What Should You Service First On Your New (To You) RV?

Buying a used RV is a great way to start enjoying road adventures on a budget. While choosing the right RV and conducting an inspection will help you avoid many repairs, most used RVs will require at least a small amount of service. Fortunately, many of these jobs are relatively straightforward, and taking care of them before your first trip can help keep your RV in excellent shape for many years.

Of course, you probably don't know where to begin, especially if this is your first RV purchase. While every vehicle will be different, these three items should be your top priority when getting a used RV ready to hit the open road.

1. Routine Engine Maintenance

With class A/C motorhomes or camper vans, your first step should be routine engine maintenance. Maintaining the engine on a motorhome doesn't require any special skills as long as you cover the basics. These items include oil changes, transmission fluid changes, coolant flushes, belt replacements, and filters. Your owner's manual should contain service internals for each.

It's a good idea to keep a log of when you change these items so you can stick to a schedule for future maintenance. You may not need to change these items immediately if your purchase came with detailed maintenance records, but it's a good idea to take care of these tasks if you aren't sure when the previous owner performed them.

2. Brakes

Checking and servicing the brakes is critical on motorhomes, camper vans, and travel trailers. If you didn't inspect the brakes before your purchase, you should do so before taking your RV on the road for more than a few miles. Depending on your experience and access to tools, you can perform this job yourself or bring your RV to an experienced service center to handle the work.

Remember that even class B motorhomes tend to weigh more than all but the heaviest SUVs and trucks, so weak brakes can significantly impact your vehicle's safety. Never take a chance on a braking system that you haven't carefully inspected.

3. Tires

Your RV's tires are arguably even more critical than its brakes. You'll need to check the treadwear, but you should also pay close attention to the physical condition of the tires. Severe cracks, bubbling, or other signs of damage mean that you'll need to replace them before using the RV. You should also replace the tires if you know they're more than six years old.

Buying a used RV doesn't need to be an expensive experience, but keeping your new (to you) vehicle affordable and reliable means staying on top of routine maintenance and servicing. By taking care of these critical steps before your first trip, you'll have an excellent starting point for many years of highway adventures.

For more information on RV servicing, contact a professional near you.

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