By Lazydays

How often have you overlooked the obvious? The basics are essential, yet they can be the checkpoints many people miss. Whether you are a newcomer to the world of RVing or someone who has seen it all, there’s always a lesson to be learned from the simple stuff.

By Lazydays expert Ed Crowell, as told to Monica Surfaro Spigelman

When I was a teenager, I worked alongside my dad in our garage on small repairs, and he continually reinforced how important it was to remember the basics. Now, here at Lazydays, I work with other great certified mechanics who know that simple checks are the key to a comprehensive maintenance routine.

All of us believe RVing is much more satisfying when you really get to know your rig. When you’re thoroughly familiar with your coach, it’s easier to notice when things aren’t quite right. Do you see any leaks? How’s that tire pressure? It’s important to look around, inside and out.

Your owner’s manual should be your starting point; our Lazydays maintenance workshops can also help give you a deeper understanding of your motorhome. To ensure you’re covering the basics, Lazydays has five “no-brainer” RV checks that you should include in your five-star maintenance routine:

Ensure that your city water hookup is done correctly.

1. Connecting to City Water Hookups — Make sure that your hose’s regulator is on the side of the hose that hooks to city water. It should be at the water-spigot end rather than the RV end, between the city water faucet and your inlet connection. Pressure is regulated into your coach through the hose. An incorrect hookup won’t protect you from pressure spikes, especially when campground water pressure exceeds 100 psi! You don’t want your hoses to burst. If you’re staying at the campground for an extended period or camping in cold weather, also remember to cover your hose with some insulation to protect against the elements. For more tips on preparing your RV for winter, check out our motorhome winterization tips.

Always shut off your outside faucet off with both knobs to keep the cold-hot water balance and flow correct.

2. Regulating Outside Shower Temps — Many motorhomes have an exterior faucet with a spray head, also referred to as an “outside shower.” Perhaps your shower is putting out more cold than hot or it’s not mixing properly. In these cases, be sure to check that you’re shutting off both knobs at the outside faucet when you’re not using it. Try turning the faucet knobs on and off a couple of times to ensure they are completely off, as this should alleviate problems in cold-hot water balance and flow. You might also check to make sure that your water heater bypass is set to normal, not to a winterize mode.

3. Verifying Your Clearance — Have you ever packed up the family and began your exit from a campsite, only to find an issue with clearance? Remember to check around your coach before and after you move it from a spot. Be sure to look up, down, and around. It’s a common mistake to miss that a tire is low or that an antenna is still up. Being observant can avoid so many issues!

Always keep the black tank valve closed until you are ready to dump.

4. Managing Waste Water Disposal — Black tank management is part of RV life. Some RVers think that by leaving the valves open, everything will run out and take care of itself. Not true! Yes, liquid will run out of the black tank when you have the valves open; but unfortunately, solid waste often remains — and that can cause a disagreeable situation! You need fluids to flush out the solids. So, remember to keep the black tank valve closed until you are ready to dump. Only dump the contents once the tank is more than 3/4 full. It’s okay to leave the gray water valve open, but the black valve should remain closed until it approaches full.

Avoid unwanted battery draws by turning the disconnect battery switch to “off” when the coach is not in use.

5. Disconnecting Your Battery — Every RV has some “parasitic” draw on its power system and, over time, this can run your battery down. That’s why the battery disconnect switch is valuable. Use it when your RV is in storage (unplugged from power) so you don’t have parasitic drain on the battery. But remember this if you have battery disconnect: Make sure the switch is in the OFF position when not in use, and make sure that your inverter is shut off. The battery disconnect switch removes your battery from the circuit, so nothing works when the switch is in the disconnect position. But the inverter, if not shut off, will drain the battery. It sounds simple, but so often people just forget to check!

Every RV has some “parasitic” draw on its power system, and over time, this can run your battery down.

For a full-service check on your motorhome, trust the certified professionals from Lazydays RV to take care of your investment. Whether your RV is motorized or towable, our team of technicians know how to properly service and maintain each make and model. Schedule an appointment today or contact us to ask a question.