Annual RV Maintenance CHECKLIST
Maintenance of your RV is a part of the RV lifestyle. Some are regular items that you need to do before each trip, and others are on an annual checklist like this. You can do it yourself, or enlist the help of your friendly neighbourhood RV service centre.
Hot Water Heater Who doesn’t want hot water, right? But you sure will end up in it, if it stops working while you’re in that perfect spot you had to reserve months ago. Every water heater has its own unique set of specs but items common to all heaters include; flushing with fresh water to clear sediment and calcium deposits, checking the pressure release valve, cleaning the burner tube in case any insects have nested in there over the winter, and look for any corrosion. Most steel water heaters have an anode tube screwed in at the drain plug. This tube of magnesium, zinc or aluminum ‘sacrifices’ itself so your steel tank doesn’t rust. If you see the drain plug is corroded, it’s probably time for a new one.
Brake Inspection Check out the Brake Inspection article in this issue from Kal Tire. Tire Rotation Rotating the tires on your RV is important for the same reasons it’s important to perform on your car. Tires don’t wear evenly for a number of reasons; the weight on the front and back axles aren’t uniform, the front tires wear on the outside edges as they lean through the turns; and finally any alignment issues can cause uneven wear. Rotating the tires will help them wear evenly so you get the most value from a set.
Furnace There are a few different heating systems for RV’s. Most are forced air induction liquid propane (LP) units. A clean furnace makes for a happy RV’er. The flow of air through the system is naturally going to pick up dust, lint and debris. In addition, your furnace can suffer from the same nest/insect issues as your water heater. Turn off the LP and make sure the thermostat is in the off position. Gain access to the furnace fans to vacuum out as much dirt as you can, then using compressed air blow out the rest (wear eye protection), finally give it a wipe with a damp cloth. Make sure intake and exhaust vents are also clear.
Thorough Tank Cleaning The grey and black water tanks should get an annual cleaning and now is the time. For a detailed ‘how-to’ article grab a copy of Snowbirds & RV Travelers Volume 13 Issue 8 or read it online at http://suncruisermedia. com/Home/tech/tips-for-tanks-usinghappy-campers/
Cleaning the Fridge Could you do a complete RV fridge maintenance yourself? Sure. With the right tools, time, education and determination. But I would suggest you stick to cleaning. Mold and bacteria don’t need your leftovers to grow, just some moisture, which can appear during the cooling and warming that occurs through the winter. Use some disinfectant wipes to make it sparkle. Carefully clean out the exterior parts you can access including the baffle and coils. Again, begin with the fridge and LP turned off.
Maintenance is a key component of worry free RV’ing. Make it part of your spring cleaning, and then plan that next adventure!