Are RVs hard to maintain?

In this article, we will answer the following question: Are RVs hard to maintain? We will discuss the maintenance of RVs interior, exterior and engine. 

Are RVs hard to maintain?

RVs can be hard to maintain, but as long as you take good care of them the repairs will be small and inexpensive. Regular maintenance of your leisure vehicle, between each trip, is the guarantee of being able to observe the internal condition and the external condition of the latter. And checking its condition helps prevent any unpleasant surprises, such as breakdowns or disrepair of parts.

Annual maintenance will likely depend on the RV manufacturer and, of course, the type of RV in question. As a general rule, annual RV maintenance should take place at least once a year or every 10,000 kilometres (whichever comes first). 

A vehicle kept in good condition is a vehicle that can be resold or taken back by a professional, at a fair and suitable price.

Here are our best tips and advice to effectively maintain your RV:

  1. Clean the outside of the RV – There are several important elements in the cabin and some that we tend to overlook at times. Not out of laziness, but because we don’t necessarily see them. However, you have to be meticulous in removing all the dust (to prevent it from coming back too quickly).
  1. Clean the living space of the RV – The living space looks like a small house. The instructions are therefore the ones we naturally use for our accommodation. In other words, first ventilate each room regularly between trips, at least once a week, and twice a day for 20 minutes during vacations and maximum vehicle use.

During your cleaning sessions, which we recommend at least once a week, think about your household appliances. It will perform better, especially the refrigerator, and consume less electricity.

  1. Clean the exterior of the RV – The exterior is arguably the most difficult to clean, and it contains several poles that are very important to the life of your vehicle. 

For outdoors and indoors, never overlook any area. Think about your blinds, windows, door, without forgetting to check the seals. And here again, choose products such as white vinegar, black soap, and baking soda! These are the magic products for all uses.

See below for more details on how to maintain the exterior, interior and engine of an RV.

Maintaining the exterior of an RV 

Like any vehicle, the motorhome requires regular maintenance of its bodywork. The journeys made during your various stays lead to the appearance of various black marks, scratches, stuck insects, etc.

To keep its original shine, it is, therefore, necessary to go through the cleaning box! Be careful, however, not to damage the bodywork, for example, forget the Karcher which could take off the paint.

A sponge, bucket of soapy water and elbow grease will suffice. A telescopic boom will be particularly appreciated for an effortless cleaning without the risk of scratching the bodywork. We offer you some products below that will make your job much easier.

Humidity control: We already talked about the importance of humidity control in various articles, so make sure you check them out. This annual check is crucial to guarantee the longevity of your vehicle and prevent infiltration.

To maintain a good seal, check gaskets regularly, especially around windows and doors. We advise you to apply, before winter, a lubricant that will protect the joints from any cracking.

Tire maintenance: Good tire maintenance is essential! The pressure of your tires should be checked regularly: over-inflation accelerates their wear while under-inflation increases the risk of bursting. Remember to carry out at least one check before each departure.

In summer, the tires suffer from the sun’s rays. In the event of a prolonged stoppage, it is advisable to protect them in order to avoid premature ageing. During winter, prefer a slight over-inflation of your tires, which will prevent them from deformation. This is because the tire flattens during a prolonged period of immobilization. Regular movement or installation of the vehicle on chocks is also strongly recommended.

Another solution, which requires the intervention of a professional, is the installation of hydraulic cylinders. Our technicians are authorized to perform this installation. Ask us for more information.

Maintaining the RV engine

First of all, it is important to read the maintenance booklet for your vehicle, provided by the manufacturer. You will find all the checkpoints and revisions to be made as well as their frequency. Generally speaking, engine maintenance is performed every 50,000 km.

Like any vehicle, small, simple steps can help preserve your motorhome engine:

  • Check the oil level and the coolant level
  • Check for any leaks or abnormal seeps
  • Visually inspect the belts, spark plugs, etc.
  • Regarding the batteries, when you are not using your motorhome, remember to unplug them. This will prevent them from discharging by unnecessary use of your electricity. In general, it is necessary to recharge your batteries monthly, on a 200V outlet.
  • Take your vehicle for maintenance every 50,000 km or every 2 years (whichever comes first)
  • Change the engine oil and brake fluid every two years
  • Replace the belt approximately every 4 years (see maintenance book).

Maintaining the interior of the RV

Over time, drawers and other items tend to squeak. Although this problem is not dramatic, it can quickly become annoying especially when you know that simple lubrication is enough to stem the problem.

The sanitary facilities also require regular maintenance. There are many products on the market for descaling, cleaning, disinfecting, etc. Do not forget to empty the cassette as soon as necessary in the areas specially provided for this purpose.

The bottom line

To prevent any RV breakdowns, it is important to properly maintain and clean your RV.  As a general rule, you should service a motorhome at least once a year or every 10,000 kilometres (whichever comes first). Even if your motorhome has been idle for months, you should still give it the attention it needs. Annual maintenance will help ensure that your next family camping trip is damage-free and stress-free.

Please feel free to contact us should you have any tips, comments or questions about RV maintenance!

FAQ on Are RVs hard to maintain?

How do you know if an RV can take a long trip?

To know if an RV can take a long trip you must:

  • Check the engine. 
  • Measure the engine oil. 
  • Check the other liquids
  • Check the clamps and other pipes that connect to the engine and radiator.
  • Check the lights. 
  • Check the condition of the shock absorbers and suspension. 
  • Check the tire pressure.
  • Check the battery.

Do RVs break down a lot?

RVs certainly break down a lot compared to cars or static caravans, but this will mainly depend on how well you maintain your RV and whether you service it yearly or not.

What is RV optimal maintenance?

For optimal maintenance, you will need to be organized and informed. That said, if you are unsure about anything to do with your precious possession, ask your local RV dealer and RV maintenance expert to take a look! 

How much is a caravan service?

A caravan service is between $235 and $300 depending on whether you have a single axle or twin axle, whether it is a full service or the maintenance of certain parts and, of course, the market price of the parts. 


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