It’s not uncommon for your home on wheels to require more attention than your sticks-and-bricks house. When you drive or tow your rig to the next destination, that intense vibration and movement can take a toll on things like appliances, joints, sealants, and your electrical, water, and propane systems, just to name a few.
So, how do you stay ahead of this regular wear and tear before it becomes a bigger problem? Preventative maintenance is key. Staying on top of daily, monthly, seasonal, and annual RV maintenance schedules gives peace of mind that you’re not only protecting your investment, but personal safety, too.
Here are a few of my top maintenance and troubleshooting tips to upkeep your RV’s brakes and axles.
Brake and Axle Maintenance and Troubleshooting Tips
Here are a few ways you can inspect and maintain your axles, brakes, and running gear to ensure you’re ready to hit the road safely.
- Visually inspect your axles, frame, and running gear every 4 months to see if there are any signs of scrapes, dents, or excessive rust. If you travel or live in salty or sandy environments, inspect your rig at least every 6 weeks.
- Your shackles should also be inspected before every trip to ensure there’s no excessive wear, rust, or damage. If your shackles fail, you could find yourself stranded. Have your wheel bearings repacked every year or every 12,000 miles. This task should be performed by a certified RV technician.
- Check your tire pressure before every trip and look for signs of uneven tread wear, as this might indicate over or under inflation.
- Protect your tires from harmful UV rays by covering them when your rig isn’t in use.
- Test your trailer brakes each trip and ensure they’re performing properly by conducting a tug test using your brake controller in your tow vehicle. If the brakes in the trailer aren’t engaging, there could be a problem with your brake controller or the 7-pin electrical connector between your tow vehicle and the rig. Seek out a certified RV professional if there’s an issue.
- Check wheel temperatures occasionally by pointing an infrared temperature sensor at the lug area of each wheel when you make a stop. If one or more wheels are excessively hot, it’s an indication of a bearing or brake problem that needs to be addressed.
If you need to find a certified RV technician, use the Togo RV app’s “Find Service” feature to locate a technician near you.
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