We all know that the best way to save money and help the environment is to use things we already have for the longest time possible. Proper maintenance and regular technical reviews are the best way to ensure that your car will keep running smoothly for a long time. However, it is not always as easy as it would seem.
Here, you can find many valuable tips on maintaining your RV – from used Carthago campers to brand new Winnebago models – to ensure that it will be in perfect condition for a long time. You can learn about essential parts and signs of malfunctioning, including checking your breaks, batteries, waste system, and many more. Read on and make sure that your RV will be on the road for many years to come!
Check Your Tires Regularly
The thing that you use least, but it is an essential part of your car, is tires. They are the only thing that provides you with a safe ride and the only one that you can’t see most of the time. That is why you need to check them regularly to ensure that they will be able to take you where you want to go.
Maintain Your Tire Pressure
It is imperative to maintain proper tire pressure for the safety of your trip. The recommended air pressure usually depends on the model of your RV and its type. It is crucial to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations when filling your tires because your safety depends on them.
In order to fill them, you can use a tire pump with a gauge included or buy an electric tire inflator tool. Ensure that the pressure does not exceed the maximum value indicated by the manufacturer, but do not reduce it too much. Keep in mind that overinflated tires will wear out faster and can cause accidents.
Inspect Your Tires Thoroughly
You should definitely check your tires and make sure that they are not damaged. During your regular inspection, look for any cuts or cracks near the sidewall, especially around the valve stem. Then, you should check the tread depth of your tires by placing a quarter between two treads. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, then your tires have enough tread, but if you can see only his hair, then you should consider getting a new set.
Keep Your Battery in Good Condition
Your car battery is one of the most critical parts of your RV because it provides power for everything that requires electricity inside it. If you don’t keep it well maintained, it can malfunction at any moment and leave you stranded on the side of the road. Here is how to preserve it in good condition:
Check Your Battery Fluid Level
Keeping your battery charged is not enough to keep it functioning correctly. You should also check its fluid level regularly and add distilled water as needed to maintain it. This way, you can prevent corrosion of internal plates and prolong their lifespan. Always make sure that the level of water and electrolyte is below the top of the plates. If there is too much liquid, remove some of it with a turkey baster or some other siphon before recharging.
Clean Your Terminals
If you want to keep your battery functioning properly and produce current for a long time, then you need to clean its terminals properly every few months. All you need to do this is a water-dampened cloth or terminal cleaner spray and watch how quickly all dirt and grime will disappear from them. Ensure that both negative and positive terminals are clean and dry before reconnecting them to each other and plugging your battery back into your RV.
Check for Damaged Cables
Before making any repairs to your cables or even checking their voltage, you should first measure their resistance. To do this, you will need a digital multimeter with 1000 ohms per volt accuracy or above and an ohmmeter for checking resistance in the cables.
First, connect your multimeter leads to one cable terminal of each cable and measure their resistance between the free ends of the leads. If one cable has a lower resistance than the other one, then this means that it needs some fixing or replacement.
Remember that a damaged cable can not only affect your battery performance but also cause an electrical fire inside your car. Replace cables immediately if they show any signs of damage.
Install an RV Surge Protector
As we already mentioned in the previous section, most of the electrical appliances in your RV are connected directly to your battery through cables. This means that they can be affected by any sudden change in electrical voltage or current inside of your car, such as a short circuit or power surge.
For that reason, you need to install a surge protector in order to protect them from spikes or surges in voltage and current levels. However, there are many different types of surge protectors available on the market today, so which one should you choose for your vehicle? Here are some features that indicate if a certain model will suit your needs:
- Price. Surge protectors come in many different price ranges based on their performance, durability, compatibility, etc., so choose one that fits your budget without compromising quality.
- Durability. For example, if you own an older RV with limited space inside or travel frequently with it, then you will need something small and portable that will fit easily between other electronic devices and appliances inside it. On the other hand, if you have a newer RV with lots of space available inside or rarely travel with it, you can choose a larger model that will allow you to connect all kinds of appliances.
- Mounting options. Some models come with brackets or wall mounts included, so you don’t have to worry about installing them yourself, while others require some drilling or placing hardware around electrical outlets to secure them in place. Make sure that whatever option you choose will meet all of your requirements.
Use an Inverter Instead of a Normal Power Outlet
Car batteries usually provide 120V AC power when fully charged, which is sufficient for powering up small electronic devices. However, for appliances that require more power to run them, such as microwaves, air conditioners, or even refrigerators, you will need a special device. This is where an inverter comes in handy!
It converts DC power from your battery into AC one and allows you to power up many different appliances inside your car that usually require 120V power. So, if you want to keep certain devices running while driving and don’t want to use your generator all the time, an inverter will be a perfect addition to your RV.
Check Your Waste System Regularly
The waste system of your RV is one of the main reasons it can’t be connected to any kind of water supply because regular water can get contaminated by its contents and spread bacteria. That is why you need to maintain it in good condition and check it regularly for any leaks or malfunctions. There are two major components of waste systems in motorhomes: a holding tank and a toilet. Let’s take a look at how to care for these parts:
Check Your Holding Tank Regularly
Your holding tank is used to store human waste until you can dispose of it properly. Ensure that it is emptied regularly because it can start leaking and contaminating your surroundings with bacteria and microbes if it gets too full.
To check the level of remaining liquid inside of it, open the cap on top and remove the dipstick. You will see some marks on its surface indicating different liquid levels, so make sure that you don’t exceed the maximum one. If the level is too high, you will have to empty it immediately.
Check Your Toilet Regularly
If you don’t want to walk around your RV with smelly shoes all day long, then you should definitely check and clean your toilet regularly. One of the most important things to do is remove any solids from inside it after each use. Without doing so, they might clog your toilet or even start growing harmful bacteria inside of it.
In order to do this, simply remove the lid from your tank and press the flush button once to flush out any solid waste. Then, press it again to flush out any remaining liquid and disinfect the inside of your toilet with bleach or another effective cleaner. Remember that this process should be done after each use of your toilet.
RV maintenance is an integral part of owning a recreational vehicle, and if you want to ensure that your RV will last for a long time and always be in good condition, you need to take the proper care of it.
And what are the best ways to do this? If you are planning on spending a lot of time in the wilderness with your RV, then you should make sure that it runs appropriately at all times. This means that you should check tire pressure, clean your vehicle regularly, and do general maintenance checks. As long as you have a basic set of tools and spare parts with you, there will be nothing that will stop you from reaching your destination.