Annual RV Maintenance & Spring Cleaning… and Ruggable Contest Winners Announced!

TheRVgeeks Annual Maintenance 28 Comments

Two lucky viewers have each won $250 worth of Ruggable washable area rugs in our latest RVgeeks Giveaway! Were you one of them? Scroll down to the bottom of this post to find out.

When you’re full-time RVing in many different locations, the seasons often get confused, especially when you’re a snowbird. But somehow it just seems wrong to do Spring Cleaning at any other time of the year than Spring.

Taking good care of our RV, both mechanically and cosmetically, involves a long “honey do” list. Even though we take our rig into some pretty remote spots, we try to keep it looking good all year.

But there’s always something special about that deep cleaning we do once each year that makes the rig feel new again. And what better time to hit all the required maintenance and service items on the list than when we’re cleaning… in the Spring.

This video summarizes all of the service items we address each year, although not every item on our checklist is due annually.  If you’d like to see a detailed tutorial video about any specific task, we’re including a link below to our “Previous Related Videos,” each of which covers one topic in detail.

Now about that Giveaway…

Out of a total of 3,369 entries, a hearty “Congratulations!” goes out to Kim P. (entry #2690) who’s actively shopping for a Class A Diesel Pusher, and Gary J. (entry #3062) who will put his prize to great use in his Tiffin Allegro FRED (FRont Engine Diesel). Kim & Gary have each won a $250 Gift Certificate to! We hope they both love their Ruggable rugs as much as we love ours!

Thanks so much to everyone who entered. Even if you didn’t win, you can still purchase your own Ruggable washable 2-piece area rug by using the link (and 15% discount code!) below.

Recent & Related Videos:

Featured & Related Products:

We're handy RVers, not professional technicians. We're happy with the techniques and products we use, but be sure to confirm that all methods and materials you use are compatible with your equipment and abilities. Regardless of what we recommend, consult a professional if you're unsure about working on your RV. Any task you perform or product you purchase based on any information we provide is strictly at your own risk.

We sometimes receive products for evaluation at no cost, and The RVgeeks are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites. But our opinions are our own, you won’t pay an extra penny, and we only link to products we personally use, love and can recommend to friends with complete confidence.

RV Trip Wizard

Comments 28

    1. Post

      Hi Dave. We don’t actually put any cleaning fluid in our pressure washer when we wash the RV… we just use it to wet and rinse. We wash the motorhome using a bucket of water and car wash (usually whatever we can get at Costco) and a soft-bristle brush on a pole.

  1. Have you ever considered using a Cleaner Wax product for cleaning and waxing the RV. I have found some links on the web which recommend a cleaner wax product to address the oxidation that can occur on gel coats while I wondered if you had any experience or comment on this approach.

    Thank you,


    1. Post
  2. Hi, You recommend a good quality wax for you painted RV. My 5th wheel has a gel coat finish. DO hyou think I should use a wax that is specifically for a gel coat finish? Thank you in advance for your input.


    1. Post

      Hi Dan! Our RV is fiberglass too, but painted with an automotive paint, exactly like a car. If you have that type of high-end painted surface on top of the fiberglass, you can use the same type of high-end wax we do (and even if your RV isn’t painted, you should consider using this AMAZING Meguiar’s wax on your car! You can get it here: If you DON’T have an automotive painted finish, and the surface is more like a fiberglass boat (less shiny, and not usually painted), you’ll want to use something designed specifically for waxing fiberglass, like a good boat wax. Boat products are generally more expensive though. Sorry we’re not experts on bare fiberglass sidewalls, as we haven’t had an RV with them in 13 years. However we do love and Meguiar’s products, so something like this might do the trick, especially if your RV isn’t brand new, and the surface could use a light cleaning when being waxed: Hope this helps!

  3. Hi Guys,
    In looking at your maintenance videos, I was looking for some advice about restoring the exterior finish of the RV. We purchased an older model; the interior was in great shape, but it looks like the exterior never saw a coat of wax. The decals are all faded and cracked. Is there a way to restore them; or remove them without harming the underlying paint job? Any suggestions?
    As always, thank you for your great information.

    1. Post

      Hi Ron! Faded and cracked decals may be best removed entirely, with some gentle help from a hair dryer. Our friend Brian, of RV With Tito, recently made a video about that:

      Whether your rig is bare fiberglass, or painted, like ours, we’d suggest that you start by looking into commercially available finish restoring products available at every auto parts store and in the auto section at Wal-Mart. Having an automotive-type paint job, we always look to high-end automotive paint care products from companies like Meguiar’s. If you have unpainted fiberglass, we’d suggest visiting a marine store, since the finish is very much like a boat.

      Either way, always try the most gentle product first, and then get more aggressive if needed. It sounds like your finish may be bad enough that you should consider some input/opinions from professionals. A good body shop knows how to deal with old paintwork better than anyone. A non-professional can only go so far to try to rejuvenate old paint, and then the skills of a good paint person with a wheel, and the professional-grade restoration products and knowledge of how to use them might be in order.

      If you want to try to restore the finish yourself, be sure you research products and techniques thoroughly. That’s especially true if your finish is bad enough to need a wheel put to it. An amateur can easily burn the paint by using the wrong technique with a wheel. Orbital buffers are safer for non-pros, since its a lot harder to harm the finish with one of those. If the finish is so bad that you can’t make a difference in it on your own, don’t get discouraged. It’s amazing what a professional paint shop can do to restore an old faded finish. And that route is still a LOT cheaper than a new paint job.

    1. Post

      Hi Elizabeth,

      Thanks for your kind words! We haven’t ever used Protectall (we use Aerospace 303 instead, which is similar, though not exactly the same). We have some friends who have used Protectall and seem to like it, though.

      Sorry we don’t have more advice on it.

  4. So appreciate all of your good advice! Saw this today and wondered if you’ve ever used any of their products. We are grateful for all input from you.

  5. My wife and I are in the process of starting our full time adventure. Your videos are very helpful and much appreciated. Would you mind giving some additional information as to why you apply the Aerospace Protectant to the Diamond Shield? What does this do/prevent? Thanks and hope to see you on the road some day.

    1. Post

      Hi Scott,

      Glad you find our content helpful… and welcome to the wonderful world of full-time RVing! Hope you enjoy it as much as we do (11 years in and still going strong!).

      The reason we apply the Aerospace 303 Protectant to the Diamond Shield is pretty simple: their instructions recommend it (at least for our era of Diamond Shield… things may have changed). Our guess is that it does 2 things: helps to moisturize the plastic to keep it from drying/cracking out AND provides some UV protection to keep the plastic from aging prematurely. Whatever the reasons, it must be working… because our Diamond Shield is still looking pretty good! ;)

  6. I’ve been staying in an RV park (actually a forested wonderland) for 2 years now after selling my sticks-and-bricks home. My cat and I are living full-time in a 17-ft. Bigfoot, which my parents bought brand new in 1988. I became the very proud owner after their passing, and I take maintenance and upkeep very seriously, just like my Dad did.

    I have found your videos to be immensely helpful. I also appreciate your very clear instructions that accompany the visuals. At times I’ve had to modify the instructions since my trailer is older, but the basics are presented and I can usually figure out the rest.

    I’m about to let loose of the tether and hit the road. My inspirations have been you two and Nicki and Jason of Gone With The Wynns (now the very proud owners of a catamaran!). I’m a very active 68-yr-old woman with a lot of curiosity left in me, and I am very excited to be heading out and discovering what’s around that next bend.

    I just wanted to thank you for what you do; I’ll be following your adventures and your good advice. I might even meet you on the road! “All who wander are not lost.”

    1. Post

      Well thank you so much for your kind words, Evelyn! And congratulations on your upcoming adventure into the world of full-time RV travel. We love it out here, and know you will, too. Indeed, maybe we’ll connect at some point.

  7. I love you videos and we just purchased a Fleetwood Expedition and will be full timing as soon as the house sells. I have a lot of questions but for now, you show in some of your videos you washing and cleaning your Motorhome how do you find campsites that let you do this.

    1. Post

      Thanks Fred, and congratulations on your new RV! The only places that you can generally wash your RV are commercial RV parks, but even the majority of them do not permit it. What we do if we want to wash the RV is specifically stay at a park that allows it, which can be determined with a phone call. A few places that do allow it charge a fee ($5 or $10 is typical) and we’ve seen a few that have a special wash area in the park. Unfortunately, with the restrictions on water all over the West right now, a do-it-yourself car wash is sometimes the only option. We’ve washed our rig at LOTS of those over the years… just make sure they have very high clearance, or better yet, an outdoor bay alongside the building (even high clearance ceilings aren’t generally tall enough to allow you to get up on the roof to wash). The best thing is your own site in a park that allows washing at no extra cost.

      Last year, for the very first time, we discovered a truck wash that also does RVs for a very reasonable price. It’s called Blue Beacon. We were happy with them, but some have warned that their soaps may be harsh. If you have a newer RV, you might want to avoid this type of wash, since the brushes they use might not be compatible with newer clear coat finishes (they hand wash with long-handle brushes on poles, like we do for ourselves). Hope this info helps a bit.

  8. RV is a 2006 Damon Astoria 36′ 300 hp Cummins ISB Freightliner Diesel Pusher.
    You mention in Video using Speedco for your Oil Change.
    Can you provide what you are pay for a Speedco Engine Oil Change and what mileage use ?
    Our Experience in pricing same at local RV Dealers is $474.00,
    and are suggested to do 2x ??? a year :(
    Seems a bit often and pricey.
    Also where you might have Transmission Oil and Filter changed and pricing

    1. Also would like to hear what the Pressure Washer model# and Compnay is that you showed, as we totally believe in RVgeeks :)
      ed hass

      1. Post

        Our brand new one is a Karcher K2.150, which replaced our heavily-used-and-much-loved old Karcher, which we used (abused? lol) for many years before it finally got a bit worn out. Lasted a long time though. If you’d like to buy the new K2.150, which replaced our old model, for a good price through our Amazon link, here’s where to find it:
        Thanks Edward! Safe Travels.

    2. Post

      Hi Edward. First off, can you tell us how many miles you drive each year? Oil & filter change is only called for on a 2006 ISB once a year or every 15,000 miles, whichever comes first. NEWER engines have a more frequent interval, but not yours. We had a 2002 Bounder Diesel ISB 300 HP, ran all over North America, and never needed an oil change more than once a year. Barring huge mileage on your part, and not knowing the whole situation here, we’re gonna guess that your shop might be taking you for a ride on both price and frequency. Unless you are packing on far more miles than 95% of RVers out there, once a year should be plenty.

      Here’s a link to the service fees for Speedco:
      The range of prices is $124.99 for “light duty” (which is what you need) to $249.99 for a “heavy-duty” service (remember that they’re primarily a tractor-trailer service shop). Our 400 hp ISL gets the “medium’duty” for $174.99. The prices include lubing the entire chassis, replacing the fuel filters, checking the DCA level in the anti-freeze, and a bunch of other checks, too. We also ALWAYS do the on-site instant oil analysis for $17.99…. cheapest insurance you can buy for early detection of metal in the oil.

      This past visit, last week, we also had them replace the differential fluid and a pint of DCA additive was needed for the coolant. We got out of there with everything included (even the $15.99 environmental charge, which all shops seem to have) for a whopping $300.62. Keep in mind this was Oregon, so no sales tax, and we do get the 3% FMCA discount, which saved us $9.30.

      We LOVE Speedco, and since we discovered them, we’ve saved saved a ton of money and aggravation on routine maintenance. The only downside is that they don’t do transmission service. We usually go to a Coach Care facility for that, or a Cummins shop in the Phoenix area, when we’re down there. No bargains there though.

  9. If you use your pressure washer to clean your coach whenever it gets dirty, have you determined whether it strips the wax off the coach?

    I appreciate your RV advice videos and recommended products.

    1. Post

      Hi Frank! It does not affect the wax at all, because we don’t use up-close full pressure right against the paint. For painted areas, the primary benefit of a pressure washer is wetting and rinsing the surface using a fraction of the water.

  10. I’ve had slides on trailers and motor homes since they first came out and agree that I can’t imagine being without one now. I think most issues are caused by people not following instructions as to leveling before deploying the slides. The other issue is some manufacturers use “travel locks” on the slides when you’re driving down the road and many people don’t bother putting them in. It depends on the manufacturer and slide mechanism, but if they say to use them – do it. Keeping the rubber seals in shape and losing the mechanism is all part of normal maintenance. Making sure the coach is level before putting them out or back in is most important to prevent any twisting or binding. I love my slides.

  11. Off Topic Question:
    I am buying a used RV this fall in preparation for 6-8 month travel over a 5 year period.
    I rely on your site to assist me in my purchase and to keep my future rig in top shape.

    I think I noticed your home has a large slide? Does it? I ask because I have been reluctant to put them in my search. Reason? Fear of such a large slide becoming a future problem due to out of balance or other imaginary problems.
    Is there anything you can add ?
    If not then thanks and keep those videos coming.

    1. Post

      Hi Oliver. If by “large” slide you mean “full-wall” slide, we actually don’t have one of those. We have 4 slide-outs, two on each side. Although one of them is very large, it is not full-wall. We cannot speak to the reliability (or lack thereof) of full-wall slides, since we’ve never had one, but we LOVE having slide-outs. Can’t imagine full-timing without the extra space they provide, although people of course do that. We’ve had no problems with them.

  12. I also make sure to clean the Black and Gray tanks at least once a year. I find when emptying them at campgrounds if the trailer is not level they do not empty completely.

    I also check and repack the wheel bearings.

    Thanks for the great videos.

    Gregg “G^3” Swartley

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