Are You Doing These RV Maintenance Tasks Correctly?
We all know RV maintenance tasks are part of RV ownership. But are you doing them the right way?
Despite how easy RV maintenance tasks can be, it’s easy for RVers to do these three jobs incorrectly:
- Greasing E-Z Lube wheel bearings
- Resealing windows and seals
- Checking the tires
Do you have a checklist you follow at the start and end of each season? Or do you simply wing it? Either way, the recommended maintenance is the same for all RVs. We often rush through this important part of RV ownership because we’re excited to hit the road or we just don’t like doing it.
As critical as preventative maintenance is, it is equally important that it is done correctly. We all assume we are doing it right, but maybe we asked the wrong person how to do it the first time or began doing it the way we thought made sense.
There is an argument to be made that doing something is better than doing nothing. While this is true, RV maintenance is easy, and performing it correctly takes no extra time or effort.
Some passionate RV owners’ maintenance schedules and lists of things they do is very extensive, while others simply do the basics. There are some RV maintenance tasks that will be common to all RV owners, but as often as they are done, these chores might be getting done wrong.
1. Greasing E-Z Lube wheel bearings
Everyone loves greasing wheel bearings, right? This might be one of the least favorite RV maintenance tasks out there. It can be messy and smelly, and just how much grease do you pump in there anyway?
Not enough grease or too much grease? This is what is most often done wrong when it comes to wheel bearing maintenance. There are different types of RV wheel bearings and the greasing procedures do differ.
Most newer RVs have easy lube or quick lube wheel bearings, which makes the process easy and mess-free. A grease fitting on the face of the wheel hub is easily accessed with a grease gun for adding lube. This is a great system; however, it does mislead many people into thinking you simply add a few pumps of grease and you’re done.
How to grease RV wheel bearings
The correct way to grease RV wheel bearings is outlined by the manufacturer of your axles, but it generally looks like this:
Jack the wheel being greased just off the ground so it spins freely. While spinning the wheel, pump grease slowly until the old discolored grease being displaced is replaced with new grease.
A couple of pumps on a stationary wheel will add some grease, but this is not the correct way to grease this type of wheel bearing. Don’t forget to check the manual and buy the right grease; mixing greases is another mistake made during maintenance time. Get yourself a good grease gun and attachments and this maintenance task isn’t so bad.
2. Resealing RV windows and seals
This one often gets done completely wrong, and it often isn’t done at all! Your RV is essentially a box with holes in it exposed to mother nature. Every door, window, vent, and accessory mounted to your RV is a hole in the exterior that must be sealed.
Seal maintenance begins with a walk-around and check of all sealants on your RV. Seals dry out over time and can shrink or crack, causing leaks. For those who do regularly check their seals, simply adding more sealant over the top of the old sealant may be wrong.
The most imporant thing here to know is that if a seal is leaking, there might be water damage.
Before just covering up a leak, make sure there is no damage to be repaired first. If you find seals that are dried out, take the time to remove as much of the old seal as possible. Applying new sealant to old sealant that isn’t holding anymore is not proper maintenance.
3. Checking RV tires
The job of checking RV tires often simply involves a visual to see if they look low on air. Checking with a tire gauge before and while traveling is important too. Continued air pressure monitoring is crucial to tire life, but there is much more involved in checking your tires.
Proper RV tire maintenance includes visually checking the tire but not for inflation.
- A thorough inspection of the tires should be done on all three surfaces.
- The outside sidewall is not the only place issues can arise.
- And the inside sidewall must be checked as well as the tread surface.
We’ve all squatted down and tried to check the tires without getting our pants dirty. Break out the coveralls or find something to lay on and get under the RV and check the entire surface of the tires.
What to look for
Cracks in the tire surface, bulges, road scars from curbs or potholes, and uneven wear are all things to look for and address if found.
Any of the above likely mean replacing tires. Uneven wear can indicate an axle alignment problem, so don’t ignore this often overlooked issue.
RV tires are also dated when manufactured. There are different opinions on how many years RV tires are good for, but they do have a life expectancy. So, when looking at your tires, check the date, tire condition, and air pressure. Keep your tires clean and protected from the sun for longer life.
Track your RV maintenance
The best thing RV owners can do is preventative and regularly scheduled maintenance. Not only doing the RV maintenance tasks but doing them correctly is the key to avoiding costly problems.
There is a wealth of information available to the RV community on all types of RV maintenance, so schedule your maintenance and make sure you’re doing it right!
Make sure you keep track of all your RV maintenance and repairs with an online tool such as RV LIFE Maintenance. Not only can you keep all of your documents in one place, but you’ll also receive timely reminders when maintenance is due to help you avoid costly repairs and potentially serious accidents.