Yearly RV Maintenance Not to Overlook

The weather is warming up. That means RVers are beginning to plan road trips to new and exciting Harvest Hosts locations. Everyone knows the typical maintenance to perform before a trip: change the oil, check fluids, check windshield wipers, check tire pressure, etc. But what about yearly maintenance? Newer RV owners may not know about this list, and seasoned RVers may forget once in a while. For your convenience, we’ve compiled a list of necessary yearly maintenance to not overlook.

HH location
Pictured Harvest Hosts: Julietta Winery- Clarksburg, California

Light use:

Brakes

RV brakes take a lot of wear and tear over time, especially when towing a vehicle or trailer. Any RVers owning a Class A, B, or C need to have their brakes checked at least annually. Brake pads and rotors need to be replaced before they begin making noise. Take your RV to a professional to check the condition of these if you don’t feel comfortable doing it yourself.

Tire Rotation

Depending on the class of RV, rotating the tires can be a hefty job. For larger motorhomes, it’s best to take your RV to a professional. Be sure to have your tires rotated at least annually to help them wear more evenly. Some tire companies offer lifetime rotations if you purchase all your vehicle’s tires through them.

Tire maintenance
Photo credit: rvhometown.com

Black and Grey Tanks

Deep cleaning of these tanks can be performed annually if you don’t travel often. There are special cleaners designed to help sanitize and deodorize the tanks and lines. Don’t forget to flush the chemicals out with freshwater when you are done sanitizing.

Freshwater Tank(s)

After storage, winterization, or long periods of time, your freshwater tanks need to be sanitized. This is done with ¼ cup of bleach per every 15 gallons that your tanks hold. De-winterizing your RV? Check out our handy guide

Water tank
Photo credit: sunlineclub.com

Safety Detectors

Smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors need to be checked regularly. If your RV sits for long periods of time, it’s crucial to check the function and batteries of these devices before each trip. Replace as necessary. 

Fire Extinguisher

Some fire extinguishers have an expiration date, but even if yours doesn’t, you should routinely check the pressure. Most fire extinguishers last between 3-15 years, depending on the type. The green area on the pressure gauge dial indicates how pressurized it is. If the pressure is low, have it serviced or replaced. If your fire extinguisher doesn’t have a gauge, take it to a professional to have it checked. 

Fire extinguisher maintenance
Photo credit: howstuffworks.com

Battery

Any vehicle batteries that sit dormant for long periods can lose charge over time. Check your battery levels and replace your battery if needed. Don’t forget your generator’s battery as well!

Additional maintenance for all RV owners:

Heating and Cooling Systems

Similar to those in a home, RV heating and cooling systems need to be serviced by a professional. A well-functioning system will help cool or heat your RV quicker and more efficiently. It would be a shame to arrive at your destination and have to suffer uncomfortable temperatures!

Propane

Inspect your propane tank for dents, dings, and rust. Check the connections and lines to be sure they’re all in good shape. 

Roof

If you have a rubber roof, these need to be treated yearly and inspected several times per year. All other roofs should be inspected yearly, or more, depending on frequency of use and local weather conditions. 

Roof
Photo credit: rv.net

Seals

If you have slide outs, check your exterior seals. Some may not be accessible without first putting out the slides. While you’re under there, spray some slide lubricant on the joints!

Hot Water Heater

Maintenance for hot water heaters depends on the unit, so consult your manual for exact steps to take. In general, you can annually flush it, check the pressure relief valve, clean the burner tube, and inspect the anode rod. Anode rods can eventually wear down and start eroding. Replace if necessary. 

Hose Clamps

Check and tighten all accessible hose clamps on your RV. These can be on the fuel lines, water lines, etc. If you have a generator, check there for hose clamps as well. 

Water Pump and Water Lines

This handy trick can tell you if there is a leak in your water lines and is best done with an empty tank to start. First, pressurize or prime your water pump until it stops running. Do not run any faucets. If your water pump begins running again, there is a leak in your water lines.

Water pump maintenance
Photo credit: rvhometown.com

Before taking your RV out for its next adventure, be sure to check all these items off of your list. Preventative maintenance can save owners thousands of extra dollars in repairs. Preventative maintenance also helps to keep passengers safe and comfortable. A good rule of thumb is if you take good care of your RV, it will take good care of you. Be safe, and happy trails!

HH location
Pictured Harvest Hosts: Sonoita Vineyards- Elgin, Arizona

Where are you heading on your summer road trip? Got any additional maintenance tips for us? Let us know in the comments!

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Comments

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  1. Matthew Plummer
    14th June, 2020

    Nice article. I’m just not sure you are supposed to run your water pump with no water in the tank. I believe that will burn the pump out. I also don’t believe it will actually pressurize the system as you suggest. Typical process is to pressurize with an air compressor and a gauge.

    1. Sam Leash
      28th June, 2020

      Hey, Matthew! Thanks for taking the time to read our article. You’re correct, you should never run your water pump without water in the tank. That tip was to detect a leak in your water lines directly after filling your tank with water. Some water pumps are self-pressurizing and some do require additional steps, as you mentioned. Thanks for being a Harvest Hosts member!