When most people think of camping, they picture hot summer weather, shorts, flip-flops…and lots of other campers. One way to beat the crowds is to camp in the off season. RVing in winter can be a great way to experience your favorite parks without the crowds. It may be a chance to visit a park or campground that is so popular in the summer that you haven’t been able to get a reservation.
Maybe you enjoy ice fishing, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, or are looking for a new adventure. Maybe you just love winter. No matter your motivation, with the proper planning you can hit the road and experience winter up close and personal and experience nature in the “off” season.
The last thing you want on vacation is a problem. You are likely taking a vacation to get away from your problems! However, an RV is like any other vehicle in that it can have issues over time and with continued use. Here are five common RV problems and how to address, prepare for, or even prevent them.
Common RV Problems: Losing a Tire
Nothing can ruin a road trip like losing a tire. Naturally, the more you drive the more wear your tires will experience. If you haven’t already, make a habit of checking your tires before every trip. This will help you avoid driving on low-pressure tires, bald tires or those showing bulging issues.
It only takes a few moments to inspect your tires prior to hitting the road, but it can save hours of frustration! A trip can be ruined with a blowout, so tire checks should be a regular part of your maintenance.
Keeping a tire gauge in your RV toolbox to verify the pressure in your tires and a portable air compressor handy in case of a low tire on the road is a good way to combat tire troubles. If you find you have a slow leak in an RV tire, you may be able to pump it up with your air compressor and get you far enough down the road to a service station where you can get it fixed.
Common RV Problems: Toilet Trouble
RV toilets take a lot of wear versus home toilets. Unregulated water pressure and rough roads can take a toll on the plumbing in them. Improper or infrequent maintenance of your RV sewer tank can lead to waste building up on the bottom of the tank. Hence, it is vital to regularly empty the tank and perform deep cleaning to keep it from becoming clogged.
Common RV problems with toilets are often due to rubber seals or valves failing. If you notice the water level in the toilet slowly disappearing, faulty rubber seals are probably your culprit. If water runs after you release the pedal or handle, the likely culprit is the water valve.
Do NOT wait on toilet issues.
Even if you don’t use it often, water leaks can cause major damage. Leaking can also drain your overall water supply, requiring you to go home early from trips. Besides, replacing seals and valves is fairly easy, so consider keeping spare parts stored in your RV.
Appliances (Fridge/Oven/Water Heater) Not Working
The appliances in your RV are one of the main reasons you use it! If appliances weren’t important, you wouldn’t need an RV because you’d be tent camping.
If you’re connected to a power hook-up and your appliances aren’t working, the connection may be broken or under voltage. If you keep a voltage meter handy, you’ll be able to check the voltage to determine if the proper power is coming through.
If your electrical source isn’t operational or is damaged, don’t forget that without direct power, many of your RV’s appliances will run on propane instead. If you are switched over to propane and your appliances still aren’t operational, you may have an empty propane tank.
Your RV relies on your batteries a lot. You should keep them charged to maintain optimum performance. If a battery runs down completely, or even down to 10-20%, it can permanently damage the battery and shorten its life. If your batteries simply run out of juice, you can plug them in anywhere. If you are at home, you’ll need adapters to plug them in.
Check your batteries and their fluid levels often to avoid issues. Be careful not to overfill a battery. If topping up fluid and charging doesn’t fix it, you’ll likely need to replace the whole battery. When storing your RV for the winter, be sure to remove the battery so appliances don’t draw on it. With proper care and maintenance, an RV battery should last between 5-7 years.
Leaking Water Near the Waste Water Valve
Nobody enjoys dealing with waste water, especially leaking waste water! A leaky valve is almost always due to the seal failing. Applying seal lubricant such as petroleum jelly or Plumbers Grease can help prevent a failing seal. If the seal on your toilet is a goner, they’re easy to replace. Just unbolt, slide out the old valve, replace with a new one and bolt it in.
A leaking waste water valve or dump valve means a loss in the ability to contain water in the waste tank. You will know a problem is at hand if waste water leaks or pours out the moment you loosen the cap. This means you will have to first, determine which valve is faulty.
Second, drain both waste tanks completely. Next you will need to take off four bolts to allow the T handle and valve to be removed. The good news is, waste water valves are the same on nearly all RVs, so you simply choose the “small” or “large” model when purchasing replacements. Before you run water to test the new valve, make sure that the new seals between the sections are in the right position.
Remember, an ounce of prevention goes a long way…especially when it refers to maintaining your RV!
Avoid common RV problems by investing in a quality RV! The professionals at RV Wholesale Superstore are ready to help you find the perfect RV for your budget! Visit us in-person at 5080 W. Alexis Road, in Sylvania, OH or call us at (866) 596-7767.
Most people put a lot of thought into heating and cooling their home efficiently. But not everyone puts the same thought into efficiently heating and cooling your RV. Your RV is your home away from home, so carefully considering the heating and cooling of your RV is well worth your time. You want your RV to last for years of enjoyment and keep you and your family comfortable no matter the weather. Let’s look at some cost-effective ways to maximize your RV heating and cooling.