An RV is great fun, whether traveling for a weekend or living in the RV full time. After all, how many people get to take a house with them wherever they go? But too often, RV owners don’t fully understand what they are getting into. Like any house, RVs are not immune to the need for maintenance and repairs. Unlike a house, RVs also take the wear and tear of traveling down the highway on a regular basis. Industry stats show that 3 out of 10 RVs need repair work by their 2nd year on the road, and virtually all RVs need work by their 8th year. Here’s how to troubleshoot some common RV issues.
WATER SYSTEM ISSUES
Trouble with the water lines, pump, or tanks is one of the top complaints RV owners have. Fortunately, you can minimize your risk for these problems with proper maintenance and winter storage. Be sure to empty your gray water and black water tanks every few days even if they aren’t completely full. Consider dumping ice into your black water tank every few months, right before a long trip. The ice will scrape off any solid deposits and then melt, allowing you to easily flush the tank when you arrive at your destination. Pay close attention when hooking up and disconnecting your water hoses at each campground to avoid leaks. Keep your freshwater tank at least 3/4 full, but drain it and refill it every couple of weeks to keep the water fresh and flowing. Run your water pump every few days even if you have full hookups. Have your water pump and water lines inspected annually, and have any problems fixed as soon as possible. If you plan to store your RV for the winter season, ask your RV technician for a checklist on preparing for winter storage.
Tire blowouts are scary at any time, but never more so than when your home is traveling down the road. The size and weight of an RV makes a blowout especially dangerous, but fortunately, most blowouts can be prevented.
Start by weighing your RV. Take it to a CAT scale at any local truck stop. Weigh it empty, and then again packed for travel. Check your owner’s manual to ensure that your loaded weight is not over the manufacturer’s recommendations. If you have a travel trailer, you must also do some calculations to ensure that you are not exceeding the tongue weight that is safe for your tow vehicle.
Next, have your tires professionally inspected. All tires have a shelf life of six to seven years, depending on the model. Even if they look fine, they should be replaced when they reach the end of their useful life. They must also be replaced when they start to become worn.
You will know your batteries have failed if your motor doesn’t start or you are unable to operate your lights without shore power. Maintain your batteries by regularly checking and topping up the fluid levels. When your RV is stored, disconnect the battery cables to prevent slow drainage.
If the batteries fail, plug into shore power overnight and then test them again. If they are not working properly, have them replaced as soon as possible.
Although your RV resembles a home, it is not nearly as structurally strong as a sticks and bricks house. The roof and window seals may eventually spring a leak. Minimize this risk by inspecting the roof every month and the window seals twice a month. If you see any signs of damage, have them fixed right away. Roof and window leaks can go from minor to catastrophic quickly, so it is vital to stay on top of them. Also have your roof and windows professionally checked once per year. A roof cover can help protect your RV from the elements.
ready to get started?
Whether you are in the market for a new RV or you need service on your current RV, Auto Boss RV has the experience you need to solve even the most challenging issues.