RVs can have a variety of issues, ranging from simple fixes to complex and expensive repairs. Some of the more costly repairs we’ve come across while operating our business, Nomadic RV Rescue, would have been much cheaper for the RV owners if they’d followed a few simple rules of RV ownership. Which is why we wanted to provide you with these 3 Money-Saving Tips from an RV Tech, to keep you enjoying life on the road:
Tip #1: Use the Right Kind of Toilet Paper
One of the biggest concerns for many RV owners is black tank management. So, our first money-saving tip is to use the correct toilet paper. This will save you hundreds of dollars in repairs, plus allow you to avoid the hassle and inconvenience of a clogged toilet.
"I love clogged toilets." - said no one, ever.
You don’t have to run out to buy specialty toilet paper from the automotive section of your nearest Walmart, or an RV supply store. There are a lot of opinions in the RV community about what types of toilet paper are okay. If you want to keep it simple, and avoid black tank issues, just get the 1-ply toilet paper.
Bonus Tip: Do NOT flush anything besides toilet paper and appropriate tank cleaner down your toilet. EVER.
Tip #2: Protect Your Parts from the Weather
As RV Technicians in Florida, we expected to have a lot of A/C jobs this summer. What surprised us, though, was the number of awning repairs and replacements we’ve done. Depending on the size of the awning, the physical material, and your location, this type of repair job can cost anywhere from about $500-$1500 per awning.
In order to avoid premature replacement of your awning, we recommend this: don’t leave it out all the time. It’s good practice to bring your awning in when it gets windy, and when you’ll be away from your RV for any length of time.
We purchased our first RV used and the previous owners kept the awning out. When we replaced this awning, the fabric cost us $699, with a freight delivery charge of $199. Even though we installed this ourselves, it was still an expensive project.
Where we live, it’s common to have calm mornings and breezy afternoons when the humidity builds and the storms roll in. As a safety precaution, if we’re leaving the RV, even if it’s only for an hour, we’ll bring the awning in.
Don’t forget to clean your awning according to the manufacturer’s instructions. If you keep the awning arms clean and lubricated, it will go a long way in extending the life of your awning system and avoiding costly, premature repairs.
Cover your tires. That’s it. You were probably expecting a long-winded description, but this one’s pretty obvious. Tires are expensive. If you put the proper covers on them when you park your RV, it will protect them from weather damage and prolong the life of the tires.
Tip #3: Don’t Wait for Small Problems to Become Big Problems
Perform regular maintenance on your RV. Whether you live in your rig full-time, or take it out occasionally on the weekend, all RVs need regular maintenance. There are loads of free printable checklists on the internet that you can use for reference. Also, you can check out this article here: 5 Things You Need to Maintain Annually on Your RV.
Preventative maintenance allows you to fix issues before they occur, like sealing your roof before it leaks. It also allows you to catch minor problems before they turn into bigger problems, like replacing a failing capacitor in your air conditioning unit ($20) before it burns up your air conditioning and you have to replace the whole unit ($800-$1600).
As full-time RVers and RV techs, we understand the cost of RV ownership. Follow these steps for saving money on your camper. If you need a qualified RV Tech, you can go to rvtaa.org/locate and type in your zip code to find a technician in your area.
Have you had costly repairs due to simple mistakes? Do you have any tried-and-true tips for avoiding unnecessary repairs? Drop a comment below. We’d love to hear from you!