So, you finally got your travel trailer and hit the road. Hopefully the dealer or party you purchased from went over yearly maintenance with you. What they might not have mentioned are things that have to be done regularly to prevent costly repairs. Most of the maintenance we do is free or inexpensive and only requires a little work. No matter what though, maintenance is important and can save you lots of money and headaches down the road. So here are 5 RV Maintenance Tips your dealer might not have mentioned to help you out and save you money.
1. Grease the Stabilizer Jacks
Although they come with grease, the stabilizer jacks quickly dry out. Then the motor has to work even harder with every use. So when mine get squeaky, I grease them using a mini-grease gun. Keep them greased and they will work for a long time. Run them dry and they will quickly break. This easy chore will save you a lot of frustration, trust me.
2. Sanitize Your Fresh Water Tank Regularly
When you buy a trailer, someone should tell you to sanitize the fresh water tank before using it. What they didn’t tell me was that it needs sanitized a couple of times a year, depending on usage. There are several ways to sanitize your tanks. RV stores sell a chemical treatment you can use. Some people make their own solution using bleach, we don’t use bleach though.
We had a very nice gentleman mention using baking soda to us, which works perfectly. I put some into our six gallon water container (we like this one), mix it with water, and pour it into the fresh water tank. And voila, it’s clean. Then we just run some water through by taking a shower or doing the dishes and it’s ready to drink.
3. Sweep the Slides
Every single time we move I get on the roof and do an inspection. I take our broom with me and sweep off the slides. I met someone who saw me doing this and talked about when he worked in a RV service department. He saw several rigs come in with the slide off it’s track because a pine cone or large stick was on top of the slide when they brought it in. Not only does it help to save my slides from damage, but also keeps all the leaves and plant material outside, so it doesn’t end up in our trailer.
4. Keep Tires Inflated
The tires will need to be filled regularly just like on a car. It is a safety issue to pay attention to, plus it helps with gas mileage. This is something I didn’t give much thought to when we bought our trailer. Then of course, the tires started to get low and I realized how difficult it is to tow it somewhere to fill them. So, we bought a power station that came with an air compressor right on it and now filling the tires is easy. I highly recommend having some type of air compressor to fill your trailer or RV tires too.
5. Clean Your Vents
Our trailer has a lot of vents and they all need to be cleaned regularly. Probably the most important one to maintain is the A/C intake vents. They fill up with dust fast and then it has to work harder to pull in air. In our travel trailer they get dirty even when we’re not using our air conditioning. So we just clean them every few weeks.
We also have two Max Air fans and they are a little tricky to clean. You can clean them from inside the trailer, don’t break the lap seal on the roof. It is important to keep them free of dirt and dust so that they work well. Don’t forget to regularly clean all the other vents on your trailer too.
Maintenance Is Important
None of these maintenance chores are particularly difficult or expensive. The time taken to maintain your trailer is worth it because replacing a major system is very costly. The maintenance schedule we have seems to work for us. After almost two years of living in our trailer, the heater, air conditioner, and slide still work. We haven’t had a blow-out or a flat tire. The stabilizer jacks still work and no one has gotten sick from bad water. Sure it might be some extra work, but getting to travel all over the country is worth it.
Got a great tip we missed? Share it in the comments below to help your fellow travelers out.
If you’re interested in taking a romantic RV vacation, check out this article to get some great tips.
Disclaimer: Always consult your owners manual. Every trailer is unique and yours might require different maintenance and this list is in no way a full comprehensive list of maintenance trailers require. All of the expressed views are opinions and shouldn’t be taken as legal advice.