7 Common RV Maintenance Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

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Nothing beats a vacation on wheels!

RVs provide a great way to enjoy that home-away-from-home feeling. But before you set off on your journey, you’ll want to learn the right way to care for your new vehicle, so you can enjoy an issue-free trip. After all, managing your rig is a full-time job.



Whether it’s cleaning the interior, repairing and maintaining the engine, or checking tire pressure, there’s a right way and a wrong way to care for your beloved RV! 

What are the top RV maintenance mistakes you’ll want to avoid? Read on to find out!

1. Failing to Inspect Before Purchase

First, on our list of RV maintenance mistakes let’s talk about inspections. While you may be in a hurry to buy that “perfect” RV, don’t forget to give the vehicle a full inspection before making your final purchase. 

You want all maintenance records on hand, and this includes knowing any accidents or damage the RV has sustained. If you can, get the RV fully checked out by a repair shop as well. This way you’ll know exactly what’s wrong with it and whether or not those issues are minor or major problems that will need immediate attention.

A good inspection will allow you to see what repairs might still need to be performed on the vehicle. These types of inspections are quite comprehensive and include everything from checking out the brakes to inspecting the roof for damage.

During your inspector’s walkthrough, they’ll look for things such as holes or tears in cushions or upholstery, cracks in walls as well as leaks under sinks and cabinets. It is important to note that not all areas will be accessible during this process. However, you should expect at least a basic inspection of the water lines, batteries and gas system before signing a purchase agreement.

2. Not Checking Tire Pressure

Next, tires are another part of RV maintenance that’s often overlooked.  It’s important to make sure you are checking your tire pressure monthly and before any long drives. Driving with low tires can be a risk, but so can driving with overinflated tires. If you’re not familiar with how to check your RV tires or what the proper pressure looks like, AAA has a tire pressure guide you can use.

To help determine which of your tires needs attention, follow this simple rule: “One in, Two Out.” This means that if one tire is smaller than the other three it should be replaced first (the odd man out). Next up should be the two largest tires; those wear faster and always need more air.

3. Forgetting to Learn About Driving in Sand

Moving on, another costly RV mistake you’ll want to avoid is forgetting to learn how to drive in the sand. If your RV suddenly becomes stuck in the mud or sand, you’ll have to know the right techniques to free your vehicle. If not, you could wind up paying a hefty towing bill!

What’s the right way to get out of the sand or mud? Drive straight forward without turning the wheel, and immediately back up. The forward, reverse, forward technique loosens the tires and allows you to free them from the mud or sand. Others may suggest that you spin your wheels for a while first. However, letting your wheels spin can cause damage to your tires so it’s best to avoid spinning.

4. Not Maintaining Fluids and Filters

RV maintenance mistakes also include things such as forgetting to change the vehicle’s fluids or filters. After finding quality Used RVs For Sale, you’ll want to get ahold of an owner’s manual for the exact year make, and model of your RV. Look at the manufacturer’s recommendations 

Find out how often you should be replacing filters and fluids, as well as the necessary types of filters you should be using. If you’re having difficulty finding an owner’s manual, you might be able to locate one online. 

Using your RVs year, make, and model, do a quick search to see what pops up. You may need to use the vehicle’s VIN if you’re unable to locate a manual online with the make and model alone.

5. Not Cleaning Up

If you’ve never used an RV before, you’ll want to brush up on your RV etiquette. For instance, if you’re staying at an RV campground, you must clean up after yourself before you leave. Good RV enthusiasts understand that it’s their responsibility to get rid of any trash or debris that’s gathered during their stay. 

Take things one step further by doing a walk around. Is there anything you could leave in better condition than you found it? Every little thing you do to prepare the RV spot for the next motorist can make a big difference.

When you’re truly a part of the RV community, you start to care about helping others have a wonderful on-the-road experience too.

6. Using Dishsoap Without Rinsing Well

After double-checking the cleanliness of the outside, pick up inside the RV too. Doing things like cleaning RV floors, or getting the dishes done, will make the rest of your trip more enjoyable. However, you’ll have to be careful when it comes to 

If you leave dish soap residue behind, it can wind up attracting bugs! To play it safe, always double or even triple rinse your dishes. If you find bugs are still attracted to the dishes, it may be time to switch to new dish soap.

7. Forgetting to Put Awnings Down

Another mistake you’ll want to avoid is forgetting to put the awnings down or leaving the slides in for too long. If your RV has awnings, it’s perfectly okay to have them up and ready to use. However, you’ll want to take them down from time to time. Leaving your awning stuck in place can cause unnecessary wear and tear on your RV, and it might make it difficult to take them down when the time comes.

Avoid RV Maintenance Mistakes

Now you know the top RV maintenance mistakes to avoid. Since it can be difficult to remember all of these tips off the top of your head, take a moment to write them down. Remember, before you agree to purchase anything you’ll need to get a thorough inspection of the vehicle.

Why not set up an inspection today so that you can enjoy a walkthrough of your dream RV? For more tips like these, explore the rest of our site.