Sunday, October 1, 2023

RV Upkeep 101: A Complete Information to Retaining Your Residence on Wheels in High Form

Correct RV upkeep is a vital a part of maintaining your rig in tip-top form, whether or not it’s your full-time house or house away from house.

After all, step one in correctly sustaining your rig is to learn the handbook for RV upkeep directions particular to your car. For normal upkeep, the most effective place to begin is on the prime.

Maintain studying for RV upkeep from prime to backside!

A man cleaning the roof of an RV, an important part of RV maintenance.


When contemplating RV upkeep in your roof, you first have to know what sort of roof you may have. There are six sorts of roofing materials used on RVs: aluminum, fiberglass, vinyl, TPO, EPDM, and SuperFlex (a sort of TPO). We’re going to cowl the three hottest.

For those who don’t already know what sort of roof you may have, the best option to determine this out is to go inside your RV and take away the trim ring of certainly one of your roof vents. There needs to be a portion of the roofing materials stapled inside your rig. Take away a staple and check out the fabric.

You doubtless have an EPDM roof if one facet is white and the opposite is black. In case your roofing materials is white on the highest and backside, you’ll have a TPO roof. Maintain studying for methods to inform in case you have a SuperFlex roof.

An important factor to recollect when cleansing your RV’s roof is to make use of excessive warning! Cleansing your roof means it’ll get moist. A moist roof is a critical slip hazard. Make sure to put on the right footwear (your flip-flops most likely aren’t it), and be tremendous cautious.

No matter your roof sort, step one to RV upkeep in your roof is to brush off any particles. Whilst you’re doing that, examine for any holes, gouges, unfastened sealant, or different upkeep points that have to be addressed earlier than including water to your roof.

Man making repairs around an RV vent.

When cleansing your roof, at all times begin on the entrance and transfer towards the ladder. Not solely is that this a very good observe to remain protected, however you’ll need your roof to air dry. Image portray your self right into a nook. Hanging out in your RV rooftop and ready for it to dry could make for a really lengthy day.

TPO (Thermal Poly Olefin)

Now that you just’ve decided you may have a TPO roof, the steps for RV upkeep are simple. Seize a bottle of Camco Cleaner formulated particularly for TPO roofs and a scrubber brush.

Combine your cleaner in a bucket in response to the instructions on the bundle and begin scrubbing. When you have badly stained locations, you should utilize just a little little bit of full-strength Camco Cleaner to handle these spots.

After washing, rinse completely all the best way down your rig. For those who don’t do a very good rinse job, you possibly can find yourself with black streaks, and no one desires that!

EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Terpolymer)

When contemplating RV upkeep in your EPDM roof, you’ll desire a cleaner like Thetford’s Premium Rubber Roof Cleaner. Thetford recommends utilizing a sponge mop and soft-bristled brush to use their product. Thetford additionally cautions that it is best to use a rag to maintain any product from dripping down the facet of your RV, as it’ll trigger white streaks.


The SuperFlex roof is a sort of TPO roof manufactured by Alpha Methods. SuperFlex roofs are available beige, gray, almond, or white. In case your roofing membrane is white on one facet and has a coloration on the opposite, chances are high you may have a SuperFlex roof. Take into account that SuperFlex roofing materials wasn’t launched till 2014.

Alpha Methods recommends merely utilizing Daybreak dish cleaning soap to scrub their roofing materials.

Batteries and Shore Energy

An RV hooked up to shore power.

The batteries in your RV function the 12-volt system, which is most of your lights and the water pump. Shore energy is the 120-volt system that runs your main home equipment and hooks as much as the facility pedestal on the campground.


For RV upkeep in your battery, examine to ensure your batteries are safe, and the connections are tight, clear, and don’t have any corrosion. For those who uncover white scaly corrosion round your battery terminals, you have to clear and defend these connections. All the time bear in mind to disconnect the bottom first, and reconnect it final!

Noco makes a 2-step course of to scrub your battery terminals. Step 1 is a cleaner spray, and Step 2 is a brush-on protectant.

Periodically examine the optimistic and damaging cables to make it possible for they aren’t rubbing on something and that the plastic insulation is undamaged and never broken.

One other merchandise to maintain in your toolbag is an RV fuse assortment equipment. It’s higher to have further fuses and never want them to don’t have any lights when you’re boondocking.

Shore Energy

Whereas there technically actually isn’t RV upkeep you are able to do in your electrical system, you possibly can maintain a GFI tester in your toolbag to examine for any shorts within the system.

For those who haven’t already invested in a surge protector, now we have a listing of our prime picks for the most effective surge protector in your RV.

Furnace and Air Conditioner

A man cleaning an RV air filter.

The simplest RV upkeep step in your furnace and AC items is to make sure the filters are clear (in case your RV has filters). Some filters may be rinsed and reused. Others you’ll have to switch. This might be one other nice time to examine the handbook for tips particular to your RV.

Additionally, examine exterior your RV the place the furnace exhaust vents. That is prime actual property for wasps to nest. Take away the panel to examine and clear that space periodically.

The sail change is likely one of the commonest gadgets to fail on an RV furnace. It may be a good suggestion to drag out the proprietor’s handbook once more and order an additional sail change to maintain in your RV upkeep equipment. Higher to have one available when your furnace goes out on the coldest evening of the 12 months.

Propane Tank

Closeup of a propane tank and hose.

When performing RV upkeep in your propane tanks, first examine that your tanks are correctly licensed so that you just don’t have any points getting your tanks crammed.

Test your regulator to make sure it’s working correctly and the hoses should not cracked or dry-rotted. For those who hear a leak or scent propane when hooking up your tank, shut the tank off and have it checked out by an expert instantly.

All the time examine that your tanks are correctly secured within the mounting brackets. And, in fact, examine that your tanks are full. A propane tank gauge stage indicator and leak detector is one other useful gizmo to have in your arsenal.

Despite the fact that a Professional Test Sensor isn’t technically part of RV upkeep, we needed to incorporate it on this put up to assist make your RV life just a little simpler. Merely connect the monitor to the underside of your tank and obtain the app. You’ll get real-time updates in your propane ranges. No extra waking as much as a chilly house since you forgot to examine the propane ranges.

Slides and Awnings

An RV motorhome with slides out and awnings up.

Earlier than closing your slides, at all times examine that there aren’t any limbs or different particles on prime of the slide. A telescoping ladder will make fast work of this job, and it shops away simply.

Guaranteeing that your slides really slide out and in is crucial to RV upkeep. Utilizing RV Rubber Seal Conditioner will maintain the rubber seals in your slides conditioned and lubricated.

Test your slide monitor for any grime or particles. A wire brush can be utilized to scrub the tracks. Spraying your slides with Dry Lube will assist take away any particles left behind, and add a waxy coating to guard your slide tracks.

Guarantee your awnings are debris-free and closed earlier than taking off in your subsequent journey. The easiest way to maintain your awnings in good condition is to shut them if there’s a probability of storms or excessive winds.

Home windows and Doorways

Closeup of an RV window.

Water leaks…two phrases that may strike worry within the coronary heart of any RVer. Left unchecked, water leaks can result in harm to the construction of your RV, paneling pulled unfastened, and even mildew. Test the seals of your doorways and home windows to assist guarantee this doesn’t occur to your property.

You can too use a small screwdriver to press calmly across the perimeter of your doorways and home windows to really feel for any gentle spots.

Whereas checking round your home windows, use compressed air to scrub out the weep holes. For those who’re unfamiliar with weep holes, they’re the small horizontal slits on the backside of your home windows that permit water to empty away. In the event that they get plugged, the water has nowhere to go however inside. Right here’s a tip, be sure you’re standing inside your RV and blow the air and particles exterior, belief us!

Security Gear

Man checking a ceiling smoke detector.

Like in your sticks and bricks, a vital a part of RV upkeep is checking the batteries in your smoke detector. Whereas checking the batteries, contemplate upgrading your detector to an Aegislink Wi-Fi smoke and carbon monoxide detector.

What’s distinctive about this detector is that it reveals you what the degrees of CO are in your house. One other nice function is the photoelectric sensor, which received’t go off each time you open the oven door. And since you possibly can management all the pieces from the app, you may make it cease beeping proper out of your telephone.

Lastly, examine your hearth extinguisher as a part of your RV upkeep for security gear. First Alert makes a hearth extinguisher particularly for RVs.

Black and Gray Tanks

Emptying RV waste tanks.

Shifting on to the least preferred however arguably most essential a part of RV upkeep – your black and gray tanks. To take care of a wholesome and comfortable life-style in your RV house, it’s important that the bathroom, sinks, and bathe work and drain correctly.

Fortunately, there are solely three steps to sustaining these tanks: empty, flush, and sanitize.

Beginning along with your black tank, empty the tank after which flush water by means of till you see clear water stream out of the elbow in your hose. Lastly, sanitize your tank by dropping a few Camco TST Max tablets down the bathroom and into the tank.

After the black tank is flushed, you possibly can transfer on to the gray tank. That would imply merely opening one other valve or transferring your hose to a different drain in your RV. That is one other time your RV handbook will turn out to be useful.

Take a look at our picks for the highest 5 greatest RV sewer hoses to make this process much less of a chore.

Wheels, Tires, and Brakes

Man inspecting the underside of an RV motorhome.

We’ve moved from the highest of your RV to the underside. Final on the record of RV upkeep is to make sure that your wheels, tires, and brakes are able to hit the street.

For security’s sake, have an expert examine your brakes.

So far as the wheels are involved, examine them for any cracks and to make sure they aren’t bent from by chance hitting a curb.

Test your tires for any indicators of dry rotting, cracks, punctures, or bubbles. Whilst you’re crawling round checking this stuff, be sure that your lug nuts are tight and torqued to the specs indicated in your handbook. One very last thing, examine that the tires are correctly inflated to the specs indicated on the sidewall.

Continuously Requested Questions

What upkeep ought to I do inside my RV to maintain it in prime form?

Whereas many of the RV upkeep gadgets listed up to now have been exterior your property, maintaining the within of your property clear is crucial to maintain your RV in tip-top form. Retaining home equipment clear will assist them work extra effectively and needs to be a day by day a part of your RV upkeep.

Look ahead to indicators of leaks and condensation that may result in points with mildew, which is a battle most RVers have both fought or are at present combating. Open doorways below sinks and do a sniff take a look at for any musty smells. Really feel round for moist areas.

Test below and round mattresses. Mould likes to collect there, and leaving it unchecked can result in catastrophe.

I inspected my RV and located mildew, now what?

Step one is to not panic! RMR Manufacturers has an entire equipment for eliminating and stopping mildew that many RVers swear by. Make sure to placed on security gear earlier than tackling your mildew drawback.

Sadly, as a result of RVs are heated with propane, there might be condensation points as a result of propane offers off moisture when used. That’s simply the character of the beast. To assist forestall mildew, you possibly can run a transportable dehumidifier.

You can too grasp an Eva Dry mini rechargeable dehumidifier in significantly problematic areas, just like the bed room. Take into account inserting a Den Dry pad between your mattress and the plywood. You can too take away the plywood base and construct a slatted base in your mattress.

A Effectively-Maintained RV Equals Completely happy Holidays!

Two RVs on the highway.

You may need seen that we didn’t focus on mills or engines on this RV upkeep put up. It is because there are such a lot of several types of engines and mills. Test your handbook for data on performing upkeep particular to your RV.

Now that you just’ve carried out your RV upkeep, your property on wheels is able to hit the open street. Go to our RV Tenting web page for assets about nice places to go to and top-rated tenting merchandise that can assist you take pleasure in your greatest RV trip.

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