rv repair

Most RV house owners can let you know concerning the freedom and journey the approach to life permits however they will even seemingly comply with by telling you simply what an funding it’s going to be to keep up that RV.

From plumbing to brake pads, fuses to hydraulic fluid, and something in-between, proudly owning an RV could be an schooling in DIY upkeep, resourcefulness, and handiwork. And even then, with one of the best maintenance and care, there are nonetheless inevitable repairs that require skilled assist.

To plan for and keep forward of doubtless costly and inconvenient RV points all through the years of possession, we’re a wide-ranging listing of main RV repairs to anticipate and what you are able to do to organize.

Plumbing and Water Systems

Let’s begin with what many dread: plumbing and water. Not solely can plumbing be doubtlessly disagreeable, water techniques typically can result in vital injury to your RV. Knowing frequent issues and repairs is an effective protection. 

Clogged bogs

Clogged bogs are a crass actuality of RV possession, however definitely, one that may be mitigated with correct care and a focus.

Pyramid plug of particles

The main reason for clogs in an RV rest room are plugs that come from compounded particles in your black water holding tank. If not repeatedly handled, waste will accrue over time, finally reaching the bottom of the bathroom. To forestall blockage over time, it’s important that you simply shut your black water tank valve. The purpose is that your tank is flat, and whereas acquired waste will construct up, it can effortlessly dump out once you open it. But for those who go away your valve open whereas in use, waste will construct up from the sewer and create a plug. 


Similar to a pyramid plug, blockage happens with the build-up of bathroom paper and waste, forcing a backup of water within the bowl of the bathroom. This tends to be extra frequent in rigs the place the holding tank is farther away from the bathroom, however it’s value noting the sensitivity of your RVs plumbing and what can and can’t be flushed down.

Leaving your black water drain open

While hooked as much as a sewer connection, make a remark to keep away from leaving the black water drain open; in any other case, you’ll have sludge caught in your holding tank.


If there’s simply blockage, then it’s most likely a problem you’ll be able to remedy by yourself with a plunger or tank cleaner; in any other case, you’ll need to rent a plumber.

Long time period points

Most clogged rest room points could be resolved by yourself. But take note the plumbing and wastewater techniques on an RV are constructed in a different way than these at dwelling. The supplies used are designed for portability and fewer so for longevity, and you could face extra vital points with gate valves, connections, holding tanks, and extra that require skilled assist past your personal skill. 

Split water provide strains

Whether it’s your sizzling water, rest room, or kitchen sink, your water provide strains are important to the on a regular basis use of your RV. A break up in any of those strains can result in long-term injury, and broken pipes have to be recognized and changed instantly to stop additional water from leaking.


While your plumbing at dwelling sometimes consists of metallic pipes that may be corroded over time by soil and acid or burst from frozen water, RV water strains are sometimes product of PVC. This materials is light-weight and higher for portability however continues to be prone to splits fashioned by frozen water. Splits are usually led to by drastic modifications in temperature — also called thermal enlargement — inflicting pipes to increase quickly and contract.


If that you must restore a bit of the road, it’s best to be capable of discover the break up and lower out the affected space after which merely reattach the ends with a becoming if slack permits. If these can’t attain, it’s best to be capable of discover substitute PVC at your native ironmongery shop. Measure and lower out a comparable size from the brand new line, then join it with the outdated one with a compression becoming.

It also needs to be famous that whereas a plastic line could be lower with a knife, you’ll want a pipe cutter for copper strains present in older RV fashions. 

Preventative Maintainance

To keep away from splits, spend money on a strain regulator, filter, and repeatedly winterize and sanitize your tanks and contours.

Water Pump

To function showers, bogs, taps, and all working water, you want a correctly working water pump to push water by way of. Problems together with your water pump could be brought on by a wide range of points — some unrelated to the pump itself. Water pumps price between $50 and $500 to switch, so understanding what is likely to be taking place is useful so you’ll be able to troubleshoot earlier than changing.


Leaks are the commonest drawback for water pumps — whether or not the leak is within the system or within the pump. Splits in your pipes and different leaks may cause your water pump to proceed working, biking on and off. If you discover this, that you must start figuring out if a leak exists or if the water pump strain swap is flawed. If you’ll be able to find a leak within the line, there’s a very good likelihood there’s a leak within the pump. 


If the issue is a break up, leaky water pipe, comply with the directions above to repair the leak. If the issue is the water pump itself, that might imply a extra pricey, concerned restore — usually with the assistance of knowledgeable. If your pump is flawed, it will not be coated below guarantee, which suggests you might have to take the hit on the price until you’ve invested in an prolonged service plan that covers water pumps. 

Water heater

A damaged water heater can shortly escalate from a morning bathe disruption right into a pricey, extra vital drawback. Water heaters can price as a lot as $1000 to switch, and it’s a major restore usually requiring the assistance of pros. So what occurs if the recent water goes out, and it’s not merely since you’ve used your sizzling water reserve? 


If your water heater runs on propane, begin by checking your tanks in addition to ensuring your service valve is open. Or whether it is electrical, verify to be sure you haven’t blown a fuse. If that doesn’t repair the issue, you seemingly have a problem with the water heater itself. It could possibly be an issue together with your ignitor or fuel valve, thermostat, or heating ingredient. 


First and foremost, hold your water heater full. One assured strategy to fry your water heater is to run it with out water. It’s additionally a good suggestion to empty out your sizzling water heater yearly — providing you with the chance to examine the electrical heating ingredient and anode rod to ensure every little thing is working easily. 

If it’s nonetheless not functioning accurately, it’s time to speak to knowledgeable. Water heaters have a protracted shelf-life — many can simply final 15 years — however it’s usually our most dependable techniques that we all know the least about. If nonetheless experiencing issues, contact knowledgeable. 


rv repair

As you put together for winter, all the water must be flushed out and both changed with antifreeze or pushed out with an air compressor. 

For the antifreeze methodology, you’ll want to take away water from any in-line filters and the galley, pour antifreeze into all drains and the bathe, after which flush the faucets till you see pink colour coming by way of. If you’re utilizing an air compressor, set your strain regulator to 40 PSI (with out ever surpassing 50 PSI) and take away all the water. In each instances, you’ll nonetheless have to pour antifreeze into the drain traps contemplating air strain gained’t be capable of totally clear out the elbows. 


One of the principle advantages of touring in an RV is the power to control the temperature, whether or not you’re touring in hotter areas that require AC or colder areas that require heating. If issues go unsuitable, life will get uncomfortable. Let’s have a look at some frequent HVAC points you might be prone to face as an RV proprietor. 

Dirty air filters

rv repair

In phrases of HVAC, a grimy air vent filter is likely one of the best and least costly issues to repair. If your AC is working with out producing chilly air, begin by checking the filter and changing it if crucial. Also as a common be aware, it’s a good suggestion to vary your air filters each 12,000 to fifteen,000 miles.


If the filters are clear however the HVAC is just not responding to temperature changes, there’s an opportunity you may merely have a damaged thermostat, wherein case you’ll be able to change it with a extra intuitive system. However, remember the fact that since there are electrical elements, it’s finest to belief knowledgeable for those who’re uncertain in any approach.

AC unit

AC models final between three to 10 years relying on utilization, the AC unit, and luck. Unfortunately, you could want a brand new air-con unit fully sooner or later. And the fact is that this isn’t a DIY venture. You might want to carry it right into a service middle as a result of even with a working data of air-con, there are a variety of harmful electrical elements you will not be outfitted to deal with. 


AC models sometimes run between $700 to $1,400, relying on the unit and the RV. And the set up will are available in round $1,500 making the AC unit one of the vital costly repairs your RV can endure. That’s why it’s crucial to know the way lengthy your AC unit is roofed by a guaranty. If not, all of the extra purpose to contemplate protection from an prolonged service plan. 


The furnace in your RV is an advanced piece of kit, which is why it’s really helpful that you’ve it inspected annually by knowledgeable. For a whole breakdown of how your furnace operates, its many elements, and finest practices, seek the advice of our information right here. But know as a rule, a furnace drawback would require the necessity of a service skilled. 


Replacing simply the motor in your furnace can price upwards of $300, however restore prices can differ broadly relying on the restore kind, broken elements, and substitute prices. But some furnace prices can shortly rise into the $1000+ vary

Electrical system and battery

RVs depend on {the electrical} system and batteries to function many various elements. Everything from lighting to facilities to navigation to the fridge to the ability inverter. Electrical points are 

Fuses and Breakers

Fuses and breakers serve to guard not simply you but additionally your RV from {an electrical} line drawing an excessive amount of present and inflicting injury.

Ground fault indicators (GFIs) shut off

Should your AC home equipment cease working, there’s an opportunity it’s the bottom fault indicator detected a problem and mechanically shut off. Try unplugging the home equipment and resetting the GFI, after which begin plugging home equipment in one after the other to see for those who can slim down the basis challenge.

Blown fuse

If you blow a fuse it’s crucial that you simply change it with one other fuse that matches, versus a higher-rated one as that might surpass the meant operational load of your RV and create critical injury and even {an electrical} hearth.


The price for fuses and breakers are pretty negligible, as that’s a part of their goal: to stop surges which may injury elements. Fuses vary wherever from $2 to $8. GFIs get pricier, coming in between $130 to $300. 

12-Volt System

Considering your 12-volt system runs nearly every little thing in your RV (heater, pump, fridge, and many others.) you’ll know shortly when it’s not functioning correctly. The excellent news is that the majority points are as simply remedied as changing a fuse or a battery. However, if the issue exceeds swapping out an element, you’ll need to search out service professionals, contemplating the difficulty is electrical in nature.


Electrical system: $500 to $1,250


rv repair

Let’s check out among the elements which are powered by the 12-volt system and potential repairs to anticipate with these elements. 


Your fridge ought to final about 15 years (give or take a number of). That being mentioned, there are definitely a number of issues to contemplate if you wish to get probably the most life out of your fridge.

  • Try to maintain your fridge as flat as doable by parking on degree surfaces as a rule.
  • Keep your RV comparatively cool by parking within the shade when it’s sizzling out.
  • Pre-chilled gadgets will take much less vitality away from the fridge because it gained’t have to soak up as a lot warmth.
  • Clean out the burner unit sometimes, as robust scents can entice spiders and different bugs that might doubtlessly construct nests.
  • Consider including a small battery powered fan inside the fridge to assist flow into air quicker (particularly throughout hotter climate).
  • Regularly defrost your fridge, because the buildup insulates and prevents it from absorbing the warmth of it’s contents. Also, don’t use a hairdryer because the extreme warmth can warp the cooling fins.
  • Wipe any moisture away from contents added to the fridge, as it will forestall frost buildup and improve its effectivity.
  • Leave room in your fridge for higher air-flow. 
  • Clean out your fridge’s exhaust vent to stop birds from nesting and decreasing effectivity.

When the time comes, to discover a substitute, measure out how a lot area you’ll want, swap out the models, and ensure your new fridge is correctly secured for journey.


$500 to $4,000 for a brand new fridge

Washer and Dryer

In phrases of RV washers and dryers, you’ll discover there are usually three fashions: stackable, moveable, and mixture. The actuality is that vented models (stackable and non-vented) are likely to operate higher than non-vented. Generally talking, your washer and dryer ought to final just a little over 10 years, but when it breaksdown after eight it’s most likely value changing. Make a be aware to wash your ducts and hoses  a couple of times a 12 months, and change the hose each 4 to 6 years to get probably the most milage out of your machine.


$800 to $2,200 per washer or dryer


A top quality camper range ought to final you about 20 years, so in case your RV’s range isn’t working, chances are high there’s only a disconnect with the fuel. Start by shutting off the oven’s fuel, and if the difficulty persists then it is likely to be that the availability line from the propane tanks is shut off. Any challenge past that needs to be introduced in for skilled inspection.


$400 to $900


If unencumbered, RV batteries final about 5 or 6 years and could be swapped out equally to a automobile. That being mentioned, that you must have a very good understanding of how one can swap out batteries to keep away from any injury to the RV or damage to your self. 


When it involves batteries, there are three choices for winterization. You can disconnect and go away them in place in your RV, you’ll be able to go away them related and charged with a dependable AC outlet, or you’ll be able to take away the batteries altogether.

12-volt equipment

Make certain 12-volt powered elements (radio, fridge, again lighting, GPS, fuses, and many others.) are disabled whereas in storage, as they’ll constantly run and drain your battery.


About $1,000 per battery


Best practices would dictate you verify and change your brakes yearly or 12,000 miles (whichever comes first). Failure to switch your brakes in a well timed method is hazardous and positively costlier in the long term.


Complete brake restore (rotors, pads, and calipers): $250 to $800 


rv repair

Plan to switch your RV’s tires each three to 6 years relying on how a lot you drive. Over time, the tread in your tires wears down. Always keep watch over the tread (particularly carrying right down to a sixteenth of an inch), and you’ll want to service your wheel bearings repeatedly, as they’ll trigger fairly a headache on the facet of the freeway in the event that they fail.


Around $250 per tire


During the winter, place the tires over a sheet of plywood to stop grime from leaching onto the chemical substances from the tire casings; and you’ll want to add 10 p.c extra inflation to the really helpful strain in your RV, as your tires will naturally lose strain over time. 

Roof Leaks 

The actuality is that water injury to your RV could be an extremely costly drawback to have, and a leaky roof is commonly the perpetrator. Make a behavior to verify your roof yearly, and seal up any cracks to stop leaks from the rain and components.


Sealant: $10 to $20

A brand new roof: Around $10,000

Slide Outs

Like anything, slide outs can naturally put on down over time. One strategy to forestall put on and tear is to maintain your rollout awnings and seals clear. Before you retract your slide out, take away any litter or particles which will have accrued, and use lubricant for the rubber seal all through the season. In the occasion that you simply do run into a problem, it would simply be a blown fuse and due to this fact a straightforward patch. But if the issue is mechanical or hydraulic, you’ll need to carry it in to be serviced.


$500 to $2,000

Additional Considerations


Between YouTube How-To’s and troubleshooting articles, you’ll be able to overcome quite a lot of pitfalls by yourself. That being mentioned, it’s not sensible to transcend the scope of your experience. Keep a file of what’s nonetheless below guarantee (and might due to this fact be dealt with by the dealership), in addition to what isn’t and must be introduced right into a trusted service middle.

RV Mechanics 

rv repair

When it involves skilled RV repairs, it’s virtually by no means going to be a small ticket, however it doesn’t should be inordinate both. As you seek for a high quality RV mechanic, discover somebody dependable, sincere, and environment friendly. Here are some things to contemplate.

  1. Make certain they’re an authorized restore store really focuses on RVs (and never a common restore facility).
  2. Check critiques and see what different clients should say about their expertise.
  3. See if they provide warranties to make sure any work carried out.
  4. Get an estimate earlier than any upkeep or repairs are made.
  5. Keep data of what work was carried out.

Good Sam Extended Service Plan (ESP)

Even in case your RV continues to be below guarantee, RV warranties don’t cowl each part, and a few components stay below guarantee longer than others. For instance, chances are high quite a lot of your home equipment aren’t coated below guarantee and will quietly result in pricey repairs. In these moments, an Extended Service Plan like Good Sam’s can carry great peace of thoughts. 

Good Sam’s ESP is a mechanical breakdown insurance coverage that goes effectively past a manufactuer’s guarantee to guard you from exorbitant prices after a mechanical breakdown.

With ESP, you’ll get monetary peace of thoughts as we’ll pay the restore store immediately; and canopy any sudden journey, meals and lodging prices for the primary 5 days. Plus you determine your deducabtle, the place to restore your car, fee phrases and schedule. And for those who promote your RV, we’ll switch the plan onto the brand new proprietor at now price to you – including worth to your sale.

Not to say that with providers like Tire and Wheel and Roadside Assistance, and the belief of over two million members, they’re able to hold you going it doesn’t matter what the street forward throws your approach.

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