4 Common RV Repairs You Can Do Yourself

Rv Repair
Image via Flickr by DVS1mn

Owning an RV is like owning a home – basic maintenance and repairs come with the territory. You never know when you’ll be faced with repairs on the road, hours away from the closest RV shop, so it’s always good to be prepared.

Dead Battery

No question about it, a dead battery is a frustrating experience. Fortunately, it’s not difficult to solve.

Prevention: Check your battery fluid regularly and fill it with distilled water to the recommended level as needed. Keep the terminals clean of debris and corrosion. Check the charge with a voltmeter on a regular schedule to monitor its health.

Repair: First check the dead battery’s fluid levels and refill as needed. Next, plug in your RV to an AC outlet to charge overnight. It’s worth noting, batteries recharge while the vehicle is in motion. If you encounter frequent battery failure, it’s time to replace it.

Roof Leaks

Don’t hesitate to repair any leaks. Water seepage can lead to serious structural damage and mold infestation.

Prevention: Your RV’s roof endures abuse from bad weather and UV rays. You can help protect it with a roof coating kit available at any RV shop. Inspect the roof regularly to clear it of wet leaves and other debris. While driving, remain vigilant of tree branches, signage, and other obstructions that risk damaging your roof.

Repair: Stow a hole patching kit of duct tape and plastic sheeting in your RV for emergency repair, but head to the closest repair shop right away. Keep caulk in your tool kit to seal any leaks that might form along a roof vent, windows, or other adjoining seams.

Wastewater Valve Leakage

When you remove the valve connection cap to empty the gray or black wastewater tank and water leaks out, it means the slide valve is no longer forming a tight seal.

Prevention: Keep the channel around the inside edge under the cap clean of dirt and debris. Apply seal lubricant to keep the slide valve working well.

Repair: The wastewater valve assembly is accessible from outside your RV where it’s held in place with four bolts. Simply unbolt and slide out the old valve. Insert the new assembly, reconnect the bolts, and you’re done.

Appliances Aren’t Working

Some appliances rely on propane when electricity is not available, including your refrigerator.

Prevention: Keep an eye on your propane tank fill level. Don’t let it run empty. Keep hose and fitting connections tight and all associated areas clean.

Repair: Assuming your tank is not empty, confirm the hose’s connections are not loose. Use a soap solution to check the hose and fittings for leaks; bubbles will form where propane is escaping. Next, inspect all ducts, vents, air inlets, and the water heater for webs, nests, rust, and debris, and clean out anything you find. If your appliances still don’t work, you will need professional service.

Whether you live in your RV year-round or use it just for summer vacations, you need to care for it like your home. Get to know how everything works and be well prepared for any problems that might arise.

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