5 Easy RV Repairs You Can Fix Yourself
RVs are large and complex vehicles that require a lot of upkeep. Aside from regular maintenance, they also sometimes develop problems that require specialized care/replacement parts. Some issues are worse than others, but there are a few RV repairs that the average person can easily fix.
Issues like leaky faucets, flat tires, and that sort of thing are fairly easy to fix by yourself. If there are major problems that you lack the tools and training to fix, you should take the RV to a specialist. Sometimes, a poor repair job does more harm than good!
However, you don’t need to panic every time your RV starts acting funky. In many cases, there is a simple fix just around the corner. You can save time and money by doing it yourself too! So, if you’re interested in learning how to do some basic repairs yourself, check out our list of 5 simple RV repairs below.
1. Replacing leaky faucets
Leaking faucets are one of the most common RV issues. Thankfully, they’re also one of the easiest things to fix. Faucets may drip from the nozzle or leak from the base. In some cases, the pipe below may crack and leak as well, but generally, the issue is with the fixture itself.
RVs that are bought off the lot often have functional, but cheap faucets. Over time, these may become loose and break under the pressure of being jostled by RV travel. The best solution is to buy a replacement faucet that fits the dimensions of your sink. These are usually quite affordable, so you won’t need to invest a lot of money into this process.
The first thing to do is shut off the water in your RV. You don’t want the sink to start spraying everywhere when you remove the old faucet!
Next, unscrew the old faucet connectors. Keep a few towels nearby so you can catch any remaining water in the system. You may not get soaked, but you’ll probably get a bit damp during this repair job. A set of tubing and plastic retaining nuts usually keep the old faucet in place. Carefully remove these and set them aside for later. Now you should be able to remove the old faucet from the base.
You will need to grab your new faucet and install it in the place of the old one. Place the same screws and nuts back into place and tighten everything. Turn the water back on and carefully watch for leaks.
2. Sealing a damaged roof
Roof leaks are fairly easy to fix, but they can cause serious damage if they’re left unattended. If water gets into the internal structure of your RV, it can cause rot and serious water damage.
The most important thing to do when you have a damaged roof is identify the source of the leak. Look especially closely at the areas around your vents and skylights. There could also be rips near the seams. Once you locate the source of the problem, you can seal it up with a variety of products. Make sure the surface is as dry as possible before applying a sealant.
You can use products such as caulk, waterproof tape, or liquid sealants. If you’re on a trip when you discover the leak, you may not have the items on hand. In this case, it’s best to create a temporary seal over the leak so you can get home without the problem getting worse.
If your RV has a roof that’s made of vinyl, plastic, or wood, you may need to replace entire sections if they become damaged. These materials aren’t super common nowadays, but these repairs may be more extensive. If your RV has a roof made of these materials, it may be better to seek help from an expert. It’s important for every RV to have a solid and non-leaking roof!
3. Repairing a sewer hose
Keeping your hook-ups in good shape is an important part of RV management. Sewer hoses will make it easy for you to dump waste and keep your tanks from getting too full. However, sometimes the sewer hoses become broken or damaged. RV repairs are not always glamorous, but they are definitely necessary, especially for something like this.
Of course, you can always buy a new sewer hose if your current one isn’t working properly. However, in most cases, there is an easy patch or fix that you can apply to help it work like new again. Sewer hoses are usually a bit longer than necessary. If the leak is close to one of the ends, you can simply use a boxcutter to slice off the damaged portion. Then you can install the retainer ring on the newly cut section.
If a leak emerges somewhere in the middle of the hose, you can use waterproof tape to form a strong seal. Products like Flex Tape are perfect for this purpose. It’s designed to prevent leaks, and it’s perfect for wrapping over a large area. So, don’t throw the sewer hose out the moment it develops a problem! There are tons of easy fixes for this piece of equipment.
4. Replacing flat tires
Flat tires are something that every vehicle owner needs to be prepared to deal with. Blowouts don’t happen often (especially if you regularly replace/rotate your tires), but they are always a risk. Make sure you always have a spare tire or two on hand for both your RV and your towing vehicle.
A blowout in an RV can be catastrophic because they are so large and heavy. You can easily tip over and cause massive damage if you don’t fix it ASAP. Never continue to drive with a flat or underfilled tire.
The actual process of changing a tire is fairly simple. You’ll just need to jack the vehicle up so that it takes some of the weight off the wheel. Unscrew the bolts keeping the tire in place and remove it from the vehicle. Now you can insert your new tire, replace the bolts, lower the vehicle, and be on your way again!
It’s a good idea to get your RV looked at after you experience a blowout or a flat. Sometimes the alignment may be off, which could lead to more problems in the future. When it comes to RV repairs, it doesn’t get much simpler than this.
5. Cleaning RV black streaks
Finally, let’s talk about RV black streaks. These usually build up over time and may not be immediately noticeable as an RV owner. Black streaks appear on the exterior of your RV. They usually show up if the vehicle is left uncovered for long periods of time. When dirt, pollen, and loose roofing material are exposed to water, they run down the sides of the RV and leave dirty trails behind.
These are then baked into the surface when the vehicle is exposed to the sun. If they’re left untreated, they can cause exterior degradation and mold. Plus, they just don’t look good! If you’re trying to maintain the resale value of your RV, you should know how to clean up black streaks.
There are a variety of products you can use to attack this problem. Some good chemical cleaners include Bio-Kleen M00509 Black Streak Remover and Camco 41008 Pro-Strength Black Streak Remover. In terms of DIY methods, you can use things like white vinegar, WD-40, dishwashing detergent, bleach, and lots and lots of hot water! Give these mixtures time to sit on the surface and vigorously scrub the area with a brush.
You can also prevent black streaks from forming by covering your RV when it’s not in use. Make sure you keep track of all your RV maintenance and repairs with an online tool such as RV LIFE Maintenance from RV LIFE. 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.
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