Easy Camper Maintenance to Keep Your Vehicle Ready for Your Next Roadtrip
Campers (also known as RVs) are a travel and camping "hack" thanks to their practical build that just seems to make them all that more useful. Most people know what to do to maintain their campers while on the road, but few people pay attention to maintaining their RVs when they are in between uses, probably going with the idea of just parking a car till the next time they need it. While this approach may work for some cars, it definitely won't work for campers because these vehicles could be left unused for long periods, a time in which things could get spoiled or broken without proper maintenance. Read on to learn how to carry out RV maintenance when you're between uses.
Types Of RV Maintenance
Camper maintenance can be divided into two broad categories, and each of these RV trailer maintenance types has its peculiarities. These types of RV maintenance include the following:
A general RV maintenance checklist usually includes all the maintenance approaches you carry out immediately before or after a camping trip. However, it could also include some regular travel trailer maintenance activities just to ensure that nothing is wrong with your RV and prevent significant damage from happening to it.
As mentioned earlier, RVs require more maintenance than regular cars, which is usually because they have such a "complex" design. If you have or use an RV trailer, however, you should know that each weather change usually brings about complexities to maintaining an optimum RV state. So, while carrying out general camper trailer maintenance is great, you'll also have to carry out seasonal maintenance such as winterizing your RV to prevent it from getting damaged.
Now that you know the two types of RV maintenance let us look at some tips on maintaining a travel trailer.
Invest In Camper Covers
One of the significant things that pose a threat to all kinds of vehicles, including RVs, is weathering. While you may initially be fine with parking your cars outside, the longer this exposure period, the more you'll begin to notice changes to your cars. Although the effects of weathering on most vehicles are largely appearance-based, things are a lot more complex when dealing with RVs. Leaving your camper exposed to weathering could damage the outer framework of your RV. Eventually, the exterior framework may get thoroughly soaked, and water will begin seeping into the camper itself, causing significant water damage.
Camper covers offer excellent protection from weathering effects, so it's a good idea to get and cover your RV with a camper cover when it's not in use. This is one of the best forms of RV preventative maintenance. Note, however, that while camper covers are excellent for RV care, you should still take time out to remove them and inspect your camper's roof and seams to ensure there are no leaks. You should also consider getting covers for your RV wheels to protect them from weathering.
Camper Tire Care
There are few things as dangerous as driving a vehicle with bad tires or a vehicle whose tires are in poor condition. You may have little need to ensure that your RV's tires are in good condition while you're on the road; however, when your RV has been parked for a while, it's a totally different case. This is because the pressure in your RV's tires usually fluctuates depending on the environment's temperature. Hence, it's safe to assume that your camper's tires will not be in the excellent condition you left them in after leaving them unused for a while.
So periodically, and especially before you get back on the road with your RV, check the tire pressure levels and ensure your tire isn't over or underinflated. If your tires are underinflated, they could rupture, possibly resulting in an accident. Another RV preventative maintenance tip for tires is to inspect the wheel lug nuts of your RV. A loose RV wheel lug nut could result in losing a wheel while driving (Yes, it's that dangerous), so always inspect and tighten any wheel lug nuts that may have gotten loose during camper storage.
The battery is one of the most important parts of your RV (perhaps the most important), so you should always pay special attention to it because if it doesn't work, you're not going to be able to drive anywhere. General motorhome maintenance for the battery will involve you inspecting it periodically and ensuring it remains fully charged at all times. If you intend to prepare your RV for the winter (winterizing your RV), however, you can't leave the battery inside the RV all season long; otherwise, it will end up dead or even ruined. Instead, you will have to remove the battery and store it in a warm and dry spot in your home (for single RV batteries).
DO NOT store your RV battery on concrete, or it will end up drained. If your RV has a more complex battery setup, refer to your owner's manual for instructions on winterizing it properly. Your instructions will likely include disconnecting the negative battery cable. If you're going to leave your RV battery inside the camper all winter, ensure to periodically inspect and charge it to ensure it remains fully functional.
Maintain Waste Water System
Another important part of camping trailer maintenance is maintaining the wastewater system. Every RV has its system chemical preference (gray or black water), so the first step in carrying out this stage of camper maintenance is ensuring you know the correct fluid to use. Once you know this, ensure to use the fluid to flush the RV's wastewater system frequently and then use a sufficient amount to restart the system. This is to prevent your RV's water system from clogging up during storage, as these clogs could cause the valves to seize or even block the system entirely, rendering it inoperable.
Other RV Maintenance Tips
Some other RV motorhome maintenance tips include:
- Lubricate your wheel bearings and inspect your brakes periodically
- Change oil, air, fuel, hydraulic filters, and coolants regularly. Note that if you want to winterize your RV, you will need to drain your RV's water system and replace the water with non-toxic antifreeze.
- Clean and dry RV awning to prevent mold and mildew growth during storage. You should also consider installing a dehumidifier in your RV to avoid mildew and mold growth inside it during the storage period.
RV maintenance may be somewhat expensive, but it's worth it long-term because it will ensure you don't have to spend exorbitant money on fixing problems that might arise from poor RV maintenance.