A recreational vehicle (RV) is essentially a tour bus for the whole family. Outfitted with convenience-enhancing components like an air conditioner, ceiling lights, bathroom ventilator, water pumps, a generator and electrical outlets, your home on wheels easily serves as a home away from home. The latter fact rings true to those who’ve headed for destinations far from home and enjoyed all of the creature comforts that are hallmarks of top-of-the-line RVs.
During winter months, many RV owners make the much-loved trip to the resort in the mountains for a few days of skiing, snowboarding, tubing and enjoying the ambiance of the lodge. Conversely, those looking to escape the cold can hop in the RV and seek out warmer destinations to enjoy a break from frigid temperatures. However, neither of these winter trips should ever get under way without preventative maintenance for your RV. That means addressing the engine, central vacuum unit, lights and electrical components as well as RV jacks and couplers for the gear you’ll have in tow.
Below are some common RV maintenance tips and items to have on hand before you hit the road this winter.
- Under the hood (or the seat, or in the trunk): While your RV still has plenty in common with the common car engine, the former requires more cylinders cranking out more horsepower and torque to get the far-heavier vehicle moving along. What’s more, the size of these engines sometimes requires placement under the driver’s cabin or in the rear of the RV, further complicating serious maintenance. Thus, regular oil changes are essential if you want to avoid unexpected failures and hefty repair bills. According to CampingWorld.com, an oil change every 3,000 to 4,000 miles is sufficient.
- Spacious solutions: While an RV is undoubtedly large, its storage options are often limited to overhead containers. When you need to tow a quad to your destination or load a trailer with skiing gear for the upcoming weekend, you’re going to need RV receiver hitches that have been specially designed to allow trailers to attach to RVs. With some hitches weighted to carry 3,500 lbs. and tongue weight of 350 lbs., even the most ambitious travelers could tow a boat with their trailer if only the lake weren’t iced over. When it comes to the trailers, RV jacks and couplers will allow you to lift anywhere from hundreds to thousands of pounds to change a sudden flat tire.
- Tidy in tight spaces: All that time spent on the road is sure to contribute to a fine layer of dust and crumbs on the floor of your RV. Given that winter weather will force you to keep the windows up, opportunities to air out the space will be few and far between. With RV central vacuum units, such as the 2.72-gallon capacity model from Husky, you can tackle pet hair, dust and other allergens while traveling. This model comes with various hoses, brushes, wands and other dusting tools to keep every nook and cranny inside your RV clean.
- Powered up: The common RV comes armed with nothing less than a generator, alternator, converter, inverter and fuse panel to keep the vehicle running and offering the conveniences of home. As with any home, things break and wear out, so the proactive RV owner would do well to have replacement lenses, cords, plugs and outlets on hand. With a Bargman 2-compartment replacement lens with clear back-up, you can fix unexpected component failures on the road.
Keep the above maintenance tips in mind and your winter RV get-away should be enjoyable and issue-free!