When the RV comes out, you know it’s time for your next adventure.
Whether you’re opening up your camper for the summer season or taking it out after an extended break, it’s important to give your RV a proper tune-up.
Sure, we don’t always want to spend extra time thinking about maintenance before embarking on our journey. But skipping this important step could mean dealing with unexpected and costly surprises down the road – literally and figuratively.
To make it easy, we’ve put together a guide to the perfect RV tune-up. With just 10 simple steps, you’ll be on the road in no time.
1. Give your RV a wash
Start the season with a fresh start by giving your RV an exterior wash. The last thing you want is to kick off your travels with a grimy vehicle. Unnecessary dirt and grime can also get into nooks and crannies, damaging your camper over time.
You can easily do this yourself with a garden hose and some sponges, but you can also give your RV the royal treatment by taking it to a detailing service.
Don’t forget to clean out between any slide-outs and windows.
2. Look out for leaks
When washing your RV, it’s also a great time to spot any potential leaks or cracks in the seals. Run water across the roof, where it meets the walls, as well as any windows.
While it’s best practice to check for these every few months, doing a full check before hitting the road can help catch any problems early on.
3. Clean out the interior
Whether it’s been a while since your RV has seen the open road, one thing is certain – you’ll want to make sure everything inside is spruced up and ready for adventure.
Even the most carefully stored vehicle is likely to have accumulated some dust. So take some time during your tune-up to vacuum inside, as well as wipe off any surfaces and walls. Don’t forget to clean out your cabinets and change out any necessary linens.
This way you can settle right in once you reach your first campsite.
4. Inspect your tires
Your wheels will keep you moving – literally. So make sure to give your RV tires some love during your seasonal tune-up.
Basic tire maintenance includes tightening wheel lugs and making sure your tires have the right amount of air.
If you’ve had your RV for a few years, you’ll also want to check to make sure that your tires have enough tread left to carry you through your travels. If not, it might be good to replace them before you hit the road!
5. Give everything a test run
Even if it was working perfectly at the end of last season, you might find that some things aren’t working quite right when you open your RV up. It’s always better to account for any issues while you’re at home. You can do this by giving everything a test run.
Good things to test in your camper include your:
- Kitchen appliances
- Sewage system
- Heating equipment
- Interior and exterior lighting
- Electrical outlets
You should also check to make sure that all other vital vehicle components—tires, brakes, suspension—are in proper condition too.
Tip: Take your RV out on a quick overnight before you go on an extended road trip to make sure everything is working as expected.
6. Make any necessary repairs
After giving everything a test run, this is the time to make any repairs. Whether it’s something as simple as replacing a light bulb or getting a generator replaced, you’ll avoid any future headaches by taking care of it ahead of time.
7. Lubricate moving parts
One of the simplest yet important maintenance measures you should take with your RV is lubricating any moving parts, from complex mechanisms like your slideouts and awnings to simpler components, like window seals.
If anything is squeaking or sticking when it’s supposed to be smooth and quiet, it’s time for some lubricant!
Not only will this protect all that machinery from wearing down over time, but it will keep everything functioning properly – making your RVing experience just that much better.
8. Get an oil change
Like any vehicle, an RV needs an oil change as part of its regular maintenance to make sure your engine is running smoothly. Clean oil keeps your camper from experiencing any unnecessary wear and tear or heat buildup due to engine friction.
You’ll also find an oil change can help improve your fuel economy and power.
9. Replace filters
Like many homes, replacing filters is often an overlooked part of RV maintenance. You might even be surprised by how many filters are in your RV, but they’re easy ways to keep your home on wheels safe and clean.
You should replace things like your air filter, fuel filter, coolant filter, and hydraulic filter regularly. It’s best to check or replace them (if necessary) every time you go in for an oil change.
10. Check fluid levels
The beginning of the camping season is the perfect time to top off any fluids in your vehicle. This will allow you more time to explore before you have to stop by a store or the autoshop.
This includes everything from your water tank to the less exciting stuff, like windshield wiper fluid and brake fluid.
While not technically a liquid, you also want to check on things like spare tires and rechargeable batteries.
Once you’ve given your RV its tune-up, you’re ready to hit the road! We know this list of tasks might feel long, but it’s the best way to make sure you can enjoy your adventure stress-free.
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