There’s a lot that can and will go wrong with your RV as time goes by. It’s critically important for you to properly maintain your RV, especially if you are full timing it. I’m going to zip through some things I’ve discovered on my travels that may save you a bit of grief and money.

Keep the tires out of the sun! One thing that can cause the tires on your RV to age quickly is continuous exposure to the sun. Regardless of your location, the UV rays of the sun can age your tires quickly. This leads to tire failure. This can manifest itself as having leaky tires to a tire blowing out when on the highway.

This is easy to avoid. Look into some tire guards for your tires that you can place over the tire when you will not be moving for a few days or more. This will keep the direct rays of the sun from the tire and help to keep them in tip top condition.

Maintain your electrical system properly. Be sure that your batteries stay topped up with liquids. You, at all times, want to make sure that the plates in your storage batteries are kept wet. If you allow the liquid in your batteries to fall below the top of the plates, that part of the plates will no longer function, even if you top up the battery later. It’s not a bad plan to check the plates monthly while using the RV and once every two months when it’s just sitting.

It’s the natural charge/discharge cycle that reduces the liquid in the battery, so the more you use them, the more you need to check them. Also another pointer with deep cycle batteries. Try very hard to never deplete your deep cycle batteries low than 40% of their capacity. I’ve heard that depleting them lower does decrease their overall life span.

Keep your drains clean. This includes your RV toilet. I’ve found that running a hot water flush through drains in the sink and toilet area is a good idea to loosen up potential buildups. I was really trying hard to conserve water in the beginning with my toilet, so I’d use only a small amount of water for flushing and such. I discovered within about a month of use, my toilet was getting clogged quite easily.

This turned out to be that fact that I wasn’t using enough water to properly flush the toilet. And I also have found that I use more water for the sinks and shower. Much more than the toilets could warrant. As a matter of fact, I found with my two girls and my wife with me, we could go two days before the grey tank was full but an easy four for the black tank.

So I’m not so worried about water usage in the toilet, but have been learning to conserve water usage that ends up in the black tank.

Be sure to watch where you plug your electrical system into for your RV. There are specialty protectors for power that are kind of like surge protectors that will protect the electrical system in your RV. Stories are isolated on base power that has damaged the system in an RV but it does tend to happen. The cost is relatively low for a protector compared to the cost of replacing wiring and equipment which is crazy expensive.

When you decide to part for a spell, be sure to protect your generator and vehicle engine, if applicable, by using a good gas stabilizer for times longer than 30 days. If you’ll be parking your RV for more than six months, consider adding fresh gas to the tank after about four months. Again, it will stop stale gas from glazing the inside of your motorhome engine or built-in gas generator.

Finally, be sure to enjoy your vacations, regardless of the length of time! Get out there and make the most of them. It’s a time you’ll never regret. Last year I spent most of the summer months in the RV in different locations. Nothing too exotic, but hey, I had a blast.

I have to be honest with you, I’ve learnt a ton of great things going for an extended RV vacation this summer. In truth, I went to three different places with a small break in between each.

Staying in an RV will start to teach you what you like and don’t like about RVing when you spend more time in it.

Living in a tight space really isn’t a problem, like living in a little house. You are striving to stay in warmer climates, so you will find that the outdoors becomes a part of your living space.

You have to stay super organized. Truly, everyone who is with you has to stay as organized as possible. When at home, we can ignore the kid’s bedroom but in an RV, you’ve got to keep them and yourself super organized or you will run into issues very quickly.

Another thing that I came to realize is water/sewer conservation. If you start taking long showers, you will have to empty your black and grey tanks very often. Most campsites require you to go to a dumping area, so that’s a consideration too. It’s a real pain to pack and unpack the RV for that trip.

Finally, I found it extremely relaxing. I did work throughout the time, but it was just different. Like the old saying, change is as good as a holiday really did play true. I did run into Internet access issues in one location, but overall, it was great!

It did make me realize how much I can enjoy this plus many of the considerations that I’d have to pay attention too if I did long term RVing. I do prefer it over hotelling/motelling. We spent two months overseas a few years back and this is definitely much better. You do carry our whole household with you and that’s kind of nice.


When storing your RV over the winter months, keeping mice out is not only desirable but it may be necessary. I did a ton of research last year before storing our bus before winter and came up with a few solutions.

Why was this so important? Well the mice made our RV home their home over the previous winter, and did a bit of damage. We were luck in that the damage was superficial but I was amazed at what the mice will get into and eat to survive. I thought that we had cleaned it out pretty good, but to my surprise, the mice made a meal of crumbs left over plus things like a spare dish towel left behind on the couch and such.

The rat droppings were pretty gross as well. in the spring it took a good day to clean it all out and convince my wife that it was mouse free. From hearing horror stores where mice actually did costly damage convinced me that we had to get the mouse problem in our RV under control!

Now to my solutions. I looked at several plausible solutions but the main problem I ran across was that most needed supplies that I could only find in the USA. Being in Canada made it harder. One thing that we did have was Health Food stores that would stock something called Peppermint Oil. Now, apparently mice do not like the smell of peppermint.

With little to loose beyond 10 bucks for the peppermint oil, I thought it would be worth a try. My son and I took plastic cups and put cotton wool into them. Then I dripped the oil into the wool. It was very pepperminty to be sure. But it did smell nice. But the real acid test was yet to come.

it’s been four months since I put the peppermint oil into the RV. The scent of the oil did wear off quite a bit but to my amazement-no mice! No mouse droppings or anything. The only thing that I did do was drip more of the oil in late January.

I was in the RV a couple of days back and I could find no traces of any rodents trying to make a home in the RV like last year. I even pulled drawers where I saw clear evidence of mice last year. Nothing at all.

Seems like putting little cups with gauze and the peppermint oil all over the rV worked like a dream. And the added bonus is that the smell is very pleasant to my wife who has a sensitive nose.

I recently been looking at replacing the bulbs in my RV with LED bulbs. My RV takes two different styles of bulbs, one of them being the 1141 type bulb and the other being the 1076 type bulb. I deliberate research and each one of these consumes between about 1 1/2 to 2 A of power when running. This translates into about 18 to 21 W of power being used by these bulbs.

Now my big question is is it worthwhile to purchase LED bulbs because are pretty pricey compared to normal bulbs when you’re looking at replacing them in your RV? The average LED bulb only uses about 1 to 2 W with the power to generate about the same amount of light. Therefore LED bulbs use about a 10th of the power that standard bulbs do.

But how does that translate to usage when your boon docking and not connected to electrical power? In my RV I’ve got about 200 amp hours of reserve power in my batteries before I have to turn on my generator or depend on solar power regeneration. To make things easy if we consider that the bulb was taking too amps and running one bulb we have about 100 hours of time before the battery is completely dead.

To further complicate things we really don’t want to drain our batteries below 50%. Therefore will only have about 50 hours usable time with one bulb. But who one runs just one bulb that any time during the night? It’s not unusual for us to have on 5 to 10 bulbs at night. With five bulbs that reduces our time down to 20 hours.

But we have may also be using other devices that are consume electricity at the same time. You could have a radio or television playing or other devices. All these will be a drain on the battery. And if you boon docking for multiple nights, you have to consider the fact that your batteries might not fully recharge during the daylight hours. Thus these nights add up and further drain your batteries.

I personally found that when running standard light bulbs that I get less time than even what I’m calculating. Yet consider losses in the wire, the bulb might burn little more energy and other factors that are just drain the batteries faster.

With LED bulbs we could potentially be using 1/10 the power of a standard bulb. It’s in my belief that our usage of electricity with the bulbs to light the RV at night now becomes insignificant. You no longer have to worry about the fact that you’ve got on six or seven bulbs in your RV.

The only unfortunate thing is at this time LED bulbs are still pretty pricey. I deliberate price hunting and found that the bulbs that I need could be anywhere from four dollars to over $40. That’s per bulb! So if I’m replacing 20 bulbs in my RV I could easily spend hundreds of dollars. It might be worthwhile just to purchase more batteries!

But as technology marches along the price of LED bulbs should go down in price. It wasn’t so long ago that the cheapest price for one of these bulbs as well as a $20. I intend to check out videos on YouTube as well as other sites to see how they look and color when they burn. I do believe that all bulbs are not made the same.

Here’s one video that I discovered that was actually pretty good from Independence RV.

Second here’s another video that the fellow actually demonstrates the difference between the bulbs. Definitely a great video to watch on rv led bulbs.

Yes, it is sad, but for those of use who haven’t made the full transition to full time rv living, we have to park our RV’s for the winter months. But is it really that hard to get your RV ready for winter and is it worth the $200 most RV shops charge to do it?

Well, that call is up to you, but if you are handy at all, you can get things done in about two hours and for under $20.

There are three areas to be worried about when it comes to winterizing your RV for the winter time. They are the electrical system, the fuel system and the water system.

Winterizing Your Electrical System

rv batteriesIf you have batteries in your RV, the best thing you can do is remove them once you’ve parked your RV. Even if you have a solar panel, consider the fact that the solar panel will get covered in snow and there will be systems in your RV that will deplete your batteries, if you do not at least disconnect them.

If you decide to remove your batteries, be very careful, as they are full of acid, and be sure to wrap your electrical lines to the battery in electrical tape to keep them isolated from each other and the RV body.

If you do remove your batteries, bring them into your home garage and consider picking up an inexpensive trickle charger that you can connect the batteries for a day or so once per month to keep them 100% topped up for spring.

Winterizing Your Fuel System

fuel stabilizerIf you have a RV that has it’s own engine or generator, be sure to add fuel conditioner for the winter months. It’s a simple matter. Figure out how much gas you have left in your tank and then add fuel stabilizer to keep the gas from going stale over the winter months.

It’s best to do this before you take it for the last run of the fall, so it will mix well with the remaining fuel in the fuel tank. Once you’ve parked, be sure to run your gas generator, if you have one fit to your RV as well to bring the conditioned fuel right to the generator.

If you don’t do this, you can damage the main engine or the generator and again have expensive repairs to fix the problem.

Plus remember that fuel stabilizer is only good for about six months of sitting.  After six months, add about $40 of fuel to your fuel tank to refresh the fuel and that will keep things good for a month or two more.

Winterizing Your Water System

water system winterizationThis is probably the largest overlooked and most troublesome things you can miss if you don’t do it before parking for the end of the season.

Remember that water freezes at 32 F or 0 C, so be sure that you pick up the non-toxic anti-freeze from your local RV dealership or even better from your local Walmart, if you have one. I recommend picking up a smaller container if you just have a simple tent trailer and a larger jug if you have a motorhome. You will go through it.

You will need to check your owner’s instructions or at the very least ask your local dealership how to transport the anti-freeze into your water system. You will be replacing the water with the anti-freeze in your water system.

Before doing so, you must ensure that you find the water turn offs that will not allow the antifreeze to go into your RV’s water holding tanks or the hot water tank (if it is equipped).

And it should go without saying, be sure you have completely emptied the water tank, and the waste holding tanks! They can be very expensive to replace!

Once you’ve performed this task once, you’ll see how quick and easy it is to do, and you can save yourself a few dollars at the end of the season!

Finally, be sure not to forget to drain the hot water tank, if you have one. It’s a simple matter of removing the water plug and draining it. Once you’ve drained the tank, replace the plug with proper plumbing tape.

There you go! That overs about 95% of what you will have to deal with at the end of the season. Possibly the only tasks that can be up and above this include getting wheel covers to keep the sun off the tires when parked and general tasks like clean up and removing food stuffs that should be removed at the end of the season.

If you have any comments or questions, be sure to leave your comments below!