Because an RV is a huge investment, regular maintenance takes on added importance. But although we understand that maintenance can save us from incredibly expensive breakdowns and emergency repairs down the road, many of us aren’t familiar with our RV’s systems and what we need to maintain.
When we started fulltiming at the beginning of 2014, I kept telling Eric that we needed a comprehensive RV maintenance checklist. He agreed, but we were worried we’d leave something out. Imagine our gratitude when our friend Daryl Waldrop, owner of Iron Horse RV in San Antonio, told us he had a diesel RV maintenance checklist he would share with us! Granted, this list is from one shop, and your own RV mechanic may offer a slightly different list. But considering Daryl has decades of experience servicing RVs and is a diesel owner himself, I think this is a great place to start.
I did get approximate pricing from Iron Horse for each service item. I’ve debated about whether or not to include the pricing in this article because it won’t stay the same forever. But as long as you take the numbers with a grain of salt (and don’t get mad at Iron Horse if they change!), I think the info is useful as you plan and budget. Also remember that the figures will change from rig to rig (for example, some rigs have more filters than others).
Diesel RV Maintenance Checklist
- Check house batteries every two weeks and add distilled water as needed – <$5
- Keep tires aired to proper PSI every six months – <$5
- Change fuel filters once a year or every 12,000 miles – $250
- Change oil and filter once a year or every 7,500 miles, unless you use synthetic – $250
- Lube chassis at every oil change, to include drive shaft lube – $usually included with oil change
- Change air dryer filter and lube slack adjusters every year – $300
- Change water filter on engine every year (not every rig has one) – $150
- Change hydraulic oil filter every year and top off system (not every rig has one) – $240
- Check coolant conditioner in engine and generator every year; for proper pH balance, coolant should be changed every four years – >$35
- Check belts and hoses every year and replace every four years – $varies
- Service differential every 75,000 miles when using synthetic gear lube; do a visual every year to inspect for leaks – $625
- Change air filter every two years – $365
- Change transmission filters every two years and top off fluid level with synthetic fluid – $325
- Pack wheel bearings every 25,000 miles or three years; if you have wet hubs, service every three years using synthetic gear lube – $815
- Generator: change oil and filter every 100 hours and once a year – $175
- Generator: change fuel filter once a year – $160
- Generator: change air filter every two years – $100
- Generator: change generator belt every four years – $650
I’d love you to comment with notes on your own maintenance schedule and what your experience has been. If you have questions about these maintenance items, I am the wrong person to ask! You’d be best off contacting Iron Horse RV directly, or reaching out to your own RV shop.
Disclosure: Iron Horse RV is one of our online marketing clients. Having said that, we’ve chosen Iron Horse as our exclusive RV repair shop, and we don’t receive discounts on the repairs and maintenance we have performed there.