5 Keys to RV Longevity

make money with your rv

Whether your RV is the latest Class A or something considerably more modest, chances are you have invested a lot of money in it. That being the case it only makes sense that you want your ‘investment’ to last a very long time. Any vehicle, regardless of whether it has just been driven off the dealer’s lot for the first time, or one that has eaten up a lot of miles over a number of years, will require care to ensure it keeps running and looking as good as it can. The following 5 keys will help ensure the longevity of your home on wheels.

Wash Your RV Regularly

Keeping your vehicle clean will go along way to keeping it looking as sharp as the day you bought it. Painted surfaces can endure only so much buildup of debris before it begins to deteriorate, so keeping it free from the likes of road film, a black, greasy soot-like film that settles on every exterior surface, and of course bird droppings that can quickly eat through paint. While it may be a hassle to climb up on top of your vehicle it is equally as important (if not more so) to ensure the roof is clean and free of debris to ensure leaks don’t occur.

Provided you clean your RV’s exterior thoroughly on a regular basis your paintwork should continue to do the job its intended to i.e. protect the materials your vehicle is constructed of.  When not in use keep your vehicle covered with a cover that is specifically designed for your type of RV. Oh, and don’t forget to cover the wheels too…tires will last longer if not subjected to harsh sun when stationary.


Have a service schedule? Follow it!  To the letter if your vehicle is under a warranty that won’t allow for any missed service visits. Ask your service provider about any recalls that may affect your vehicle, and have them rectify them as soon as possible.

Don’t have a service schedule? Create your own. For fulltime RVers arrange to have your vehicle serviced every 3000 miles. For weekend RVers your vehicle should be serviced at least twice a year. For very infrequent RVers have your vehicle serviced before embarking on any road trip.

Levels and Pressures

Fluid levels should be checked regularly. Regardless of whether you are stationary at your destination, or on the road seeking your next adventure, fluid levels can and will drop over time.  A drop in fluid levels may indicate a leak somewhere that requires immediate attention. If constantly on the road, spending no more than a day or two in any one location, a good rule of thumb is to check fluid levels every time you fill the tank. A sudden change in the amount of fluid in any given reservoir can spell disaster down the road, so it is better to be aware of it at the earliest possible moment. Every fluid level should be checked, right down to window-washer fluid, and refilled to their optimum levels as advised by the manufacturer.

Tire pressures can have a huge impact on not only how your RV handles but also in how long your tires will last. An RV that is parked for extended periods can become subject to developing what is often referred to as ‘lot rot’ in which the tires just simply begin to rot away. Should this happen the most visible signs will be loss of inflation, cracked sidewalls and a lack of ability to retain the required pressure. As even the most modest RV tires can cost a significant amount of money it is wise to check tire pressures regularly to ensure they remain pressurized to the manufacturers specifications. For those regularly traveling it can be done alongside the fluid level checks when filling with fuel. For infrequent RVers make a habit of checking tire pressures once a month and inflate if low.

Be Gentle

Actions such as braking hard, while sometimes unavoidable, can put excessive wear and tear on your vehicle. Drive gently, think ahead, anticipate the need to slow down or stop, and brake gently. This simple driving technique can ensure your vehicle lasts longer, and your brake pads too!

Take extreme care when backing up or parking in tight spots. The exterior surfaces of your vehicle are not impervious to damage upon impact with hard surfaces. Gas stations in particular can be challenging for large units to enter and exit, so if waiting a few minutes for less customers to be using the pumps means you get clear access to drive your vehicle in and out, then be patient. Body work repairs are expensive and though you may find someone who is extremely good at their job to undertake the repairs, your vehicle will never be “as good as new” despite what you may be told. 

Use Only Reputable Mechanics

Everyone has heard the horror stories of someone taking their vehicle in for a routine brake replacement, only to be presented with a bill that included work that was not requested, nor to the best of the owner’s knowledge, required. Yes, shady mechanics and repair shops still exist, and for the fulltime RVer the chance of coming across one is possible.

Use the internet to find reputable mechanics. Read reviews from current and past customers and determine whether you feel you can trust them to undertake the necessary repairs at a reasonable cost. It is also important to know how long the work is going to take as you are homeless without it.

For those who use their RV to travel at weekends and for short vacations the search for a reputable mechanic is considerably easier. If you know others in the area who own RVs you can ask them for recommendations. Don’t just take their word for it though. Check them out for yourself before committing your vehicle. Ask them as many questions as you need to feel reassured that your expensive vehicle will be in competent, knowledgeable hands.





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