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Setting up the RV

RV Maintenance Tips for Keeping Your Exterior in Top Shape

RV with Awning Out

RV with Awning Out

Whether you’re new to the  Trailer RV Lifestyle like me or a seasoned RVer, you’ll want to stay on top of maintenance so you can enjoy your Recreational Vehicle for many years to come. Exterior maintenance is a great place to start.

Go RVing Canada has created a handy checklist of maintenance tips to keep your RV exterior in top shape and I have added a few comments of mine gleaned from friends and a tiny bit of experience this year after I purchased my first trailer in July 2017.  Previously, I owned a Get A Way camper van for 12 years so have some RV knowledge.

1. Wash your RV exterior after each trip

Hose off the loose dirt and grime, then a sponge wash with mild soap and water rinse does the trick. But make sure you wash your RV exterior regularly and ideally after you return from each trip. Be careful to prevent condensation and avoid spraying water directly into appliance vents.  I use a spray soap jet on the hose and a car cleaning soft brush to go over my Denali Trailer.  This includes the roof that I access with a nine foot ladder.

Cleaning the Get A Way Van!

Cleaning the Get A Way Van!

2. Wax or apply a protectant to your RV exterior

Wax on, wax off, channel your inner Karate Kid and apply a coat of good quality wax or protectant to your RV exterior. This can be a time-consuming task depending on the size of your RV but it is well worth the effort. Make sure the exterior is dry before you start waxing and spot-test on a small area of graphics before widespread application. Check to ensure that the wax is appropriate for use on the type of exterior on your RV.  I did this shortly after purchasing my Trailer and it certainly helps to remove the bugs and bird poop after a camping trip, especially those pesky ones that splat on the front of the vehicle.

3. Clean your awning and keep it dry for storage

Before you roll up your RV awning for storage, clean it well with mild soap and water, and lubricate moving parts with silicon spray. When you roll it up, ensure that the awning is in the locked position. I cleaned my awning once and will do it again before I winterize the trailer in November.

4. Inspect any sealed areas thoroughly to prevent water damage

Your RV is out and about in the elements day-after-day on your adventures throughout the seasons. You’ll want to make sure that your RV exterior including the roof, sides, edges, windows, doors, vents, end caps, moldings, compartments and underside are sealed off and doing their job to protect the interior from potential water damage, mice or other rodents. Look for any gaps, openings or areas with aged sealant and re-caulk if necessary. Make sure to use the appropriate sealant and when in doubt, ask your RV dealer or manufacturer for advice.

Setting up the RV

Setting up the RV

Funny story on our third camping trip to Alouette in Golden Ears Provincial Park, we had a mouse in the trailer.  I had to purchase some mousetraps but did not catch any so the mouse exited. On my return I purchased some foaming pest spray and went around all of the openings on the bottom of my trailer which included the water drains, stabilizers, and other pipes.  I found a few holes the size of a dime that a mouse could squeeze through.

Another tip I picked up was placing scent-free dryer sheets in the RV to reduce bugs and keep spiders out.

5. Lubricate all hinges, locks and moving parts

No one likes creaky doors or windows or compartments for that matter. Lubricating hinges and moving parts with WD40 and all locks with a graphite spray lubricant is an easy maintenance step that takes only a couple of minutes.  When I purchased the Denali it had been stored and not used for the current season so all of the hinges squeaked.

6. Cover outside vents to keep the critters (and condensation) away

Keep the insects out and prevent nesting by installing plastic bags or covers on outside vents (furnace, refrigerator, water heater) for long-term storage. Buy a proper A/C cover (versus using a plastic bag) and cover your air conditioning unit to avoid condensation during storage.

Our 2017 Camping Stone

Our 2017 Camping Stone

My vents have a Max Air flow cover on them and I have purchased a full breathable RV cover for the trailer and will use this during the winter as I have to store my Denali outside.

7. Open your vents

When your RV is not being used during the summer months, the inside living area can get up to 130F degrees depending on your location. That type of intense heat will cause even the toughest materials to break down and fail over time. Open your vents to let the air in. (But remember to keep the outside vents closed to keep the rain out!)  I can keep my vents open as most have a Max Air cover but one that is not covered is rain sensitive and will automatically close when it rains.

8. Lubricate your slide-out rails

Lubricate your slide-out rails a couple of times a year to stop rust and corrosion. You can find a can of lubricant spray specifically designed for this project for under $20. This is a much cheaper solution than replacing your slide-outs down the road.  I will be doing this before I put the trailer to bed in the winter as well as coating the rubber slide-out seals with a seal product to protect the rubber.

As I use my trailer more I am sure I will come across the need to obtain other advice or maintenance tips, so I will publish a blog next year to update you on my experiences.  In the meantime for more RV maintenance tips, check out the Go RVing Canada YouTube videos on

Cooking Up an RV Adventure on Food Network Canada’s Chuck & Danny’s Road Trip

Chuck & Danny Road Trip

Chuck & Danny’s Road Trip

Follow celebrity chefs Chuck Hughes and Danny Smiles as they take to the road in a fifth-wheel RV to cook up tantalizing dishes from some of the country’s amazing local foods.

Celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday the Montreal-based chefs traveled coast to coast meeting local farmers, fishermen and foragers and cooking up a storm, both in the RV and around the campfire, and having lots of fun along the way. What better way to experience Canada’s stunning landscapes and diverse food offerings and with two of the 6 episodes right here in British Columbia.

Chef Dan Hudson with Chefs Chuck Hughes & Danny Smiles on Vancouver Island

Chef Dan Hudson with Chefs Chuck Hughes & Danny Smiles on Vancouver Island

Island Time

The first BC stop was in the second episode when Chefs Chuck & Danny took their road trip to Vancouver Island for some Island Time. After setting up camp in Goldstream Provincial Park, not far from the British Columbia capital Victoria, and armed with good advice from local Cowichan Valley Chef Dan Hudson, Chuck & Danny went looking for grass-fed chicken, local seafood and more. Donning wet suits and diving into the ocean, the two chefs tried their hand at seaweed harvesting and eating freshly caught sea urchins right on the boat. Then back to the campsite to cook up a feast.

Chef Brooke Winters with Chefs Danny Smiles & Chuck Hughes on Salt Spring Island

Chef Brooke Winters with Chefs Danny Smiles & Chuck Hughes on Salt Spring Island

Salt of the Earth

Next it was over to Salt Spring Island to experience the Salt of the Earth.  In this BC episode, local Chef Brooke Winters who believes in providing local organic food to people in a fresh and affordable way, provided Chuck & Danny with the low down on the very best local vegetables and country’s finest lamb. Chuck tried his hardest to catch a salmon which managed to elude him, but an unexpected catch made for an excellent Salt Spring seafood feast for the locals.

The fifth-wheel for this trip was provided by Sunwest RV in collaboration with Go RVing Canada. According to Chris Mahony, President of Go RVing Canada, who tagged along for the west coast leg of Chuck and Danny’s RV travels on Vancouver Island, “Chuck and Danny truly embrace the camping lifestyle in this series and experienced RV living during their journey,” recalls Mahony. “And there may have been a few friendly bets and fun chirps between the chefs calling dibs on who got the luxury king-size bed vs. the cozy pull-out sofa in the RV!”

If you love camping and cooking make sure you watch Chuck & Danny’s Road Trip and experience some of the best scenery and freshest ingredients provided by local farmers, fishermen and foragers that Canada offers from coast-to-coast. An impressive and delicious RVing and cooking adventure.

Check out the episodes of Chuck & Dannys Road Trip – which premiered on Food Network Canada in 2017.

Top 10 RV Driving Tips – Go RVing Canada

Tips How to Drive an RV

Tips How to Drive an RV

The Camping and RVing BC Coalition speaks to many consumers at RV shows and often has to answer the question “I am new to RVing how difficult is it to drive a larger vehicle such as a 5th wheel or motorhome?”  So we thought let’s ask the experts at Go RVing and they provided us with a Top 10 RV Driving Tips blog… (more…)

Published: September 30th, 2015

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