OCT 26 2022    
Take care of your RV Engine
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Take care of your RV Engine

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The cooler days are here which means it times to prepare your RV for the winter weather ahead!

Many campers let their RV’s sit during the winter as they await the warmer spring days. RV engine maintenance is important year around, but especially so in the winter months. 

You may be surprised to learn that the less your engine is used, the more important it becomes to perform regular engine maintenance. This is vital because vehicles that sit idle for long periods of time can develop real problems when not properly maintained. 

Not only should you make sure regular maintenance is followed if you plan on letting your RV sit during the winter, but also if you plan on taking a cold weather adventure.

Many RV owners don’t realize that maintaining your RV engine is very similar to maintaining the engine of a car, with just a few minor diesel engine differences if your RV is diesel. 

Don’t end up breaking the bank to fix issues that could have been avoided. We’re here to help you know how to maintain your vehicle's engine whether you are planning on getting out this winter or storing your camper until the warmer weather! 

Regular Maintenance:

Oil Changes and Tune-ups

Oil changes and tune ups are a simple way to ensure the longevity of your RV engine.

For an RV with a gasoline engine you should have the oil changed about every 4,000-6,000 miles, very similar to a car. Taking your RV to a mechanic is an easy way to take care of this maintenance, but you can certainly change your RV’s oil yourself. If you are interested in changing the oil yourself, check out this video here

For an RV with a diesel engine it is recommended to change the oil about every 20,000 miles. Again, trusting a mechanic to do this is an easy way to maintain your RV’s engine, but you can also do this on your own. Check out this video to learn more! 

Spark plugs and wires need to be changed based on the manufacturer’s guidelines. Tune ups can be forgotten if you are maintaining your RV on your own, which could cause serious issues. If you would like to change your own instead of taking your RV to a mechanic, you can certainly do it, but it is a lengthy process. 

If you do the suggested routine maintenance on your RV, you will be surprised at the lifespan of your RV engine. Don’t skip the oil changes and tune ups - it makes a huge difference! 

Fluids and FIlters

Changing your transmission fluid is very similar to the oil changing process. If you have problems changing gears or if your RV tends to not accelerate when changing gears as well as it used to, it’s probably time to change the transmission fluid. It is suggested to have this done about every 30,000-60,000 miles. If you would like to learn how to change your own, check out this video

Gas fuel filters need to be changed at least every two years while diesel fuel filters need to be changed every year. Fuel filters help keep dirt and debris out of the fuel pump and engine. Check out this video here to learn more. 

Air filters help to filter dirt and debris from an RV engine’s combustion chamber. If neglected for too long, they can become clogged and cause the air to have circulation issues. Check what your engine manufacturer suggests in regards to how often you should change these filers. This is an easy one to do yourself in just minutes! Check out this video to learn more about changing an RV engine air filter.


Maintaining your serpentine and timing belts are important to your RV engine’s longevity. To avoid a potential breakdown, it’s very important to follow your manufacturer’s suggestions on how often to change these belts. Squeaking or squealing can be a sign of a failing belt and should not be ignored. 

Winter camping practices:

Inspect your RV batteries

Corrosion or damage to your RV batteries could cause major issues. Be sure to check your batteries before heading out to RV camp in the winter and make sure they are fully charged. Did you know that batteries that are partially charged are more likely to freeze or die in cold temperatures? Don’t forget to check that your RV batteries are securely connected too! 

Check engine antifreeze

While water is effective for cooling an engine in warmer months, antifreeze is important for your RV engine in freezing temperatures. Be sure to check your engine antifreeze and refill it when necessary with the proper water and antifreeze concentration. 

Use an engine block heater

In freezing regions using an engine block heater is a great idea. These heat up the engine before you start it and should run hours prior to starting the engine in sub freezing temperatures. This is a great help to your engine in the winter months! 

If you follow these practices to maintain a healthy RV engine, you can ensure that your RV engine is able to take you on adventures for years to come!

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