RV Parts Tips

Read these 3 RV Parts Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about RV tips and hundreds of other topics.

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How can I keep my RV looking great and protect my tires?

Keep Your RV Looking New and Clean

If you want to keep your RV looking clean and new, the best purchase you can make is an RV cover. Using an RV cover or sunshield tarp when you are not on the road prevents UV damage from the sun and decreases the internal temperature of your home on wheels. Go the extra mile - purchase plastic covers for your RV tires and spray-on tire sun block to prevent premature aging. Mirror covers, wiper-blade covers, and sun-shield tarps are a few additional RV accessories you can purchase to keep your mobile RV looking new for years to come!

What do I need to know about RV toilet maintenance and repair?

RV Toilet Maintenance and Repair

Your own bathroom may be one of the greatest comforts of owning an RV but it can also be high on the list of RV headaches if not properly maintained.

The water used to flush your toilet, along with the seals, black drain valve and toilet chemicals work together to control odor. You must maintain these elements in order to keep your traveling home smelling sweet. Always leave at least one half of an inch of water in the bowl or your seal will dry and crack. Toilet bowl leaks can be cured by resealing. This is done at the bottom of the toilet and on the holding tank dump valves. Tighten a loose bowl (do not over-tighten) and check the seal or gasket for damage.

The tank fill sensor can fail, so clean it periodically and replace it if there is need. If you cannot flush, try to use the manual turn valve on the back of the toilet. Inspect the supply line; there may not be enough water pressure. If the toilet is empty and will not hold water, your flush drain may be clogged.

In order to keep your system from freezing in winter, remove all water from the toilet by flushing the lines with RV antifreeze. Only use antifreeze made specifically for RVs – other types are toxic to your RV. When buying RV toilet parts, always use what your manufacturer recommends to keep your toilet system functioning for years to come!

How does RV plumbing work and what types of accessories are helpful?

Basic RV Plumbing

RV plumbing is fairly simple. There are two holding tanks: a grey tank for sink and bath waste, and a black tank for sewage. You will use either a pressurized direct-feed water system (i.e. exterior water supply) or your holding tank with an electric pump. You must use chemical solutions to treat each of your tanks: the grey tank solution breaks down paper, waste and eliminates odor. Your RV parts and accessories store will carry different types of RV toilet and sink products. Be sure to always use bath tissue designed specifically for RV and septic toilets.

For dumping liquid waste, there are a few essential RV plumbing accessories to have ready for any situation or sewer variances:

  • Hose coupler – joins two sewer hoses together to lengthen your hose.
  • Coupler bayonet adapter – a temporary hose coupling tool.
  • 90 degree sewer adapter – connects hose to sewer.
  • On/off adapter – a temporary tool to connect the hose to the RV.
  • Coupler threaded adapter – use with 90 degree sewer adapter for threaded connections.
  • Extra heavy-duty sewer hose (at least two, ten foot sections) – creates a longer hose.
  • Sewer hose seal – seals sewer hose to the dump hole.
  • ABS plastic piece and ABS plastic cement – for sewer connector retainer repairs.
  • Extra sewer outlet cap – have on-hand in case your original breaks!
Additional RV parts and accessories related to RV plumbing are: drain stand, hose storage unit, water pressure regulator and water purifier. Also look into purchasing a wheeled, portable dump-tank. You may find yourself at a campground without full hook-up and it's best to dump excess grey water periodically. These items aren't necessary, but offer insurance that your RV experience will go off ‘without a hitch.'

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Heidi Splete