RV Upkeep 101: A Complete Information to Conserving Your Dwelling on Wheels in High Form

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Correct RV upkeep is a vital a part of maintaining your rig in tip-top form, whether or not it’s your full-time house or house away from house.

In fact, step one in correctly sustaining your rig is to learn the handbook for RV upkeep directions particular to your automobile. For basic upkeep, one of the best place to begin is on the high.

Preserve studying for RV upkeep from high to backside!

A man cleaning the roof of an RV, an important part of RV maintenance.


When contemplating RV upkeep on your roof, you first have to know what sort of roof you’ve. There are six forms of roofing materials used on RVs: aluminum, fiberglass, vinyl, TPO, EPDM, and SuperFlex (a sort of TPO). We’re going to cowl the three hottest.

In case you don’t already know what sort of roof you’ve, the simplest solution to determine this out is to go inside your RV and take away the trim ring of certainly one of your roof vents. There ought to be a portion of the roofing materials stapled inside your rig. Take away a staple and try the fabric.

You possible have an EPDM roof if one facet is white and the opposite is black. In case your roofing materials is white on the highest and backside, you’ll have a TPO roof. Preserve studying for tactics to inform when you have a SuperFlex roof.

Crucial factor to recollect when cleansing your RV’s roof is to make use of excessive warning! Cleansing your roof means it should get moist. A moist roof is a severe slip hazard. You should definitely put on the correct footwear (your flip-flops in all probability aren’t it), and be tremendous cautious.

No matter your roof sort, step one to RV upkeep in your roof is to brush off any particles. Whilst you’re doing that, examine for any holes, gouges, unfastened sealant, or different upkeep points that should be addressed earlier than including water to your roof.

Man making repairs around an RV vent.

When cleansing your roof, at all times begin on the entrance and transfer towards the ladder. Not solely is that this a superb follow to remain protected, however you’ll need your roof to air dry. Image portray your self right into a nook. Hanging out in your RV rooftop and ready for it to dry could make for a really lengthy day.

TPO (Thermal Poly Olefin)

Now that you simply’ve decided you’ve a TPO roof, the steps for RV upkeep are straightforward. Seize a bottle of Camco Cleaner formulated particularly for TPO roofs and a scrubber brush.

Combine your cleaner in a bucket in line with the instructions on the package deal and begin scrubbing. When you have badly stained locations, you should utilize somewhat little bit of full-strength Camco Cleaner to care for these spots.

After washing, rinse totally all the best way down your rig. In case you don’t do a superb rinse job, you possibly can find yourself with black streaks, and no person needs that!

EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Terpolymer)

When contemplating RV upkeep in your EPDM roof, you’ll need a cleaner like Thetford’s Premium Rubber Roof Cleaner. Thetford recommends utilizing a sponge mop and soft-bristled brush to use their product. Thetford additionally cautions that it is best to use a rag to maintain any product from dripping down the facet of your RV, as it should trigger white streaks.


The SuperFlex roof is a sort of TPO roof manufactured by Alpha Techniques. SuperFlex roofs are available in beige, gray, almond, or white. In case your roofing membrane is white on one facet and has a coloration on the opposite, likelihood is you’ve a SuperFlex roof. Understand that SuperFlex roofing materials wasn’t launched till 2014.

Alpha Techniques recommends merely utilizing Daybreak dish cleaning soap to wash their roofing materials.

Batteries and Shore Energy

An RV hooked up to shore power.

The batteries in your RV function the 12-volt system, which is most of your lights and the water pump. Shore energy is the 120-volt system that runs your main home equipment and hooks as much as the facility pedestal on the campground.


For RV upkeep in your battery, examine to ensure your batteries are safe, and the connections are tight, clear, and don’t have any corrosion. In case you uncover white scaly corrosion round your battery terminals, you will need to clear and defend these connections. At all times bear in mind to disconnect the bottom first, and reconnect it final!

Noco makes a 2-step course of to wash your battery terminals. Step 1 is a cleaner spray, and Step 2 is a brush-on protectant.

Periodically examine the constructive and detrimental cables to be sure that they aren’t rubbing on something and that the plastic insulation is undamaged and never broken.

One other merchandise to maintain in your toolbag is an RV fuse assortment package. It’s higher to have additional fuses and never want them to don’t have any lights whilst you’re boondocking.

Shore Energy

Whereas there technically actually isn’t RV upkeep you are able to do on your electrical system, you possibly can maintain a GFI tester in your toolbag to examine for any shorts within the system.

In case you haven’t already invested in a surge protector, now we have an inventory of our high picks for one of the best surge protector on your RV.

Furnace and Air Conditioner

A man cleaning an RV air filter.

The best RV upkeep step on your furnace and AC items is to make sure the filters are clear (in case your RV has filters). Some filters could be rinsed and reused. Others you’ll have to exchange. This may be one other nice time to examine the handbook for pointers particular to your RV.

Additionally, examine outdoors your RV the place the furnace exhaust vents. That is prime actual property for wasps to nest. Take away the panel to examine and clear that space periodically.

The sail swap is without doubt one of the most typical objects to fail on an RV furnace. It may be a good suggestion to tug out the proprietor’s handbook once more and order an additional sail swap to maintain in your RV upkeep package. Higher to have one readily available when your furnace goes out on the coldest night time of the yr.

Propane Tank

Closeup of a propane tank and hose.

When performing RV upkeep in your propane tanks, first examine that your tanks are correctly licensed so that you simply don’t have any points getting your tanks stuffed.

Examine your regulator to make sure it’s working correctly and the hoses will not be cracked or dry-rotted. In case you hear a leak or odor propane when hooking up your tank, shut the tank off and have it checked out by an expert instantly.

At all times examine that your tanks are correctly secured within the mounting brackets. And, in fact, examine that your tanks are full. A propane tank gauge stage indicator and leak detector is one other useful gizmo to have in your arsenal.

Despite the fact that a Professional Examine Sensor isn’t technically part of RV upkeep, we needed to incorporate it on this put up to assist make your RV life somewhat simpler. Merely connect the monitor to the underside of your tank and obtain the app. You’ll get real-time updates in your propane ranges. No extra waking as much as a chilly house since you forgot to examine the propane ranges.

Slides and Awnings

An RV motorhome with slides out and awnings up.

Earlier than closing your slides, at all times examine that there aren’t any limbs or different particles on high of the slide. A telescoping ladder will make fast work of this job, and it shops away simply.

Guaranteeing that your slides really slide out and in is important to RV upkeep. Utilizing RV Rubber Seal Conditioner will maintain the rubber seals in your slides conditioned and lubricated.

Examine your slide monitor for any grime or particles. A wire brush can be utilized to wash the tracks. Spraying your slides with Dry Lube will assist take away any particles left behind, and add a waxy coating to guard your slide tracks.

Guarantee your awnings are debris-free and closed earlier than taking off on your subsequent journey. The easiest way to maintain your awnings in good condition is to shut them if there’s a probability of storms or excessive winds.

Home windows and Doorways

Closeup of an RV window.

Water leaks…two phrases that may strike worry within the coronary heart of any RVer. Left unchecked, water leaks can result in injury to the construction of your RV, paneling pulled unfastened, and even mildew. Examine the seals of your doorways and home windows to assist guarantee this doesn’t occur to your private home.

You too can use a small screwdriver to press flippantly across the perimeter of your doorways and home windows to really feel for any tender spots.

Whereas checking round your home windows, use compressed air to wash out the weep holes. In case you’re unfamiliar with weep holes, they’re the small horizontal slits on the backside of your home windows that enable water to empty away. In the event that they get plugged, the water has nowhere to go however inside. Right here’s a tip, be sure to’re standing inside your RV and blow the air and particles outdoors, belief us!

Security Gear

Man checking a ceiling smoke detector.

Like in your sticks and bricks, a vital a part of RV upkeep is checking the batteries in your smoke detector. Whereas checking the batteries, contemplate upgrading your detector to an Aegislink Wi-Fi smoke and carbon monoxide detector.

What’s distinctive about this detector is that it reveals you what the degrees of CO are in your house. One other nice characteristic is the photoelectric sensor, which received’t go off each time you open the oven door. And since you possibly can management the whole lot from the app, you may make it cease beeping proper out of your cellphone.

Lastly, examine your hearth extinguisher as a part of your RV upkeep for security tools. First Alert makes a hearth extinguisher particularly for RVs.

Black and Gray Tanks

Emptying RV waste tanks.

Shifting on to the least favored however arguably most necessary a part of RV upkeep – your black and gray tanks. To take care of a wholesome and pleased way of life in your RV house, it’s important that the bathroom, sinks, and bathe work and drain correctly.

Fortunately, there are solely three steps to sustaining these tanks: empty, flush, and sanitize.

Beginning along with your black tank, empty the tank after which flush water via till you see clear water circulate out of the elbow in your hose. Lastly, sanitize your tank by dropping a few Camco TST Max tablets down the bathroom and into the tank.

After the black tank is flushed, you possibly can transfer on to the gray tank. That would imply merely opening one other valve or shifting your hose to a different drain in your RV. That is one other time your RV handbook will come in useful.

Try our picks for the highest 5 finest RV sewer hoses to make this job much less of a chore.

Wheels, Tires, and Brakes

Man inspecting the underside of an RV motorhome.

We’ve moved from the highest of your RV to the underside. Final on the record of RV upkeep is to make sure that your wheels, tires, and brakes are able to hit the street.

For security’s sake, have an expert examine your brakes.

So far as the wheels are involved, examine them for any cracks and to make sure they aren’t bent from by accident hitting a curb.

Examine your tires for any indicators of dry rotting, cracks, punctures, or bubbles. Whilst you’re crawling round checking this stuff, be sure that your lug nuts are tight and torqued to the specs indicated in your handbook. One very last thing, examine that the tires are correctly inflated to the specs indicated on the sidewall.

Often Requested Questions

What upkeep ought to I do inside my RV to maintain it in high form?

Whereas many of the RV upkeep objects listed thus far have been outdoors your private home, maintaining the within of your private home clear is important to maintain your RV in tip-top form. Conserving home equipment clear will assist them work extra effectively and ought to be a each day a part of your RV upkeep.

Look ahead to indicators of leaks and condensation that may result in points with mildew, which is a battle most RVers have both fought or are presently combating. Open doorways beneath sinks and do a sniff check for any musty smells. Really feel round for moist areas.

Examine beneath and round mattresses. Mildew likes to assemble there, and leaving it unchecked can result in catastrophe.

I inspected my RV and located mildew, now what?

Step one is to not panic! RMR Manufacturers has a whole package for eliminating and stopping mildew that many RVers swear by. You should definitely placed on security tools earlier than tackling your mildew drawback.

Sadly, as a result of RVs are heated with propane, there might be condensation points as a result of propane offers off moisture when used. That’s simply the character of the beast. To assist stop mildew, you possibly can run a moveable dehumidifier.

You too can dangle an Eva Dry mini rechargeable dehumidifier in notably problematic areas, just like the bed room. Think about inserting a Den Dry pad between your mattress and the plywood. You too can take away the plywood base and construct a slatted base on your mattress.

A Properly-Maintained RV Equals Comfortable Holidays!

Two RVs on the highway.

You might need observed that we didn’t focus on turbines or engines on this RV upkeep put up. It is because there are such a lot of several types of engines and turbines. Examine your handbook for info on performing upkeep particular to your RV.

Now that you simply’ve carried out your RV upkeep, your private home on wheels is able to hit the open street. Go to our RV Tenting web page for assets about nice areas to go to and top-rated tenting merchandise that can assist you take pleasure in your finest RV trip.


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