youtubeWhile most of us are grounded from enjoying any RVing due to the Covid 19 stay at home proclamations, this is a great opportunity to really spend some extra time making sure your RV has been thoroughly inspected and service some of those items that are seldom given any attention.

Following are 14 items that are typically overlooked by RVers when performing routine maintenance:

1. Even if you don’t watch TV, be sure to lubricate the moving parts, including the gears, in your RVs crank up TV antennae per manufacturer's instructions.

Lubricate Moving Parts in the TV Antennea

2. Flush the water heater – you will be surprised by the nasty stuff that comes out. What to do: Pull the drain plug, let it drain and then turn on the pump or city water to flush it more or invest in the water heater tank rinser.

3. Spring is always a great time to sanitize the potable water tank and freshwater plumbing system. Here is popular method.

4. Most of you already take the time to push the test button on your smoke detector, LP gas detector and carbon monoxide detector, but few take the time to actually test them with the actual gasses they are designed to detect. The gas from a butane lighter can be used to test LP detectors (press the button without igniting the gas and hold it in front of the LP gas detector). The smoke from an extinguished match or candle to test a smoke detector. Remove your carbon monoxide detector and place it near the exhaust of your RVs generator or to minimize your exposure to carbon monoxide use the test detailed here.

5. Check for openings in the underbelly where rodents, dust and water can enter and seal if needed.

Check for Holes in the Under Belly

6. RV furnaces don’t have a filter that purifies the incoming air that is distributed through the heat ducts like a household furnace. To prevent dust bunnies from being sucked into your furnace and distributed throughout the RV you should locate your furnace and vacuum the accumulation of dust you find in and around it.

Vacuum Dust from the Furnace

7. Check the operation of the breakaway switch on travel trailers and fifth wheels by pulling the pin and trying to drive the RV forward. If the tires on the RV don’t skid you have a problem.

8. Clean the burner tubes on your absorption refrigerator and water heater per manufacturer’s instructions.

9. Lube landing gear or tongue jack gears on fifth wheels and travel trailers.

10. Check for corrosion on battery terminals – clean and tighten as necessary

11. Using a volt ohm meter (aka multi meter) check the output of the converter charger when the RV is plugged into shore power. The reading at the house batteries should be around 14 volts DC.

12. Check the charge line. The charge line is a circuit that sends 12-volt power from the alternator of the motorhome or tow vehicle to the house batteries when the engine is operating. The easiest way to check the operation on the charge line is as follows: With the RV disconnected from shore power, have someone depress and hold the “Battery” check button on the monitor panel making note of the visual reading. Then have a second person start the motorhome or tow vehicle (tow vehicle must be plugged into the RV), the person still depressing the button should see the monitor show an increase in the condition of the battery (Most likely the meter should read “C” charging) if the charge line is working.

Checking the Charge Line

13. Inspect the hitch and surrounding framework of a fifth wheel or travel trailer for cracks.

Cracked Frame

14. Check to make sure your TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitor System), if so equipped, sensors are working by letting some air out of the tires while the RV is stationary. Be sure to re-inflate the tires to recommended pressure after testing the system.

Performing the above tasks in addition to your normal spring checklist should insure your RV is ready for an enjoyable summer of camping here in the Pacific Northwest. Stay healthy and hope to see you on the road soon!

Dave Helgeson
Author: Dave HelgesonEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Dave Helgeson is the MHRV Show Director. He and his wife love to travel across the west in their RV. Dave writes about all things RVing but loves to share destinations and boondocking advice.


0 #2 Dave 2020-05-04 02:25
Two thoughts:
1) Contact the manufacturer to see if the owners manual contains a detailed maintenance list. Note: On motorhomes there may be one section for the house portion and another for the motorized (chassis) portion. If not included in the owners manual they may have a stand along document listing the information
2) Consider buying the motorhome through a dealer that offers “forever warranty” as regular and documented maintenance is an integral part of the warranty, you can be certain there will be a detailed maintenance schedule
0 #1 Tom Wagner 2020-05-03 02:09
Just wondering if you know if manufacturers of RV's have clear well defined maintenance activities:, when and how to perform them, in clear and concise processes. I don't own an RV yet, but am looking at B class RV, probably Pleasure Way Plateau, or Winnebago Trivago.

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