There are many things I don’t miss about living in a sticks and bricks house. Not the least of these is the endless, never ending list of house maintenance chores. Because of this list, I don’t think I ever sat and just relaxed in my house like I do both in and out of my R-Pod.
Moving into an RV doesn’t get you out of household maintenance chores though. As a matter of fact, with an RV, skipping or even simply delaying maintenance jobs can get you into real trouble. There are just fewer jobs to do, and most of them can be easily completed in a few hours.
Here is a list of jobs I do on the Rpod before every trip:Fix things that broke indoors and tighten up or reseal any loose plumbing
RV Maintenance Job #1: Repair RV Interior items as necessary
The truth is, everytime I tow the R-Pod anywhere, it’s like a miniature, roving earthquake. I have to tie down everything. I alway put spring bars in the kitchen cabinets to keep pantry items from bouncing out of the little kitchen cabinets above the dining area/couch. Plumbing fittings and cabinet hardware loosen and need to be tightened. Plumbing joints all get checked and resealed as necessary. Moisture is the enemy of RVs. After last year’s ramblings the bathroom door managed to re-adjust itself, so it no longer catches on closing. I haven’t figured out an easy fix for this yet.
I like to change my smoke detector battery every 6 months. You might think this is excessive. I justify it because every morning it lets me know that my toast might start burning soon. I don’t know that makes a smoke detector chew batteries faster, but it’s not a chance I want to take. This is also when I turn my fire extinguisher upside down and give it a few shakes to keep it operational.
RV Maintainance Job #2: Clean, polish, protect
Before I leave on my trip, everything has to be cleaned and polished. Laundry has to be done including the amazing area rug I got from Marshalls last year. This area rug is amazing because it fits my floor perfectly, it’s machine washable and fast drying on an awning arm or the spare tire mount. And it looks good too!
The outside of the Arfpod gets a thorough inspection and wash too. I use a special cleaner that’s meant for fiberglass and then follow that up with a gel coat protectant. As I go, I can check for spider cracks or anything else that might let water in. Last year’s ugly and angry winter storms brought down some branches that cracked the gel coat in a couple of places. A bit of a concern, but I am going to get it fixed when I get back in the Fall.
I also like to dress all the rubber seals that keep moisture from seeping through around the doors and the slide twice a year. The product I use is made just for this purpose by Camco.
The stabilizer jacks, and hitch get greased every 6 months so they keep working, even with my amateur-hour backup and parking gaffs.
RV Maintenance Job #3: Exterior caulking
Every 2 Years caulking needs to be stripped out and replaced with new caulking. I read the directions to the part about stripping the old caulking, and decided to have the caulking replaced by my local RV dealer. I know many RVers who do this themselves, but it sounds like a horrible job and besides I like to support local business.
RV Maintenance Job #4: Tires and wheels
Because I tow my trailer more than the average camper, I check my tires before every trip and make sure they are inflated to 50lbs PSI. I carry a rechargeable tire inflator/battery charger.
Retorque the wheels before every trip. One of the things I had to learn as a newby RV owner was how to use a torque wrench to make sure my trailer wheels don’t loosen or even fall off.
RV Maintenance Job #5: Tow Vehicle Maintainance
Every time I have ever needed a tow-truck on a road trip, I have been introduced to a new modern day, land-pirate. So, I like to avoid vehicle problems on the road. It’s really important to stay on top of vehicle maintenance tasks like changing out all the vehicle fluids and getting a checkover from my trusty mechanic, Sheldon. I want to give him a plug here, because he is super awesome.
The last Job #6: Lose Weight
My Nissan Xterra tow vehicle is a pretty amazing little truck. I want to keep it that way, so before I make it tow the Arfpod, I shave weight off wherever I can. I always accumulate things I don’t really need or use. Liquids are deceptively heavy. A single gallon of water weighs 10 lbs. So I empty all the tanks, except the freshwater tank, which I leave just 10 gallons in for travelling with. I even try to lose weight myself, but so far my body maintains a little bit of extra me. Perhaps in case of a famine. Who knows…haha!