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Is Your RV Safe? 7 HIDDEN RV Problems You Might Not Be Aware Of!

| Updated May 2, 2024

Here are the most common hidden RV problems and resources on how to prevent or uncover them…

Picture this: you're embarking on an epic road trip with your loved ones, cruising down scenic highways, and creating memories that will last a lifetime. But amidst all the excitement lurks a hidden problem waiting to ruin your trip.

Many of these problems can be avoided with preventative maintenance and by regularly inspecting your RV. But these preventative measures often get put on the back burner, or the potential problems are simply underestimated.

This article covers the most common hidden problems lurking inside your RV. And since this article isn't meant to scare you, we also include helpful resources throughout to prevent or uncover these hidden problems.

If you buy something through our links, we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. It helps keep our lights on so we can continue to provide helpful resources for RVers. Read our full affiliate disclosure here.

HIDDEN RV Problems

1. Faulty Wiring

Is Your RV Safe? 7 HIDDEN RV Problems You Might Not Be Aware Of! -- wires

One of the first areas to inspect for hidden problems is the electrical system. Faulty wiring or outdated electrical components can pose serious risks, including the potential for fires.

It's a good idea to schedule regular inspections by a certified electrician and make sure to look out for issues such as exposed wires, loose connections, or outdated circuit breakers. This is especially important if you've had any water leaks.

Helpful Resources:

2. Leaking Propane

How to SAFELY Transport Propane Tanks in Your RV

Another often overlooked area is the propane system. Propane is commonly used to power appliances like stoves, water heaters, and refrigerators in RVs. Unfortunately, there's been a spike in propane-related accidents and deaths in recent years.

It's also very important to inspect your propane system regularly, including all propane appliances. Check for leaks, rust, corrosion, loose fittings, pinched cables, and the like.

You can use a gas leak detector or soapy water to determine where leaks are coming from. If you put soapy water on a leaky gas line, it will bubble wherever the leak is.

Ideally, you'll have this inspection completed by a certified service technician once a year. That's in addition to checking it yourself on a regular basis.

3. About-to-Blow RV Tires

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The RV's tires are like its shoes, providing stability and ensuring a smooth ride. However, worn-out tires or improper inflation can lead to blowouts, loss of control, or even accidents.

Regularly inspect your RV tires for signs of wear and tear, such as cracks, bulges, or uneven tread wear. Don't forget to check the tire pressure before hitting the road, as underinflated or overinflated tires create safety hazards.

Also, be mindful of the age of your tires, as they can become more prone to failure after about 5 years.

4. Structural Weakness & Broken Seals

Now, let's talk about the often-overlooked structural integrity of your RV. Over time, exposure to various weather conditions, road vibrations, and continuous use can lead to hidden damage or weakening of the structure.

Inspect your RV's roof, walls, and floor for any signs of water damage, rust, or cracks. Pay extra attention to seams, corners, and areas around windows and doors, as they are more susceptible to leakage.

Regularly sealing and maintaining these vulnerable areas can prevent further damage and ensure your RV remains structurally sound.

5. Worn-Out Brakes

Don't End Up on the Side of the Road

Heavy loads and constant use can wear down the braking system quickly, increasing the risk of accidents or reduced stopping power. Regularly inspect your RV's brake pads, rotors, and fluid levels.

Be on the lookout for warning signs, such as squealing or grinding noises, vibrations, or a spongy brake pedal. If you notice any red flags, promptly have your brakes inspected and serviced by a qualified mechanic.

6. Pest Infestations

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Tiny creatures can sure do a lot of damage! Rodents and ants are the most common culprits but not the only ones.

Rodents often build nests in RVs, which can lead to chewed electrical wires, clogged systems, and other fire hazards. Ants can cause similar problems (strength in numbers, we guess!)

Then there are squirrels, palmetto bugs, spiders, and other little critters and buggers that can create a lot of hidden problems. You need to regularly look for signs of pests, including nests, webs, chew marks, and odors.

7. Not Being Prepared

Is Your RV Safe? 7 HIDDEN RV Problems You Might Not Be Aware Of!

One of the biggest hidden dangers in an RV is a lack of preparedness. It's paramount to have the appropriate safety equipment on board your RV.

A well-stocked and easily accessible first aid kit is a must-have in the event of an emergency or injury. Additionally, a functioning smoke detector, carbon monoxide detector, and fire extinguisher can be lifesaving in case of fires or gas leaks. Regularly check the expiration dates and replace batteries as needed.

Is Your RV Safe? 7 HIDDEN RV Problems You Might Not Be Aware Of! 2

Get the Home Study Course today and worry about the road, not the repairs!
Every time you move your RV it's like driving through a hurricane during an earthquake. Parts break and many items need to be maintained, this program will show you how you can save time and money by gaining the confidence to take on the majority of the issues you’ll come across. Don’t get caught with your RV in the shop! Learn how you can maintain and repair your RV at your own pace and at the most convenient time for you! This course is produced by the National RV Training Academy.

63 Scariest RV Experiences Real RVers Have Survived

Is Your RV Safe? 7 HIDDEN RV Problems You Might Not Be Aware Of! 3

In a recent post in our RV Lifestyle Facebook group, Sherry B. asked the community, “What are some of the scariest events you all have experienced on the road?

Her post received well over 200 comments from fellow RVers sharing their scariest RV experiences.

We've grouped the comments into categories… Keep reading…

Plan Your Next Adventure to Coastal Maine

By popular demand, we announce the publication of the latest in our library of RV travel guides – a 7-Day Adventure Guide to Coastal Maine.

Is Your RV Safe? 7 HIDDEN RV Problems You Might Not Be Aware Of! 4

With its dramatic rocky coastline, enchanting fishing towns, and windswept sandy beaches, Coastal Maine is a destination that should be on every RVers’ bucket list. 

We call these guides “7 days,” but they really are seven stops. They’re meant to be experienced at your own pace, a couple of days at one stop, a week at another, however long you want.

We have carefully curated this 66-page digital guide (not a printed book) so you can take in all Coastal Maine has to offer. We give you the routes to drive, the spot to stop, the places to eat, and the museums, excursions, hikes and adventures we think you will enjoy the most.

For an RVer, Coastal Maine has it all: stunning landscapes, short drives between stops, spacious campsites, that perfect small city and nature mixed with a seemingly endless variety of things to see and explore.

Mike Wendland

Published on 2024-05-02

Mike Wendland is a multiple Emmy-award-winning Journalist, Podcaster, YouTuber, and Blogger, who has traveled with his wife, Jennifer, all over North America in an RV, sharing adventures and reviewing RV, Camping, Outdoor, Travel and Tech Gear for the past 12 years. They are leading industry experts in RV living and have written 18 travel books.

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