7 Tips to Extend the Life of Your RV

No matter how you look at it, buying an RV is a significant financial investment. You will likely have to finance the purchase over a period of several years, and the RV might actually be the second most-expensive thing you ever purchase (other than your house). So, obviously, you are going to want to get the longest possible life out of your RV in order to maximize your return on investment. With that in mind, the seven tips listed below may be of interest to you as an RV owner. Enjoy!

Recreational vehicles on the highway#1 – Use Your RV!

This one might be a little counter-intuitive, but one of the best things you can do for the health of your RV is to actually get out and use it. If the RV just sits in your driveway month after month all year long, it is gradually going to deteriorate in condition. The movement of air through the cabin is good for the interior, and it is good for the engine to be run consistently (in the case of a motorhome).

#2 – Keep It Clean

An obvious point, this item needs to mentioned simply due to its importance. If you fail to clean your RV, it is going to decline in condition much faster than an RV which is properly cared for. Clean your rig inside and out after every trip to make sure it is ready for your next adventure. This is a tip which will improve your enjoyment of the RV in the present day while also positioning it for a better lifespan.

#3 – Care for Your Tires

A tire blowout while driving down the freeway is a scary experience, and it could lead to serious damage to your RV. Care for your tires by keeping them inflated to the right pressure, and replace all tires before they wear out. Even if you don’t have that many miles on your tires, they need to be replaced every few years because the rubber will degrade.

#4 – Tighten Everything Up

Your RV is basically a home on wheels, and the fact that is has to endure the beating offered by the highway means things are going to come loose much faster than in a traditional home. Before you head out on a vacation, take a few moments to walk around the rig with a screwdriver to tighten everything up nicely.

#5 – Stick with a Maintenance Schedule

When you purchased your RV, you were certainly provided with a recommended schedule for preventive maintenance. Do your best to stick to that schedule, as it is going to help your RV continue to run properly as the miles and years add up.

#6 – Keep It Covered

One of the best things you can do for the life of your RV is simply to park it in a covered spot. If you store the rig on your own property, invest in some kind of covered parking structure which can keep the weather off of the RV while it is in storage. If keeping the RV at a storage facility, try to find one that offers covered parking. The additional charge of a covered spot will pay for itself when your RV continues to perform well year after year.

#7 – Monitor Your Seals

A common issue for older RV is mold, which is often created when moisture sneaks in through degraded seals. Take some time every few months to check on the condition of the seals in your RV and have them replaced if necessary. This is a point of high importance, as water will quickly destroy the interior of your RV if it has a way to get in.


  • Anybody tell me what kind of a job is it to replace the seals on slides? My wife and I are contemplating buying a new or late model toy hauler. Just wondering how often they have to be replaced? I agree that actually “using” it will make them last longer. I looked at several RV’s that have been just bought and left at one location and they’re falling apart and getting mildewed. Looked at one that was just trashed by some people that hauled dirt bikes around to tracks and it was all tracked up and greasy and just smelled terrible. Best thing to do with that thing would be a large bonfire!!!

    • My husband just replaced all the seals on our fifth wheel slides. It wasn’t difficult, just time consuming. We have three slides, two of which are very long, and it took him a day to do them all. Hope this helps!

  • There are aerosol sprays that you use on the seals and slider tracks that help keep them in good condition. Just be sure you don’t get the kind that attracts dir

  • Be careful on the type of seals your rig has. Our 2012 Brookstone diamond edition the seals costs over 5K due to special seals. Thank GOD for the extended warranty. Of course the insurance company was ready to cancel the policy until I threaten legal action since the policy listed seals as being covered.

  • I think in these tips when they refer to seals they’re referring more importantly to your sealants. Three different types of sealants are used on RVs to keep them water tight. Everywhere a hole is cut through fiberglass will have sealants …your marker lights your stack pipes sky lights etc. once a year you should have your RV inspected by an RV dealership and have them perform a test called the sealtech. This is where they pressurize inside the cabin with air and externally brush soapy water and look for air bubbles that will indicate which of the sealants have let loose or failed. Depending upon where you live sealants may need to be completely scraped off and re-done anywhere between 2, 4 or up to six years. The climate you live in or travel to will dictate how often you need your sealants redone. Sunlight UV rays are hard on everything paint fiberglass and especially rubber and sealants. If you have what is known as a rubber roof TPO or EDPM material will require a whole lot more maintenance see what your manufacturer recommends but it is always a good idea to annually put on a UV protectant to maintain longevity and not develop hairline cracks or become brittle.

    As for your seals around your slide rooms they should be lubricated annually with a dry silicone never using it lubricant that will leave a residual behind. Don’t ever use WD-40 I repeat do not use WD-40 it is only good for squeaks. 100 percent dry silicon will not leave a greasy residual behind. This is an aerosol 100 percent dry silicon will not stain yet it will provide lubrication. There is a specific product sold called slide glide it sprays out about 5 feet for those hard to reach places with a foaming action this coats and lubricates your rubber slide room seals.coat your bulb and flap seals and they should last forever.

    I own a 1999 Winnebago have owned it over 15 years using these maintenance tips you’ll never be changing out or replaces those seals.