RV Maintenance is a very good key to happy RV Living and minimal unexpected huge RV repairs! Just like your stick and brick house, certain maintenance items must be done on a regular basis.
"Pay me now, or pay me (more) later" is so true - even with RV's.
As mentioned, an RV is a very complex vehicle, bouncing down the highway with many different and integrated systems all related with each other.
Common sense repairs and maintenance will keep it a pleasant trip.
If you have a self-contained vehicle - like a Class A, B or C type, it can be even more particular. The engine, transmission, chassis, etc are also part of the "house".
If you have a Class A Diesel, try to obtain one with a "side-radiator", it's so much easier to work on - the engine area is usually completely open!
Take a look at this picture - it takes about 10 minutes to change the serpentine drive belt! Try that with a rear radiator model!!
If you are towing an RV, like a camper, pod or 5th wheel, that will make a difference on some of the items that need to be maintained.
However, the vehicle that does the towing of that camper, pod or 5th wheel needs to be taken care of too. The brakes on the towing vehicle are just as important as the brakes on the self-contained vehicle.
Tires always need to be monitored and kept in alignment. Wheel Bearings need to be greased and sealed.
Engine and transmission oils and filters must be done. The Roof should be inspected and repaired before a leak develops.
Slides must be kept clean, lubricated and adjusted so they work in the most remote part of the world - cause that's where it will fail otherwise! Sewer and water hoses need to be properly stored and not touching each other. And kept protected from getting damaged.
Sometimes, it is the simplest little thing that starts a giant snowballing problem. Perhaps the sewer hose tabs that keep it connected got broken off and went unnoticed - wow, that will be a giant problem the next time you go to dump your sewer!!
That Onan Generator on-board requires minimal care - fairly simple, yet must be done! You can take it to a motorhome repair or motorhome service facility and pay more - either way, but it must be done!
We had heard about a company called Speedco - An Engine Maintenance Service Co. This company has facilities on many major Interstates, throughout the US and provides a very economical Maintenance Service for today's RV Engines.
Even better, Speedco lets you stay with your RV and discuss things with the mechanic and verify the work is done - try that at an RV Dealership!
They do NOT do automatic transmissions, however.
We tried the Speedco in Salt Lake City (Lake Point, UT officially) and Las Vegas and LOVED THEM!!
Very quick, very thorough and about ONE THIRD the cost of a diesel oil change at a RV Dealership!
We just had our RV serviced again by Speedco - in Milan, NM, on the way to the Hot Air Balloon Festival in Albuquerque. Wow - what a great experience!!! We had the Engine Serviced and the Onan Generator for under $300 and we could talk to the guys, watch and it was done within an hour and a half!!! Yes indeed! Thank You Speedco!
It doesn't hurt to already have a full stock of filters - main engine, generator and fuel filters. They stock many of them, but - no sense being delayed while waiting for one to show up.
Hint: Start your generator while still about 30 to 60 minutes away from the Speedco of your destination - the oil will be nice and fluid and drain well.
Many RV'ers try to do their own maintenance. In today's expensive world, that's a great thing to do - just be sure you know what you're doing, keep a record for Warranty purposes and be very precise on whatever you are doing.
Depending on the type of vehicle and transmission, will determine more the cost then the when on a transmission service.
We have a Class A DP with an Allison MD3060 transmission pushing us down the road. We had it serviced in Louisiana.
Just the trans alone was 20 quarts to replace, plus the filter, gasket and labor - obviously a couple of $$ bucks!!
The good news, it really only needs to be done about every 25,000 miles. Granted, that might be too much - but, it's still cheaper than a new/rebuilt one.
A conventional car for small campers or pickups for the larger 5th wheels need to be serviced also. However, just the amount of oil alone will be less - thank goodness, right?!?
Preventive, is the name of the game. Besides, if you have a failure issue, it sure is easier to get reimbursed if your RV maintenance service was done on a regular basis!
Take a look at the link just below to learn what we should've been doing all along. Thanks to Gordon at Camping World, in NJ we learned a valuable lesson!!
Are you protecting your family and rig as well?? Be sure you are performing your RV repair and RV maintenance, as needed!
RV Propane Refrigerator "Must Do" Trick