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Learning to maintain engine components is one of the first steps in responsible RV ownership

Making sure your RV is operational is the most important factor of ownership. If you neglect the major systems and parts of your RV, you compromise the amount of time it will be able to run at its peak. As with any major investment, you want to protect your money through responsible ownership. "An RV is made up of many of the same components as any other vehicle, and it requires the same level of attention and maintenance to keep things running smoothly," comments Mark Davidson, service manager at Clickit RV.

Read on for our tips on engine and battery care, as well as tips on safely setting up camp once you reach your destination.

Engine Care

Just like in your car or truck, the engine of your motorhome must continuously be checked and maintained for a long lifespan. Your assessment should start with the engine compartment, including the nuts around the carburetor, manifold and fuel pump, to ensure they are in working order. The drive belts on the fan and alternator must always have the proper tension, so check your owner’s manual for recommendations and specifications.

Any major issues or questions should always be adressed by a trained RV technician. "It's best to have your RV checked by a professsional service tech who has the knowledge and tools to do a complete diagnosis," Davidson says. "It's much easier to figure out and solve problems in person than over the phone - or from a breakdown along the road."

Battery Care

A humming engine is only useful if your battery is in good shape. Clean your battery often by brushing away any corrosion or dirt from the connections. Also, make sure your connections are tight with good electrolyte levels.

Be sure to check the alternator for dust or caked-on dirt. Make sure your engine wiring is secure and out of the way to prevent it from getting too hot or melting. These issues can cause major damage to your engine and pose a safety threat while driving, so it's worth your time to identify and resolve them.

Properly setting up your motorhome at your destination gives you a worry-free camping experience.

Camp Set-Up

There also are some simple maintenance and care tips to keep in mind when it comes time to stop driving and set up camp. They include:

  • Don't forget to apply your parking brake to ensure your safety and the proper functioning of your slide-outs and awnings.
  • Plug your electrical shore power cord into the campsite receptacle, making sure to match the amperage require- ments of your RV.
  • Attach your potable RV drinking water hose to the tank on the side of your unit and run the other end to the campground water supply; make sure to check for any leaks before leaving it unattended.