Thinking of investing in an RV? While hitting the open road in a vehicle you can drive, sleep and live in is a fantastic way to see the sights, there are a few things to consider before making the purchase. One such consideration is the additional upkeep a big rig requires. Below, we’ll go over a few of the many maintenance aspects you should be aware of before buying your own recreational vehicle.
Just like a car, an RV needs routine maintenance to keep it in safe, working condition. From oil changes and filter replacements to tire rotations and brake checks, there are the upkeeps you should already be familiar with due to your own vehicle. RVs require several additional checks and replacements, however, that most people don’t realize until they have an RV of their own. Altogether, these services add up to roughly $1,000 to $2,000 a year in regular maintenance.
If not properly maintained, system failures could occur, causing unexpected vehicle downtime and costly repairs. In fact, approximately 70% of the failures technicians report when repairing RVs stem from a lack of upkeep. It may also significantly lower its resale value down the road. To avoid such setbacks, it’s best to understand the ins and outs of maintaining your rig. A great place to start is to read the provided manuals.
Another useful approach is to create an RV maintenance checklist. Whether you choose a travel trailer, fifth wheel or motorhome, this step should be at the top of your to-do list. Essentially, the list will itemize the tasks you should perform monthly, seasonally, annually and right before setting out on every trip. Many of these responsibilities can be carried out by you as long as you follow proper precautions and make use of appropriate safety gear. Certain tasks, on the other hand, require professional technicians as they have the tools and expertise to get the job done right.
Basic maintenance most owners can perform on their own include checking the tires for proper inflation, tightening lug nuts, testing the electrical system and its connections and checking the battery. As RVs are bigger and house living activities, the batteries are under more stress and need special care. For instance, the water levels of the battery system should be topped off on a monthly basis with distilled water only. A battery watering system can be installed to reduce the need for manual refilling and make this aspect of maintenance much easier.
In addition to monitoring conditions under the hood, the checklist should also include details relating to any awnings, holding tanks, interior appliances and slide outs the model features. These elements must be sanitized, lubricated and otherwise maintained according to the manufacturer’s recommendations to ensure optimal function and operation.
There can be a lot to RV maintenance. Be sure to reach out to a qualified technician before purchasing for help on getting used to all the particulars. You can also check out the accompanying resource to learn more about RV maintenance.
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