Like any other vehicle, RVs require routine and preventive maintenance and, occasionally, repairs. This is true whether you live in your RV full time or you’re a very occasional weekend warrior, if your rig is brand new or several years old, and whether you’re a seasoned RVer or a first-timer.
Routine service is one thing, but how do you know when your rig is in need of RV repair? With so many things to think about when it comes to operating an RV, not to mention all the moving parts (very literally!), it can be tricky deciphering between what’s normal and what may be cause for concern.
In this guide, we discuss seven warning signs that indicate you need RV repair. Whether you drive your own RV or rent one, this is essential to know!
Here’s one thing before diving in; we can’t emphasize this enough, but it’s crucial to take your vehicle in as soon as possible once you suspect it may need RV repair. The longer an issue goes unresolved, the worse it gets, which can result in even more extensive (and expensive!) RV service and repair!
These Warning Signs Indicate You Need RV Repair
Here are seven signals that point to your RV needing service or repair.
1. Warning Lights
This one may seem obvious, but you might be surprised at how many people brush off warning indicator lights in their vehicle, telling themselves that it probably isn’t anything serious. Numerous studies indicate that as many as three in every 10 drivers continue driving for months after noticing a check engine or other warning light.
While an indicator light may alert you of something relatively minor, such as low tire pressure or fuel, it also warns you of more serious issues. As much of an inconvenience as it may be, try to address any warning lights as soon as possible — before it becomes something that actually requires RV repair.
2. Odd Sounds
Sounds are often one of the first indicators that RV repair may be necessary. Whether it’s when you first start the engine, while you’re idling, or as you drive down the road, any unusual sound could be a red flag. It’s often difficult to describe vehicle sounds, but consider “unusual” to be anything that appears out of nowhere or seems out of the typical engine rhythm — think a thump, whine, whistle, hum, scraping, or scratching noise.
3. Unusual Smells
Odors are usually another one of the early warning signs that you need RV service and repair. You may be wondering what type of smells to look out for, and fortunately, the answer to this is easy because vehicles should never smell at all. Of course, a slight mechanical smell may be present, or the smell of diesel fuel if you have a diesel engine, but generally, vehicles shouldn’t emit any odors. If yours does, this is a good indication that something is off under the hood. One common sign that your RV needs to be looked at is if your RV’s water smells like rotten eggs.
4. Noisy Brakes
Squeaky or otherwise noisy brakes aren’t just annoying; they’re telling you something. This is a sign that the brakes have worn down significantly, and it’s time to replace them. Fortunately, this is usually an easy and relatively inexpensive job when it comes to RV repair. However, the longer you drive on worn brakes, the higher the risk that other components could get damaged, requiring more complicated, costly repairs.
5. Interior Electrical Issues
It’s easy to brush electrical issues off as a fluke, especially if it’s something seemingly minor or happens only here and there. However, electrical issues — even the most minor — are often symptoms of bigger problems. For example, something like the radio acting up, dim lights, or power windows or seats not behaving normally could indicate a failing battery.
6. Slow to Start
If your RV’s engine doesn’t come immediately to life when you crank the engine (aside from when it’s very cold out), it may be due for repairs. This often indicates that you need a new battery or alternator, but could also be a warning sign for a more complex electrical issue.
7. Exterior Damage
This is another one that may initially seem obvious, but drivers often don’t associate minor visible damage with needing RV repairs. And while that’s true in many cases — not every dent or scratch needs to be repaired — exterior damage, however minor, may disguise something more serious beneath the surface. A bent chassis could put pressure on and even bend other parts or require your RV to need an alignment, or there could be a hidden oil leak.
Cruise Right Around RV Repair!
We know it’s not the most fun topic, but it’s important to be aware of warning signs that could indicate your rig is in need of RV repair. On the other hand, that’s one excellent reason to get a Cruise America RV rental — let us deal with the pesky RV service and repair! We have several top-of-the-line RV models to choose from that are in tip-top shape, so you can take your dream vacation and spend your time on the road, focusing on simply enjoying it!