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Old 07-07-2015, 01:39 PM   #1
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Talking Maintenance from Dealer questions

How often do you do your maintenance? I research everything.... in researching travel trailers and what some dealers offer vs others I came across annual maintenance packages. At a nameless dealer I was investigating the cost for the basic bundle was about $750, the intermediate $1275 and full package $1575 roughly which includes all the other bundles plus electrical, windows break lines, inspection, lubes to all slides, and breakaway switch test.

IS this just the Norm for trailer ownership? Safety is always my motto but is the full package a must every year or are there things you can get away with NOT doing? I am sure manufacturer warranty states the need for a yearly check up on some things but I was just curious.

Thanks for feeding my curiosity as I want to be well informed when I go to purchase. I am female and don't want to be taken if ya know what I mean.
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Old 07-07-2015, 03:57 PM   #2
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My trailer has not been to any dealer since I bought it. Regular maintenance is DIY for me.
Especially items like greasing the wheelbearings, which few dealers will likely bother to do correctly.
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Old 07-07-2015, 04:19 PM   #3
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RV dealers, car dealers, etc make far more from maintenance schemes than from sales of new units. Like TDI, mine's never been back to the dealer. I do my own maintenance. I can't imagine coughing up nearly $1,600- every year to let the dealer's poorly trained "techs" work on my unit. To qualify that, I'm a licensed aircraft mechanic, (A&P), though I haven't worked in that field for many years. There's not much on my unit I can't fix better than a dealer... because it's mine... and I actually care how the job gets done. If you're handy, save your money and DIY. If not, and it's not broke.... don't pay someone to "fix" it....


I do recommend that you have your bearings and brakes looked at every couple of years, if you don't use it much, and more often if you use it frequently. Make sure you winterize it correctly. I am careful with that one even down here in Texas. Good local tire shops will often inspect/pack bearings.... at a reasonable price. If you go to an RV dealer, keep one hand on your wallet at all times....
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Old 07-07-2015, 05:41 PM   #4
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Okay thanks for the tips... I am a teacher and no mechanical skills do I have so I will be taking it in for sure... but I will remember to keep my hands on my wallet. What items should I do every year vs every other year. I know i need my tires and brakes looked at on the regular like a car, but what can I get away with not doing every year.
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Old 07-07-2015, 08:32 PM   #5
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I'm new to the Travel Trailer world myself, so I've been doing a lot of reading on the forums. I found the following list somewhere and copied it. I think it's probably a pretty good starting point. Some of the things can be done even by a person with very little mechanical aptitude. Others you might want to pay someone to do. Hope this helps. (I don't claim to be an expert.)

-Twice yearly roof inspection (spring/fall) & seal as necessary.
-Keep slides/jacks lubed & slideout seals treated.
-Periodic inspection of propane orifices (mostly after long storage period looking for bug nests - they like propane. put a flea collar in area to keep bugs at bay).
-Yearly inspection of tires.
-Was as needed & wax yearly to keep that "like new" appearance.
-Take the covers off your A/C units and blow out any debris...I found the start of a hornet nest in mine last spring.
-Take off the exterior vent covers for your fridge and clean out any debris and dust that accumulates in behind the fridge.
-Check all the seals around the windows and up on the roof.
-Clean the roof. I use Dicor cleaner and the protectant twice a year.
-Grab a creeper and have a look at the underside of your rig checking for cracked hoses/cables etc.
-One of the best things you can do is buy a cover.
-Check the tires...especially the date if you haven't yet.
-Those are just a few things that come to mind.

-A couple other semi annual things is to clean the battery connections and make sure the water level is correct. Also put the proper protectant on the connections.
-Pull the wheels and hand pack the wheel bearings and inspect and adjust the brakes. This is an annual thing, usually in the spring so the unit is ready for the season.
-Another good idea is to sanitize the fresh water tank every spring before use.
-And change the anode rod in the hot water tank (if it is equipped with one).
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Old 07-07-2015, 08:34 PM   #6
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No no no neck no... Do it yourself as you as a own know more about the RV.

If you don't feel like or have the skills to do the bearings call a local tire shop and ask around. I find a great tire shop which I used for my other trucks. They did both axles for $76plus the $10 deals. I can do it myself but did not have the time.
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Old 07-07-2015, 10:24 PM   #7
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One thing no one has mentioned, yet... Tire pressure... Get a good tire gauge and learn to use it. I use a digital one that's very accurate. Absolutely before each tow, check the tire pressure and make sure they are up to the max pressure on the sidewall... within 3 pounds or so. Low tires get hot, and hot tires blow and cause damage.
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Old 07-08-2015, 07:38 AM   #8
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These are not really technically difficult things. It's all basic stuff that anyone can learn with a little time and a few simple and inexpensive tools.

You will gain confidence and skills over time. Sometimes you just have to set.some time aside and dive in.

Remember, this is preventative maintenance. You are not likely to break anything. And anything you try has been covered (often with pictures) somewhere in this forum. All these trailers share systems, and someone here has already done "it".
If a search doesnt turn it up... just ask.
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Old 07-08-2015, 12:22 PM   #9
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So, as a teacher, you might want to check out local community colleges for a basic automotive 101 course. They teach basic stuff like checking/changing tires, wheel bearings, etc. They probably have some slightly advanced 201 type courses that would get into brakes, minor electrical, etc... A little time invested there could save you lots of money, and lots of hassles on trips. I've been RVing since '10 and my life experiences have saved me tons of money and problems. We do this for enjoyment, and problems on trips seem to put a damper on that... Best of luck to you.
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Old 07-08-2015, 12:23 PM   #10
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I am happy to learn. I had a pop up a while back... bought it used so I did so some of checking of things... Thank you for all your advise. I love this site it's a great resource campers of all levels.
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Old 07-08-2015, 12:24 PM   #11
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Great list[I am gonna print it now.
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Old 07-08-2015, 12:53 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmilinJack View Post
I'm new to the Travel Trailer world myself, so I've been doing a lot of reading on the forums. I found the following list somewhere and copied it. I think it's probably a pretty good starting point. Some of the things can be done even by a person with very little mechanical aptitude. Others you might want to pay someone to do. Hope this helps. (I don't claim to be an expert.)



-Twice yearly roof inspection (spring/fall) & seal as necessary.

-Keep slides/jacks lubed & slideout seals treated.

-Periodic inspection of propane orifices (mostly after long storage period looking for bug nests - they like propane. put a flea collar in area to keep bugs at bay).

-Yearly inspection of tires.

-Was as needed & wax yearly to keep that "like new" appearance.

-Take the covers off your A/C units and blow out any debris...I found the start of a hornet nest in mine last spring.

-Take off the exterior vent covers for your fridge and clean out any debris and dust that accumulates in behind the fridge.

-Check all the seals around the windows and up on the roof.

-Clean the roof. I use Dicor cleaner and the protectant twice a year.

-Grab a creeper and have a look at the underside of your rig checking for cracked hoses/cables etc.

-One of the best things you can do is buy a cover.

-Check the tires...especially the date if you haven't yet.

-Those are just a few things that come to mind.



-A couple other semi annual things is to clean the battery connections and make sure the water level is correct. Also put the proper protectant on the connections.

-Pull the wheels and hand pack the wheel bearings and inspect and adjust the brakes. This is an annual thing, usually in the spring so the unit is ready for the season.

-Another good idea is to sanitize the fresh water tank every spring before use.

-And change the anode rod in the hot water tank (if it is equipped with one).

You might want to think hard before you buy a full cover for your trailer. If used, they'll only last for 2 or 3 years if in full sun. They will chafe places where they touch, leaving paint damage. They are difficult to put on & take off without help. You would probably be better off just keeping your TT washed & waxed with a GOOD polish. Or consider storage under a roof.

Others have given good advice: keep tires inflated to specs; monitor roof needs; maintenance of wheel bearings & brakes. One thing not mentioned is adequately powered & properly set-up hauling vehicle. You might also consider a Safe Driving Course.

One final thing: Always maintain a safety zone in front if you. When someone compromises your safety zone, slow down and reestablish it ASAP.


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Old 07-08-2015, 10:56 PM   #13
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oh, your supposed to maintain these things? no wonder I see sparks when I tow.
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Old 07-08-2015, 11:24 PM   #14
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I guess it's true what they say. "You need to be either rich or handy to own an RV".
Glad I'm handy. I couldn't afford one if I had to take it in all the time. If I don't know how to fix something I read RV forums or Google the problem. Way cheaper. Too much free info out there to run to the dealer for simple things.
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