Common RV Maintenance Issues

COVID-19 kept many folks at home during the spring. Now that summer is upon us, RV travel will be a more popular option than ever. Families, couples, and individuals can head to their destinations without fear of becoming sick during an airplane ride or crowded bus ride. Harvest Hosts is the perfect way to continue to social distance and reach your destination without experiencing an overly-populated campground. However, RV owners are no stranger to maintenance problems. It’s been said that if you enjoy tinkering, you should purchase an RV. New and used RVs of any class experience many of the same issues. Sometimes, no matter how much maintenance an owner performs, issues can still arise. Below, we’ll discuss some common maintenance issues that can happen to any RV.

rv maintenance issues
Photo credit: airstream.com

Tire Issues

Previously, we’ve discussed how to maintain your tires in this handy blog post. Sometimes even after checking all the maintenance boxes, tire issues can still arise. Road damage, wear and tear, and non-use are all factors that dictate your tire’s life. It’s a best practice to have a Tire Pressure Monitoring Sensor to stay ahead of flat tires. 

If you find that your tire(s) is flat or low, you must find the closest gas station or tire servicing company to have your tires inflated. If you find yourself with a flat tire, maintain control of the vehicle. Do not immediately brake, but instead accelerate to maintain control. Once your RV stops pulling to the side with the flat, begin slowly braking and safely pulling off. It’s a best practice to carry a full size spare to replace your damaged tire. 

rv tire change
Photo credit: lesschwab.com

Water Lines/Water Pump 

A common mistake for newer RV owners is improper winterization. It is imperative that you empty all the water from your lines and fill them with antifreeze to prevent your water lines from freezing and bursting. This can also happen if your RV is stagnant for even just a few days during freezing temperatures.  If you need assistance winterizing your RV, check out our simple guide

Water pumps can also stop working for a variety of reasons. Thankfully, replacing these is as easy as connecting a few wires and pipes to your new water pump. If you don’t feel comfortable performing this maintenance yourself, water pumps are oftentimes covered by RV warranties. 

frozen water pipe
Photo credit: almanac.com

Battery Failure

A dead battery in any vehicle is always a bummer, and this is especially true in your RV. RV batteries can be jumped just like batteries in any other vehicle. There is also a handy Auxiliary Start option in most motorhomes that allows you to start your RV using the house batteries. Don’t forget to disconnect your batteries when storing for the winter!

battery issues
Photo credit: smartrving.net

Roof and Window Leakage

Unfortunately, RV roofs are not as structurally sound as the roof on your home. This is largely due to the fact your RV’s roof is travelling down the bumpy road so often. Weather damage and low-hanging branches are also a contributor to roof damage. When parked, try to use a roof cover as often as possible. However, this may not be possible if you have solar panels installed. If you are unable to cover your roof, check it monthly for damage. Consider also spraying a rubber roof coating to protect it. Roof damage oftentimes leads to leaks, and no one wants that! 

Window leaks are easier to inspect for since it doesn’t involve climbing on the roof. Oftentimes when windows leak, it’s due to the seals around them malfunctioning. They may be broken, worn, or just in need of replacement. It’s a best practice to check these twice a month to ensure you aren’t getting rained on in your bed!

leaky roof issues
Photo credit: rvshare.com

Toilet Issues

Last but not least, toilet malfunction is a common occurrence in RVs. Similar to your roof, the lifespan of an RV toilet is greatly decreased due to the bumpy conditions of driving. Two of the most common issues are water not staying in the bowl or the water constantly running in your toilet. Check the rubber seals around the large valve and ensure they are in good condition. Replace them if necessary. If the water valve isn’t closing entirely, then it will need to be replaced. These are a cheaper part to purchase but can be a pain to install. Overlooked toilet issues can sometimes cause other issues with your water supply. Be sure to address any issues quickly to avoid this.

Photo credit: Sam’s RV

Sometimes RV maintenance issues can seem overwhelming, but just know you are not alone. As we said above, RVs that are new and used of any class can experience these issues. RV owners are almost guaranteed to encounter at least some of these pesky problems. Anytime issues arise in your RV, be sure to fix them in a timely manner to prevent them from becoming worse. If you treat your RV well, it will treat you well in return!

Do you have any funny maintenance stories? What repairs have you made yourself? Tell us about it in the comments below!

Related Posts

Comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Ralph Baker
    10th July, 2020

    On thing I always tell people, whether customers or not, do not keep your tires past 7 years any longer and your playing with trouble, they may look good plenty of tread but have small cracks that are hard to see. Best plan replace before the tires blow out on the road, leave you stranded. When a tire blows it also is very destructive to your RV. I once lost a whole compartment in the basement of my RV because the tires were 10 years old, looked good lots of tread. 7 years is old enough, all tires have a date code on them as to when they were manufactured. Safe travels Ralph Baker [email protected]

    1. Sam Leash
      11th August, 2020

      Thanks for the tips! Seven years is definitely the maximum for tires. Safe travels!