By Mark Polk
RV Education 101
We are on a five-week RV trip, traversing the country from the East to West and back again. Most of our evenings along the way are spent at KOA campgrounds that dot the countryside.
Something I have noticed that surprises me is that the majority of RVers I see at the campground do not take a minute or two to check the fluid levels in their motorhome before leaving on the next day’s journey.
Now I’ll be the first one to admit that when I am on a shorter trip, say 1,000 miles or less, I don’t usually check the fluid levels or tire pressure every day before traveling. But, when we are driving at elevations of 7,000 feet plus, I think it’s important to check a few things before leaving each day. Driving through mountainous terrain and in hot temperatures can be difficult on engine oil, transmission oil and tires.
At a minimum, I like to make the following Preventive Maintenance checks before each day’s trip.
1. Towed vehicle or motorhome engine oil.
2. Towed vehicle or motorhome transmission oil.
3. Generator oil and generator exhaust system. We usually run the generator so we can use the roof air conditioners and other electrical devices when traveling.
4. Tire pressure. I use a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) so I can monitor the tire pressure and tire temperature while traveling.
5. Hitchwork, lights and supplemental braking system for the towed vehicle.
6. Windshield washer fluid.
7. Check for any leaks. Look under the vehicles for any evidence of leaks. Have any leaks repaired before traveling in the motorhome.
Keep in mind that this list does not replace any pre-trip checks that you might make before traveling each day. It is simply a short list of some preventive maintenance items you should check daily to help prevent potential problems from occurring.
|RV expert Mark Polk owns RV Education 101, a North Carolina-based company that produces and sells educational videos, DVDs and E-books on how to use RVs. Mark has more than 30 years of experience in RV maintenance. He retired from the U.S. Army in 1996 as a Chief Warrant Officer Three, specializing in wheeled and track vehicle fleet maintenance operations. He and his wife, Dawn, started RV Education 101 in 1999. They travel with their two boys in a 35-foot Type A motorhome.