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Caring for Your New RV: Tips for Maintenance and Longevity

Alyssa Javadi-profile-image
Alyssa Javadi
March 13, 2024

TL;DR: Ensure your RV's longevity with regular inspections, maintenance of engine, roof, and interiors, along with checks on electrical and plumbing systems. Keep the exterior clean, store properly, and be ready for emergencies for years of adventure.

Caring for Your New RV: Tips for Maintenance and Longevity

Congratulations on your new RV purchase! Owning a camper van or motorhome opens up a world of adventure, but it also comes with responsibilities. Proper care and maintenance will enhance your RV's longevity and ensure that you’re safe and protected on the road. In this comprehensive guide, RV Trader is walking you through how to properly care for your new RV.

1. Routine Inspections

Regular inspections and routine maintenance checks are crucial for identifying and addressing any issues before they escalate. Make it a habit to inspect your RV's exterior, including the roof, sidewalls, windows, and doors, for signs of damage or wear. Check for leaks, cracks, or loose seals, especially after long trips or inclement weather.

2. Engine and Mechanical Maintenance

If your RV is motorized, keep up with engine maintenance. Follow the manufacturer's recommendations for oil changes, fluid checks, and filter replacements. Keep an eye on tire pressure and tread wear, as well as the condition of belts, hoses, and brakes. Address any mechanical issues promptly to prevent further damage. If you plan on doing these tasks yourself, make sure you have all of the necessary supplies for RV maintenance.

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3. Interior Upkeep

Maintaining a clean and organized interior ensures that you’re comfortable and prevents damage and deterioration. Regularly vacuum and dust to remove debris and allergens. Clean countertops, floors, and upholstery with appropriate products to preserve their condition. Inspect appliances, plumbing, and electrical systems for any signs of malfunction and address them quickly.

4. Roof Maintenance

The roof is one of the most critical components of your RV, as it protects against water damage and leaks. Inspect the roof regularly for cracks, tears, or damage to the sealant. Clean the roof thoroughly to remove dirt, debris, and mildew, and reseal any areas where the sealant has deteriorated. Consider applying a UV protectant to prolong the life of your roof materials. If you experience a lot of issues, consider replacing the roof.

5. Electrical System Checks

A functional electrical system is essential for powering appliances, lighting, and other amenities. Inspect the wiring, outlets, and circuit breakers for any signs of damage or overheating. Test all electrical components regularly to ensure they’re functioning correctly. If you're not confident in your electrical skills, hire a professional for inspections and repairs.

6. Plumbing Maintenance

Proper maintenance of your RV's plumbing system is vital to prevent leaks, clogs, and water damage. Check for leaks in pipes, faucets, and connections. Drain and flush the freshwater tank regularly to prevent buildup, and sanitize the system as needed. Insulate pipes in cold weather to prevent freezing and bursting. If you have a water heater to supply you with hot water, flush it out twice a year.

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7. Exterior Care

Keeping the exterior of your RV clean and well-maintained not only enhances its appearance but also protects against damage from the elements. Wash the exterior regularly to remove dirt, grime, and road debris. Waxing the exterior helps protect the paint and finish from UV damage and oxidation. Inspect awnings, slide-outs, and exterior fixtures for wear and tear, and lubricate moving parts as needed.

8. Storage Considerations

When not in use, proper storage can help protect your RV from bad weather and extend its lifespan. If possible, store your RV in an enclosed space to shield it from sun, rain, and snow. Use RV covers to protect against UV damage and debris. Consider investing in wheel covers to prevent tire deterioration.

9. Regular Servicing

Schedule regular servicing appointments with qualified RV technicians. They can perform thorough inspections, identify potential issues, and perform preventative maintenance to keep your RV in pristine condition. Follow the manufacturer's recommended service intervals for engine, chassis, and appliance maintenance.

10. Emergency Preparedness

Lastly, be prepared for emergencies on the road. Keep essential tools, spare parts, and emergency supplies on board, including a first aid kit, fire extinguisher, tire repair kit, and emergency flares. Familiarize yourself with basic troubleshooting techniques for common RV issues, and have a plan in place for roadside assistance or towing if needed.

Owning an RV is a fun and rewarding experience, but it also requires diligent care. By following these tips for maintenance and upkeep, you can enjoy many years of safe and memorable adventures on the road. Keep up with RV Trader's blog for more resources on buying, selling, maintenance, and lifestyle.

RVTrader.com has you covered no matter where you are in your RV journey!

About Harvest Hosts
Harvest Hosts is a unique RV camping membership that offers self-contained RVers unlimited overnight stays at over 8000 small businesses across North America with no camping fees. Boondock at farms, wineries, breweries, attractions, and other one-of-a-kind destinations throughout North America, and you’ll get peace of mind knowing that a safe place to stay is always nearby!
Alyssa Javadi-profile-image
Alyssa Javadi
Senior Partnerships Manager at Harvest Hosts