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- Get out and inspect everything.
Walk around your coach and inspect all weather seals for cracks - around compartment doors, windows, slide-outs, exhaust compartments, etc. If you are especially handy, do this under the coach as well, searching for rusted connectors around air lines, oil lines, brake lines etc. (If not, then take to your local mechanic. The cost of this is a bargain compared to a repair needed on the road). Lift the engine cover, open up the basement and inspect every compartment. Keep an eye out for:
- Insect, bug, and rodent nests that may disrupt air flow
- Plugged crankcase breather tube from ice or debris
- Cracks or bent blades on cooling fan
- Check the condition of your belts and hoses and their connections
At a cool temperature, top off with coolant that meets the standard for optimal performance. Read your manual to find specifications. (Note: never open a hot coolant reservoir – the coolant absorbs heat from the engine, so it can get very hot).
Periodically check coolant levels and concentration to to make your RV engine is protected by the coolant – preventing corrosion, aeration, scaling, and other issues that can cause harm to your engine. Consult your Owner’s Manual for additional details.
If you didn't happen to change your oil before the winter, it is recommended draining and changing your oil fluid before you hit the road for a long trip. Oil is used to lubricate, cool components, cleans the system, inhibit corrosion, and improve sealing. When in storage, oil can pick up moisture from condensation and additive packages in the oil can drop out. Both miles and time cause oil to deteriorate over time.
Most coaches have a Water in Fuel (WIF) sensor and lamp indicator to detect the presence of water in the fuel. Water prevents adequate lubrication of fuel system components, like pumps and injectors, and this could result in expensive repairs. Turn the engine off, let cool, and drain the fuel-water separator to ensure the diesel fuel is free of water.
Ideally, diesel engine maintenance and oil changes occurs prior to long-term winter storage. However, if that did not take place in the fall, spring marks the time to ensure proper engine maintenance. Even if your coach has not traveled hit the mileage noted in the operating manual, recommended maintenance schedules are as follows (these are general rules):
- Engines 450 HP and below – once per year
- Engines 500 HP and above – every 6 months.
Following these tips can save you a lot of time, money, and frustration. Taking an hour or two in Spring to handle these simple maintenance principles can ensure you have a safe and worry-free travel season.