RV Maintenance Tips ‘Worth’ Knowing
Courtesy of NADA Guides
Today, more and more people of different age groups and interests are hitting the open road in a variety of different recreation vehicles – for a variety of different reasons. From business to pleasure, from short trips to long, from retirees to families with young children, RV’ing has never been more popular or more diverse. As much as RV’ing is an enjoyable past time, it can be an expensive proposition too. Not only are there costs associated with buying a recreation vehicle, there are costs associated with maintaining it. The experts at NADAguides.com, a leading RV pricing and information website, today announced tips worth knowing, to help owners maintain their RV’s worth.
Analysts at NADAguides.com, say owners need to treat their recreation vehicles much like they treat an investment by paying close attention to things that have the biggest potential to impact its value. One of the most important valuation considerations for RVs is mileage. Analysts say that even though the ‘mileage factor’ on motorized units can have the most obvious impact, it’s often the most misunderstood.
“Units with lower miles are almost always more desirable than units with higher miles – but only when you’re comparing comparable makes, models and model years with comparable equipment and features.”
The RV Editorial team at NADAguides.com evaluates mileage when developing its database of valuations; it also considers a variety of other factors, including age, condition, market area, sales trends and supply-versus-demand evaluation on similar units with similar features. Therefore, mileage – in and of itself – is not the end-all be-all value quantifier. The bottom line is simply that a unit needs to have mileage in relation to its age, and taking it a step further, its mileage should be within close range of other comparable makes and models – of a similar model year and with similar features – that are currently on the market. Owners should keep tabs on the yearly mileage they drive and compare that mileage information on a periodic basis – in conjunction with the year and features of their unit – to other recreation vehicles that are currently for sale in their market area at any given time. This will help them gauge what is an acceptable mileage range and what might be considered high. RV owners can also access pricing information at NADAguides.com, where they can input the make, model, year, mileage and equipment information of their motorized unit and obtain a Low Retail and Average Retail value to see exactly where, within that price range, their RV falls.
“Recreation vehicles are meant to be enjoyed. They’re meant to be driven on the open road. If you take care of it, it will take care of you.”
Get Conditioned to…Condition
The condition of your RV is probably one of the most important factors when it comes to maintaining its value, so it’s important to treat your RV with respect to maintain its value over the long haul. The easy-to-remember acronym “DIRT” – or Driving, Interior & Exterior Condition, Repairs & Maintenance and Towing – is helpful in reminding people about the important facets of maintaining their RV’s condition.
For starters, when it comes to driving, it’s more important to focus on how you drive versus how many miles you drive. Whether you own a motorized unit or whether you tow a trailer behind, smart driving habits go a long way in maintaining a recreation vehicle’s value.
“Things like driving over rough terrain, excessive speeds or careless driving can lead to accidents and, subsequently, vehicle damage. Slow down, drive safely and protect your investment – and yourself in the process.”
Interior & Exterior Condition
Clean, well-maintained and attractive interiors and exteriors help maintain an RV’s value significantly. Be sure to detail your recreation vehicle regularly by washing and waxing it, and keep in mind there are a variety of products on the market designed to protect its paint. Whenever possible, avoid conditions that can damage that paint. Chips, gouges or fading can decrease its value. If your RV’s paint is less than ideal, consider having it painted prior to resale time and be sure to have a reputable paint expert or body shop perform the work. A nice looking exterior finish can increase a recreation vehicle’s curb appeal and ultimately, its value. Your RV’s interior condition is just as important as the way it looks on the outside. Be sure to vacuum – and when applicable, shampoo – the upholstery regularly, including the carpets and the mats. Use a dressing on the dashboard and any other vinyl components to protect their sheen.
If you have some extra money, a regular professional detailing can maintain your RV’s beauty. At the end of the day, you might net a higher sales or trade-in price as a result.
Finally, be sure to store your RV properly. If you live in an extremely cold or warm environment and you have the facility to store it inside when not in use, do so. Excessive sunshine can fade the outer surfaces of the vehicle, including paint, trim and moldings. Additionally, extremely cold temperatures and inclement weather conditions can wreak havoc on your RV’s internal engine components. By storing it inside – preferably in a climate-controlled environment – you can help avoid costly and unnecessary repairs in the future. If inside storage is not an option, you may want to consider purchasing an RV cover.
Repairs & Maintenance
Certainly, it’s important to have your RV regularly serviced and, if needed, repaired. Routine maintenance, such as fluid and filter changes and tire rotations, goes a long way in maintaining the quality of your RV, and ultimately, its value. Also, remember the importance of making repairs when those components break, to avoid further damage and additional repair costs. Things like water leaks from plumbing or roof problems can lead to even more damage – and more expense – than the actual repair itself. Brakes, appliances, electrical systems, plumbing, awnings and structural components are an important part of the overall value of your RV. Check them routinely and if needed, make any and all repairs as soon as possible. And don’t forget to keep your maintenance records of the service or repairs made. Having detailed maintenance records can help increase its attractiveness to potential buyers at resale time.
Knowing how to tow – whether you own a motor home or a trailer – is an important part of maintaining your RV’s value. For starters, you need to understand how much weight your motorized unit can pull when it comes to tow dinghies, boats, trailers or other tow-behinds. Be sure to reference your owner’s manual for your recreation vehicle’s maximum towing capacity and do not exceed this capacity. Not only does ‘over-towing’ cause excessive wear-and-tear to your RV’s powertrain, transmission and braking system, it can be dangerous and illegal. Additionally, if you’re towing a camping trailer or fifth wheel, it’s important to know how much weight your pick-up truck or SUV can safely pull without causing wear and tear at best, or at worst, an accident that can damage your unit and decrease its value.
“There are correct ways to tow and there are incorrect ways to tow; knowing the ins-and-outs of proper towing can help you avoid injury and accident, while helping you protect your recreation vehicle from damage that could negatively impact its value. There are a variety of online and print resources you can turn to for proper towing instructions, so be sure and do your homework ahead of time.”
To research pricing and specification information for virtually every RV on the market today, visit NADAguides.com.