The most important thing you can do to protect your investment is proper and regular maintenance. By following the manufacturer's recommendations our hope is you will have years of fun and enjoyment in your RV. Below are some manufacturer's suggestions. Please refer to the owner's manual and follow the manufacturer's instructions. If you have any questions regarding any maintenance item please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-800-331-1821 and ask for service. Thank you for choosing Russ Dean Family RV as your service center we look forward to serving you.
For a Gas Chassis RV Maintenance guide, click here.
WASTE WATER SYSTEM MAINTENANCE
• Proper care of your waste water system is critical to the operation of your monitor panel and your dumps valves.
• Always use RV toilet tissue and RV chemical in your toilet tank (black tank) and plenty of water to flush out the waste when pulling the valve.
• If you're RV did not come equipped with a tank flush to clean your black tank you should have one installed. Consult Russ Dean Family RV Service for the cost of this upgrade. This will help remove all waste after you have pulled your dump valve.
• When staying at a park for a long period do not leave your valves open thinking everything will run out. This will not happen in your black tank. All of the liquid will run out and all of the solid will remain in the tank causing the tank to plug and not drain. Keep the black tank valve closed and use plenty of water when using the toilet and then pull the valve when necessary to drain the tank. You can keep the Grey and Galley tanks open all the time as the are sink and shower water.
• Periodically you should use a drain valve lubricant down the drains to lube the valves and keep them working properly.
• It is not uncommon to have an improper tank level reading from your monitor panel. These sensors are inside the tank and will become corroded over time and will give a false reading if they are not periodically cleaned. This can be done by using a tank flush and by always using chemical and RV toilet tissue.
• Install odor extractors on your roof top pipe vents to eliminate odors coming from your holding tanks.
• Check your dump valve cap to ensure it is place before every trip. It is illegal in most states to be driving with your cap not in place.
FRESH WATER SYSTEM MAINTENANCE
• Use a separate water hose that is designed specifically and only for drinking water. It is a good idea to color code your hoses so they do not get mixed up.
• Use a water filter for your fresh water intake to your water tank. (filters will clean the water but will not purify it)
• Change your water filter annually or when you notice a different water taste or a restriction in your water flow
• If possible run water through a purifying system.
• Test the water from the campground sources' before using. Check for clarity and odor.
• Keep a supply of bottled water in your R.V.
• If your water looks clean but you are not completely convinced that it is safe to drink or prepare food with, you may want to boil your water as a precautionary measure.
• R.V. water pressure is designed to be 50 PSI. If you want to be sure of the water pressure from various resources you can hook up a water regulator at the faucet end of you hose.
• If you will be spending a lot of time in your R.V. you may want to consider investing in a water system conditioner that can act as a purifier and water softener.
• Several products are available to sanitize and refresh your water tank consult the Russ Dean RV Parts professional for information on these products.
• Always empty your potable water tank and water heater when not using your RV for more than a month.
• Flush your water heater periodically to remove minerals and sediment that produce odors in your water. There is a tool available to make this a very easy task. Consult the Russ Dean Parts professional for this tool.
• Winterization is essential in colder climates. Consult your Russ Dean Family RV service advisor to schedule this service.
• Most manufacturers suggest you have a roof seal inspection once every 3 months. This includes checking around all roof and plumbing vents, the television antenna and any other items install on the roof.
• If you have a rubber roof you should have the roof treated at least once per year. This is a UV protectant that inhibits the sun form doing damage to the rubber.
• If you have a rubber roof and it needs resealed most RVï¿½s use Dicor seal. This is the manufacturer of the rubber roof and this is the recommended product to reseal. Be sure to properly clean the area to be resealed.
• It is normal to see bubbles appear in the rubber roof membrane. This is the roof breathing. You should not see large sections coming loose, but a couple foot bubble is normal.
• Check the seal around your windows once every 3 months look for cracks in the sealant where water can get in.
• About every 5 years you should have the windows removed and resealed as the sealant will heat up and squeeze out between the window frame and the exterior of the RV.
• Using a cover when storing your RV will make the finish last much longer and protect it from the sun and cold. The sun is by far the worst element for your RV. If you use a cover make sure it is tightly installed as the wind will blow it around and it can do damage to the exterior.
• Wash the exterior using soap and water (Most all carwash soap is acceptable for use on RV's) Remember to wash the roof.
• If your coach exterior is fiberglass and you keep it waxed it and it will retain its luster.
• One of the biggest interior items we see is condensation and the damage caused by lingering moisture in the RV
• Condensation is worse when the humidity is high and the temperature is low. If you see water forming on the inside of the windows this means you are getting condensation elsewhere in the coach.
• If you live in your RV full time you must protect it against condensation. When showering, breathing, making coffee or boiling water you are making condensation.
• Ventilate your RV by keeping a vent open or opening a window or two. If it is raining and you cannot open your vents consult your service advisor about installing a cover over your vent that allows you to have it open in the rain or when driving.
• Use dri-z-air crystals when storing your RV to absorb any moisture that might occur.
• In the summer when your RV is stored and everything is closed it can get as high as 130 degrees in the coach. This will cause your border paper and seam tape to start wrinkling and falling off the wall. You must ventilate in the summer as well as in the winter. By keeping vents open you can get air flow through the coach and keep the temperature down. Once again if you have covers on your vents you will not have to worry about possible bad weather.
• When cleaning your sinks, toilets and shower be sure to remember these are plastic and you should not use cleaners with any abrasive materials in them as they will leave scratches. Please consult the RV's owner manual as to what is OK to use as a cleaner.
• Your wood surfaces can be cleaned using the same products you would use to clean your house. Carpets and vinyl flooring are the same as the one used in houses and should be cleaned accordingly.
BRAKES AND AXLES
• You should have your wheel bearings packed at every 12 months or 12,000 miles whichever comes first. Your brake pads should also be checked for wear.
• Test your brakes before every trip. If you need information on how to do this contact your service advisor at Russ Dean Family RV or consult the owner's manual.
• Have your brakes adjusted at 3,000 miles or 3 months whichever comes first.
• Check your break away before every trip.
• Check tire pressure before every trip. On towables there is usually a tag on the front driverï¿½s side outside corner that has the recommended tire pressure information.
• Check your lug nuts before every trip. Consult your owner's manual for proper torque specifications.
• Check your brake control for proper set up before every trip. Consult your owner's manual for this information or call your Russ Dean Family RV service advisor.
• Check your 7 way cord on your RV before every trip and ensure there is no damage.
• Most all appliances in your RV need to have a yearly maintenance done.
• In some cases the manufacturer will deny warranty service if the annual maintenance is not done
• Your refrigerator needs to be checked once a year and have the flame adjusted and the burner tube cleaned as well as having the spark gap checked. Both Dometic and Norcold have statements in their owner manual pertaining to having the maintenance done or it will void your warranty.
• You must level your coach when running your refrigerator if sitting for long period.
• Your furnace needs to be cleaned annually as insects will go in from the outside exhaust and make nests in the burner chamber causing your furnace to not operate as it should.
• Your air conditioner needs to have the filters cleaned once a month and needs to be ran at least once a month even in the winter. If you leave it sitting and do not run it for a long period of time the fan will freeze up and will need to be taken apart and possibly replaced.
• Once a year your water heater needs to have the burner tube cleaned and the fuel air mixture needs to be adjusted. This will keep the black soot from forming above your water heater on the outside of your coach.
• You should have you L.P. gas system checked annually for leaks as well as proper operating pressure. You must have proper operating flow for your appliance to work correctly.
• Your generator needs to be started at least once a month and ran for 2 hours under 50% load. Gasoline has a rated shelf life of about 30 days and after that it starts to varnish and gel. This causes the carburetor to varnish and not allow fuel to the proper location. There is no way to clean or rebuild the carburetor you will need to replace it with a new one and that can be expensive.
• Your batteries require periodic maintenance to keep the coach powered up and to get the longest life from them.
• Check the water in your batteries at least once a month and top off to the top of the plates with distilled water.
• Deep cycle batteries have a life expectancy of 3-5 years and will need replaced when their life cycle is over.
• You should clean the connections at the batteries where the wires hook up to the posts at least once every 3 months and possibly more depending on how often they are charged.
• You should keep your batteries charged when not using your RV. It is natural for them to slowly go dead when sitting, if you let them go dead too many times it will affect the life of your batteries. By keeping your RV plugged in when storing it will maintain the charge in the batteries.
• Most RV's come equipped with 12 volt batteries. If you do a lot of dry camping you should consider upgrading to 6 volt batteries. You will get about twice the capacity and a much longer running time by switching to these batteries. Contact your Russ Dean Family RV service advisor for this upgrade.
• Take your batteries off of your RV in the winter and store the somewhere warm. If you batteries are left on your RV through the winter and they go dead they will freeze and the cases will break making them no good and warranty will not cover batteries that have froze. Be sure to label the wires as to where they go so when spring comes you will know which wires go to which terminals.