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RV Maintenance You Need to Do Before Your Next Trip

Must Do Maintenance – RV Maintenance You Need to Do Before Your Next Trip

When you are getting ready to hit the road again this spring, and your RV has been off the road for a while, you should be sure to do all the maintenance it needs before you head out.

RVs are great for traveling, but you do need to pay attention to their maintenance. In order to keep your RV in good condition you have to do regular maintenance. You can’t just start it up again after many months of no usage and expect everything to work perfectly!

El Monte RV Sales has all the tools that you’ll need to keep your RV in perfect shape before hitting the road. Check out our website and find your nearest El Monte RV Sales location if you have any questions about what we offer or how we can help you with needed RV maintenance! Meanwhile, here is a summary of some essential maintenance tips you can do before you start up your RV and get rolling again this spring.

  1. Properly maintain your engine by changing the oil, topping up the fluid levels, and checking the air filter.
  2. Keep your RV clean inside and out to avoid bugs, dirt, and other particles from entering. Seals that you put in place over the winter can be removed carefully and clean out any places where bugs and dirt may have accumulated.
  3. Inspect all your lights and make sure that all the brake lights and running lights are all in good working order.
  4. Check your tire pressure levels before hitting the open road – low tires can lead to blowouts or accidents.
  5. Get an annual inspection for any damages or leaks that could cause problems during a trip. 
  6. Get a new battery if yours is more than three years old.

Here are some more detailed instructions if you need them:

1. Check Fluids

Your RV will only go as far as its engine takes it. Check your RV’s fluid levels as part of basic maintenance—this includes power steering, transmission, engine oil, brake fluid, engine coolant and windshield washer fluid. Refill any liquids that are low before you go on your trip. Take your RV to a mechanic if you’re worried about any leaks. You will also want to start the engine to review the readings on the gauges and make sure the dashboard lights, headlights, taillights and windshield wipers are working. Again, if anything is not working properly, see a mechanic.

2. Check Batteries

If you recharged your RV battery throughout the winter, it should be ready for your first trip of the spring. If you did not, your first step as part of basic RV maintenance is to recharge it—your RV battery could lose up to 10 percent of its current a month while it’s in storage. Only add water to lead acid batteries after they’re fully charged, unless the water level is already below the plates. Make sure the plates are always covered. Once the battery is 100 percent charged, check it and add distilled water as needed. If you’re not comfortable doing this work, contact a qualified service facility.

3. Check Your Water System

As part of regular maintenance, your RV’s water system will need to be de-winterized, inspected for leaks and sanitized after being parked during the winter. If you used non-toxic RV antifreeze to winterize your vehicle, run fresh water through the system until all of the antifreeze is gone. Be sure to also replace any water filter cartridges you removed for storage.

4. Check the Tires

Your RV tires can lose air pressure while they are in storage—approximately two to three pounds per square inch (PSI) for every month it sits in storage. So, by the time you’re ready for your first spring trip, those tires could be unsafe to drive on. Check the pressure in all of your RV tires—including the spare. Your tire inspection should also include looking for wear and tear, worn down treads and cracks in the sidewalls.

5. Look Out for Leaks

Inspect your RV’s seams and sealants for leaks if you stored it outside during this winter. That includes all roof and body seams as well as any openings that are cut into the vehicle. Reseal all the cracked seams and sealants before you hit the road. Check with your RV owner’s manual or local dealer to make sure you’re using sealants that are compatible with your vehicle’s materials. Please be careful when working on your RV’s roof.

6. Check Your Towing Setup

If you’re planning on hauling a car or a boat on your trip, it’s critical that your towing rig is working. Look over all of the connections and welds and be mindful of any cracks. The safety chains should be crossed under the coupling and hooked. Always have a spare set of car keys handy in case you lose the originals. You should also inspect the hitch pieces for rust or damage and replace anything that’s broken. The last thing you want is to be stranded because of a broken hitch—or worse, cause an accident.

7. Check Windows and Air Vents

You and your family will want to remain cool in your RV as spring and summer temperatures rise. Open your RV’s windows and air vents to make sure they are working. Proper airflow will suppress any extra humidity and help keep you comfortable on your ventures. Working air vents become more critical when temperatures drop and you need to turn on the heat—they will prevent toxic gas from building up inside your vehicle. Meanwhile, opening the windows will help “air out” your RV after it’s been sitting in storage all winter.

8. Check Your Safety Devices

Now that you know all of your RV’s mechanical parts are in working order, take a look at the safety devices. You should not go anywhere before you know that your smoke alarm, fire extinguisher, carbon monoxide detector and LP detector are working properly. Buy a new fire extinguisher if the expiration date has passed. Make sure all of your passengers know how to use the fire extinguisher and what every safety alarm sounds like. For even more peace of mind, make sure you’re aware of RV insurance coverage options to protect your investment all year long.

Need more help? El Monte RV Sales has all the tools that you’ll need to keep your RV in perfect shape before hitting the road. Our staff is experienced at helping everyone from first-time buyers to seasoned veterans select products that will best meet their needs. Check out our website to find your nearest El Monte RV Sales location if you have any questions about what gently used RVs are available or how we can help you with your next purchase!

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