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RV Maintenance Tips/Checklist

By: Sunland RV Resorts / 05 Mar 2024
RV Miantenance Checklist


Maintaining your RV isn't just a chore; it's a crucial aspect of ensuring safety, longevity, and enjoyment on the road! Whether you're a full-time RVer or enjoy occasional trips, understanding the importance of RV maintenance and knowing how to tackle common issues can save you from headaches and costly repairs down the line. In this comprehensive guide, we'll delve into the significance of RV maintenance, highlight common issues RV owners face, and provide practical solutions to keep your home-on-wheels in top condition.

Keep reading for a downloadable RV Maintenance checklist at the bottom of this blog!


Regular RV maintenance should be part of your routine. It's a necessity for several reasons:

Safety: Proper maintenance ensures that all systems, including brakes and tires, are in optimal condition, enhancing safety during your travels.
Longevity: By addressing minor issues early and performing regular tune-ups, you can extend the lifespan of your RV and prevent major repairs.
Cost Savings: Identifying and fixing potential problems early on can save you from expensive repairs in the future, lowering overall maintenance costs in the long term.
Peace of Mind: Knowing that your RV is well-maintained allows you to go on your adventures with confidence, without worrying about unexpected breakdowns or malfunctions.


Several common maintenance categories deserve your attention:

Water Line and Pump Problems
Plumbing challenges like leaks, water pump malfunctions, and black tank blockages can transform from minor nuisances into significant complications. The intricate layout of pipes in such a compact space heightens the likelihood of leaks, with even a small one capable of triggering substantial moisture damage and mold growth, especially if left undiscovered for an extended period. The most dreaded scenario is a clog in the black tank, which can lead to backups and render the toilet inoperable.

Electrical Issues
Electrical problems should be addressed promptly to avoid safety hazards. Common issues include battery issues, blown fuses, short circuits, and overloaded circuits. Turn off the power supply of power to avoid any risk of shocks. We strongly recommend hiring a professional to help with more complex issues.

Toilet Troubles
RV toilets require specific care and maintenance to prevent clogs and backups. Educate yourself on proper usage and handling or seek assistance from experienced RVers.

Maintaining your RV's toilet and black water tank is important for a pleasant mobile living experience. The black water tank, responsible for holding waste from the toilet, requires regular cleaning to prevent odors and ensure proper drainage. It's recommended to clean the tank before and after each trip and perform a deeper clean every few weeks, using caution due to the presence of harmful bacteria. Proper dumping techniques, including waiting until the tank is at least two-thirds full and using eco-friendly holding tank chemicals, help keep the tank clean and odor-free.

Caring for an RV toilet involves using specialized cleaning solutions and toilet paper designed for RVs to facilitate easy breakdown and cleaning. Regular checks on the toilet seal ensure it remains functional, preventing odors from permeating the living space. 

Tire Maintenance
RVs are prone to more tire issues than normal-sized vehicles due to their weight. Regularly inspecting tires will help keep track of proper inflation for safe travel.

Make sure to understand the operating parameters and limits of your tires, including weight ratings and load distribution. Proper load distribution enhances handling, fuel economy, and braking ability. Additionally, knowing the age of your tires is important, with a general recommendation to replace them every five to ten years due to factors like usage frequency, storage conditions, and climate exposure.

Roof and Window Maintenance
Constant exposure to the elements makes RV roofs and windows susceptible to damage. An RV roof is not like your typical home roof - your roof is usually a similar material to the sides of your RV. This is intentional, as an RV would be too heavy with a normal roof. Regular cleaning, sealant checks, and using protective covers can help prolong their lifespan. Although covers can be expensive, it is a one-time purchase that can save you money in the long term. 

Slide-out Maintenance
Slide-outs are prone to rust, corrosion, and mechanical issues. Regular lubrication and inspection of seals can prevent leaks and extend their longevity.

Overall, troubleshooting and preventing RV slide-out problems doesn't have to be complicated. If your RV slideout fails to move when using the control switch and you don't hear the motor running, check the switch first. Verify your power by examining fuses, breakers, and battery voltage. For electric motor failures, test the motor's wiring and voltage output, while hydraulic systems require checking the pump's wiring and fluid levels. Address leaks by inspecting the hydraulic fluid reservoir and tracing lines for leaks or valve actuator failures. If the motor runs but the slide doesn't move, further diagnose the slide mechanism, considering different types and potential alignment issues.

We recommend lubricating components regularly for smooth operation and refer to your manufacturer's recommendations for specific maintenance needs based on your slide mechanism type. Professional assistance may be the right option for more intricate adjustments or repairs for slide-outs.

Brake Repair
RVs are much heavier than your typical car, so your brakes are going to have more pressure on them. We strongly recommend brake inspections and servicing of brake components regularly.

Additionally, motorhomes typically feature air brakes or hydraulic brakes, each requiring specific attention. Air brake systems, common in diesel-powered rigs, need regular checks for moisture buildup that can lead to brake failure. Annual inspection and maintenance, including replacing the drying cartridge and draining the air storage tank, are essential practices. 

For fifth-wheel trailers, brake maintenance involves inspection, cleaning, and adjustments. Annual inspections are crucial, with a focus on worn shoe linings and magnet arms. Additionally, electric brakes require periodic adjustments to maintain proper spacing between shoes and drums. Whether you handle maintenance yourself or seek professional assistance, staying vigilant and utilizing resources like online RV maintenance logs can help ensure your brakes are in top condition for safe travels.

RV Refrigerators
As RVs evolve to resemble houses on wheels, the debate over using residential refrigerators in these mobile homes gains traction. While traditional RV refrigerators, known as absorption refrigerators, are built to withstand travel conditions with no moving parts for cooling, residential models utilize compressor motors. The stability of absorption refrigerators makes them suitable for bumpy roads, but residential units may face issues with heavy vibrations on the road.

Additionally, absorption refrigerators offer versatility, running on electricity, LP gas, or battery power, while residential refrigerators rely solely on electrical power, potentially posing challenges for travelers disconnected from shore power. Despite the convenience of absorption refrigerators, they require periodic maintenance, unlike conventional fridges, which boast consistent cooling power without the need for regular upkeep.


To keep your RV in top condition, follow these suggested maintenance tasks:
  • Pre-Trip Checks: Ensure all safety systems are in working order before each trip.
  • Monthly Maintenance: Perform routine checks on essential systems and safety items.
  • Quarterly Maintenance: Schedule oil changes, filter replacements, and inspections every three months or 2,500 miles.
  • Semi-Annual Maintenance: Inspect wheel bearings, clean awnings, and lubricate axles, and suspension components every six months.
  • Annual Maintenance: Check brakes, LPG system, air conditioning units, water heater, and roof annually.

Essential RV Accessories:
Keep essential RV parts and accessories on hand for quick repairs and replacements, including lights, seals, and awnings.

Tips for Affordable RV Repair:
Research local repair shops, consider hiring a general handyman, or tackle minor repairs yourself to save on maintenance costs.
Staying on Top of Maintenance:
Keeping up with maintenance can be overwhelming sometimes and it can be easy to lose track. 
That's why we've created an essential RV maintenance checklist that you can download and use however you would like! 


If you would rather automate your maintenance schedule, you can track your maintenance tasks with tools like the RV LIFE app to streamline the process and ensure nothing falls through the cracks.

It has features like a maintenance schedule for your RV to stay on top of everything, from engine checks to air conditioning upkeep using alerts for timely reminders. Additionally, track expenses categorically, whether for business purposes or to monitor maintenance costs throughout your RV's lifespan or a specific trip or season.

Preventative Care
If you are traveling from warmer to colder climates, you'll want to winterize your RV before cold weather sets in to prevent freezing pipes and other cold-related damage.

When summer is around the corner, you should de-winterize your RV. Conduct a thorough inspection for wear and tear underneath your RV, including tire cracks, loose wires, and fluid leaks. Charge the battery as it may have lost power during winter storage, allowing it to charge while you begin the de-winterizing process.

Regular RV maintenance is a commitment to safe and enjoyable travels. By understanding the importance of maintenance, staying vigilant about common issues, and following a proactive maintenance schedule, you can prolong the life of your RV and make the most of your adventures on the open road. So, grab your checklist, roll up your sleeves, and keep your home-on-wheels in top condition for the journeys ahead.

At Sunland RV Resorts, we have nine total RV resorts in Southern California and Florida with upscale amenities and many top attractions nearby. With upscale amenities and a variety of events, Sunland RV Resorts can fulfill all your needs and desires. Find a resort near you or add us as a stop while on your RV adventure!

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