There is always something to be maintained. And, according to the service people, there are varying opinions on how to do that. Recently my friend Joe had an issue with his RV. What he was told that with some simple maintenance, the issue he ran into could have been avoided.
Your probably familiar with home water heaters. They stand in the corner of the garage (unless you have the new tankless versions) and go out on you about every 15 years. We never think about maintaining it; we just hope it works every time we step into the shower.
RVs have water heaters too. Did you know your RV water heater needs maintenance?According to his serviceman, you are supposed to empty these tanks twice a year. This helps from any sediments that may set up in the bottom of the tank that can eventually cause the tank some damage. As my friend found out, that little bit of maintenance can save you a $700 bill.
Joe has a 5th wheel that he purchased pre-owned — used but not old. He did get a warranty, but he was told that since the tank wasn’t properly maintained, he had to pay the price for the repair. I thought that was just a simple way for the serviceman to collect full cost for the repair.
But it got me thinking. I’ve read some of my manuals about the various items in our RV, but I have not looked at the maintenance section in any of them. It got me wondering that if things aren’t properly maintained, will I be dealt the same hand that my friend received? I’m not sure, but I would hate to find out.
I have to travel to Georgia this weekend for a few days, but one of the things on my to-do list is to double check the manuals and see what they say about maintaining some of the appliances and accessories we have in our RV. The last thing anyone wants is an unsuspected bill — especially if it can be avoided by something simple, like draining your hot water tank twice a year.
Now, there is a difference between how Joe uses his 5th wheel and how we use our Class C unit: Joe and his fiancée live in their unit, while we use ours once or twice a month. On top of that, we don’t always use the shower if we just go for one evening during a fishing tournament. So the hot water does not get used often when we “dry camp.” I would think the more you use it the less chance you have for an issue to arise. Then again, that whole dimension about tank size may be related to this as well.
Like I said, it got me thinking about looking at my manual to see what is recommended for our RV. I am going to do my best to prevent ever having a maintenance issue if I can help it. And draining a tank that holds 12 gallons of water twice a year is far better than getting a $700 bill for the repairs. For that kind of money, I can drain anything and often.
So, just a little tidbit that I wanted to pass on to all of you RVers out there. As always, I welcome your thoughts and opinions on any shared experiences that you may have had with a similar issue. So far, some of you have taught me a thing or two about RVs, and especially the service and maintenance about them. I always appreciate a better way to do anything and gladly pass along any tips that I may come across in my travels.
I hope everyone has safe travels. I know we have a lot of folks down in their RVs this time of year. Spring training is in full swing and that brings many northerners to our great state. I hope all of you visitors have a great stay and safe travels.
Greg Bartz is a tournament bass fisherman based in Lakeland. Greg fishes lakes throughout Florida’s Heartland and enjoys RV travel around the Southeast with his wife and tournament partner, Missy. Contact him at Greg.Bartz@SummitHoldings.com.