Thursday April 9, 2015
With over 600,00 RVs on the road today, you can bet Keystone RV Company service advisers and Keystone dealers have literally seen it all. In a recent polling of "preventible service mishaps" here is what they selected as the Top 10.
#10 “Rookie mistakes”—this is a catch all for all "dumb" things we knew not to do but did anyway. Goofs like forgetting to retract the entrance steps, slide room, patio awning or TV antenna before pulling out of a campsite. Oops!!!
#9 Not showing your holding tanks some love—This is not a pretty picture, I know, but a little attention here can avoid some unpleasant problems down the road like foul odors and false tank readings. Use the appropriate tank chemicals and flush your tanks frequently. Let your black tank get about 2/3 full before emptying, then flush with plenty of clean water before putting it back in service.
#8 Failure to level your coach when camped—this is so simple sometimes we forget to do it. Without a level coach your RV refrigerator may not cool properly and slide-out rooms may not open, close or seal correctly. Plus for some of us it's downright uncomfortable to feel like you might roll out of bed in the middle of the night because your RV is not level. Use boards or leveling blocks to level your coach from side to side, and use the tongue jack to level front to back. Be sure to chock your wheels, and remember that stabilizer jacks are NOT to be used for leveling your coach.
#7 Snug as a Bug is nice, but remember—many of today’s campers are extremely well insulated and weather-tight. While this makes them more energy efficient, it is also important to allow for proper ventilation. Some of the steps you can take to reduce moisture accumulation inside your RV and improve indoor air quality includes running the exhaust fan and opening windows and vents. (Learn more about you indoor envrionment here.)
#6 Improperly matching your tow vehicle/towing equipment to the load—consult with your dealer about your towing needs and proper set up of your hitch equipment and tow vehicle. Know your loaded weight and weight distribution and never exceed your rig's capabilities. The Trailer Life Annual Towing Guide is valuable resource to help you better evaluate your tow vehicle's capabilities. Download here.
#5 Bald is not beautiful—when it comes to tires, premature or uneven tire wear is frequently a sign of improper maintenance. Check your tire air pressure at least monthly and keep your tires (including your spare) at the recommended pressure. While you are at it, check that your wheel lug nuts are at the correct torque before each trip. Also, don't overload your vehicle, check the Tire Information and Loading Label. Here is a link to dive deeper into your tires: Tire Resources
#4 Blowing breakers on shore power—many RVs are equipped with 30 amp or less AC circuits. If you try to run your rooftop air conditioner and microwave at the same time you may have already exceeded your systems electrical capacity. (Page 46 of the Keystone RV owner’s manual contains a handy chart showing typical amperage consumption of appliances.) This video explains more about your Keystone RVs DC and AC electrical systems. Take a look.
#3 Inspect and reseal—after miles of bouncing and twisting, days of hot sun, rain and even snow it’s vital to inspect your RV seals on a frequent basis. Keystone RV suggests you do this every six months or more often under extreme conditions. Pay specaial attention to the area between the window frame and sidewall for sealant gaps, cracks, shrinkage and reseal as necessary. Inspect corner moldings and other exterior moldins. Inspect the slide-out roof, end walls, and sidewalls for sealant gaps or shrinkage and reseal as necessary. Another area to inspect (recommended intervalevery 90 days) is your roof. Pay close attention to all seams, joints and attachments where sealant is used. Look for cracks, shrinkage and voids. Your Keystone RV dealer can help you with these inspections and recommend the correct products to reseal your coach if needed. (For more detailed information view the Keystone Owner's Manual pages 72-74)
#2 Slide in-slide out—check the roof and rubber seals of your slide-out rooms freequently for leaves, pine needles, twigs and other debris. Accumulated dirt can interfere with proper slide seal operation allowing water to enter into your coach.
#1 What’s out of sight, usually trouble free, and the heartbeat of your camper?—did you guess your 12 volt “house” battery? If your house battery(s) are not properly charged or defective, you could experience all kinds’ intermittent and unexpected problems. Most 12-volt appliances require a healthy 12-volt system. For example, your RV furnace needs a properly charged 12-volt battery for the fan to kick on and the igniter to light. Anything less and you could be left cold. In addition, operation of the slide-out rooms in many RVs requires a full charged and healthy battery. Check that your battery terminals are clean, water level is up to the line, and your batteries are changing when you your hitched to your tow vehicle or plugged into shore power.
Your RV’s owner’s manual is valuable source of information in avoiding many of these service mishaps.
For a copy of the Keystone RV Owner’s Manual go to: http://bit.ly/14xYBkV