Just like most everything we own, routine maintenance is crucial to the longevity of our investment’s. From our lawnmowers, to our household appliances, to our vehicles, boats, ATV’s, and yes, even our travel trailer’s too. Keeping up with the maintenance will definitely help to stay away from surprised costly repairs, especially when we are on the road. Although surprises can still happen, keeping up the maintenance has the potential to stop these emergencies or at least keep them to rare occasions. The reason we have the family out on the open road in our travel trailer is to enjoy it! So then, to me, it makes sense to take the necessary precautions to keeping safe. What do you think?
Tires On My RV
To keep us safe, and other people on the road too, the tires are probably the most important thing we can keep an eye on. I recommend for the tires on the travel trailer, trust whom ever you trust for the tires on your personal vehicle. Most tire dealers will/can handle the tires for the travel trailer, from the smallest pop up to the largest 5th wheel. However, although some travel trailer dealerships do carry tires, they may only keep some spare tire and rim combo’s in some sizes. Do keep in mind, when you notice the tires need replacement, whom ever you get them from will probably need to order them. Hence, not waiting until the last minute.
Always keep the tires at proper air pressures. The air pressure sizes are raised numbers usually very small close to the rim on the side wall. The DOT numbers are also raised letters and numbers. These are numbers/letters that are federally mandated in the United States for tires. There are 2 sets of letters and then a group of 4 numbers that are circled. These 4 numbers are super important to pay attention to. The first 2 numbers are the “week of the year” and the “last 2 numbers are the year” the tire was made. Example: if the last 4 numbers are “3218” than the tire was made in the 32nd week of the year 2018.
Do not worry, the tire dealer you use, can definitely help you with those DOT numbers. The reason I bring it up, is that, I have seen tires on travel trailers that are 6 years old. Those are way too old to be on the road, and if you happen to have a blow out, you may run into trouble with the insurance company. So, please be careful and keep those tires good in good shape with the help of your tire dealer.
RV Wheel Bearings and Brakes
Double check with the dealership and/or owner’s manual on this. Most travel trailer manufactures do recommend having the wheel bearings repacked and the brakes adjusted at least once a year or every 15k miles. Even if you only use the travel trailer close to home, I do still recommend the once a year maintenance. A busted wheel bearing seal leaking grease on the brake shoes can cause you to need to new brakes when the shoes are not even worn down yet. This can become a very expensive repair that is easily avoidable.
Exterior Travel Lights On My RV
The lights on the exterior of the travel trailer are extremely important during travel. Plug the camper in to the truck and double check all running lights, including brake lights and turn signals. One of these lights out can put everyone is danger on the road. Please keep in mind, some travel trailer brake lights are very specific LED lights. The local dealership may not keep these in stock and if not they will need to be ordered. This order can take from a few days to a couple of weeks to come in. And yes, I have seen camping trips canceled due to a LED brake light not being available in time for the trip. A situation like this can be avoided. Who wants to disappoint family members, especially children, all because a trip has had to be canceled due to an inexpensive part like a brake light? I know I don’t.
RV Travel Trailer Batteries
The battery in a travel trailer is not a “dry battery”. This means, water needs to be added from time to time. Check the water level in the cells frequently and fill with distilled water. If the camper stays plugged in during storage, than the cells may need to be filled/topped off every couple of weeks. This is very important to pay attention to. If you have a 5th wheel, then there may be 2 batteries aka: house batteries
Travel Trailer Hitch Maintenance
Wherever you have the hitch installed on your truck, I would see if they do any kind of periodical recheck and lubrication if needed. Even if there is a charge for this, it can be worth it.
Towing Vehicle RV
The towing vehicle we are using to pull our travel trailer is super important. As always, there is required maintenance on our vehicles. Before every trip we make in our vehicle, we need to check and make sure certain items are in good working order before getting on the open road. If you are the “do it yourself type,” than great, if not, getting a professional whom you trust is a great idea and worth the expense. Things like, belts, hoses, oil changes, fluid levels, tires, brakes, wheel bearings etc are a complete must to have in good standing order to keep us traveling on the road safely.
Traveling With My RV
Traveling with our RV, it is imperative to stay as safe as we can. Although, most people do not like doing regular maintenance, it can prevent road emergencies. Although emergencies cannot always be prevented, wouldn’t it be a nice sound peaceful feeling knowing that we did everything we could to keep those emergencies at bay?
When traveling with our RV, preventive maintenance is a must to keeping us safe on the road. I believe it is worth it to know we have done everything possible in keeping ourselves and our families safe.
Just a side note: I do recommend if purchasing the travel trailer second hand, to request documentation of these maintenance checks/repairs and when they were completed. This assures us that certain safety travel items have been maintained.
I hope this article has helped to explain the importance of keeping the safety aspects of our travel maintained.
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