Basic DIY tips to keep your class B motorhome, RV or camper van in tip-top shape
Owning a class B motorhome or RV is exciting — you wouldn’t haven’t it any other way. You get to travel the country with all of luxuries of home for a fraction of the cost.
But in order to maximize on the comfort of living on the road full time or taking quick trips to your favorite destinations, you will occasionally need to perform some regular maintenance.
The following checklist details the most important motorhome maintenance tips to remember in order to ensure your beloved travel vehicle is around for years to come.
- Bi-annual deep cleaning
- Regularly septic tank flushing and sterilizing
- Properly securing exterior compartments
- Regular roof treatments
- Regular oil and filter changes
- Regular washing to avoid salt erosion
- Regular generator maintenance
- Bi-annual brake checks
- Proper battery storage
Bi-Annual Deep Cleaning
Most homeowners know that when spring rolls around, it’s time to start cleaning. Similarly, we recommend deep cleaning your motorhome or RV regularly, at least twice per year. Motorhomes are smaller and tend to get dirty more quickly.
Also, those who live full time their motorhome tend to be fond of the outdoors and thus may track in more dirt and debris than the typical homeowner. A good deep cleaning twice a year will help keep your travel vehicle comfortable, clean, and hygienic.
Regularly Septic Tank Flushing and Sterilizing
One of the fastest ways to let your motorhome degrade is forgetting to regularly flush and sterilize the septic tank. Many owners fail to realize that although a septic tank has been flushed, that doesn’t mean it’s even close to clean. Heavy duty chemicals should be used in order to fully sterilize the tank. This will help eliminate any unpleasant smells and remove harmful bacteria from the living quarters.
Properly Securing Exterior Compartments
Many motorhomes and RVs have lots of exterior storage, which can store the extra items when they’re not in use or while you’re travelling. In order to ensure that all of these items make it to your next destination intact, be sure to properly secure both the items themselves as well as the exterior door. Items should be packed in a way to minimize shifting while driving. Fragile items should either be kept in the main cabin or else wrapped in protective materials.
Regular Roof Treatments
One of the biggest causes of motorhome deterioration is Mother Nature. The sun, in particular, can do serious damage and wear down the roof. To combat this inevitable problem, we recommend that you inspect your roof at least once a year. This is especially true if there are any rubber elements to the roof as these are the most likely to dry out and crack in the hot summer months. If you live and travel in a predominately hot, dry climate such as the southwestern US, you may have to treat the roof more regularly.
Regular Oil and Filter Changes
Similar to standard cars and trucks, motorhomes and RVs require regular maintenance under the hood to keep it operating properly on the road. Your owner’s manual is the best way to find out how often your oil and filters should be changed. Getting an oil change is far cheaper than the cost of major repairs or having to get a full engine replacement.
Regular Washing to Avoid Salt Erosion
Washing your motorhome is especially important if you live or drive in areas prone to high levels of snow or those who travel extensively during the winter months. Salt is commonly put on interstates and roads in order to melt the snow and ice, making it passable for motorists. An unintended consequence of this, however, is that many vehicles can accumulate a large buildup of salt on the undercarriage and the exterior of the vehicle can start rusting. Regularly washing your vehicle will help extend the lifetime of the body of the motorhome by many years.
Regular Generator Maintenance
A diesel generator is the main source of power for most motorhomes and RVs, especially when electrical hookups aren’t readily available at a campground. It’s important for this generator be properly maintained throughout the years or else it could leave you and your family stranded without any source of power. Most generators can keep a small refrigerator running, power lights, and a provide variety of other important services to a motorhome owner.
Bi-Annual Brake Checks
Motorhomes and RVs are larger than traditional vehicles and thus their brakes need to work harder to safely bring you and your family to a halt. Most cars have their brakes checked once a year during an annual required inspection. It’s at this time that a mechanic will tell you if your brakes are in good shape for the next year or should be replaced immediately. Because motorhomes are larger and heavier, you should get the brakes checked at least twice per year.
Proper Battery Storage
Not all motorhome owners use their vehicle all twelve months out of the year. Some decide to travel in the summer or fall, while others are weekend warriors that escape city life for some tranquility in nature. If you intend to park your motorhome or RV for longer than a couple weeks, it’s important to properly store your motorhome battery. It’s best to store it in a dry area that will not get either too hot or too cold — no matter what time of year it is.
Continue reading for more motorhome battery maintenance tips.