The Ultimate RV Maintenance Checklist for Every Season

Before you hit the road for your next adventure, be sure you’re up to date on all the necessary RV maintenance with our handy checklist.

RV maintenance checklist

Long road trips are par for the course when you’re an RV owner, but to ensure safer travels on your next adventure, it’s important to know the requirements for pre-trip, monthly, semi-annual, and annual maintenance on your RV. Therefore, we’ve created a maintenance checklist just for you!

Table of Contents

Downloadable RV maintenance checklist

How often should you check your RV for repairs?

Good maintenance is essential when you own an RV, whether you keep it parked for a while, are constantly on the go, or plan to sell it one day. Keeping your RV in good shape makes it reliable as well as helps it maintain its value.

You should conduct RV maintenance in two different ways: regular maintenance on a fixed schedule as well as before each trip—no matter how short the trip may be. Monthly, annual, and seasonal care (with special attention to hot- and cold-weather maintenance) keeps your RV in good running order for the long haul and ensures that whatever the conditions outside, your vehicle will be in shape to handle each new road trip.

Pre-trip maintenance

Perform pre-trip maintenance before every trip. Even a well-maintained RV needs a solid examination before setting out for a trip far away or close to home. This may sound like an obvious step to take if your RV has been sitting for a while and you’re planning your first trip of the season. However, even if you’re just preparing to leave a campground for your next destination or heading home, pre-trip maintenance offers essential preventative care. You get a chance to note any small things that could lead to big issues while on the road.

Because every RV is different, you can customize your own checklist based on a series of important components you should examine both inside and outside of your RV.

Inside your RV

To compile your custom checklist, walk from the front to the back of the vehicle and write down all of your checkpoints in order. That way, you’re less likely to overlook an item on your list. You can use the following checklist to create your own pre-trip checklist for the inside of your RV or just check off the items online as you go:

Turn off the furnace

Your furnace runs on propane, which can open you to a host of problems if you travel with it on, including the pilot light being blown out causing methane to leak into your unit. So switching it off before you leave avoids these hazards

Turn off the water pump

Even a small leak can turn into a big flooding problem when you’re on the road. Shutting off your water pump ensures no water flows through your RV while traveling.

Turn off the refrigerator

Even small shifts while driving can cause your fridge’s propane line to break. Since a switched-off RV fridge filled with ice-cold beverages and food won’t drop its temp much if you leave the door closed—even for eight hours of traveling—turning it off while driving makes the safest choice.

Turn off the pilot lights

Since you’re switching off all of your propane-fed appliances, you won’t need the pilot lights. So turning them off helps prevent propane-related issues like gas leaks.

Check antenna

Outdoor antennas can easily snap, so if you have an outdoor antenna, make sure you lower and properly store it before setting out.

Turn off the water heater

Like any other appliance in your RV, slight shifts from traveling can cause dangerous propane leaks. Since you won’t have to wait long for it to reheat at your destination, keep it off while traveling.

Close and secure all windows

Of course, open windows allow dust and dirt just as they would in a car, but unlike a car, open RV windows can cause uneven pressure that leads to blown-out windows. Open RV windows can also cause your RV to sway dangerously with even small wind gusts.

Close all the roof vents

Similar to windows, you want to keep roof vents closed while traveling to keep out dust and debris as well as moisture.

Secure all large items

Even if wall-mounted, be sure things like your TV and computer are stored and secured tight so they don’t get damaged en route.

Close and lock cabinets

After carefully storing items in your cabinets, you don’t want them falling out, or worse, having flapping cabinet doors damaging the interior of your RV while driving.

Close and latch interior doors

An RV frame may shift slightly while traveling and allow doors to open, which can obstruct views or damage the inside of your RV. So be sure you don’t simply close interior doors but also latch them tightly to prevent them from opening on the road.

Secure all entry doors

Like interior doors, exterior entry points can open when your RV frame flexes on the road. Locking may not be enough so be sure to secure all doors to prevent them from opening while driving.

Secure all trash cans

Empty your trash cans before you get underway and secure them in place so that you don’t have trash or empty cans rolling around your RV. Using collapsible trash cans allows you to use less storage space while on the road.

Outside your RV

Walk around the outside of your RV more than once to ensure that you’ve checked everything and leave nothing behind. The following checklist gives you places to check outside your RV but can’t tell you other things, such as which pieces of outside furniture you may have missed:

Check the jacks

Outdoor conditions can cause damage to your jacks so look for things like dents and twisted or corroded metal. Because the vibration of traveling can loosen bolts, check for loose bolts and stripped threads as well. If your RV uses electric or hydraulic jacks, look through your manual to ensure you check all necessary components, such as wiring and hydraulic fluid.

Remove and store chocks

You need your chocks at the next stop so be sure to store them securely after you remove them. Make sure you store them somewhere convenient so you can easily get to them first at your next destination to secure your RV.

Check all your lights

Ensure all your lights are working properly, including high beams, brake lights, fog lamps, and turn signals. Don’t forget to check the lights on your tow vehicle as well, if you have one.

Check the brakes

Just like the lights check the brakes on your RV as well as any tow vehicle you’re using.

Inspect your tires

While the tires are cold, check the tread and walls for wear and tear or uneven tread, check the pressure on each tire, and make sure all lug nuts are tightened. If you need to buy new tires, you should do this now and not when you’re stranded on the road. Be sure to check the tires on your tow vehicle as well.

Remove and store the levelers

Remove whatever system you use for leveling and store them securely for use at your destination.

Put away and secure the awning

Retract all awnings and lock or store them securely.

Check all exterior compartments

Make sure you completely close compartment doors and latch them. Check for and tighten any loose latches.

Clean the campsite and throw away all trash

Check more than once to ensure you leave nothing behind and that you properly dispose of all trash.

Stow and secure all outside furniture and recreational equipment

Just like when you check for trash, be sure that whatever furniture and equipment you’ve used you pack back up. Store and secure all furniture and equipment so that it doesn’t get loose and become a hazard.

Check both the drain and fill hoses

Inspect your hoses for cracks, holes, and breakages, and secure your freshwater, gray water, and black water valves or caps to avoid leaks.

Close off propane tanks

For the same reasons you turn off your water heater and appliances, you should drive with your propane tank closed to avoid dangerous leaks.

Inspect your generator

Make sure it runs properly, shows no signs of corrosion, and that the wiring is in good working order. Change the filter and fluids, if needed.

Remove and store the water pressure regulator

Store this somewhere handy so you can easily grab it when you hit your destination.

Fold up, retract, and secure exterior stairs or steps you use

If your RV isn’t equipped with retractable stairs, store and secure loose steps or stools that you use to enter and exit the RV.

Monthly RV maintenance

Developing a maintenance schedule begins with a monthly list. Even if you haven’t driven your RV in the past month, you need to make sure everything is in running order. Sometimes, leaving it sitting for an extended period is even more reason to do a maintenance check.

Check and repair seals as needed

Check seals around your windows, exterior compartments, doors, and on the roof for any water damage. Repair missing or broken seals and look for signs that water has gotten in, such as standing water, water marks, or a wet interior. Water damage to an RV roof can be extremely expensive to repair, and debris left sitting on your roof can cause damage as well.

Check your wet-cell batteries’ water levels

Check the battery manufacturer’s recommendation for how much water to add to your batteries.

Vacuum and clean air conditioner vents and ducts

Just like your own home not on wheels, make sure you clear these of dust and debris.

Run your generator

You need to exercise your generator each month to keep it in shape. Consult the owner’s manual for your generator to get specifics for how long to run it and how much load to add while it runs.

Check the engine

Whether your RV runs on gas or diesel, starting your engine and taking it for a short drive helps keep engine components lubricated.

Check and top off fluid levels

When the engine is cool, examine your oil, coolant, transmission, brake, and wiper fluids. Follow the steps in your owner’s manual for safely checking these components.How often you need an oil change depends on how much you use your RV. So now is a good time to get that done if your RV is nearly due for one.

Pack and/or repack your emergency toolbox

Make sure you have all the correct tools you need and that you have spare batteries included.

Check smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors

All batteries should be working. Be sure you have backups on board.

Check your tire

When tires are sitting in the same position for a long period of time, they lose tire pressure. Inspect your tires so that you can add air as needed, and make sure your lug nuts are tightened, too. When you take your RV for a short drive, pay attention to your alignment and take it to a mechanic if you notice any problems.

Check under your motorhome

Make sure you see no signs of animals trying to nest or hang out under your RV for shelter. Be sure to look for entry holes or damage to equipment like hoses or gaskets. Also check for loose parts, signs of rust, or fluid leaks.

Lubricate and inspect slideouts

Your slideouts should move smoothly and easily. Engage them each month to examine the latches, hinges, and other moving parts. Lubricate them as needed to ensure they move smoothly.

Seasonal/Semi-annual RV maintenance

Seasonal maintenance is important, too. Some items that don’t need to be checked monthly will need attention every six months. So at the six-month mark, while you’re doing one of your monthly inspections, include these items in your monthly checklist, too:

Wax your motorhome’s exterior

Elements from the road, sun exposure, and droppings from animals can damage your exterior when left on your RV. Clean and rinse your vehicle and then wax it to protect it from these damage-causing elements.

Do a thorough damage check

Walk around your RV and inspect the outside for any problems, such as rusted areas, soft areas, or bubbling that could signal water damage, or holes and cracks that could let in dirt, dust, insects, and animals.

Lubricate high-wear metal areas

Hinges, jacks, hitches, slideouts, and other metal moving parts should be lubricated at this time.

Check and/or replace the water filter

Your water filter lasts for three to four months, depending on how often you use your RV. If you are using your RV full time, you need to replace your filter more often than you would for occasional use, so adjust this maintenance task as necessary.

Deep clean or detail RV interior

Just like the exterior, elements allowed to sit inside your RV can lead to bigger problems and damage down the road. Whether your RV sits in the sun or receives no interior light while not in use, a thorough cleaning of your interior every six months helps prevent damage.

Weigh your RV

Weigh your RV with it loaded for a typical trip. Check the manufacturer’s gross axle weight rating (GAWR) for your RV as well as the Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR). The GAWR helps you understand how to distribute the weight in your vehicle and the GCWR gives you the maximum weight of everything onboard, including cargo and passengers, and don’t exceed it.

Yearly RV maintenance

Your yearly maintenance checklist should include what’s on your monthly checklist, your semi-annual checklist, plus the following checks you might need to do less often:

Check windshield wiper blades

Be sure these operate properly and show no signs of wear and tear. If you haven’t replaced these recently, you may be due for some new ones.

Inspect the propane tanks

Check for any propane odor and check your hoses and seals to see if they show any signs of wear or cracking. Inspect your cylinders and hardware for rust or damage and have a trained service technician make any necessary repairs. Check to see whether your tank needs to be recertified.

Test all safety equipment to ensure it works

This list should include your fire extinguisher(s), smoke detector(s), carbon monoxide detector, and your horn. Change the batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.

Service your brakes

Check your brake fluid and brake pads, and adjust your brakes as necessary.

Sanitize your freshwater tank

You need to sanitize your freshwater tank to ensure you have safe, potable water. Use ¼ cup of bleach, diluted in water, for every 16 gallons in your freshwater tank. Add it to your tank using a funnel, fill the tank with water, and let it sit for 12 hours. Then, drain the tank and flush the system.

Tune-up heating and cooling systems

Inspect your air conditioner and water heater and have them professionally serviced, if needed.

Update your maintenance log

Keeping track of what you’ve done can keep you on top of maintenance tasks, and knowing when you’ve performed them will remind you when regular maintenance is due.

Check and rotate your tires

Rotate your RV tires so they wear evenly, and look for any problems. If you need replacements, used tires can be an option, as long as they’re in good condition. It’s a good option for saving money, as long as you stay safe. If you’re towing a trailer, then don’t forget to check your trailer tires, too.

Inspect your engine’s belts and hoses

Take a look under the hood and check for any cracking or deterioration in the belts and hoses. Make sure they’re at proper tension and not loose.

Hot weather RV maintenance

Summer travel and the heat associated with it pose their own challenges. Although your monthly maintenance tasks should take care of your needs, pay close attention to these items if you know you’ll be traveling in the heat of summer.

How to prepare your RV for hot weather

Especially if you skipped some monthly maintenance checks, be sure to do the following before traveling in the heat:

Check and top off fluid levels

Make sure you have enough coolant and refrigerant in your air conditioner.

Examine your air filter

Clean or replace it if necessary.

Test batteries and refill fluid levels

Test your batteries to make sure they have a good charge, and top off the water with distilled water as needed.

Clean and wax the RV’s exterior

The wax can help prevent damage from UV rays.

Check and repair broken seals

Repairing seals protects your RV from weather damage both inside and out.

How to protect your RV’s interior

Heat and direct sunlight can cause fading, cracking, and other aging to the interior of your RV. Follow these tips to minimize direct sunlight damaging your interior:

  • Park in the shade.
  • Use curtains.
  • Use a fold-up sunscreen/visor to protect your dashboard.
  • Use seat covers to protect seats.
  • Apply conditioner to keep leather surfaces soft and protect them from cracking caused by the sun.

Essential RV amenities

If you budget only allows for the necessities, don’t leave home without ensuring you have the following essential components for RV travel:

Wheel chocks

Your parking brake may keep your RV stable, but it doesn’t keep it immobile. Wheel chocks keeps your RV secure so it doesn’t go rolling away.


Your RV must be level for your equipment to work properly. Even if you have electric or hydraulic levelers, you need to bring some type of manual level system along for when you must park on uneven ground.

Drinking water hose

You need a dedicated hose to fill your freshwater tank at each destination. Because the spigot could be far away, get at least one 25-foot-long hose labeled “potable,” meaning suited for drinking water.

Water filter

Water quality varies from place to place, and a water filter keeps debris out of your pump and out of your drinking water.

Sewer hose

You don’t want this hose to be cheap. Get a nice, 10- to 20-foot sewer hose with adapters—if it comes with a see-through connector, even better.

Surge protector

Protect your electronics from sudden electrical surges and dips, common to life at the campground.

Shore power cord

If your RV isn’t equipped with a power cord, you can’t use a home extension cord for your RV power so you need a shore power cord instead. Check the amperage of your RV to select the appropriate cord.

Electrical adapters

Adapters can enable you to adjust to different service outputs or receptacles as needed.

Water pressure regulator

This mechanism is a valve that moderates water pressure from a source. Water pressure at different sites can vary, and this regulator ensures you don’t ruin your plumbing.

Tire pressure gauge

A digital pressure gauge is helpful in checking your tire pressure; don’t count on finding a gas station with an accurate gauge when you need one.

Duct tape

For quick fixes, it’s hard to beat for RVers.


If you break down on a dark road, you’ll need a powerful bright flashlight that can illuminate a large area, is durable, and takes batteries with long life. One with multiple settings can be helpful, too.

Emergency road kit

Creating a checklist of your own can help ensure you don’t forget anything, from water to blankets; ice scrapers to tire chains in winter; screwdrivers to lug wrenches; a first-aid kit; and other necessities.

Extra motor oil and transmission fluid

It’s good to have some of each on hand in case you break down far away from the nearest gas station.

Fire extinguisher

It’s just as important on the road as it is at home—perhaps more so, considering potential engine problems.

Closed bag for important documents

Include things like your registration, insurance, reservations, prescriptions, emergency contact numbers, list of allergies, and so on.


Conducting routine maintenance on your motorhome can make your RV camping trip more enjoyable by freeing you from worry and reducing the chance of potential mishaps. These RV maintenance tips should help you keep your camper, motorhome, fifth wheel, or travel trailer in tip-top shape.

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