Daily Preventive Maintenance Travel Checks

We took a five week long RV trip, traversing the country from east to west and back again. Something I noticed that surprised me is the majority of RVers I saw at the campground did not take a minute or two to check the fluid levels in their RV or tow vehicle after arriving at the campground, or before leaving on the next days journey. I’m sure some people did check their vehicle over and I just didn’t see it, but what I am saying is that out of all the campgrounds we stayed I saw very few people with the hood up checking fluid levels.

Now I’ll be the first one to admit when I am on a shorter trip, say 1,000 miles or less, I don’t usually check the fluid levels or tire pressure every day before traveling. But, when we are driving at elevations of 7,000 feet plus I think it’s important to check a few things before leaving each day. Driving through mountainous terrain in hot temperatures can be hard on the engine, transmission and tires.

At a minimum I like to make the following Preventive Maintenance checks before each travel day.

1) Check the tow vehicle or motorhome fluid levels. This includes engine oil, transmission fluid, power steering, coolant level and windshield washer fluid level. Adjust all fluid levels according to owner manual instructions.

2) Check the gGenerator oil and generator exhaust system. When it’s hot outside we usually run the generator when we are traveling so we can use the roof air conditioner and other electrical devices. Caution: Do not use the generator if there is any damage to the exhaust system.

3) Tire pressure. I use a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) so I can monitor the tire pressure and tire temperature while traveling. If you don’t use a TPMS you should check the tire pressure periodically.

4) Hitch work, lights and brakes on the towed trailer or towed vehicle.

5) Check for any leaks. Look under the vehicle for any evidence of leaks. Have any leaks checked out and repaired before leaving.

Keep in mind that this list does not replace any pre-trip checks that you might make before traveling each day. It is simply a short list of some daily preventive maintenance items you can make to help prevent potential problems from occurring.

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Happy RV Learning,

Mark Polk
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