Owning a recreational vehicle gives you the freedom to hit the open road and explore new places whenever you want. RVs also make camping more enjoyable and offer many convenient features, such as kitchen appliances, toilets, showers, and sinks.
Perhaps that’s why RV ownership is at a record high in the United States. As people look for ways to travel safely and comfortably in 2021, more vacationers are seeing the benefits of owning a home on wheels.
As fun as it is to own an RV, no vehicle lasts forever. Recreational motor homes tend to experience problems after just a few years, and some issues are common across the board.
In this post, we want to share some of these problems and their causes – as well as tips for avoiding them. Here are six of the most common RV maintenance issues that you may face as an RV owner.
1) Plumbing Issues
Having access to a private toilet and sink system is one of the things RV campers love most about their recreational vehicles. Functional plumbing is a privilege in an outdoor setting. However, if you ask any recreation vehicle owner, they’ll likely tell you their number one RV maintenance concern is facing plumbing issues.
RV pipes are made from light materials and are more prone to blockages than their household counterparts. As a result, RV pipes tend to have shorter lifespans – especially when RV owners fail to prevent hair and other debris from entering the drains.
Recreational vehicles also come with complete flush systems, and these are important to maintain regularly. Too much toilet paper can easily block the system and require professional plumbing services.
RV plumbing issues can be a major inconvenience anywhere, but never more so than when they arise on the road. The best way to avoid plumbing issues? Take care of your pipes and appliances on a regular basis.
The best way to deal with repairs? Buy an extended warranty. Great policy coverage can help make plumbing repairs a little easier by covering the service costs – even when they’re high.
2) Faulty Seals
A cracked or old sealant on an RV roof or window can lead to water leaks, mold, and other serious issues.
A broken RV seal along the roof can result in expensive repair bills. However, you can minimize the risk of water damage by keeping your roof free of dirt and debris, which tend to crack sealants.
At least once a year, check the seals around every window, light, and other connections to the RV’s exterior. You want to spot cracks in advance to ensure that no water leaks in and causes mildew and mold growth.
If you notice any issues with the sealant, you’ll need to address them quickly to prevent water intrusion. You can do this by removing the old seal and using a flat seal or self-leveling bond. Both are sold in most hardware stores.
If you fail to check and maintain your recreational vehicle sealants, you could need an entirely new roof when water damage occurs. This can cost thousands, especially if you don’t have a recreational vehicle warranty to help with the repair costs.
3) Propane Issues
The RV propane system plays a significant role in making a road trip comfortable and convenient. It allows you to operate gas-fueled appliances, heat water, and warm your RV on cold nights. Although propane systems are essential, they can still develop potentially dangerous issues without regular maintenance.
Rust, dirt, and cold weather can lead to cracks in your propane tanks and cause serious leaks. If you ever see or smell gas coming from your propane system, turn off all appliances and tanks immediately and call a professional. A leaking propane tank can catch fire, release toxic gas, or even explode.
Regular inspections of propane tanks, lines, and regulators help avoid this problem. If you notice damage or anything concerning, replace your tank or call a professional for quick repairs. You should also check that all your appliances work properly before you embark on a road trip. This helps you notice potential propane issues before they increase in severity and jeopardize your trip.
If you encounter a cracked or leaky propane tank, don’t try to repair it yourself. Instead, seek professional help. This will help keep you and your family safe.
4) Poor Quality Tires and Wheels
Recreational vehicles require high-quality tires and regular maintenance. Their large size makes them more likely to develop issues over the years. If you don’t take the time to maintain and invest in great RV tires, you can run into serious issues when you are on the road.
Many new recreational vehicles come with low-quality factory tires that are prone to problems. Factory RV tires tend to have a lower lifespan than others and are more susceptible to punctures, bulges, and tears. If you’re still working with the same times the sales team provided, you might want to consider upgrading.
Ultimately, you get what you pay for with recreational vehicle tires. If you decide to use factory tires for RV, you must regularly inspect them and obtain frequent maintenance services from tire specialists. Should you choose to invest in better-engineered tires, you’ll be able to tackle demanding road conditions without worrying as much about surprise issues.
It’s important to note that you should always make sure your tires are appropriately inflated before a road trip – even if you upgraded to high-quality tires.
Fluctuations in temperatures can cause any RV tire to lose air pressure. When a tire is low on air, it can overheat and result in a blowout. A tire blowout can derail your trip, cause costly RV damage, and potentially injure you and your passengers.
If you suffer a tire blowout or flat, you might wind up stranded on the side of the road and paying for expensive towing services. Roadside assistance can be costly, and you’ll likely have to pay for damages and RV tire replacement(s) on top of it.
Something to remember: many RV extended warranty policies cover the cost of roadside assistance and repairs. That’s another reason to consider investing in a comprehensive policy upfront.
5) Electrical Problems
RV electrical problems are all too common with recreational vehicles. The more you know about common electrical issues, the more you can prevent them from happening in the first place. That’s we recommend that all RV owners learn more about their vehicles’ electrical systems.
RV electrical systems are not as powerful as the ones that power your real home. The problem is, when you put high demands on this low-power system, you can cause the system to overload and go out. If you lose power after plugging in too many appliances, you may need professional services or repairs to get back up and running.
To avoid overloading your power system, ensure that high-powered electrical appliances, such as air conditioners and hair dryers, aren’t all running at once. Be smart about how you’re using your power and caring for the system.
Unfortunately, smart appliance usage isn’t always enough to prevent problems. Some electrical issues are the result of mechanical defaults or hiccups. These concerns will need to be addressed by an electrician or expert RV repair shop.
With a recreational vehicle extended warranty, mechanical failures, maintenance tasks, and expensive repairs are all covered. You’ll likely run into an electrical problem someday, and it could easily cost up to $20,000 to handle. We recommend protecting your hard-earned savings by paying for an affordable warranty policy upfront, rather than waiting for your electrical system to run into pricey problems later on.
6) Malfunctioning Pressure Regulators
The water pressure at campgrounds can change depending on the season. Sometimes the water pressure is incredibly high. Other times, it’s too low. That’s why you have a pressure regulator in your RV.
A pressure regulator is a priceless tool for an RV owner. It eliminates the stress of unclean and unreliable campsite water by filtering out dangerous microorganisms and giving you the perfect water pressure. Simply hook the hose up to a water source and clean with fresh, easy to use water.
A word of caution: although RV water pressure regulators can make your camping experience more enjoyable, they can also develop problems if you aren’t careful.
For instance, if you don’t store your regulator hose in a neat position, it can develop kinks or cracks. The only way you can fix this problem is by replacing the hose, and that might not be an expense you’ve accounted for in your budget.
Additionally, if you don’t maintain the filter inside your regulator, it can clog your RV pipes by letting dirt and debris through. This will likely require plumbing services to fix.
To minimize the chances of a plumbing issue, you will need to keep the filter clean and replace it after a certain number of months. If you’re worried about staying on top of these maintenance tasks, consider looking into an RV extended warranty that will offset the cost of plumbing repairs (should you need them).
Proper maintenance can improve the overall experience of owning a recreational vehicle. You can worry less about sudden repair costs and focus more on making lifelong memories. A well-maintained RV also tends to have a longer lifespan, so you can enjoy your investment for many years to come.
If you are interested in buying an RV extended warranty for additional peace of mind, RVing Solutions can help. We provide a range of coverage options with plenty of added benefits, including roadside assistance.
Get started with a free quote!