Continued maintenance of anything can be a resource-draining process, and it’s likely your RV requires just as much upkeep as any other major part of your life. But is it really worth checking in right on schedule to make sure everything is up-and-running, or can you get away with letting a few things slip through the cracks? Read on to learn more about which maintenance services will keep both your vehicle and your pocketbook in top shape.
Before we delve into some of the savings specifics, it’s important to remember these calculations are generalizations, and that your personal RV maintenance costs will be heavily dependent on a variety of factors. For example, costs will vary based on the type of your RV, as a fifth-wheel camper has different requirements than that of a motorhome. It will also depend on how often you live in your RV, as this affects the amount of wear-and-tear your rig undergoes each year. Additionally, there will be variances from year to year, based on major replacements or any fluke mechanical issues that need repairs. In general however, the more time and effort you spend caring for and maintaining your RV, the more money and headaches you’ll save yourself in the long run.
Although one of the easiest ways to keep your generator working is to periodically start it up during long stints off the road, it’s important to give it a little extra TLC every once and a while. Replacing the oil, air, and fuel filters, inspecting the generator exhaust, and changing the oil should all be done about once per year to avoid any unwanted surprises. If you don’t want to do it yourself, an auto shop can take care of the job for about $150. This price tag pales in comparison to that of having to replace the entire unit, which on the low end can cost around $1,200, but can go up as high as nearly $15,000. Take our word on this one, it’s worth the yearly investment to keep your generator healthy.
Many RV shops offer battery services specifically designed to increase the life of your batteries by cleaning any terminals and posts, testing for power, topping off fluid, and applying an anticorrosive coating. If you’ve got the tools and the know-how, these procedures can be quite simple to achieve at home. However, if you’d rather let an expert do it, it’ll generally cost you around $150 – $300 to complete the annual service at a shop for up to six house or chassis batteries. This may seem like it evens out the option to allow the battery to wear down until it needs replaced, as new RV batteries can cost anywhere from $150 to $400+ (each) depending on their group number. However, you must take into consideration that your motorhome not only needs one type of battery to start up, but also another to run your appliances. Since your vehicle may have multiple required batteries at any given time, it may be worth the cash to give them all a tune-up once a year to avoid having to replace two or three batteries at a time, which could cost you more in the long run, as well as cause other problems with uneven voltage and amperage output in a single bank of batteries.
Making sure you rotate your RV’s tires when uneven wear is detected and keeping them properly inflated is a great way to extend their life. Although you should be checking the tire pressure every time you hit the road, they only need to be rotated when you in fact see uneven wear. A mechanic can do this for you for about $75, which is generally cheaper than prematurely replacing the whole tire by anywhere from $125 to $400 or more each. Proper inflation is the single most important thing you can do on a regular basis to prolong the life of your tire and ensure safe proper operation.
Slide-out maintenance at home can be as simple as a quick inspection each month to ensure no parts are catching and to apply a lubricant to any moving parts and treatment to the rubber seals. This will keep your seals and metal mechanisms in top shape to avoid any longer-than-planned stays at the RV park because your slide is stuck open. If you’d rather have an RV shop do it, you’ll need to invest about $200 in the service every 3 to 4 months, depending on usage. Not maintaining your slide-outs could result in the replacement of a variety of parts, costing anywhere between $50 and $250. However, not maintaining your slides could also cause severe leaking due to cracked or faulty rubber, which can result in thousands of dollars of internal damage and the replacement of furniture, appliances, and other amenities.
These are just a few of the many components you should be keeping up with maintenance on. One of the easiest ways to keep up with your RV’s continued maintenance needs is through your online RV maintenance log and schedule at www.maintainmyrv.com. Log on today to help keep all of your motorhome’s weekly, monthly, or annual maintenance needs on track, ensuring safe and happy travels for years to come.