With limited travel options at the moment, those with an itch to getaway are hitting the open road to enjoy an amazing vacation at their own pace. RV travel allows family and friends to share special moments in a relaxed atmosphere. In this article, we’ll discuss common issues you may come across when traveling by RV and how to stay safe on the road.
Why RVs Are Suddenly Trendy
Unease and fear about COVID-19 has seen sales of RVs and motorhomes skyrocket. As people try to navigate tighter travel restrictions and risks, the unease about commercial travel has led people to seek safer and more comfortable alternatives. RVs allow adventure seekers to set their own schedules and travel at their own pace, all the while practicing social distancing. RV travel also allows people to avoid places they may feel uncomfortable about such as restaurants and hotels.
Whether you dream of a cozy, cabin-like interior or prefer a more modern and sleek aesthetic, it’s relatively simple to transform a standard RV into a home away from home with all the creature comforts. And, if you want something extra special how about an RV so luxurious it comes with its own helicopter? As if that isn’t unique enough, check out this 1950’s atomic era inspired custom-built camper.
Of course, another major drawcard of RV travel is the ability to soak in the summer sun in mother nature. The Southwestern states are home to some of America’s best road trip destinations. Take your pick – the endless coastline of California, the sprawling sandstones in Nevada, or the breathtaking lakes and caves in Arizona. In fact, California alone is home to more national parks than any other state. With over 1,200 private RV parks and campgrounds, you’ll always have somewhere new to discover!
Common RV Issues You Will Likely Experience
Regular maintenance will prevent most issues, but as most seasoned RV travelers will tell you, accidents can happen. Sometimes, repairs are inevitable. The technology in modern RVs is amazing, but extreme weather and road vibrations mean that RVs can take a beating. Knowing the common issues you’re likely to encounter means you’ll be better prepared to get back on the road quickly!
Burst Water Lines
A burst or broken water line is one of the first problems that new RV owners will run into. You can avoid this by learning how to properly prepare your RV for storage when it’s not in use.
The water lines in an RV are typically made of either copper or plastic. If the water tanks are not empty, the cold weather will freeze the waterline, and the water inside will prevent it from expanding, causing the line to split. Replacing a broken water line is not a particularly difficult problem to fix, but it can be easily avoided.
The average RV weighs around 5,200 lbs and usually carries an additional 1,500 lbs of water and additional equipment. Therefore, the tires on an RV are subject to additional stress that car tires are not, so additional care must be taken to avoid blowouts.
Depending on the size and weight of your RV, tires will range from passenger-car types to truck or trailer size. Load rating MUST be considered, and tire pressure must be monitored and adjusted according to ambient air temperature and changes in altitude. Although these may seem like small adjustments, failing to allow for them when towing thousands of pounds behind your vehicle can become disastrous in a split second. You can prevent tire blowout from happening by taking a couple of minutes to check the health of your tires before you hit the road.
Having your own toilet on a long road trip is an underrated pleasure, but few problems strike more dread in an RV owner than toilet troubles. It is unpleasant to deal with, smells bad, and can be a health hazard. The most common type of problems are water leaking at the base of the toilet, the toilet continuously running, or even the dreaded clogged toilet. None of these problems are particularly tricky to deal with, but the very nature of toilets means that most people are happy to pay somebody else to fix it and deal with the mess.
Electrical issues are not uncommon, but inexperienced RV owners often don’t know how to troubleshoot them. To make matters worse, working with electricity can be dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. Knowing enough to at least perform a walk-around inspection may be enough to solve a handful of minor issues. However, if replacing a fuse or resetting a circuit breaker doesn’t solve the problem, it’s a job best left to the professionals because dealing with electrical issues can be dangerous.
Window and Roof Leaks
When you combine the movement and motion of an RV with the extreme temperatures they are exposed to, it’s only a matter of time before you’ll have to deal with a cracked seal, or leaking window or roof. A water leak can ruin an RV if it isn’t fixed quickly, especially if the water is leaking inside or into electrical circuits. Being able to track the source of the leak as soon as possible is vital to preventing any serious (and expensive) water damage.
Faulty Air Conditioner
Nothing can drain the fun out of a holiday faster than a faulty air conditioner. Air conditioners require regular cleaning and maintenance to operate optimally. Physically, it’s one of the largest appliances in your RV. The best way to avoid potential issues is to take care of it when your RV is not in use and check its operation before you leave home.
Common RV Repair Obstacles
When the unexpected happens, it’s important to have a plan. Most mechanics don’t have the facilities to repair something the size and weight of an RV. To fill this need, there has been a surge of mobile RV mechanics and some campsites even offer onsite service and repair.
The tradeoff for this convenience seems to be expense, with emergency callout services attracting a premium. It’s typical for RV repair services to be staffed by a jack-of-all-trades, and not necessarily a trained mechanic. This isn’t a problem if you’re experiencing an issue related to a temperamental air conditioner or a leaking shower. But for more serious issues such as wheel bearings or an overheating engine, it’s best to have your trusted mechanic solve these issues.
A good RV mechanic can be hard to come by, and seemingly impossible to find when you need them the most. So, it’s in your best interest to find one before you hit the road and familiarize yourself with the services they offer. Some questions you want to ask may include:
- Do they have a call-out service?
- Do they have the tools to work on your RV? Can they lift it if they need to drop out a transmission for example?
- Are they experienced with RV engines?
- Can they help you with more specialized repairs such as plumbing and electrical?
- Is your mechanic comfortable with doing warranty work (if applicable)?
How AutoNation Mobile Service Can Help You With Mobile RV Repair
Forgive us for tooting our own horn, but we couldn’t resist the urge given all this talk of hitting the open road! Our AutoNation Mobile Service technicians are mobile repair experts. Leave your RV parked in it’s spot, and we’ll come to you! Best of all, our work is backed by a 12-month/12,000-mile service warranty, and we have thousands of satisfied customers who have given us 5-star reviews.
Mechanical issues strike in the most inopportune times. Luckily, we have technicians available every day of the week to keep you moving. Best of all, we’re happy to quote you a price upfront, so there are no hidden surprises. Don’t wait until you run into trouble on the road – call us to arrange an inspection and enjoy a stress-free holiday.