How often should you drive your RV? (5 maintenance tips)

In this article, we will discuss: How often should you drive your RV? We explain why it is not a good idea to leave your RV idle for months and offer you an alternative. We also share five maintenance tips to make sure your motorhome is in good condition no matter the time of the year.

How often should you drive your RV?

You should drive your RV at least once a month, or as long as you drive 20 miles (30 km). Do not leave the RV idle for months!  Leaving your RV parked without using it for long periods of time can, believe it or not, cause damage, especially if you haven’t maintained it properly. Get your RV out on the road at least once a month. Remove the cobwebs and charge the batteries. 

Indeed, if you leave your RV to stand for too long, the batteries will drain to the point of permanent damage. And new batteries don’t come cheap these days. Therefore, it is wise to keep unused batteries plugged into a certified battery/charger management system.  In addition, before leaving on a long trip, we recommend that you have your battery tested to make sure that it is fully charged.

If you own a trailer, tent trailer or RV and this advice really appeals to you, have you considered renting your RV while it’s not in use? This could allow you to raise a nice sum and drive your RV rather than leaving it parked without being used.

RV maintenance is undoubtedly an important part of the owner’s life. Motor homes, RVs, caravans and trailers serve as a home away from home. Depending on the age and type, most of these recreational vehicles offer an array of features and amenities that are not that different from those of an everyday vehicle.

And just like a home, RVs need regular maintenance and occasional repairs to make sure all moving parts remain in good working order. To make your life as an RV owner easier, we have provided this general guide for the maintenance and repair of your motorhome.

How often should you service your RV?

If you own an RV, you probably already know that maintaining it is a big and expensive decision. The ongoing expense of maintaining a proper RV is often a shock to new owners, especially after spending tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars on a new RV. Alas, the interview is certainly not something you should ignore.

In general, there are two types of maintenance: the first maintenance and the annual maintenance. Pretty amazing, isn’t it? In fact, the first interview is often touted as the most important in the life of a trailer. 

It is typically undertaken within the first 12 months of ownership or when the RV travels a distance of approximately 2,000 kilometres (whichever comes first). Although the first interview is relatively brief, it is often an interview that highlights any signs of weakness or abnormal concern. As recreational vehicles are taken out of service at faster speeds than ever before, sometimes minor defects can occur.

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). 

Even if your utility 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.

General tips for maintaining your RV

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, remember rule number 1: ask your local RV dealer and RV maintenance expert to take a look! In addition, we recommend that you follow the following general tips for the maintenance of your caravan, motorhome, tent trailer, trailer and any other recreational vehicle.

Maintenance tip # 1 – Keep your RV under a cover

If you do not use your RV on a regular basis, we suggest that you store it in a sheltered place, or under a special protective cover, if possible. If you don’t have a place or the resources to store your RV safely, you may want to consider putting it in a specialized storage location. Covering your RV protects it from the elements and reduces the risk of damage from falling debris. As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure!

Maintenance tip # 2 – Pay particular attention to the RV’s gaskets

Trailer door gaskets, window gaskets, hood gaskets, trunk and tailgate gaskets and any other moisture protection gaskets should be checked regularly for any leaks. In general, the older the seal, the more likely it is to leak. Oftentimes, gaskets deteriorate after standing up to hot, dry and dusty conditions, cracking in the process. Another common cause of damage is the regular opening and closing of sealed areas, such as doors, windows and hatches.

  Maintenance tip # 3 – Never ignore the engine

There is nothing worse than breaking down on the side of the road on your “chill out vacation”. And you don’t want to regret the time you chose not to have your engine repaired. Take care of your RV’s engine by making sure the oil is changed on time, the coolant is topped up, and all other fluids are added accordingly. 

Remember, a well-maintained engine ensures a safe, stress-free, and more fuel-efficient vacation. Book a service at your most trusted local service centre, before you regret it!

Care tip # 4 – Keep it clean

Allowing dirt and mud to build upon your RV can cause serious damage to the surface if you don’t treat it properly. Cleaning your motorhome doesn’t require a lot of effort, especially if you follow tip 1 (store it under a cover). 

It is important to make sure you have the right tools and cleaning agents. If you buy the wrong type, you risk damaging sensitive surfaces. When in doubt, remember rule number 1: ask your local RV service and repair specialist.

Final advice

When you drive your RV, always check the tires. Poor tire maintenance is one of the most common causes of trailer accidents. Age, too much sun and, of course, road wear will affect the condition of your tires. Therefore, it is very important to keep an eye on these, especially if you have not used your utility for a while. If you notice any unusual cracks or sagging on your tires, now is the time to replace them. 

A general rule of thumb in the RV industry is to avoid using tires older than 5 years, even if they do not appear to show any signs of wear or deterioration. Your local trailer maintenance specialist will be able to determine this for you. Yes, new tires always seem to cost more than you might think, but why take the risk? In addition, better tires will contribute to better fuel economy and better stability.

Please feel free to get in contact if you have any tips, comments or questions about the content.

FAQ on How often should you drive your RV?

How long should you drive?

According to studies, the maximum daily driving time should not exceed 9 hours, except twice a week which could reach 10 hours. After six days of daily driving, the driver must take a weekly break

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.

What happens if I leave my RV’s engine running overnight?

The problem is that this creates considerable fuel waste. In turn, it increases engine wear. Do you want to save gas, money, extend the life of your car, pollute less and take care of your health?

References

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