How To Maintain Your Class A RV – #1 Tip to Protect Your Investment

The number one tip to maintaining your RV’s value is regular documented maintenance. We try to stay on top of our Class A RV maintenance schedule, but tracking it in a calendar doesn’t always work.

We don’t do all the maintenance ourselves on our Newmar Class A motorhome, but keeping a schedule of when maintenance is due is important. We decided to create a detailed schedule and checklist in an editable PDF file to share with our subscribers.

You can put your own information in and save or print it. Here’s an example of what it looks like:

How Do You Maintain a Class A RV?

The first section of our checklist covers 24 of the RV maintenance items we can do ourselves, and the second part is a list of the 15 things we have an authorized repair center perform during our annual service.

Once you download and save your FREE copy of the PDF file, you can add your RV VIN, year and services dates and save or print it. This is a great way to provide a maintenance log and help you obtain the highest price when selling your RV.

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How Often Do RVs Require Maintenance?

Routine maintenance is important to protect your RV’s value and to help ensure your safety when operating. Other than regular cleaning of your RV’s interior, there are many other maintenance items that require attention. Certain maintenance tasks need to only be performed annually (or as recommended by the manufacturer), and others should be done as often as monthly.

Read on to learn more about our regular motorhome maintenance schedule.

6 Monthly RV Maintenance Tips

  1. Wash and Dry Your RV Exterior
    Luxury RVs have beautiful high-quality exteriors and at least a monthly washing will help them maintain those vibrant colors. Here are some tips for washing and drying your RV:
    • Make sure the RV’s surface temperature is under 90˚ F and is not in direct sunlight.
    • Rinse the entire coach first to remove all loose dirt and grime.
    • If using a pressure washer, never hold the nozzle close to the exterior and use a fan type spray nozzle instead of a harsh stream.
    • Baby Shampoo is one of the safest to use on clear coat finishes because it doesn’t leave a film on the coach.
    • Adding ½ of a cup of white vinegar to the water will boost the cleaning ability of any cleaner, soften the water and minimize water spots.
    • Do not use dish soap, detergents with degreasing agents, or industrial cleaners as they can cause damage to the finish.
    • Use 100% cotton or lamb’s wool pads or wash mitts for washing the painted surfaces of your RV.
    • Use a different mitt for washing the wheels and undercarriage.
    • Change the water in your wash bucket often to keep the wash mitt free of dirt and debris.
    • Don’t ever use brushes on the painted surfaces.
    • After washing, dry your RV with a clean chamois or microfiber towel.
    • Never use a strong solvent, such as lacquer thinner or harsh abrasives, on any of the exterior painted surfaces.
  2. Test your smoke alarm, carbon monoxide detector, and propane gas detector (if your coach has propane).
    Follow the instructions provided in your manual.
  3. Check your RV battery water levels.
    If your coach doesn’t have AGM or Lithium-ion batteries, you need to check the chassis (or house) battery water levels every time you travel in your RV. If you are not traveling, you should check water levels at least monthly and add distilled water as needed. Allowing batteries to run low on water is the number one reason that lead-acid batteries fail.
  4. Clean your RV interior air conditioner filters.
    Ours are small round filters that we remove and vacuum, then throw them in the washing machine to remove all the dust.
  5. Check your exterior air conditioner roof drains front and rear
    We learned this one the hard way! Our coach air conditioners have a drain system that the condensation is released from through hoses located outside on the roof in all four corners. Leaves and debris can clog those drains.
    If you are running your RV air conditioner, and don’t see the condensation water discharging outside from where your ac drains are, then chances are it’s pooling on the roof and could enter your motorhome through any seals that may be cracked or loose.
  6. Run your RV generator
    If you don’t use your RV generator often, make sure to run it with at least a minimum of a 50% load once per month. An easy way to do this is to run it while you have your air conditioners running. You can also run it while you are driving while running the coach ac or heating systems.

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5 Quarterly RV Maintenance Tips

  1. Clean your RV microwave/convection range hood exhaust fan filter and blades.
    If you cook a lot inside your coach as we do, grease build-up can happen in the exhaust fan.
  2. Check your RV propane gas lines for leaks
    If your coach uses propane, check your gas lines for leaks with a soap solution or leak detector.
    Do not check for leaks using any ammoniated or chlorinated household type detergents. These detergents can cause cracks to form on the metal tubing and brass fittings. Never check gas lines for leaks with an open flame.

    If you suspect a gas leak or are unsure, take your RV to a qualified propane gas service technician to inspect and repair if necessary
  3. Check coach charging system and check, clean, and tighten battery cables
  4. Inspect and clean your RV slideout rollers on each slideout
    Each motorhome has different slideout rollers, so refer to your RV owner’s manual to determine the correct way to clean and protect your rollers.
  5. Check your RV tire pressure
    Having the correct tire pressure is extremely important to your safety and the longevity of your tires. You should check your tire pressure BEFORE every trip and monitor it using a Tire Pressure Monitoring System while driving. If you aren’t traveling for a while and your coach is stationary, make sure to check your tire pressure at least once per month.

9 RV Maintenance Tips You Should Do At Least Twice Per Year

  1. Wax the exterior of your RV
    Waxing your RV at least twice per year (or whenever water is not beading on the finish) is one of the easiest and best ways to protect the finish (and value) of your RV. We have our coach waxed twice per year with a UV (ultra-violet) inhibitor wax to protect against fading.
  2. Inspect the exterior rubber slideout seals, and apply a UV inhibitor
    You can use 303 Protectant.
  3. Check the operation of all RV windows, latches, and hinges.
  4. Check and replace water filters in your RV wet bay
  5. Clean and inspect all door and window seals, and reseal where necessary.
    Leaky seals allow moisture to seep in and cause mold inside your RV.
  6. Lubricate the exterior door hinges and latches with a graphite (silicone) lubricant.
  7. Check all gas appliances for proper operation
    Our coach is all-electric, but if you have gas appliances and don’t use them often make sure to check them every 6 months.
  8. Weigh your RV and adjust your ride height
    You should weigh your RV at least twice per year and anytime you make any significant changes (or additions) to your coach. Knowing that your motorhome is within manufacturers acceptable weight restrictions is extremely important to your safety. Overloaded RVs can be susceptible to tire blowouts and are considered liable if you are involved in an accident (no matter who is at fault!).
    If you want to learn more about how to weigh your RV, I wrote this post: Can You Prevent a Blowout on Your Class A RV?
  9. Check your RV engine coolant levels and filters and replace as needed

4 RV Maintenance Tips You Should Do At Least Once Per Year

  1. Check all RV fire extinguishers for proper charge and replace as needed
    We never think of fire extinguishers until there’s an emergency, but it’s a good idea to check them at least once per year to be sure they have not expired or lost their charge.
  2. Replace your RV windshield wipers
    Depending on how often you travel and weather conditions, you may need to replace your RV windshield wipers more than once per year. A good rule of thumb is once they start squeaking (or you see they are not sweeping the complete windshield), then it’s time to replace. Make sure to use a good quality windshield wiper or you will wind up replacing them much more frequently.
  3. Sanitize your RV fresh water system.
    Follow the instructions provided in your RV manufacturers’ manual.
  4. Change your RV refrigerator water and air filter
    We have a residential refrigerator and just follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer.

I hope you download our RV Maintenance Schedule Checklist and find it useful in helping you maintain your RV.

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Remember- The most important thing you can do to maintain the value of your RV and ensure your safety is to perform and document regular maintenance!

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