Your RV is a major investment like your house or automobile. To help protect your investment and get many years of reliable service and use from your RV, there are preventive maintenance steps you can take. One is maintaining the exterior of your RV.
Maintaining the exterior contributes to extending the life of the RV and protecting your investment. If you let your RV go, without cleaning it for periods of time, it can be very difficult to get that new look back again.
Here are 5 easy steps to keep your RV looking new:
1) To extend the life of the exterior, wash the RV frequently. If you let bugs, dirt, and black streaks stay on the exterior surface too long it can be difficult to clean and remove. Try to wash your RV after returning from each trip. Use a mild soap that is compatible with the surface of the RV. Use a long handled brush with soft bristles to reach the high areas and a wash glove or mitt for the easy to reach areas. Rinse the area you plan to wash first and always wash from the top down. When you rinse soap from the surface, avoid spraying water in any of the appliance vents.
Tip: There are marine cleaning products that work well on fiberglass surfaces. When cleaning the roof keep the sides of the RV rinsed off to avoid soap residue, streaking and any damage to decals, graphics or the paint finish. Never use cleaners containing petroleum solvents, harsh abrasives, or citric-based acids on rubber or vinyl roofs.
2) Metal sidewall finishes require more routine maintenance to keep black streaks cleaned from the surface. If black streaks remain on metal sidewall finishes for prolonged periods of time it can be extremely difficult to clean or remove the streaks. When you use commercial cleaners, like black streak removers, always read and follow the instructions for the best cleaning results and to protect the RV’s paint and graphics from possible damage. Watch a video on cleaning RV black streaks.
3) Removing dead bugs and road debris from the front of your RV can be a real job. The best advice I can offer is to remove the bugs as soon as possible and use lots of water. The water helps hydrate the dead bugs, making them easier to remove. I have had good luck using bug and tar remover products to clean difficult stains and road debris, but nothing replaces good old elbow grease.
4) Waxing or polishing the exterior is a time consuming chore, but it will help extend the life of your RV. Wax or polish the exterior using a quality product formulated for the type of exterior surface your RV has. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Exercise caution when applying wax or polish around graphics on the RV. It’s a good idea to wax the RV when water no longer beads on the surface.
5) As time passes the roof and exterior of your RV begins to show signs of wear, caused by constant exposure to the elements. Ozone in the air and UV rays from the sun start to take a toll on the RV’s exterior. Paint starts to fade and products made of rubber and vinyl start to dry out, crack, and deteriorate. UV rays from the sun make this aging process happen quicker. If your RV is stored outside the only way to protect it from these damaging affects is to keep it covered. Make sure the cover is designed for use on RVs.
These simple cleaning tips are designed to help keep the exterior of your RV looking new, but keep in mind there are other important preventive maintenance steps required to maintain the RV’s exterior. You need to inspect all the seams and sealants on the RV periodically and reseal any areas where the sealant is cracked or separating. If you do-it-yourself make sure you use sealants compatible with the surface you are sealing, or you can take the RV to your local dealer to have it inspected.
Tip: Review your RV owner’s manual for routine and scheduled maintenance and intervals the manufacturer recommends the owner should perform.
Well there you have it, a nice clean RV until you head out on another exciting RV adventure.
You can continue spending money replacing dead RV batteries, but a more practical money saving solution is to determine what caused the battery to die and try to prevent it from happening again.
It’s not uncommon for RV batteries to die long before they should. A report I recently read stated 85% of lead-acid batteries manufactured in the U.S. die before they should. And I see it all the time, RV owners replacing batteries every year or two. That can get expensive real fast.
Sometimes we tend to overlook the simplest maintenance requirements on our RV, and these maintenance oversights can be costly. I put RV batteries on top of the list for items on the RV that are commonly overlooked. Fortunately if you understand what kills a battery, and perform some simple battery preventive maintenance you can stop the batteries from dying an early death.
Let’s look at some of the factors that contribute to battery failure:
- Parasitic loads
- Lack of maintenance
There is no doubt summertime is primetime for RV camping. The weather is great, the kids are out of school and exciting new adventures await you around the next bend. What more could an RVer ask for? How about a nice cool RV to beat some of the heat? It can be challenging to keep your RV cool when the mercury is rising, but following these simple tips is a good start.
The first thing I like to do is make sure the RV air conditioner is operating properly. Lots of folks don’t know this, but an air conditioner that is working efficiently will condition the air 16 to 22 degrees lower than the ambient temperature. This simply means if it is 90 degrees in the RV, a properly operating air conditioner will cool the interior space somewhere between 68 to 74 degrees. Testing the air conditioners performance is not that difficult, click here to view video.
Now that we know the RV’s air conditioner is operating efficiently, we can move on to some other ways to keep the RV cool in the summer heat.
Checklists are an easy way to make sure nothing is overlooked or forgotten. RV pre-trip checks are one of the most important checklists to have on-hand and follow. I cannot tell you how many times I see damaged RV steps, TV antennas, power cords and awnings simply because an owner forgot to check things prior to leaving.
I could probably list 25 items that should be on a pre-trip checklist, but today I want to concentrate on what I consider to be the top 5 essential RV pre-trip checks to make prior to driving the RV. Following a simple checklist like this can save you time, money and headaches.