Recreational vehicles were once the rite of passage for the recently retired. With little to no responsibility keeping them stationary, many retirees took to the road with semi-reckless abandon. These days retirement may not be what it once was, yet the recreational vehicle (RV) continues to be the calling card of the adventurous overland traveler. Before you hit the road though, it's a good idea to be aware of likely issues that may pop up in the course of your journey.
It's best to think of your RV as a mobile home. Many of the same issues you would have maintaining a home apply to your recreational vehicle. The big three issues are clean water, good roof coverage and power.
If you consider that your recreational vehicle is your home away from home, having sanitary drinking water should be a top concern. Unfortunately, it's one of those things that "RV rookies" may overlook. There are several ways to ensure that your water is safe for consumption; two of the primary ways to go about this are:
- Always use fresh water in your tank.
- If water has been sitting in your tank for any extended period, be sure to flush that water out and refill it.
Most recreational vehicles, regardless of class, have roofs that are made of either metal (probably aluminum) or rubber. Just like the roof on your house, the roof on your RV ensures that your living space is dry and protected from environmental hazards.
For owners with metal roofs, cleaning once or twice a year should be enough to maintain and even extend the life of your roof. If you tend to park under sap-heavy trees, or other areas likely to leave deposits on your roof, more frequent cleaning is suggested. Failure to do so can result in stains or even dented and misshapen roofs.
Many of the newer model vehicles have EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer) roofs that are designed to last for about 20 years or so. These generally require far less maintenance than their metal counterparts.
Compared to the other maintenance concerns mentioned, power issues may be the most complex. Depending on the symptom, such as loss of power to outlets, flickering lights etc., there could be any number of solutions. In these cases, refer to your owner's manual or visit an Atlanta-area recreational vehicle specialist for more assistance.
While this list included some of the more common maintenance issues pertaining to mobile home owners, keep in mind that a mobile home is a vehicle as well. This means tuneups, oil changes and fuel consumption issues all need to be considered routine maintenance chores.