Hitting the highway and exploring new destinations are part of the allure of owning an RV. However, don’t forget that these rigs are, in some ways, miniature houses that require a full slate of maintenance in their own right. With some knowledge, time, and supplies, you can keep your rig in tiptop shape. Here are four easy tasks for your checklist:
Keep your tires rolling
Few things interrupt the lure of the open road more than a blowout. Tire maintenance is critical for the safe operation of your rig. Improperly maintained tires put you—and everyone else on the road—at risk. Luckily, it’s easy to keep your tires rolling.
First, check the tire pressure and visually inspect your tires every day you tow or drive your rig. Look for unusual bumps, survey the tread, and examine the inflation. Second, care for your tires in between trips by protecting them from the elements. Extreme temperatures and improper inflation can lead to dry rot and other problems, even when your rig isn’t on the road. Finally, replace your tires based on their age rather than their mileage.
Inspect the roof
What could be more important than the roof over our heads? RV roofs are no exception. A simple visual inspection can prevent many roof problems. At least once a year, you should look for damage, mold, cracks, unusual warping, and deteriorating seals. Pay close attention to areas where skylights, air conditioners, and other items break the roof’s continuity since these spots are most prone to degeneration. Finally, learn about the material used for your roof and use proper supplies to clean and maintain it. Oxidation is a concern for fiberglass roofs, requiring protectants to be applied annually.
Care for the caulking
Water leaks can range from annoying to catastrophic. Proper caulking maintenance can prevent you from ever having to deal with the headache caused by a leak. After doing a thorough cleaning of your rig, inspect all caulking for disintegration. If you notice aging or cracking, it’s time to replace the caulk. Remove old caulk with a putty knife and chemical cleaner. Before reapplying, check to ensure the new caulk is recommended for RV usage since regular household caulks may not be. Finally, carefully reapply.
Attend to your holding tanks
Holding tanks are of the upmost importance when we’re on the road, however, many of us prefer not to think about them when they’re not in use. Unfortunately, holding tanks need some maintenance in between trips to keep them in top-notch shape. Periodically, do a thorough cleaning of the black tank with bleach or other appropriate chemicals. Instead of leaving it empty in between trips, consider doing an enzyme treatment to help break down bacteria. Don’t forget to also clean and sanitize the gray water tanks to prevent odors and clogs. Finally, the fresh water and hot water heater tanks should also be flushed and disinfected to ensure the water will be safe to use.
Taking care of these four easy tasks will enhance the safety and comfort of your rig. A little upkeep at home prevents bigger problems from happening down the road, literally.