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Cost-Saving RV Maintenance Tips

rvmaintenance-tipsWhat’s the best way to save money on your RV? Easy. Take good care of it. Your RV is a big investment, and it makes sense to make regular maintenance a priority to decrease the need to take it to the shop for costly repairs. Preventative measures will ensure that your RV lasts. Not only will diligent upkeep save you from being surprised by sudden problems (and the cost of taking care of them), but it will keep you safe during your travels.

Make an RV Maintenance Checklist.

Don’t know where to start? Make yourself a checklist. Use one for general, routine preventative RV maintenance, one for seasonal maintenance (such as winterizing) and another for particularly arduous trips. You’ll have different tasks, ranging from daily to yearly maintenance. What sort of things should you include to ensure you’ll be avoiding emergency repairs as much as possible? Check out these RV repair and maintenance tips.

Before you hit the road, remember these travel tips:

  • Check all of your fluid levels: engine oil, transmission, power steering, brake, windshield washer fluid.
  • Check for leaks. Look under your RV for any signs of leaking — trace it back to the source and get it patched.
  • Check belts. Look for signs of cracking, fraying or wearing. Take extra belts with you on the trip.
  • Check your windshield wipers to make sure they are working efficiently. If they’re streaking or falling apart, get them replaced.
  • Stock your emergency kit. If you’re not sure what to include, ask your dealer or mechanic for advice.
  • Check the battery. Examine the water levels, state of charge, cables and connections. If you don’t know your way around a battery, be sure to take it to a service station to let the professionals deal with maintenance.

There are far more elements both in the vehicle chassis and coach that need to be checked. Here is a more comprehensive RV repair and maintenance checklist. Keep yourself well-informed on what you should be checking, how often, and what red flags you should be on the lookout for.

Weigh in.

This you can do once a year. Have your RV weighed. You want to maintain a balanced load to avoid undue stress on your transmission and tires. If your vehicle exceeds its recommended gross vehicle weight rating, it’s time to clean out storage. At least once a year, go through everything and make sure to get rid of what you don’t need.

Keep those tires in shape.

For RVs, dangerous blowouts are most commonly due to improper inflation. Most dealers suggest filling them to the maximum recommended pressure, but remember that both higher altitudes and warmer climates will cause increases in tire pressure. When checking, be sure that the tire is “cold.” Invest in a good tire pressure monitor. When parked for extended periods, don’t neglect to keep your RV tires covered — the sun can do unnecessary damage to them.

Clean up.

Apart from mechanical, technical maintenance, remember to take care of the inside of your RV. Appliances such as refrigerators and microwaves should be routinely cleaned and emptied. Organization and cleanliness are two key factors in a fulfilling, stress-free RV lifestyle. Undue clutter can be both distracting and hazardous. One way to help ensure your safety on the road is making sure you have Safe-T-Plus Steering Control installed on your RV. When trouble arises, Safe-T-Plus keeps you in control. How do you save money on RV maintenance? Let us know in the comments. image credit: Bill Ward