Sunday, January 29, 2023


A reminder to perform these basic RV maintenances often overlooked

We have no problem remembering the “big things” in RV maintenance. Examine and clean the roof? Check! Care for slide outs? Check! Regularly inspect the RV’s tires and wheels (air pressure, tire age/wear, torque)? Check! Inspect and apply seal conditioner on black rubber seals? Check!

The basic RV maintenance chores we tend to overlook are the ones that remain largely out of sight. If this describes you, too, perhaps these reminders will help.

Basic RV maintenance you shouldn’t forget about

Propane appliance vent

Wasps and other insects like to nest inside our RV’s propane appliance exhaust vents. These pests are drawn by the odorant, mercaptan. This is the additive that gives propane its distinctive “skunk-spray” smell. We’ve installed screens over the vents where we can, and they do a good job of keeping pesky insects away (more on those here). For vents without covers, it’s important to open the vent and inspect it. Use a flashlight to help you see in the dark corners. Then remove any nests or insects you find.

Detector batteries

At least once every six months you should replace your smoke and carbon monoxide detector batteries. These safety detectors are critically important. They will alert you to dangerous conditions and give you time to safely escape from your RV.

Fire extinguishers

American Family Insurance recommends checking your extinguisher once a month. You can set a reminder on your cell phone or calendar to help you remember. Things to note: The needle gauge on the extinguisher should point to green (correct pressure). The extinguisher’s hose should be in good condition. If it’s cracked or brittle, replace it. Look for any dents, rust, or other damage on the canister. Update the inspection tag. Note: Ask your local fire department if they inspect fire extinguishers. Some departments (though not all) will be happy to help.


If you have maintenance-free batteries, this won’t be a concern. However, flooded lead-acid batteries should be checked regularly and topped off with distilled water if necessary. Inspect battery terminals for corrosion and, if found, remove it.

So, there you have it. If these oft-forgotten basic RV maintenance tips aren’t already on your “To Do” list, you may want to add them.



If you value what you learn from, would you please consider becoming a voluntary subscriber by pledging your support? Every contribution, no matter how modest, helps us serve you better. Thank youLearn more here.

Facebook Groups you might like
RVing with Dogs
RV Tech Tips
RV Advice
Towing Behind a Motorhome
RVing Over 70
. . . and the official Facebook page

Winterizing your RV this season? Amazon has a wide choice of RV antifreeze.


3.4 14 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe to comments
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
15 days ago

It’s a good idea to check the emergency exit window for smooth operation (make sure it is not “stuck” closed). Even practicing sliding out of the window and landing safely onto the ground….it can be a long drop and a rough landing! (feet first!!)

16 days ago

I think that I read somewhere about keeping the hydraulic fluid reservoir full or at least 1/2 inch from the top. Is that correct?

Roger B
15 days ago
Reply to  Carol

Check your manual as to when to check it. There is a big difference in volume in the tank when slides are in or out. I check mine with slides in.

12 days ago
Reply to  Roger B

Thank you. I found a general Keystone manual on their site. (I purchased FW used without manuals) Instructions say with slides in, keep 1/2″ from top. The manual does not give instructions for individual slide room control so I’ll YouTube that.

16 days ago

Some additional items which are easy to forget or take for granted: The exhaust system for leaks, and genset too; wheel bearing repack, rubber brake lines inspection, clearance lites, and the list can go on ad infinitum – which is the reason for a detailed written, on paper, maintenance schedule and record which should be reviewed and updated. Memories grow dim as time flies faster and faster and……… safety and operating components are the most critical. Keep a record of discovered items needing attention and note as “Critical”, “Deferred” or “No Go”; then repair or get repaired as necessary.

Michael Gardner
16 days ago

For a couple of years I thought when I took my motorhome to the same ford shop I took my pickup to get oil changed it would be “oil & lube”. Nope. My front steering links were not being lubed!

16 days ago

The other thing that needs to be done with a fire extinguishers is periodically turn them upside down and shake them up. The powder settles in them and can become packed making them less efficient. This is the same whether they are mounted vertically or horizontally.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Every Saturday and Sunday morning. Serving RVers for more than 20 years.