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Open Roads Forum  >  General RVing Issues

 > Annual maintenances: wise, necessary, waste of money?

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stevennlv

Louisville

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Posted: 09/05/19 02:36pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I’m coming up on my third year as a full timer and still learning. This is my second year in this rig. I bought it new. It is a TT, just big enough for me (20’). I’m looking to “protect my investment” so to speak. Not so much as in the value; I know it has and will continue to depreciate like crazy compared to what I spent. (But I got what I wanted.) I mean more in the sense of still being in good, usable, full-timing condition in 20+ years.

I am not extremely mechanical. I can handle basic stuff.

I don’t move around a lot. I spent the first year in Boise. This year has been spent in Vegas. Most of the time that I move it is to take it into the shop. I had all the “newness” bugs and had to take her in under warranty twice. But she’s ship-shape now. If I move again, other than shop runs, it will be to a new city to follow whatever jobs opportunities and I will stay in a park with at least the basic amenities (water, electric, sewage).

I’ve already had to re-caulk all the windows on the side that gets the morning sun. I keep my tires inflated on a monthly basis.

Not only am I not extremely mechanical but I also have mobility issues due to a neck injury. So a lot of stuff is difficult for me and I would just rather pay someone with proper skills to do the job right the first time. **IF** the job is actually necessary.

With all that in mind, is it wise, necessary or a waste of money to get the following things done on yearly basis:

Wash and wax with a UV roof protectant. ~$220
Campingworld 45 point inspection ~$300
Maintenance on the water heater. ~$85
Maintenance on the AC. ~$100
Maintenance on the furnace. ~$149
Maintenance on the breaks and bearings. ~$300

Anything I missed?

Any pointers would be appreciated. For example, since I move around so little (like do a 600 miles at one shot and then not move for a year) do I really need the brakes and bearings checked every year, or 3 or 5, etc?

rk911

Wheaton IL

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Posted: 09/05/19 03:11pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

stevennlv wrote:

...With all that in mind, is it wise, necessary or a waste of money to get the following things done on yearly basis:

Wash and wax with a UV roof protectant. ~$220
Campingworld 45 point inspection ~$300
Maintenance on the water heater. ~$85
Maintenance on the AC. ~$100
Maintenance on the furnace. ~$149
Maintenance on the breaks and bearings. ~$300
...


we've never had a TT but annual maintenance on a MH and TT must be pretty close. my thoughts...

- wash/wax: at least once a year assuming you have a fiberglass body. every 6-mos would be my recommendation.

- personally I would stay away from CW service. what exactly is covered in their 45-pt inspection? if they're just looking at stuff and making a list of things that need repair or further maintenance then $300 seems way high. but as I said I would find another shop. if you have the list please post it or a link to their list.

- as for the AC, water heater and furnace...there's not much actual maintenance that needs to be done.

change or clean the air conditioner/furnace air filter(S);

inspect the water heater for spiders and webs (they're attracted to propane), if it's a dual ignition inspect the wiring and connectors to be sure they're clean and fitted properly, you might want to flush the water tank with the appropriate tool although while doing that can't hurt I haven't found it necessary. I'd like to know exactly what "maintenance" is being done on those three items for $334. sounds very high to me.

don't know about TT brakes and whether they need actual service or just an inspection. anyone?


'73,
rich, n9dko
If Jimmy cracks corn and nobody cares then why does he keep doing it?
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ajriding

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Posted: 09/05/19 03:34pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

stevennlv wrote:


Wash and wax with a UV roof protectant. ~$220
Campingworld 45 point inspection ~$300
Maintenance on the water heater. ~$85
Maintenance on the AC. ~$100
Maintenance on the furnace. ~$149
Maintenance on the breaks and bearings. ~$300


Someone wants you to stimulate the economy…

*Wash, that seems a fair fee. People go 30 years and dont wax, but wax will keep it looking good.
*45 pt inspection, skip this. for sure, skip this.
*water heater. Drain out the water, flush, refill. Inspect the anode bar, or just replace it for a few bucks.
*AC, clean filters inside. On a house the condensor coils need to be sprayed out with a garden hose to get teh dust and cobwebs off. Maybe not such an issue on top of your roof, and I have never heard anyone on RV.net talk about this, but most do not live full time (use AC all season).
*Furnace, skip this. As long as there are no wasp nesting or birds nesting in your exhaust or other places it is fine.
*brakes, yes, but get an ordinary garage to do this. Cheaper and better mechanics likely. Mechanics that work on vehicles mechanical parts all day long, not on RV furnaces and table supports all day long.

Wheel bearings need to be checked pretty often, maybe every 7,000-15,000 miles of travel. They wear a little and need to be tightened. Im not sure why car bearings can be driven 300000 miles with no issues, but a trailer cant go 5000 without needing attention…

The brakes are a little bit more talkative, they will let you know. If you have one axle then you will know when they get weak and need to be tightened. 2 axles and you will not know until the majority of them fade. Typical brakes are not self-adjusting, so as the pad wears they need to be tightened again.
If you notice one tire skidding, then possibly that is the only one that has not worn out. Or if you notice skid marks (flat spots) on one or two tires, then there is an imbalance in the brake adjustment.
You have a 20 foot trailer, so probably two axles and a decent weight, esp full-timing with all your stuff loaded in, but the smaller the trailer (and bigger the truck) the less the brakes matter. My cargo trailer came with no brakes…
Brakes are dependent on how much they get used and how high you set the power level. I tend to set them high on the interstate, lower around town at slow speeds where the truck can stop everything fast and safe, and off when moving around the campground, backing up, or any maneuver where they are a hinderance.

wildtoad

Blythewood, SC

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Posted: 09/05/19 03:49pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You should even with limited movement, be able to do the simple stuff.

Water heater should be drained and flushed once a year to remove crud. If you have a Suburban wh, replace the anode rod. Blow out with compressed air (brush if you have one) the burner tube.

Furnace, blow out the burner tubes, a long flexible brush is also good to clean it out and remove and debris that gets in, including but not limited mud dobber nest.

Clean the inside return air filters to assure best air flow. Also check to make sure the seal between return/output is still in good shape to prevent cold air going right back up the return. VERY common problem.

Since you don’t seem to move often, invest in some tire covers to protect them from UV damage. Keep tires clean, and spray some 303 Protectant on them whenever not covered. BTW you might consider spraying any accessible plastic/rubber parts with 303 also to help ward off UV damage.

Try to find a local independent mobile RV tech to do the things you can’t do on the roof. You DO need to check the roof components annually to stop leaks ahead of time. And spray the plastic parts with the 303.

Included in many of the items above, remove the access doors, blow out the external parts to remove all debris, look for anything that might be corroding. #1 issue with many components is neglect.

* This post was edited 09/05/19 03:58pm by wildtoad *


Tom Wilds
Blythewood, SC
2016 Newmar Baystar Sport 3004

Lynnmor

Red Lion

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Posted: 09/05/19 04:51pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Be sure that water leaks are controlled by keeping all caulking in good condition.

Brakes and wheel bearings need regular service because of cheap components plus poor and antiquated design. Dexter Instructions

The rest of your list may never need done.





DutchmenSport

Indiana

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Posted: 09/05/19 04:52pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Other than repacking the bearings, I wouldn't pay anyone for anything you've listed above. However, if you have mobility issues, it would be helpful to have someone else wash and wax the camper. You know your camper better than anyone and use it daily. If something is not working correct, you'll know it in a heart beat. If something doesn't seem right, check it out yourself first. Use your common sense, think it through, and if THAT item just doesn't seem right, then get THAT one item looked at by someone else, if that be a shop or a mobile tech.

Check the caulkin a couple times a year yourself. If you see changes occuring, you will know that. If you start seeing cracks in the calking, just clean off the old a little and overlay with new. The most important thing you can possibly do, is inspect the roof as often as possible. After that, wheel bearings and tires dry rot, and then everything else is secondary for life-longevity of the camper.

Water heater? as stated above, drain it and flush it out, replace anode rod if it's worn down, put the anode rod back in and don't worry about it for a while. I drain mine often, and we use it full time, but we are not "full timers" (on the road).

Lwiddis

Bishop, CA

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Posted: 09/05/19 05:10pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

“I keep my tires inflated on a monthly basis.”

If you don’t move around much, your tires should also be covered.


Winnebago 2101DS TT & 2019 Chevy Silverado LTZ Z71, 300 watts solar-parallel & MPPT, Trojan T-125s. TALL flagpole for flags. Prefer USFS, COE, BLM, NPS, TVA, USF&WS, state & county camps. Bicyclist! 14 year Army vet - 11B40 then 11A - old MOS 1542 & 1560.


doxiemom11

Paris, MI

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Posted: 09/05/19 05:54pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

No has has stated this, but if your water heater is an atwood, there is no anode rod to worry about. We often have high amounts of lime in the water, so we tend to drain our water heater 2-3 times a year. Sometimes we are amazed at the clumps of lime that come out.

midnightsadie

ohio

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Posted: 09/05/19 06:06pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

and please find another dealer to do your work. if you read all the horror stories on here you know why.

Thunder Mountain

Lost in the Four Corners

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Posted: 09/05/19 06:29pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The only thing on that list that I would pay to get done is the brakes and bearings. The rest you can do yourself. The $300 CW inspection is just a way to spend more of your money. You can do it yourself by doing a little reading and research. The furnace cleaning is a big rip off. Do it yourself. It isn't brain surgery.


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