RV Bad Habits: Are You Making These Common Maintenance Mistakes?
Admit it, recreational vehicle owners: You may have begun a road trip without doing a pre-trip check of your vehicle inside and out. It’s a common mistake when you’re itching to get moving. This, and other bad habits, may lead to repair bills down the road. Here are some common RV bad habits, along with tips on how to break them:
Bad Habit #1
Not checking the seals and weatherstripping around your windows, roof and doors. These will degrade over time, which may lead to water seeping into your vehicle, according to the blog DoItYourselfRV.com.
Break the Habit: About every three months, check your seals and weatherstripping to make sure it still fits properly and isn’t cracked or eroded, says Kevin Broom, of the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association.
Bad Habit #2
Not covering your roof when parked. Mother Nature can damage your RV’s roof in a variety of ways and repairing or replacing it may be expensive, DoItYourselfRV.com notes.
Break the Habit: Parking your RV in a garage or under a steel carport may give you maximum protection from the elements, but simply covering it with a tarp can also work well, the blog says.
Bad Habit #3
Thinking your RV refrigerator and the one in your kitchen are the same. While they both keep your food cool, they have different upkeep requirements, according to MotorHome. After all, the refrigerator in your RV often endures the bumps and potholes in the road, and may only be used periodically. In addition, environmental factors like high ambient temperatures combined with dust, dirt and rust can affect the operation of an absorption-type refrigerator (commonly found in RVs).
Break the Habit: Precool your RV refrigerator overnight before loading it with food; that way you won’t put perishable food into a warm fridge while it works to reach the right temperature, MotorHome says.
Bad Habit #4
Not going over your safety checklist before you head out. You may miss common problems that can lead to a costly repair bill, according to RV Life Magazine.
Break the Habit: RV Life recommends you make an inside and outside checklist, and work with a partner to ensure everything’s ready to go before you head out. Items should include:
- Are the stairs folded up?
- Is the antenna down?
- Are the windows and vents closed?
- Are the scissor jacks retracted?
- Did you unhook from the utilities?
Bad Habit #5
Checking the tire pressure after you’ve been on the road. After your RV has already begun its adventure, the tires (and the air within) can heat up quickly — even if you’ve only traveled a mile or so, according to the Recreational Vehicle Safety & Education Foundation (RVSEF). Because hot air expands, you typically won’t get an accurate tire pressure reading.
Break the Habit: Check your tire’s pressure before you start up your vehicle, when the tires are cold. In this case cold means, “the tire is the same temperature as the outside air, and has not heated up from traveling,” according to the RVSEF.
By kicking these habits, you can help make sure your time in the RV — and at the campground — is relaxing and fun.