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.
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.
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.