Medical Center RV Resort

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Having an Extended RV Stay? Do These RV Checks

If you are on (or are planning to take) an extended RV stay, be sure to keep these important tips in mind to keep your rig in tip-top condition while it stays parked for an extended period, whether at a resort or at a campground.

Normally, when you plan an RV trip, you do a series of pre-trip RV checks to make sure she’s ready for travel. Then when it’s time to leave your camping trip, you do the same pre-checks before heading home. But what happens when you find that perfect RV camping spot and you don’t want to leave for a good while? We’re talking for at least a month or more. After all, it’s not uncommon for some RVers to stay put in a destination for months at a time.

Here are some extended stay maintenance checks you should for a long stay.


Inflate the Tires to Recommended Manufacturer Pressure

Tires can lose as much as 2 to 3 psi every couple of weeks or so, especially in cold weather. If you stay in one place for 3-6 months, the pressure could get dangerously low. So if your rig is not being moved at all, check the tire pressure on a monthly basis, and inflate when needed. UV rays and ozone in the air will shorten the life of your RV tires.

The ozone causes the tires to deteriorate and dry rot to set in. UV rays make this process much quicker, especially on the tire’s sidewall. Eyeball your tires periodically for signs of cracks or sagging. Tire failure on an RV can not only be costly, but extremely dangerous when you drive it. Keep the tires covered to block out the sun when the RV is exposed to the elements for a long time.


Place RV Leveling Blocks Between the Ground and the Tires

There are several types of leveling blocks you can use, but whatever you choose, make sure they are larger than the footprint of your RV tire. No portion of the tire should hand over the edge of the tire block, as it can cause internal damage to the tire. Using leveling blocks is highly recommended for several reasons:

  • To ensure that the RV is as level on the ground as possible, so more weight isn’t on any one tire.
  • Leaving the tires resting on heat-producing material such as the asphalt on a campsite, will prematurely age your RV tires. Leveling blocks will help protect them from this.
  • The same is true for moisture-heavy surfaces, such as dirt, or frozen ground. The wood of a leveling block acts as a barrier between the tires and the ground’s surface.


If Your RV is Motorized, Fill the Tank and Add a Fuel Stabilizer Prior to Parking It

Run the engine and the generator long enough for the stabilizer to run through the fuel system. Additionally, if you are not using the generator while the RV is parked, run it monthly for at least 2 hours with a minimum of a ½ rated load. Your generator’s owner’s manual should tell you the proper rated load.


Check and Fill Water Levels in Lead Acid Batteries and Make Sure They Stay Fully Charged

The electrolyte levels in RV batteries can be depleted over time. You’ll need to check these levels 1-2 times per week, regardless of how much you use (or don’t use) your RV. You can use a digital voltmeter to measure voltage and get a quick reading of the battery’s depth of discharge. When it’s fully charged, it should read about 12.7 volts. Any reading of less than 12.5 volts means you need to recharge the battery. DO NOT check the voltage when the RV is plugged in or you will get a false reading. After recharging, let it rest for 12 hours then test the batteries again to get a true reading.


Last, But Not Least

Check the oil and filter on the engine and generator prior to long stays (or long-term storage, for that matter). Also, routinely test the operation of the carbon monoxide detector, LP gas leak detector, and smoke alarm. Have a fire extinguisher in your RV and ensure it is fully-charged monthly. Replace or clean air filters regularly.

Then when you are ready to hit the road again, check all fluid levels: in the transmission, engine coolant, engine oil, power steering, brakes, and windshield washer. Your owner’s manual will give you the proper levels on these. Start the engine and check for proper reading on the dashboard. Check that all lights are working (brake lights, etc.)