Owning a motorhome, recreational vehicle or caravan opens up a world of adventure, but it also comes with the responsibility of proper maintenance. As with any car, regular servicing is the key to ensuring your vehicle stays reliable and safe on the road.
It's important to service your RV monthly, seasonally and annually if you want to keep your rig in tip-top shape. For a functioning RV inside and out, check out our list of RV maintenance tasks that you should perform before your trip:
- Tyre Care
- Generator Maintenance
- Safety Equipment
- Heating and Cooling
- Lubrication of Moving Parts
- Battery Maintenance
- Propane Tank Inspection
- Brake Service
In this blog, we'll elaborate on this checklist to cover these nine essential aspects of motorhome, caravan and recreational vehicle maintenance. Whether you're a seasoned traveller or a newcomer to the caravan lifestyle, this guide will help keep your home on wheels in excellent condition.
1. Tyre Care
Before and after every trip, inspect your motorhome's tyres for wear and tear, and check the rims for cracks. Don't forget to examine the spare tyre and check the PSI level. Stagnant tyres lose pressure, so ensure they are properly inflated. Tighten wheel nuts and maintain tyre pressure according to the manufacturer's recommendations.
For longevity, maintain a regular tyre rotation schedule. Rear tyres should be swapped with front tyres to ensure even wear and extend the life of your tyres. A wheel alignment is also recommended at least once a year, as it will help to eliminate excessive wear on one side of the tyre.
If you spot any signs of damage or uneven tread wear, take your RV to a professional technician at Camping Adventures. Whether you're the proud owner of a Patriot or Lifestyle camper, we've got you covered. Book your service with us today!
2. Generator Maintenance
Run your generator monthly to prevent fuel from going bad. A generator with a load ensures proper fuel circulation. This simple step can save you from starting troubles during your adventures.
Generator maintenance also involves monitoring the coolant level, oil level and changing both when necessary. Depending on the age of your generator, you may want to consider flushing your radiator with a coolant flush solution. This is especially important if your generator has been idle for some time.
3. Safety Equipment
Regularly test smoke, carbon monoxide, and propane leak detectors. Replace batteries as needed and service fire extinguishers. Safety is paramount, so make sure your safety devices are in optimal working condition.
Check the condition of your tires, including the spare. Look for signs of wear and tear and unevenness or bulges that could indicate an underlying issue. Make sure they are properly inflated and have enough tread depth for safe driving.
Finally, inspect electrical cords, connectors, wiring, and other parts of the electrical system—including lights—for corrosion or other signs of damage.
4. Heating and Cooling Systems
Clean vents, air intakes, and replace filters in your AC units and water heaters monthly. This guarantees efficient operation and a comfortable living environment inside your motorhome.
Check all seals, gaskets, and hoses for signs of wear and tear. If any of these components are damaged, they should be replaced immediately to avoid potential leaks and other issues.
Test your furnace to make sure it is working properly each season. Make sure that the burners are clean and free of debris, as well as all wiring for safety.
Inspect the duct work for damage or leaks. If there are any issues, they should be addressed right away to prevent air loss and maintain the efficiency of your heating system.
Lastly, check the thermostat to make sure it is calibrated correctly and is not faulty. If it isn’t working as it should, replace it immediately.
5. Lubrication of Moving Parts
Protect hinges, slide-outs, jacks, and other moving parts by applying light lubrication. This prevents rust and ensures these components operate smoothly.
When lubricating RV parts, use a dry lubricant, such as graphite powder. This type of lubricant won't attract dirt and won't damage any sensitive parts. Start by thoroughly cleaning the area to be lubricated with a soft cloth and mild detergent.
Once the area is clean and dry, apply a light coating of graphite powder with a small paintbrush or cotton swab. As you go, make sure you get into the crevices and corners of the part for thorough coverage. After applying the lubricant, check for smooth operation. If necessary, adjust the hinge or other component for proper fit and function. Finally, wipe away any excess lubricant with a soft cloth.
By regularly lubricating your RV's moving parts, you can help your RV run smoothly and you can avoid costly repairs caused by worn or seized components. Not only will this increase the life of your RV, but it will also keep you safe and comfortable on the road.
6. Battery Maintenance
Check the water level in your motorhome's batteries and top them off with distilled water when necessary. Avoid tap water, as minerals can reduce battery lifespan. Clean the terminals of your batteries with a wire brush and add a thin layer of grease. This will help prevent corrosion, which can reduce battery life.
Check the case for any cracks or damage that could lead to leaks and other issues. If you notice any problems, replace the battery immediately.
It is important that you have a full service every 10,000 km or 12 months, similar to your vehicle. By maintaining your camper trailer you can be confident when going on your holiday. Camping Adventures have several service options from a standard service to a full service for Patriot Campers and Lifestyle Campers. Arrange your service with us today.
7. Exterior Seals
Inspect all exterior seals for cracks, especially on the roof. Water damage can be expensive to repair, so promptly fix broken seals with suitable sealant to prevent water intrusion.
Also check window and door seals for any gaps, as these can let in dust and other debris that can damage the interior of your RV. Make sure to replace any worn seals immediately.
Finally, check around the entire unit for any signs of leaks. If you do find a leak, locate its source and seal it with suitable sealant or caulking to prevent further damage to your RV
In addition, be sure to check the exterior of your RV for any damage or signs of wear and tear. Any damaged parts should be repaired or replaced as soon as possible to maintain the integrity of your RV's exterior.
8. Propane Tank Inspection
Test for propane leaks by spraying a soap solution on hoses and seals. Bubbles indicate leakage. Inspect propane tanks annually for safe operation.
RV propane tanks should be inspected annually. During an inspection, all hoses and seals should be checked for signs of damage, deterioration, or loose connections. It is also important to test for any gas leaks that may be present. This can be accomplished by spraying a soapy water solution on the hoses and seals while monitoring for any bubbles in the solution which indicate a leak. If any leaks are found, the hoses or seals should be replaced immediately to prevent potential harm.
9. Brake Service
Regularly check brake fluid and brake pads for wear. Brake service is an essential part of regular RV servicing. It is important to check the brake fluid and pads for wear every 12 months, as this can help your motorhome brakes to work reliably in all situations. Brake fluid can become contaminated with dirt and water over time, making it less effective at stopping your vehicle. Additionally, brake pads can wear down due to use, leading to decreased performance. Regular servicing can help to prevent these issues and keep your brakes in good shape.
When you take your RV for brake service, the technician will inspect the brake pads, rotors, callipers, and other components for wear. They will also check the brake fluid levels and add new fluid if needed. The technician may recommend replacing any worn out parts or upgrading the braking system if needed.
Having your RV’s brakes regularly serviced can help to keep you and your passengers safe while on the road. It can also help to improve the performance of your vehicle and reduce the risk of accidents. Make sure to schedule a brake service when needed to ensure that your motorhome’s braking system is in top condition
Schedule a brake service every 12 months with Camping Adventures to ensure your Patriot or Lifestyle Camper stops reliably, especially on challenging terrains.
When it comes to owning an RV, a great place to start is by reading the manual that goes along with your unit. Reading the applicable manual for each component of your rig can not only better prepare you for your first trip, but can ensure that you know how to operate and maintain all systems safely and correctly. In particular, it’s important to closely read the warranty and maintenance sections in each manual. Ignoring this information or doing a DIY project instead of having qualified service technicians work on your RV could result in any warranty agreements being completely void, costing you more money later down the road.
Even if you’ve already been RVing for years, it’s smart to check out the manuals again periodically just to make sure that you are following the proper protocols for keeping your gear functioning optimally. Plus, when new parts arrive unexpectedly or an old part needs replacing, familiarising yourself ahead of time with the specifics about how these are supposed to function can help save a lot of stress down the road.
The Bottom Line
Regularly following this caravan service checklist will keep surprises at bay and extend the life of your home on wheels. Prioritise safety, and if unsure, always seek out the help of trained professionals. Safe travels!
Lifestyle Campers for Sale at Camping Adventures
Camping Adventures is your one-stop shop for quality Lifestyle Camper Trailers. We are the brand’s Authorised Victorian & Tasmanian Dealer and sell the full collection, including models from the ICONN and RECONN range. We are also the authorised service and warranty partner for Lifestyle Campers.
Our large indoor showroom is the perfect place to both see all the camper trailers on display and get an in-person demonstration. Visiting the showroom gives you the opportunity to become familiar with the full range of Lifestyle Camper Trailers, while experiencing their unique features up close.
If you have any questions about the purchase or maintenance of RVs, please call us on 03 9708 2946 or enquire here.