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Chris Dougherty

Christopher Dougherty, "The RV Medic", offers service advice and maintenance tips. Dougherty is a certified technician who has written for several other RV publications in the past. He also serves as a consultant to the RV Industry Association and other RV groups on service-related issues.

Roof maintenance and cleaning – A necessary evil

RV roof cleaning

RVs are tortured machines. Really! Believe me when I tell you that the majority of RV damage that I see today, and have seen during 16 years of working professionally in the RV industry is water damage from leaks as a result of lack of maintenance.

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What you need to know about your RV tires

worn out tires

RV tires age out before they wear out in most cases. Once a tire gets to five to seven years of age, they should be inspected by a tire professional annually for signs that they’re failing. The industry generally agrees that after 10 years, especially when the tires are heavily loaded, they should be replaced, regardless of wear.

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Chassis maintenance tips for spring

Chris - Roadmaster chassis

It doesn’t matter what type of RV you have, you have a chassis (or two) to think about for maintenance, and with a little forethought and planning, your RV will be ready and safe to use at a moment’s notice. The chassis we refer to is the running gear of the RV -- where the rubber meets the road.

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Demystifying dewinterizing your RV

RV plumbing system

For those of us who need to winterize our coaches for the colder months, there comes a time to get ‘em opened back up and ready for the season. Here are a few things you need to do, or should consider doing, at the beginning of each camping season.

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As Daylight Savings Time approaches, plan now to prep your RV

Clock in snow Fotolia_59097988_XS

If you are planning on having your RV professionally serviced for the season by your dealer, this is the best time to have it done, as most dealers in the northern half of the country are just starting to come out of their slow season. Before you know it, there will be long waits for RV service.

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Is your slideout groaning?

Slide-out boot

A slow or noisy slideout can be caused by a number of factors, including low 12 VDC power, lack of slide mechanism lubrication and maintenance, misadjusted slide or broken room or slide mechanism components. Here are a couple of quick things to check.

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Do you need to lubricate your hitch? YES!

Reese Hitch Ball Lube

We lubricate moving parts, like hinges, locks, window mechanisms, bearings and so on all the time. But I seldom see people lube their fifth wheel trailer hitches, and that’s just a high-load locking hinge, right?

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Keep your trailer lights working!

Bargman triple tail light

How often have you seen someone towing a trailer when the lights didn’t work? I’ve seen it a lot. It’s downright dangerous, and with a little maintenance, and checking them before each trip, you can keep your lights working A-OK and be safe!

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Where’s your RV’s battery?

Interstate battery

RV and marine batteries won’t freeze when they’re fully charged, but they sure will when the charge gets low. According to Trojan Battery, a fully charged battery will freeze at -92°F, but when it is discharged to a 40% charge, it freezes at 16°F.

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