By Tammy Daly
Living the RVing lifestyle can come with some unexpected repairs, but if you are a little mechanically inclined, some of these costs can be lowered by doing the work yourself. When taking on a repair you should always do your research. There are many sources on the internet that offer how-to guides, such as Woodall's RV Owner's Handbook. Reading up on the repair you are about to undertake can save you time, effort, and the money of going to a professional.
These are some easy RV repairs that you can do yourself.
Vent Lid Replacement
RV vent lids wear out rather quickly due to weather conditions. These are easy to replace if you know the correct lid to use. To identify the proper lid you will need to know which bracket is used to attach lid to the vent. Most lids are 14”x14” but there are several different brackets used by each vent manufacturer. Taking the lid off the vent and bringing it to your local RV parts store will help insure the correct lid is purchased. Once you get past that obstacle, installation will be easy.
Leaky Waste Valves
When your waste tank valves start leaking, it is time to replace them. This repair is fairly easy and can save you from having a solid mass of waste stuck on the bottom of your black tank. Waste valves are typically 3” for the black tank and 1-1/2” for the gray tank. This repair should be done when tanks are empty. When replacing the valves it would be wise to use a waste valve with a metal handle instead of plastic. The metal handle will last longer and have less chance of breaking.
Spot Seal Roof
RV roof damage can cost upwards of $3000. Keeping close watch on your vent lids, skylights, and other areas where water can creep in will help solve this issue. Spot seals will keep those who are RVing on the road and not in the repair shop. You should always have lap sealant on hand so you can get to work resealing those problem areas. Old sealant will need to be scraped off, but keeping a bird’s eye view on that roof will save you from extensive water damage. You can purchase lap sealant at Amazon for a good price, or buy it at Home Depot.
You may experience problems with your toilet from time to time. That RV repair can be extensive if neglected. When your toilet does not hold water it is best to replace the seals on your toilet and possibly the water valve. Troubleshooting guides can be found on most toilet manufacturer websites. These guides will walk you through some simple fixes.
RV chassis repairs are similar to any vehicle repair. Oil changes, wiper blade replacement, and coolant checks will come easy to the do-it-yourself mechanic. Just be sure you know what you are doing and you have the right parts before you set out on this task, such as engine oil, filters and engine coolants.
There are many RV repairs you can do yourself if you take the time to research. Watching a simple YouTube video will help you stay on track and decide if the task is something you can handle. Once you have gathered your information, create a list of parts you will need. Make the trip to your local RV parts store and be sure to ask questions if you are not sure that the part is correct. Always have your coach VIN and serial number on hand for the parts department representative to make sure you get what you need.
Nothing beats the satisfaction of repairing your own RV issues. At MobileRVing, we support Do it Yourself RVers, and we'll help you along the way! But it's important to remember that if you feel like you are getting in over your head, maybe you are. At that point, stop what you’re doing and call the repair shop. It is always better to be safe than sorry.
For a great resource on tools you should carry with you if you plan to do your own RV Repairs, head over to RV Tech Library.
Photo Credit: Heintz Designs
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