Even if you don’t use certain features or systems on a daily basis, your RV still needs (and wants) some TLC throughout the year. That’s why we’re here to share RV maintenance tips for every month, season and year that’ll keep your unit in tip-top shape. While each trailer or motorhome is a little different and no two schedules are alike, it’s smart to keep this checklist in mind as you plan and prepare for all the adventures ahead.
Monthly RV Maintenance Tips
- Run Your Generator - Since gasoline goes bad after about a month, especially if sitting stagnant, you want to keep it moving through your generator. You can do that by running it for at least two hours at about 50 percent load each month, or by using a fuel stabilizer for longer periods of storage.
- Top Off Batteries - Be sure to use only distilled water if you plan to top off your batteries’ water levels. The minerals in tap water can diminish their life span.
- Clean The A/C - Get the most of out your unit’s climate-control capabilities by vacuuming and cleaning vents.
- Peek Under The Hood - If you’re driving a motorhome, look at the engine to check hoses and clamps are secure and there are no signs of leaking.
- Test Safety Equipment - It’s always a good idea to make sure your smoke, carbon monoxide and other battery-powered detectors or safety equipment are working properly each month.
- Keep Pests Out - Keep uninvited guests out by checking under the rig for any abrading, working loose, cracked insulation or rodent access points—all they need is about ¼ inch to get in.
- Care For Slideouts - If you’re traveling in a unit with slideouts, lightly re-lubricate the mechanism to help them move in and out smoothly and protect against rust or corrosion. There are also dedicated sprays to help easily reinforce the seals, if needed.
- Check Your Seals - Take a look at exterior sealants and re-seal any voids, cracks or separation. We have more tips on keeping your RV properly sealed too.
Seasonal RV Maintenance Tips
- Deep Clean - If you winterize or store your RV long term, it’s smart to perform a thorough interior cleaning once or twice a season. A little moisture or gummy bear behind the couch can turn into bigger issues if not addressed, so check out these tips on cleaning your RV’s interior.
- Inspect For Damage - Periodically inspect your RV for damage, even if it’s stored. Look for any potential entry points for rodents, birds or insects and ensure they’re sealed to prevent any harm.
- Wax On - Keep your rig looking shiny and new by waxing the exterior. If you plan to do it yourself, then definitely check out our tips on how to care for the exterior of your RV.
- Filter Your Water - Clean water is essential for you and your family and your RV’s equipment. While it may not be necessary every month, every 6-8 weeks, pour a half cup of bleach into the fresh water tank, fill, let sit a day and run it through the lines.
- Weigh Your RV - It can be super helpful to occasionally weigh your trip-ready RV and even each individual wheel to easily identify potential problem areas in your load. You can head to a local weigh station or check RV rallies and clubs that offer opportunities to weigh your RV.
- Examine Tires - Checking tire pressure and wear and tear is a critical part of keeping your RV safe. Read more about proper tire care and maintenance.
- Check Your Seals - Moisture is your RV’s nemesis, which is why it’s important to take a closer look at your exterior seals, especially roof seals, every two or three months. Read more about what to look for and how to maintain sealants here.
- Treat Metals - Apply a gentle lubricant to areas where metal rubs on metal like the hitch, leveling jacks or entry steps. This helps them function better and stay resistant to rust.
Yearly RV Maintenance Tips
- Keep Track - It’s easy to forget what you do and when, so logging it all helps you know when a certain task is due. If you already own a Jayco, check the back of your Owner’s Manual for a handy form.
- Stay Cool - Just like your home, it’s recommended to have your heating and cooling systems professionally tuned up at least once a year.
- Service Brakes - While you should always watch for any wear on your trailer's or motorhome’s brakes, we suggest having brakes professionally serviced once a year. And if you’re a towable owner, always use tow vehicle and RV brakes together to avoid accelerating wear.
- Test Safety Equipment - Vacuum carbon monoxide and smoke detector covers, wash them with a lightly dampened cloth, dry and test (replace if not functioning as intended). Don’t spray the front panel with cleaning solutions and replace immediately if you have any issues.
- Inspect Your Propane - Regular spot checks for connection integrity, dings, paint damage and rust are a good idea. It’s also wise to have a qualified propane service representative inspect your tank and test for leaks once a year, or every 5,000 miles, whichever comes first.
- Check Your Seals - Since seal “lifetimes” and environmental factors vary, it’s recommended to review these and consider resealing the key exterior areas of your RV. We recommend checking out these tips on maintenance for sealants.
If you’re looking for maintenance tips right before or after traveling, check out our pre-trip inspection tips or post-trip list. You can always take advantage of your dealer’s know-how, too. At Jayco, we work hand-in-hand with our dealers so that they can help owners in any way!
Click here for a downloadable version of The RV Maintenance Checklist to make sure nothing is left undone the next time you're giving your RV a little TLC.