Annual RV Maintenance Checklist

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Maintenance is a part of life for an RV owner. That shouldn’t be a deterrent to owning an RV – after all, pretty much anything you use on a regular basis is going to require maintenance in order to perform properly year after year. However, you do need to respect the maintenance needs of your RV if you want it to live up to its potential for as long as possible.

annual-rv-maintenance-checklistSome of the maintenance that you will need to do on your RV needs to be done on a regular basis – such as every time that you take your rig out for a trip. This type of maintenance includes checking on the overall condition of your RV, washing it after a trip, oil changes on certain mileage milestones, and more. In addition to those regular points, you are also going to have some yearly maintenance points that you will want to keep track of to keep your rig on track for a healthy life. A few of the important annual RV maintenance points to hit on are listed below.

Care for Hot Water Heater

The hot water heater on your RV should be maintained on an annual basis, with the exact work that needs to be done varying based on the specifics of your unit. Some of the likely maintenance tasks to be done includes flushing the water heater, checking the pressure relief value, cleaning the burner tube, and more. If you aren’t comfortable or capable of doing this work yourself, have it done by a qualified technician at your local RV dealership.

Brake Inspection

You won’t need to do a brake job on your RV every single year, but you do want to check on the condition of your brakes at least annually to make sure they are wearing properly. Obviously it would be a mistake to drive your RV on brakes that are wearing out prematurely, as you need quality brakes to bring a large rig to a safe stop out on the road.

Tire Rotation

Depending on how many trips you take in your RV during the year, and how far you drive during those trips, you may need to rotate your tires on an annual basis. Rotating your tires will help them to wear more evenly, meaning you should get a longer useful life from the set of tires on the rig currently. Failing to rotate tires may force you to buy a new set sooner, which is never a desirable outcome.

Furnace Work

Just as is the case with the hot water heater, you also want to check on the operation and condition of your furnace on an annual basis. If you tend to use your RV during the winter months when the furnace will get a significant workout, you need to make sure it is going to be up to the challenge.

Thorough Tank Cleaning

You should be taking care of your black and grey water tanks on a regular basis, but you should also give them a ‘deep’ cleaning once per year. Using a little vinegar along with some water should do a good job of cleaning out your tanks and lines.

Cleaning the Fridge

It is easy to take your refrigerator for granted when thinking about RV maintenance, but this is another unit that needs attention at least on an annual basis. In addition to cleaning out the interior and wiping everything down, you should also clean the exterior parts that are responsible for the operation of the fridge (including the baffle, coils, etc.).

RV ownership offers the opportunity to have a lot of fun, but it comes along with some responsibility as well. By taking care of some basic annual maintenance points – including those listed above and more – you should be on track to get a productive lifespan from your rig.

Would you add any thing else to the list? Let us know in the comments below.



  1. Another thing that I do bi-annually is take Murphy’s Oil soap and thoroughly clean all wood surfaces in the camper. Helps with odor control, I believe, as well as freshens up the shine on the interior wood.

  2. I would like to see a bit more detail on the actual steps to doing the deep clean of the tanks. Since I don’t have a gravity feed intake putting fluids/chemicals is a trick.

    What about the seals around the slide outs, lub for the leveling jacks, and what is the best caulk for sealing around windows and joints… vertical and horizontal?

  3. A few more

    1) wash the roof and inspect for any damage or spots that need to be re-caulked. Especially around vents, A/C connections, sky-lights, TV antenna base and at the caps. DIY or take to your dealer.
    2) Tire pressure – properly inflated tires last longer
    3) check for opening where your little furry friends can get in when in storage. Check out You-tube for some good DIY traps to keep the mice out of the unit!
    4) Along with flushing your tanks and plumbing – don’t for get the RV anti-freeze and I recommend a good seal lube for toilet and tank valves, use after cleaning, but before adding anti-freeze. Work the valves and toiler a few times to coat the seals and then add the antifreeze!
    5) Make sure you drain the ice maker if so equipped – you might have multiple valves like I do

    Just a few. I am sure others have more suggestions Good luck


  4. Another thing you, and most other folks forget is to go thrua all your cupboards, drawers, storage bins, passthroughs and the like, and get all the stuff you hadn’t used in the past year and do something else with it.

  5. Servicing the batterys. Cleaning the cable connections, checking the water ,if it not sealed, have it load tested.

  6. Bone headed… Don’t lose situational awareness when backing with a trailer… Jack knifing is never a good thing. Happened.

  7. Probably wouldn’t hurt to check the generator. Put some Stab-il in the gasoline tank and then top it off to mix it good. Then run the generator for a few minutes to get it into the carb/lines. Clean the battery connections with a battery brush, and spray a protectant film (the red stuff) on them afterwards. Drop a few cotton balls with peppermint oil around the battery box, to discourage mice. If I have a on demand water heater, do I still have to drain it?

  8. Annual Check List, Partial (Owner of 5th wheeler)

    1. Inspected and repack wheel bearing (on trailers)
    2. Grease all wet bolts on suspension system, check bolt tightness
    3. Grease any lube location on hitch (mostly 5th wheeler hitches)
    4. Grease/lube any landing gears/leveling jacks as required
    5. Inspect and clean roof top AC units
    6. Inspect batteries (clean contacts and tightness, check water levels, check specific gravity, voltage of each battery)
    7. Lube TV antenna mast components as required
    8. Clean roof and gutter
    9. Inspect and re-caulk everyplace caulking is used
    10. Check all light bulbs, interior and exterior, good time to switch to LEDs
    11. Tire wear and general condition, pressure should be checked on a regular basis as well as lug nuts
    12. Clean any carpet
    13. Clean and lube all seals on slides
    14. Lube slide components as required
    15. Check easy operation of your fire escape windows
    16. Turn all dry chemical fire extinguishers upside down and shake them hard to loosen settled chemical, replace if the needle is not in the green area
    17. Conduct a propane pressure and leak test

    As stated elsewhere if you are not able to do these tasks have it done by a qualified service person.

  9. Don’t buy CHINA TIRES!
    Some of us have no choice with 15″ tires on R 5th wheels.
    Upgrade to 16″ on a tri-axle gets costly.

  10. I check my spare and the winch, which this year I found that the keeper on the tire end of the cable had rusted to a point that needs replacement, and I kept it under coated

  11. A hint about your black tanks, the last trip of the year, drain the tank before returning home and put some water in it and a couple of squirts of DAWN dish soap. This will give the tank a good cleaning before getting home. Dont forget to flush it out before storing it. WORKS GREAT

  12. Wish people would stop calling a water heater a hot water heater. If you have hot water you don’t need a heater. It is a cold water heater if anything.

  13. The seals around the slide outs, for the leveling jacks, and what is the best caulk for sealing around windows and joints vertical and horizontal can be done with RV Liquid Roof Coatings easily.

  14. It isn’t a “HOT WATER HEATER” it is just a Water Heater… if the water was ho you wouldn’t need to heat it
    Picayune ?? perhaps but your editor should know better !


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