RV Breakdown: 7 Exceptional Ways to Prevent Your RV from Breaking Down

Camping is fun until your RV breaks down. Unfortunately, RVs break down more often than you think. Nearly 30% of the RVs will break down by the end of the second year on the road. The most common RV problems range from appliance breakdowns to engine troubles.

Worse still, RV breakdowns are often expensive. If you take an RV to a dealership for repairs, it could cost you a minimum of $129 per hour. The cost can be as much as $189 per hour for high-end rigs. And it doesn’t even cover the cost of materials or replacements. It will also be a few days or even weeks until you can get back on the road.

The good news is that you can avoid all this hassle by taking a few preventive steps. Let’s see what you can do to prevent your RV from breaking down.

1. Conduct Thorough Inspections Before Hitting the Road

A thorough RV inspection before hitting the road is a must. It can help you avoid many RV problems during the road trip. 

Start by checking the engine, arguably the most critical part of your rig. Make sure to check the oil level. Maintain the required oil level to keep your engine from overheating. Next, check if all the lights are working, including your brake lights. 

You also need to check the tire pressure and tighten loose wheel lug nuts to ensure road safety. Clean and check your entry steps, slide-outs, awning, and seals to avoid extensive dirt build-up during the trip.

Most RVs are susceptible to cracks, especially around joints. Rainwater will seep through the cracks, causing massive damage to your rig. So, check all corners and joints of your recreational vehicle for potential leaks and close them using a sealant.

2. Test All Electronic Features

Make sure all the electronic appliances are working. But first, check the electric connection from your RV to your tow vehicle and all your electrical outlets. Once that’s done, you can check the four key RV electrical systems – refrigerator, stove (oven), water heater, and HVAC unit. Checking your stove and refrigerator is important so that you can cook and store food during the trip.

When checking your RV water heater, look for sediment build-up. If found, you can use compressed air to clean it. Furthermore, see if the heating rod or any other components need replacing. In the case of your HVAC system, check and replace the RV AC filter at least twice a year. It is also necessary to clean the evaporator and condenser coils regularly to ensure optimal temperature control.

3. Follow Routine Maintenance

 Routine RV maintenance can help you save considerable money down the line. For example, regularly changing RV oil can prevent your engine from unexpected failure, which can otherwise put a big dent in your savings. Typically, an oil change is required every 3,000 5,000 miles

Similarly, after nearly 6,000 8,000 miles, you need to rotate the tires. Tire rotation improves stability, braking, fuel economy, and overall vehicle handling. Besides, you can replace all RV tires together when the time comes.

In addition to this, you need to replace brake pads every 50,000 miles. However, these numbers are not set in stone. Make sure to refer to your owner’s manual for specific instructions. Alternatively, you can bring your recreational vehicle in for a complete tune-up before your trip. Pros can identify and fix common RV problems before they turn into a disaster.

4. Charge Your Batteries

RV batteries can wear down super quickly, especially when overused. Make sure to check your RV battery regularly. You must also keep them fully charged at all times. 

If you need to top off your batteries, use only distilled water. Minerals in the tap water can damage the battery. Freezing temperatures can also damage your battery and void the warranty. Be sure to take your battery out during the winter and store it someplace warm. 

Batteries usually last three to five years. While deep cycle batteries can work up to three years, start-type batteries often have a five-year lifespan. Depending on which RV battery you use, make sure to replace it on time.

5. Change Your Generator’s Oil and Filters

RV generator is the lifeline of your travel trailer. It powers all your electrical appliances. It is also one of the most expensive components of your RV. So, keeping it in top shape is critical. 

Fortunately, routine generator maintenance is not that hard. It primarily involves changing oil and filters. In most cases, you will need to change the oil every 150 hours or so. But be sure to use the same oil you are already using. You need to replace the oil filter about every 150 hours,fuel filters every 500 hours, and air filters every 400 hours

However, these timelines may vary depending on the model, type, and age of your RV generator. Make sure to refer to the owner’s manual for details. Also, run the generator for a while, even when your rig is in storage. It helps prevent dirt and debris build up in the carburetor. 

6. Flush Out Your Tanks

Most rigs have three types of tanks – freshwater, greywater, and black tank. Cleaning your RV water tank (freshwater) twice every year is necessary. It prevents bacterial and other harmful growth inside the tank. Most RV owners prefer to clean it after bringing out their vehicle from the storage. You can use gentle bleach to sanitize the tank. 

The grey water tank requires your immediate attention if it starts to smell. You can use odor blockers to keep the foul smell at bay. As for the black tank, you will need to use approved black tank chemicals for cleaning. 

If your rig comes with a black tank flush system, use it for a thorough clean. Remember to dump your black tank every three to five days. You should also use biodegradable toilet paper to avoid clogging your sewage system.

7. Purchase an Extended RV Warranty 

Proactive RV maintenance is a great way to curb unexpected RV breakdowns. Despite the best care, however, your rig is bound to fail, especially after the manufacturer’s warranty expires. When that happens, you will be left with heart-wrenching RV repair costs.

While you may already have insurance, it seldom provides RV breakdown coverage. What you need is an RV extended warranty. It provides RV owners with complete peace of mind should things go south.

Most extended warranties will cover your repair costs and also a few add-ons like towing costs and roadside assistance. However, the coverage will change depending on your policy and the extended warranty provider. In other words, you need to shop around to find a suitable coverage.

In Conclusion

 As you can see, routine RV maintenance is easier than you think. You can protect your RV from unexpected breakdowns with a few simple steps. Before your next trip, give these tips a try to enjoy a stress-free vacation with your family. And of course, don’t forget to buy an RV extended warranty for added peace of mind. 

RVing solutions is a leading RV extended warranty provider. We offer a comprehensive range of RV extended warranties tailored to your needs. Feel free to reach out for a free quote.

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