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It should be a given, right? 

Whether you’re buying your first RV or owning one for years, it’s a well-known fact that motorhomes, or any vehicle for that matter, require maintenance.

Unfortunately, the basic checks that stop an RV from breaking down on you during your family road trip are often overlooked. 

It’s surprising how such little effort put into maintenance can affect the vehicle long term. That’s not to mention what it can do to your bank balance. 

Let’s jump in and take a look at what some of these basic checks are and why they can alleviate financial stress… 

What Should a Routine Maintenance Check Include For An RV? 

These simple but crucial checks will help your motor home run smoothly and be less likely to leave you stranded roadside. 


The first thing you should always check is your tires. Specifically, check the air pressure. 

Make sure all tires are full to the required air pressure (PSI). This can easily be done at most gas stations and will usually only cost a few cents. 

This seems obvious, but it’s surprising how often owners don’t do this. Driving an RV with low air pressure can not only damage the wheel itself but also ruin the whole axle of the vehicle. 

Yep, skipping this super basic check can have massive implications… 


When you’re on a big trip with your family, you’re going to want to check the electrics and make sure they’re working properly. 

The last thing you want is to be left unable to charge any devices or use appliances—especially the kid’s iPads—on those longer drives. 

Water and Waste 

Water and waste are two essentials, especially over long distances and camping with little to no facilities. 

If you’re using a self-contained vehicle, check all your water tanks are full and all the necessary pumps work. 

The same goes for your waste tank. Check the tank itself is all in order and that the pipes/system works well. 

The very last thing you want is for a small crack or disconnected pipe to leak. You don’t need me to tell you why that would be bad… 

Vehicle Fluids 

Like humans, vehicles need fluids to run smoothly. 

Check the water level of your rig and ensure there’s enough coolant. There’s nothing worse than an overheated RV in the middle of nowhere just because you forgot to top up the water and add coolant. 


Another essential. For long drives (particularly at night) you’re going to want strong lights that work well. It’s not just your headlights that are going to help keep you and other road users safe, either. It’s your signaling lights and brake lights, too.

As well as this, working reversing lights will be massively handy if you’re pulling up to a back-in-site in pitch black dark. 

How Routine Checks Alleviate Financial Stress 

Now that we know some of the basic checks you need, let’s see why these are so important and how performing them can alleviate vehicle-related financial stress. 

Safety (For You and Others) 

When it comes to checking your RV’s all in working order, it’s not just about how safe your RV is and how much easier your trip will be. 

It’s other road users too! 

Having working lights, indicators, and, generally, a vehicle that works well makes the road safer for everyone. 

A vehicle that hasn’t been checked can not only be costly to repair, but also be dangerous to other road users. 

Surprise Breakdowns 

There’s nothing worse, right? 

You’re heading down the highway, music on, on the way to your annual family camping trip, only for the engine to start making strange noises. All of a sudden, you’ve gone from puttering down the road to chugging into the pullout unable to go any further. 

The initial worry of missing your family trip is then overtaken by worrying how much this breakdown is going to cost you! 

Taking proper care of your vehicle helps it run smoothly, efficiently and these sorts of situations are way less likely to happen. 

Vehicle Efficiency 

When you have clean oil, water topped up, correct coolant levels and a clean air filter, your rig runs more efficiently. 

It doesn’t matter if you’re driving a class A, B or C… having everything right (especially fluids) allows the engine to run as efficiently as possible. 

This can save you a ton of cash in the long run. Although savings might not be visible initially, this well-oiled, fluid-filled vehicle will squeeze in a lot more mileage for every time you fill the gas.

You can check your vehicle’s fuel efficiency by using one of the best OBD2 scanners. A small handheld device that checks your vehicle’s performance. 

Lower Value Depreciation  

If you don’t look after your RV, it goes without saying it will eventually lose value. 

All the wear and tear on a vehicle (and engine) that hasn’t been looked after and has been running inefficiently for years at a time is going to drastically lower its value if you were to sell it later. 

With vehicles already having the highest rates of value depreciation of pretty much anything you can buy in 2022, this can equate to thousands of dollars lost. 

So, there we go. 

Now you know exactly what you should be checking on your RV, this can either be regularly (perhaps twice or three times annually) and definitely before any lengthy trip. 

It’s also very clear how disregarding such basic and easy to perform checks can have a major effect on your finances. 

We hope this post will help to keep your RV running smoothly and alleviate any potential costs. 

Take the time to perform checks and if you want to take things seriously, choose an OBD2 scanner as well. 

Happy RV’ing.

Author: Tim Setterfield

RV Protect

M.N., Porter, TX ~ “I was very impressed that the service provider driver called me on my cell phone to let me know when he would arrive.  Very courteous and efficient.”