7 Most Breakable RV Parts and How to Avoid Breaking Them

“Our awning is busted,” one says.

“Now I need a new generator,” says another.

“Our water system’s gone haywire,” he remarks.

“There’s mold growing inside!” she wails.

These are comments, complaints, problems, and repairs that RV servicing companies see quite often. Avoid being one of these discouraged individuals by reading on and taking heed of these helpful tips that can save you time, money, and a bad headache.


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1. Awning Breaks on a Windy or Rainy Day

The awning is one of the top repair jobs at any RV repair shop. Among the many ways to damage an awning, the top two most frequently seen are rain warping and wind breakage.

During a heavy rain, rainwater often can collect in the middle of an awning, causing it to warp. The longer the rainfall, the more damage is caused, resulting in a ruined awning that no longer retracts properly. Windy conditions put stress on RV awnings, weakening them considerably, and occasionally, in extremely windy weather, ripping them off the RV entirely.

Tips to Avoid Awning Breakage:

  • Tilt the awning downwards slightly to avoid rain pooling.
  • Retract your awning during windy weather.

2. Generator Deteriorates from Lack of Use

Your generator needs to be run consistently. Allowing it to sit for an extended period of time without turning it on will speed deterioration. The carburetor will tarnish, resulting in decreased fuel efficiency and power capabilities. Moreover, there is no way to clean it so replacement is the only option. Keep your generator in good condition and it should last you a good long time.

Tips to keep your generator running smoothly:

  • Run your generator every 30 days.
  • Run it at 50% capacity for approximately two hours.

3. Weathered Seals Let In Moisture

Door seals, window seals, and roof seals are made of materials that naturally deteriorate over time. Failure to notice this development will result in moisture seeping into the interior of the RV, causing a musty odor inside the vehicle and allowing toxic mold to form. Bad leaks from broken seals pose a severe risk for water damage to your RV.

Tips to keep your seals in good condition:

  • Check all seals every three months.
  • Periodically have deteriorating seals replaced.

4. Freezing Temperatures Cause Water Systems to Burst

One of the most common forms of breakage within RVs is freezing temperatures that wreak havoc on the water system. When you arrive home from your last trip before winter sets in, it’s incredibly important to “winterize” your RV. If you neglect to adequately care for your water system prior to the onset of winter, parts could break that will become big problems when you’re preparing for your trip next summer. Faucets might leak, the water heater may have burst, the water pump might be broken, water lines might have burst or fittings could have cracked. It’s much better to take a little extra effort beforehand and avoid a huge hassle down the road.

Tips for “winterizing” your water system:

  • Drain all water tanks and water lines
  • Use antifreeze (most common) or air pressure (cheaper) to protect your plumbing lines
  • Unplug your water line and place it in an area where temperatures are warmer.

5. Blistering Temperatures Cause Interior Degradation

If you live in or tend to frequent a place with a very hot climate, it’s important to take measures to protect your RV from what we call “heat stroke.” Wall coverings, flooring, seals, and seams, will deteriorate much faster under hot conditions, requiring them to be repaired sooner than anticipated.

Tips to Combating the Sweltering Weather:

  • Park your RV under a covered garage when not in use.
  • Open your RV vents to promote airflow and a cooler interior.

6. Weather Exposure Freezes and Fries Your RV’s Roof

The roof of your RV is one of the most important areas to protect. Many RV roofs crack due to the outdoor exposure to sun, rain, snow, and ice. The most concerning aspect of roof deterioration is that most people don’t catch it until it’s too late. Out of sight, out of mind!

Tips to keep your roof in good condition:

  • Put an RV cover over your vehicle.
  • Park your RV under a covered garage when not in use.
  • Clean your RV’s roof on a regular basis.

7. Rust and Corrosion Damage Your Slide-Out Rails

After a long winter of sitting unused in a garage, RV slide-outs have a tendency to become corroded and begin to squeak and squeal when they’re first used the following summer. While it does require a little bit of maintenance during the winter months, $15-worth of TLC can save you the cost of having to replace the entire slide-out.

Tips to keeping your slide-out rails in prime condition:

  • Coat your slide rails with lubricant spray.
  • Check the slide out rails twice each year, relubricating each time.

Drive safe and enjoy your trip, free of breakage and frustrations. If you’re looking into joining the RV community, check out our listings for more information. Because we’re a used RV dealer, we have the ability to avoid markups and pass those savings onto our customers. We would love to work with you in order to find an RV that will best suit your needs, desires, and thirst for adventure!


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