintertime when sealing the heat in your vehicle is more crucial than any other time of the year. So keep this in mind and check your RVs seals.
This list was created to help you on the road safely towards your next RV camping adventure! Many different things can happen. This is why RV maintenance is so crucial. There are a lot of variables out there on the road and we want you to have a ton of fun! However, we also want you to be safe out there. So, did you find this list helpful? Why not give it a like and maybe even a share! For more tips like this, check out the rest of our site! For more RV maintenance tips, check out doityourselfrv.com.