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Open Roads Forum  >  General RVing Issues

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

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pianotuna

Regina, SK, Canada

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Posted: 09/05/19 07:25pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

wheel bearings yes. The rest I would not pay for. Check the caulking on the roof. was and wax.

The rest is pretty much unnecessary.


Regards, Don
My ride is a 28 foot Class C, 256 watts solar, 556 amp hours of AGM in two battery banks 12 volt batteries, 3000 watt Magnum hybrid inverter, Sola Basic Autoformer, Microair Easy Start.

stevennlv

Louisville

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Posted: 09/05/19 09:43pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

In answer to some of the things brought up.

This is the 45 point inspection. Yes, it only checks, but does not fix.

Quote:

ELECTRICAL

Hot Skin Test
110V-Circuits-Polarity
12V-Circuits
Batteries-House/Engine
TV Antenna Operation (Booster)
Converter Output

Converter Charge
All Exhaust Fans
Smoke Detector
Power Cord Inspected
Inverter Output
Microwave

AUX GENERATOR SYSTEM

Oil Level
Muffler System

Auto Change Over-Operator
Run Test - Hertz/Volts

PLUMBING

Check System for Leaks
Water Pump Operation
Toilet Operation

City Water Intake-CK Valve
All Drain *****
Seal on Termination Cap

L.P. GAS SYSTEM

L.P. Leak Detector Test
L.P. Hose(s) Condition
L.P. Leak Down Test

Leak Check System
Set Regulator

APPLIANCES

Stove/Oven Temperature
Refrigerator Operation
Furnace Operation

Water Heater Operation
Roof Air: Front/Heat Strip/Filters
Roof Air: Rear/Heat Strip/Filters

EXTERIOR

Breakaway Switch Operation
Brake Control
Tire Condition - Visual
Roof Condition
Vents/AC Shrouds
Entrance Door-Gaskets

Windows: Gaskets, Crank Handles
Tongue Jack
Antenna Condition
Wiper Blades
Shocks/Springs
Exterior Lighting


My big concerns on that list is the leak test. How often does that really need to be done? Will I smell a leak before I blow up? Also the smoke and LP detectors. But all I have to do with those is hit the test button, right? It's not like a house is it? They're wired in, no batteries and either work or don't? (Do they ever wear out and need to be replaced?)

And with these little fire extinguishers that come with the unit: Are they like big ones in buildings and get serviced or do you just replace it after X amount of time?

I do keep my tires covered. And when they wash / wax it gets a tire protectant too. I will let someone else do that just because it's a big job and I really don't have the tools to do it properly. I'll pay someone to come to me and do it.

I have two axles with Dexter Nev-R-Adjust breaks. I top out at well less than 5500 full loaded. GVRW is 4300 and I'm an extreme minimalist. Besides, there's not a lot of room to cram junk into 20'. I will be honest, I have not put it on a scale. I didn't see the need. I have a 2004 Denali with an 8600# tow capacity / tow package and a weight distribution hitch. I've pulled it from Twin Falls to Boise then down to Vegas with no issues.

I can inspect the tires for wear. I can handle stuff that basic. I know my lug size and torque spec. (I need to get a wrench.)

Should I just keep track of the mileage and have the bearings / brakes inspected every 5k miles? (I've got about 800 miles on it now.) And that is a combo inspection at CW. Should it also be based on time. IOW, should I have them repacked every 5 years to prevent the grease from drying out or anything like that?

Note: I will be sticking with CW for now. Only because I have an extended warranty with them (5 years). And with the shake out bugs that have already been fixed I've actually already come close to breaking even on the cost of it. And I've still got 4 years left. They have to do an inspection first, which is a charge. But if it's a covered repair my deductible is only $50.

I know about the anode rod in the water heater. I have DSI. So "annual maint" is just drain it, replace the rod, blow it out with a can of air and scrub the igniter points with a toothbrush? (I learned about most that from YT when I was having a DSI fault.)

Stuff like that I can do. And I can get on the roof too. Considering I triple broke my neck I'm actually doing pretty good. I get around well. I even workout a lot with light weights. My big problem is with contorting into small spaces. In the last unit (used) the kitchen faucet broke and there was just no way I could crab around up under the sink to replace it. The ex had to do it.

I could get on the roof to service the AC. I just have literally zero idea what is involved. From what you guys are saying it doesn't sound too hard though? I suspect I can find some YT vids to walk me through?

How often does the freon need to be replaced? Is there any kind of mechanical service on the AC that needs to be done periodically? Something a pro should do? Every 3-5, whatever years? Or just watch a vid, clean it, get it fixed when it breaks?

Anything that has an exterior access panel I can open up and clean.

I have not looked at the heater at all yet, other than to stop all the dang wasps from building nests in Boise last year in anything that had any kind of cavity. I even had to kill a nest in the tongue frame up inside / behind the ball socket.

When I asked CW about what they do for $150 heater maint it was a long list. Something about cleaning some wheel, ignition points, etc. Is this like the AC? I can get to it from an access panel / remove a cover, it mostly involves cleaning and I can find YT vids to walk me through?

It's late. My brain is tired. That's all I can remember for now from what I read before. If I missed anything I apologize.

I appreciate the help.

----
Edit:
NM the fire extinguisher question. The inspection instructions are on it and it's still good.

Oh, and I have a surge protector on the podium. And it has already saved my bacon once when the podium shorted out! It burned the tip of one of the plugs on the protector. But the unit survived the surge.

* This post was edited 09/05/19 09:59pm by stevennlv *

pianotuna

Regina, SK, Canada

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Posted: 09/05/19 10:56pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I had a leak test done. It tested A OK. The next time it rained--I had water coming in the light fixtures. I'm no longer a believer in pressurized leak tests.

DutchmenSport

Indiana

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Posted: 09/06/19 06:43am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

About fire extinguishers.... I worked in a building once that routinely had a fire extinguisher company come through and recertify the fire extinguishers. It was something like, every 6 months. After a while, I finally asked the guy what they did to "recertify" to meet fire marshal codes and such. He said, all we do is take them off their hooks, turn them upside down twice, and hang them back up.

REALLY?

He said, the problem with fire extinguishers is that the chemicals inside settle to the bottom and then harden. All you have to do is shake it up every so often.

REALLY?

All the time I worked there (6 years), not a single fire extinguisher was replaced with a new one.

REALLY?

Yep. So, in all my campers, I've done the same thing with my fire extinguishers.

Really!

Lynnmor

Red Lion

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Posted: 09/06/19 07:38am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

stevennlv wrote:



Note: I will be sticking with CW for now. Only because I have an extended warranty with them (5 years). And with the shake out bugs that have already been fixed I've actually already come close to breaking even on the cost of it. And I've still got 4 years left. They have to do an inspection first, which is a charge. But if it's a covered repair my deductible is only $50.


I don't think we can help you.





2oldman

Ca

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Posted: 09/06/19 07:45am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I don't do any of those things.

ajriding

st clair

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Joined: 12/28/2004

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Posted: 09/06/19 09:41am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My big concerns on that list is the leak test. Yes, you will smell propane. The rubber hose off the tank will last 10 years or more, replace that if you want .

Also the smoke and LP detectors.These have a short life. About 6 years, there is no test, just replace it after 5-7 years as the critical part degrades and will not work.

And with these little fire extinguishers I have shot off 25 year old ones from a junk yard that worked perfect. They have a pressure indicator, so if that is in range then likely it is good. As other post suggest, shake it every 6 months to keep chemicals mixed

I do keep my tires covered.Tires are also 6 year items, no matter if they get driven or not

I have two axles with Dexter Nev-R-Adjust breaks. just wait until you notice issues. If you wait too long, 20 years, then there is a chance the brake material will break away from its backing plate, I have seen this, but on really old brakes that never were hooked to a controller/ never used…, or rust could freeze everything up and nothing works.
Wait until you notice a loss in performance, or change pads every 6 years…


I can inspect the tires for wear. If you were more robust then you can replace it when it oes flat… but also risk damage from a flat falling apart and ravaging the side and fender of your trailer. They should last 6 yrs

Should I just keep track of the mileage and have the bearings / brakes inspected every 5k miles? Yes. or 6-7k miles. You can jack the tire an inch off the ground then put a big screw driver or crow bar under the tire and check for play. If there is play in the wheel (bearing) then it needs to be tightened, if no play then no need to mess with it. If you have the grease fitting on the hub, then grease it with a grease gun every few 3,000 miles just for good measure. Driving on a loose bearing is not the end of the world

Note: I will be sticking with CW for now. find the repair needs yourself and let them warranty it then

I know about the anode rod in the water heater. I have DSI. So "annual maint" is just drain it, replace the rod, blow it out with a can of air and scrub the igniter points with a toothbrush? (I learned about most that from YT when I was having a DSI fault.)

Stuff like that I can do. And I can get on the roof too.

I could get on the roof to service the AC. There is very little need to do anything for the AC. Never need to do anything with the coolant, it should be fine. If it quits cooling then you go checking things. There is not much chatter on this forum about AC issues other than generators or other inadequate power supply

How often does the freon need to be replaced? Is there any kind of mechanical service on the AC that needs to be done periodically? Something a pro should do? Every 3-5, whatever years? haha, nothing. just eyeball the cooling fins that they are not filled with debris (I have never seen this). The inside fins (evaporator) that you can see when you take the inside cover off could get filled with dust, hair etc, so a damp cloth will be enough to clean this.

Anything that has an exterior access panel I can open up and clean.

I have not looked at the heater at all yet, other than to stop all the dang wasps from building nests in Boise last year in anything that had any kind of cavity. I even had to kill a nest in the tongue frame up inside / behind the ball socket.

When I asked CW about what they do for $150 heater maint it was a long list. waste of your good money

I appreciate the help.

* This post was edited 09/06/19 01:17pm by ajriding *

stevennlv

Louisville

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Posted: 09/10/19 01:06am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I appreciate everyones input. I've book marked this topic. When cooler weather gets here in ~4-6 weeks I'm going to take a day or two to go through all this stuff, look at some vids and compile a miniature maintenance manual for myself.

JimK-NY

NY

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Posted: 09/10/19 06:14am 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
............


My RV is 15 years old and in excellent condition. I do not do any of this. I am just finishing up my yearly maintenance. I go over every square inch of the exterior looking for issues, mainly looking for areas that need resealing. This year I am rechaulking around the running lights. I am no longer a full timer so I do need to drain my water heater each winter. I replaced the ignitor a couple of years ago, otherwise I cannot imagine what qualifies and maintenance on this unit. I have never had "maintenance" on the A/C unit. I did replace the filter for the first time last year. It was still in pretty good condition. The AC unit is sealed and does not require any sort of maintenance. The furnace is sealed with no maintenance required. I have never even removed the cover. If you are not moving much, you should not need to repack the wheel bearings. My tires maintain air pressure pretty much for an entire year. If you are losing pressure, you should have the tire checked carefully.

I am also about finished with waxing. I applied ZEP several years ago. It is still in good condition.

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