An RV can be a great and inexpensive way to travel, but it’s important to keep your vehicle in tip-top shape. Here’s some tips to show you how.
1. Land on free parking
Don’t be gouged every night for RV campsite parking fees — you really only need to stop at a campsite when you need to dump your waste or pick up water. On the nights when you don’t need a hookup, some big-box stores will let you stay in their parking lots after hours for free. Churches, too, usually don’t mind RVs in their parking lots, as long as you’re gone by the time services start in the morning.
2. Make sure your RV isn’t a heavyweight
Plenty of RV makers are building motor homes that are dangerously close to maximum capacity. In other words, each RV comes with a maximum weight the entire rig should carry, and if it’s already close to that weight and you haven’t even added your family of four or filled the water tank — watch out! Way too many buyers and renters overlook this crucial information.
3. Watch out for water damage
.Even if the RV looks pristine, bring it over to another RV dealer and have him check it out. The main thing to look out for is water damage that came in through the roof and settled back behind the walls. Water behind the walls will lead to wood rot, which leads to big bucks and big headaches.
4. Give mice the rough treatment
Rodents can gain entry to your RV through the access slots where you hook up a cable or hose. To keep these critters on the outside, wrap the cable or hose in a bit of steel wool before you connect it, making sure the material fills the surrounding gap. Any mousie trying to enter your vehicle will scrub that plan.
5. Hate those love bugs?
RV drivers who visit the southeastern United States know about the love bug problem. These creatures seem to make a beeline for the highways, only to plaster themselves across the forward-facing surfaces of your vehicle. To make matters worse, the acid in those crushed bug bodies will eat through the finish.
The solution: apply a light coating of baby oil to the vulnerable surfaces of your RV. When you stop for the night, your love bug “collection” will be easy to hose right off.
6. Secure the perimeter
Buy a big jug of pump-up bug spray at a discount store and keep it in your RV. When you set up camp, spray around any spots where the local bugs might gain access to your vehicle — the stabilizer jacks and the tires, for instance.