As someone who rents out their RV, you’ll want to keep your rig (or rigs!) in tip-top shape at all times. The Outdoorsy insurance policy requires RV maintenance and upkeep to qualify for insurance, but this list is every more robust than that one. This is for the owner who really wants to go the extra mile (pardon the pun) and ensure that their rig is in excellent working order. Here are some things to accomplish during your RV maintenance routines.
Clean it From Head to Tail
This is the first and an absolutely essential quarterly task. Clean the interior and the exterior by washing and scrubbing. Wash the entire undercarriage too.
Keeping it clean not only makes it more appealing for renters, but it also will make both the interior and exterior last a long time.
Cleaning is for aesthetic purposes, and as important as doing that is, if you can’t keep it on the road, you’re not making any money. So here is a check list of mechanical things to do, and change the parts as needed.
Essential Engine Checks
- Oil Change — Change the oil quarterly, and use a high grade synthetic oil which lasts far longer than conventional oils before it needs to be changed. Some synthetics last 30,000 miles without needing to be changed.
- Filters — Both oil and air filters must be changed.
- Fuel Filter — Most people don’t think about this, but they are very inexpensive, easy to change and they will keep the fuel fresh in any condition.
- Fan Belts — Check for tightness and cracks. All fan belts look good from the top, so look at the part that interacts with the pulleys for a true picture of how the fanbelt is. If there are major cracks or pits, change the belts.
- Heater and Radiator Hoses — Check for cracks around the seals for leaks. Any leaking or cracked hose must be changed.
- Water Pump — A leaking water pump must be changed, but you may not know it leaks unless the vehilce is running. Place some paper beneath the pump, turn it on and let the engine heat to temperature. If the paper gets wet, the water pump is bad and needs to be changed.
- Fluid Levels — All fluid levels need to be checked and topped off as needed.
- Chassis — If you have Zerk fittings, lube the chassis quarterly, but many chassis have sealed bearings which cannot be lubed.
- Tires — Check for wear and make sure they are inflated to the proper pressure.
- Wipers — Check and replace as needed.
- Air Conditioner, Engine Mounted — Check to see that it blows cold air. If not, get it recharged.
- Vehicle Lights — Check and replace headlights, brake and tail lights, license plate lights, turn signals and running lights.
- Battery and Alternator Check — If the battery is 5 years or older, it needs to be replaced. A simple alternator test is to insert an on-off switch into the positive cable line. Turn the switch off when the vehicle is running, and if it stops, the alternator is bad.
Secondary (yet crucial) Checks
- Dump valve — This must work flawlessly every time.
- Black and Grey Water Tanks — Clean and sanitize.
- Window Seals — Cracked and pitted window seals need to be replaced.
- Entry Steps — Make sure that they are well lubed and extend fully and easily.
- Converter Charging System — If it doesn’t convert properly, it will need to be serviced.
- Generator (where applicable) — The oil must be changed as well as the oil and fuel filters.
- Water Heater — Check for hot water.
- Refrigerator — Check for cold.
- Stove — Make sure all the burners come on.
- Furnace — Check for heat.
- Fresh water — Clean and fill the tank.
- Material Seams — Check the material seams in bed, cushions, chairs, couches, and repair as needed.
- Fire Extinguisher — Check for proper pressure and replace if no good.
- Roof Mounted Air Conditioner — Check and clean filters. Make sure it blows cold air or get it recharged.
- Satellite/Antenna — If applicable, make sure they can be deployed easily, and that they are connected properly and work.
Checks for Towable RVs
Many of the components of towables apply to motorized RVs, so they won’t be repeated here, But there are some specific towable tune-up and maintenance procedures that only apply to them.
- Slide Seals — Check for cracks and pitting. Lube them up so they slide smoothly.
- Frame — Check for rusting, cracking, bending or damage.
- Locks and latches — Make sure they are lubed and working properly
- Awnings — heck for ease of deployment, rips and tears. Replace as needed.
- Trailer Brakes — Take the trailer out for a ride and check the brakes for stopping power. Listen for squeaks and grinding. Repair as needed.
- Exterior Lights — Make sure all the lights work, and replace bulbs as needed.
- Tow Coupler — Clean it and lube.
- Breakaway Switch — Inspect and perform an ampere draw.
- Propane Gas Tank — Refill quarterly