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RV Maintenance Checklist

RVing is an amazing way to travel and a unique and in-depth way to see the many amazing places you can reach on wheels. Regardless of your experience behind the wheel, there are certain items you should put on a daily maintenance checklist and adhere to religiously throughout the course of any RV trip. These simple checkups will provide peace of mind and an early warning if anything major is going wrong with your rig. When commanding a large vehicle, such as an RV, a little knowledge and know-how goes a long way in addressing issues as they arise and being able to conduct your own troubleshooting can prove invaluable when you are many miles away from home or anywhere that might be able to provide assistance. Go through this quick checklist before any major road trip and put it in your daily travel routine to insure your RV is at full operating capacity and to keep ahead of any small issues that may become larger when left unattended.


Pre-Trip Inspection


Before your trip, it pays to always conduct an easy pre-trip inspection of your RV. Discovering an issue ahead of time and before you are out on the road can save time and money, even if that means delaying the start of your trip a day or two. Follow these steps to get everything in order:


  • Walk through/around inspection – take a slow look at everything inside and out, under and around your RV. Begin by looking at the tires making sure they are in good condition and free of any damage to the sidewall or tread. Pop the hood and/or doghouse and make sure there are no loose hoses, broken belts, or fluid leaks in funny places. Crawl underneath the vehicle and assess the condition of undercarriage components, driveshaft while checking for leaks and rust.
  • Turn on all headlights to make sure they are in working order including blinkers, brake lights, running lights, etc.
  • Continue inspection inside and make sure your RVs mobile home functions are working. Check that the fridge/freezer functions and is cold. Turn on the stove and oven and check for proper function. Run the sink, shower and toilet to make sure all are operational.


Fluid Check and Fill


Fluids are a crucial aspect to the overall wellbeing of your RV. Run low on oil or coolant due to an unknown leak and you could be stranded for hours at best and have a blown engine at worst. When out on the road it is recommended to check the major fluids every day and it doesn’t hurt to check more often than that if on a long drive day covering many miles. Key fluids to keep an eye on include:


  • Check motor oil under the hood
  • Check coolant levels
  • Check transmission oil
  • Check brake oil
  • Check power steering fluid


These are the major mechanical fluids to keep an eye on. If any are low or leaking, it pays to have the correct fluid on board to fill up the reservoirs until you can have a mechanic diagnose and correct the issue. Refer to your owner’s manual for exact specifications on what fluids are specific to your RV. After checking all of the above you will want to check other fluids such as:


  • Propane/LP gas for fridge, oven, hot water
  • Water for drinking, showers, sewage system


While you can get more water or propane while moving, stocking up before leave is a great way to not have to worry about it for a week or two of steady use.


Tires, Wheels, Brakes, and Drivetrain


Without tires and wheels, your rig won’t roll. Without brakes, your rig won’t stop. Without a functioning drivetrain, your rig won’t do either. Inspecting all of these components is crucial to a fun and safe outing and issues with any of these things should be addressed immediately.


  • Tires – highlighted again to stress importance. Make sure there are no rips, tears or gashes in the rubber tread or sidewall. Check for dry rot and chinking. Check air pressure pre trip and regularly to insure smooth travel and prevent uneven wear.
  • Wheels – Look for rust or anything unusual that might be a sign of compromised integrity. Wheels can last a long time under normal conditions but once worn out, they should be replaced. If the wheel looks at all oblong or not round, it is time to replace.
  • Brakes – Brakes are crucial to the safety of yourself and anyone you have on board. Listen for any squeaking, rattles or vibrations when you hit the brakes. Keep a record of brake replacement and maintenance and always replace on or ahead of schedule. If you experience any braking issues, have a mechanic check out your system ASAP. It is not worth risking your safety.


Road Safety Kit


Another item to add to your rig and put on your checklist is a road safety kit. A first aid kit should be included in this setup. This is to assist in the case of an emergency and having some critical items on hand can literally be the difference between life and death. The hope is that you’ll never have to use it but if the time comes, it can save lives. Many different kits are available online that include the major items you would need but it is also easy to assemble your own in a duffle bag or similar and keep it easily accessible.