Annual RV Repairs Over the Long Haul

We are 4 years into the ownership of our Grand Design RV.  We have loved our RV journey in this travel trailer.  And RV ownership does require work and regular maintenance.  We have found that the more we use our RV, the more confident we are.  We have also discovered that increased use also means increased maintenance and overall wear and tear.  Today, I am sharing some things to be on the lookout for over the ownership of your RV and how to tackle them based on your skill level.
Regular maintenance throughout the year makes a huge different over the time of ownership.

Annual RV Repairs Over the Long Haul

My husband and I are not afraid to repair some RV issues at home.  But, some things to require calling a professional.  Plus, we don't always know what to look for.  We either take in our RV for the annual inspection or have a mobile tech do the job.  This helps us to maintain our RV and keep it in good working order.  Regular maintenance helps us ensure that we continue to love our RV for a long time!

I had a leak in our RV kitchen a couple of years ago.  It turned out to be a warranty issue that was repaired by a mobile tech and paid for by Grant Design.

Mobile RV Techs

If you are not a do it yourself enthusiast, I cannot recommend mobile RV techs enough!  Many RV dealerships and service centers will recommend RV Techs.  It is hard to get an RV into a dealership during peak times of the year.  I appreciate the candor of a dealership trying to keep you on the road and doing what you love rather than waiting in a long line for a repair job.  

A mobile RV tech can do anything from warranty RV work, annual inspections and basic repairs and maintenance.  We first used a mobile RV tech during Covid.  We have used this service several times over the course of our ownership.  It is the easiest way to have repairs made without the trouble of towing your RV to the dealership.  Since a mobile tech is focused on one job at a time, I find that the service in many cases in better than at a dealership.  

Recently our underpinning came disconnected at the front of our RV.  We discovered this after our Disney trip.  I called the dealership to be told that they couldn't see us for several months and recommended a mobile tech.  Since we were due for our annual inspection, we did both jobs with our mobile tech.  They made our repair and did our inspection ahead of our next trip for Easter.  Great service and so easy!  

Mobile techs will charge a service call fee, but this is typical.  If it is a warranty claim, you can work with your dealership or the RV brand to process your work order.  We have found this to be reasonable way to have work done every single time!

We recently replaced our black tank flush inlet to repair a slight leak when flushing our tanks.  The part cost about $27, and we did the work ourselved.

Do It Yourself!

Long before our days of owning a travel trailer, we redid an entire pop up camper.  We did nearly all of the work and learned so much in that process.  It was also an $800 investment, and we didn't feel like we had a lot to loose either way.  That learning curve has helped us greatly in owning a brand new travel trailer.  Sure, the margin of error could be far more costly.  And, we feel like we know far more than when we first started!

The three lower screws at the point of our slide, had loosened significantly.  When closed, it was showing a slight gap.  We bought replacement screws and put it all back together.

Things wear out over time.  So, as you are camping each time, take note of things that are showing some need for TLC.  I noticed some screws that seemed loose where my slide fits back into our RV.  While we tried to tighten the screws, they seemed stripped and unable to tighter.  We gingerly removed the screws from the siding and took them to a local hardware store to purchase new screws to replace them with to secure our siding.

We also noticed our black tank flush system pushing water into our bathroom as we were flushing some times.  It seems to be more connected to the overall water pressure and flow.  The mobile tech doing our annual inspection suggested we replace the black tank flush valve.  I ordered a new part and installed the new piece at home.

We have experienced 2 rounds of axel issues with our RV.  This resulted in both being replaced by Dexter as a permanent solution.

Warranty Claims and Bigger Repairs

Some claims and issues are bigger than a simple do it yourself project or call the professional situation.  Our RV has undergone axel repair/replacement twice in 4 years.  The second round of RV issues, we decided to take things a step further.  

Since Grand Design didn't consider the RV axels to be a warranty issue that they would not touch either time, I reached out to Dexter who was the manufacturer of the actual axels.  In a measure of goodwill, they replaced both axels on our RV.  All we had to do was pay the labor to have them put on to our RV.  It was a satisfactory resolution to a much larger issue that had literally eaten tires on our RV.  This has permanently fixed the issue.  

The new and heftier axels have resolved all of the issues we had started to experience with our tires.

If you have an issue outside of normal warranty work with your RV manufacturer, it doesn't hurt to contact the actual part manufacturer.  There are times when a manufacturer will recognize the issue and work with you to resolve the problem.  It may not work every time, but it is another avenue to get the best results.  

Keeping everything in good working order makes it more fun to camp and travel as a family!

What do you look for?

There are several things I would encourage you to be on the lookout for as you travel each time.
  • Be on the lookout for water leaks at sinks, showers, underneath cabinets and with outside connections.  Water can easily destroy an RV if you are not careful!
  • Broken, cracked or damaged seals.  
  • Missing, loose or broken screws.  There are so many screws in so many place.  But if you notice something, take care of it.
  • Wear and tear on tires.  Be sure to check your spare!
  • Daily use of any features like:  tank sensors, hot water temperature, AC filters and more.  
If if it something you can grease, lubricate, tighten or repair in the moment, don't wait.  Just do it.  This habit can save you a lot of headache over time.  For bigger jobs, get it on the list and either schedule a repair or do it yourself.  The key is not to wait!  

What's Next For Us

We have several big trips planned for the remainder of the year.  We are going to replace a couple of tires that had some initial wear and tear from the previously bent axels.  I'm keeping a watch on our hot water anodes.  I know these need replacing after a period of time.  

Overall, we just keep a watch on the day to day use items when we are camping.  If we notice something needs work or touching up, we just take care of it.  I'll order parts from the road and tackle it as soon as we get home.  If it is a bigger repair, I call a professional.  The sooner the better with repairs.  I find that they get bigger and worse if you wait.  Repairs can even become more costly over time.

I have also create an RV Maintenance Checklist that you can print and use during the year.  I have lots of other checklists and planning lists that you can use on my blog.  Be sure to check them out.

I'd also love to hear from you.  Share some of your tips, ideas and lessons learned from the road.  RV enthusiast make a great community.  I have benefited greatly from lots of others that share their knowledge base.  

Until next time...happy glamping!