Make RV Repairs Yourself, Save Money Too!
RVing is an amazing pastime and an even more amazing way of life. The ability to pack up and hit the road in search of adventure is incredible, and the fact that it saves you money and allows you to be comfortable no matter where you go is even more so. We love the things we get to see, the friends we make, and the awesome experiences we have when RVing.
That said, it isn’t all fun and games. Sometimes things in RVs break. In fact, things break in our RV a little more often than I care to discuss.
It seems living every day in an RV that was built for occasional use is hard on the unit, leaving us with issues of all sorts. We’ve had to repair or outright replace faucets, water lines, light fixtures, vent covers, wastewater tanks, leaky roofs and corners, and more.
While we do live in our rig full-time, I’m guessing even those who use their rigs part-time but still on a regular basis run into these issues themselves now and again, meaning all of us RV owners end up with the same issue: a rig that needs repairs.
Of course, you could head to the nearest RV repair shop and let the professionals take care of the problem. Some might think this seems like the most logical thing to do. After all, the professionals know what they’re doing, right?
Well, yes, they typically do, but that doesn’t mean you can’t know what you’re doing too. You see, for the most part, RVs are pretty simply made, meaning most things are easy enough to repair. Why not watch some YouTube videos, pull out your toolbox, and do those RV repairs yourself?
Here are 5 reasons why this is a much better idea than hitting up the local RV repair shop.
1. Learn your rig
The best part about making your own RV repairs and skipping the RV repair shop is the fact that you get to know your own rig.
Knowing your RV (and/or your car or truck) is incredibly handy. It means you’ll recognize problems more quickly, meaning there is less potential for more extensive damage caused by problems going unnoticed for long periods of time.
On top of that, because you know your rig inside and out, you’ll be able to trace and pinpoint issues more easily, making diagnostics a much less time-consuming process later on. Plus, getting to know your RV and how it works will make future repairs that much easier to do, especially while you’re traveling.
2. Repair it to your standards
Another great benefit of avoiding the RV repair shop and doing RV work on your own? You’ll know the job is done to your standards.
While the vast majority of RV repair professionals will probably do a fine job, you never know when somebody might get distracted and forget something, or come into work tired and do a poor job on the rigs they work on that day.
When you do your work yourself, you know it’s done right—and if it isn’t, you have no one but yourself to blame.
3. Skip the extra miles
In some cases, you might be able to take your trailer or motorhome to the RV repair shop just down the road. However, if you live far from the city, you might be miles away from the closest shop. Even more extreme, you might have to take your rig to a specific shop or even directly to the manufacturer in order to get warranty work done. In these cases, the drive to the shop can be all the way across the country.
No matter which of these categories you fall into, going into the shop will mean putting more miles on your RV. If those miles are few, you may not be worried about it, but if you’re looking at hundreds or even thousands of miles, doing repairs yourself might start sounding pretty appealing.
4. Get back on the road sooner
Not only does driving your rig to the RV repair shop put miles on your vehicle, it also takes time out of your day. Waiting for the RV to be finished, discussing the repairs with the repair person, and paying for the work…all of that takes time. If it’s hard for you to take off work, you lose money by leaving work. And if you’re in a hurry to hit the road, this can be incredibly frustrating.
Even more frustrating than the typical day-long repair are the more time-consuming repairs, or the RV repair shops with long lines of people waiting to have work done. In these cases, your repairs could take weeks or even months to be completed. This is no big deal if it happens to be the dead of winter and you weren’t planning on taking the trailer or motorhome, but if you have something break during camping season or you’re in your rig full-time, this long wait could pose some serious issues.
5. Save money on labor costs
The final and most obvious benefit of doing RV repairs yourself is the fact that you will save money. RV repair shops charge a LOT for labor, and they charge full price for all parts.
As mentioned before, you’ll likely deal with numerous RV repairs during your time RVing. Since you won’t need to pay yourself anything for labor and you can usually find discounted RV parts, you’ll make your wallet and your bank account happy by putting forth the effort and doing whatever repairs you can manage on your own.
Ready to start saving time, money, and miles? Want to get to know your rig and ensure all work is done properly? Head over to YouTube, watch some repair videos, and get to work. With the exception of electrical projects and some major repairs, you should be able to safely figure out and repair everything that’s wrong with your RV so you can hit the road with everything in working order.
Be sure to keep track of all of your repairs and routine maintenance with an online tool such as RV LIFE Maintenance. Not only can you keep all of your documents in one place, but you’ll also receive timely reminders when maintenance is due and potentially avoid a serious accident.