Essential RV Maintenance for Beginners

Last Updated on July 5, 2023

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Like your car and truck, your RV also needs proper maintenance. Properly maintaining your RV ensures it’s in good condition, reducing repair costs in the long run.

RVs aren’t a cheap investment, with some RVs pricier than some homes. Hence, it’s important to know what to do to maintain your recreational vehicle and give it the best care it needs.

As a beginner who has just had an RV, you only have a little knowledge of how you can maintain a vehicle. Maintaining an RV is more complex than maintaining a regular car. This makes some owners learn RV maintenance tips the hard way.

However, with the guide, you don’t have to go through the “had I know” way of learning.

Here are top tips for maintaining your recreation vehicle from RV mechanics Country Club Garage:

  1. Check the Roof for Leaks

Your RV’s roof is highly susceptible to water penetration. Weak seams in the roof’s edge, air conditioning, vents, or skylights give way to water penetration. With this, the water first soaks into the roof’s outside wood framework, subsequently seeping through the inner ceiling panels.

If this occurs over a long time, your RV stands at a high risk of water damage.

Hence, it’s your core duty as an RV owner to inspect your RV’s roof regularly. It’s recommended to inspect your RV’s roof every three months.

When you discover any leaks on your RV’s roof, it’s best to invest in a sealant and quickly patch the leaking spot before degenerates into a more serious issue. However, it’s important to ensure the sealant you choose for this purpose is compatible with your RV’s material.

  1. Check Tire Pressure

Tire pressure changes with temperature changes and the last thing you want is to get to the middle of your journey only to discover that your tire pressure is low. If your RV has been parked for a few days in the winter, the tires would likely have lost some pressure.

Hence, before embarking on any trip, check your tire pressure.

Another thing to pay attention to about your vehicle’s tire is the wheel lug nuts. Always check if your RV’s wheel lug nuts are tight before setting out on a trip. Driving with a loose lug nut is dangerous, as it can lead to a loss of tire while driving, causing an accident.

  1. Inspect the Batteries

This depends on your type of battery, though. While some batteries have water levels, some are maintenance-free. However, the goal is to ensure that you’re not driving your RV with a soon-to-dry battery.

Batteries have different lifespans, commonly from 3 to 5 years. When your battery is close to the end of its lifespan, pay close attention to it to know if you can rely on it while on a trip. It’s best to change your RV’s batteries when aged to prevent headaches.


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  1. Maintain Waste Water System

Maintaining your RV’s wastewater system is a crucial aspect of maintaining your recreational vehicle. This goes with choosing the right chemical for each system. Also, you maintain your wastewater system by regularly flushing it.

Failure to flush your wastewater system poses the system the risk of an excessive amount of buildup, a potential cause of seizing valves and operation failure.

  1. Inspect the Brakes

Your safety while driving depends greatly on the condition of your RV’ brakes. Keep in mind that a failed brake won’t only affect you but other road users.

Hence, your RV’s brake maintenance should be a top priority, especially during the spring. It’s wise to always ensure the wheel bearings are lubricated in the summer.

Ensuring that your brakes have more materials left on them is also important. Not having enough material on your brake is a sign to replace your RV’s brakes. While a brake replacement might cost between $300 and $500, it’s worth the investment.

  1. Clean Your RV’s Slide Outs and Seals

Your RV’s slide-outs are one part of your RV to pay attention to in your effort to maintain your recreational vehicle. Dirt and dust accumulate around the seals, causing sealing problems. Hence, it’s wise to clean your vehicle’s seal regularly to prevent dirt from building up.

Also, lubricating the slider mechanisms regularly ensures they can run in and out with little effort, causing minimal wear and tear on the motor.

There are also special lubricants for the windows. Lubricating the windows helps enhance good seals and ease the window movement.

  1. Change Your RV’s Oil

While an RV might not require the same oil-replacement schedule that your car needs, it’s important to change your RV’s oil when due.

Since your RV sits more than it drives, it might take up to 6 months to change its oil, depending on how often you drive it. However, ensure you change your RV’s oil after at most 4,000 miles or once a year.

Changing your RV’s oil helps prevent excessive wear and tear on the engine, helping cut back on the cost of service and engine replacement.

If your RV’s engine has developed any fault due to not changing the oil regularly, ensure you take it to an RV mechanic for inspection and repair. Country Club Garage is a professional RV mechanic to consider.

  1. Replace the Filters

Besides changing your RV’s oil, you must also change the filters. These filters include fuel, air, coolant, and hydraulic filters. The effect of not changing your RV’s filters is the same as not changing the oil: excessive wear and tears on the engine. The drive train also tends to suffer this effect when you don’t change your RV’s filter.

  1. Clean the Awning

Your RV’s awning is prone to mildew and mold buildup, and the best way to prevent it is with regular inspection. Regularly inspecting your RV’s awning calls your attention to any possible tears before growing larger.

You must clean off your RV’s awning during every trip. This prevents bees from building up or items tearing the fabric.

Repairing a tear in the fabric can cause up to $600, while severe damage can require a complete replacement, which can cost up to $1,400.

To prevent spending this much on repairing your awning, ensure you keep it clean and maintained.

  1. Inspect Electrical Connections

Ensuring that all electrical connections in your RV are in good working condition is crucial for maintaining your RV. The most important of these is the electrical connection from your towing vehicle to your RV.

With this connecting malfunction, your RV faces difficulties transmitting signals from your towing vehicle to your RV. For instance, when you hit the brake pedal while the connection is faulty, the brake light won’t respond, a potential cause of an accident. Other lights are also a victim of this defect in your RV.

Another importance of keeping your RV’s electrical connection functioning is to let your towing vehicle charge your RV’s batteries while driving.

Hence, you must inspect your RV’s electrical connection and make necessary repairs.


Maintaining your recreational vehicle is important in elongating it lifespan. This article has provided you with tips for maintaining your RV.

It’s worth noting that you should pay attention to your engine and ensure that you call the attention of your mechanic to strange signs. However, note that taking your vehicle to a junk mechanic can add to the problem. Hence, select the engineer that works on your RV carefully.  If you can’t find an RV-specific repair facility, search for a garage that has space and experience to work on them.

Check the websites of local garages in your area, or call them up to ask if they do RV repair.  Country Club Garage has a dedicated page for RV Repairs.

1 thought on “Essential RV Maintenance for Beginners”

  1. Shammy Peterson

    You made a good point when you said that the safety of others on the road would also be affected when your brake failed. With this in mind, I will ask my husband to have our fifth-wheel trailer service before our family trip two weeks from now. Our RV’s brake has been making a lot of vibrations when on the road, so your tips are helpful.

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