As everyone knows regular maintenance is a key part of beast happiness. Now, I’ll readily admit that Paul and I are not exactly mechanical geniuses. I’m pretty handy with the tools, and Paul can be electrically suave with a multimeter, but we’re not the types that will have the confidence to take on all the complicated RV stuff ourselves.
Thankfully, like good old dogs we’re willing and able to learn. We’ve figured out how to keep the RV squeaky clean, we take care of our tires, and we do a regular pre-flight check before each drive. But how about the rest? Often it only takes someone to show you how to do it once and you’re on your way to RV maintenance glory. That’s why I love, love (did I mention love?) YouTube. You can learn just about anything online and there’s now a bunch of useful RV maintenance videos on the web that show you exactly how to do the steps yourself. In this post I thought I’d share my top 5:
1/ RV Air Conditioner Maintenance - Do-it-at-home aircon maintenance is super-easy and one of the best ways to make sure your unit keeps up with those hot summer days. The basics are all about making sure the aircon has a clear air-flow, so that means cleaning the inside filter and accessing the roof to do a quick cleaning of the coils. Jim Twamley and rvtravel.com put together a post and excellent video showing exactly how to do it:
2/ RV Freshwater Sanitization - Whenever we’re not hooked up we draw all our water from our freshwater tank. Since we dry-camp a lot we keep a good flow going and our tanks stay pretty nice and clean, but once or twice a year I find it makes sense to sanitize the system. This involves filling your tank with a diluted Clorox® bleach solution and flushing it back out. Mark Polk of RV Education 101 has a simple video with the instructions:
3/ Battery Maintenance - We recently switched to maintenance-free AGMs (yeah!), but before this we had wet-cell batteries and they do require regular maintenance. You want to be checking water levels (~once/month) and connections/terminals. It’s a good idea to learn how to check voltage levels too.
Pedata RV Sales has a good, simple video on battery maintenance, and rv.net has a blog post on how to test your battery state of charge:
4/ Check & Seal Roof Seams - Keeping your RV roof clean and checking the seams regularly is a real key maintenance item. Eternabond is a fabulous, easy-to-use sealing product & a hands down favorite with many savvy RVers. Mark Polk has a very basic RV roof video and Gary Bunzer, the RV Doctor has a great demo on how to apply Eternabond:
5/ Generator Maintenance - This is perhaps the most “advanced” of our 5 items, but it’s not as bad as it seems. All generators need basic maintenance such as oil and filter changes every 100 or so hours of use. Once again, Jim Twamley comes to the rescue with a fabulous video showing you how:
And that, as they say, is how you do it. Got any favorite videos of your own?