Owning a self-contained motorhome gives you the ultimate freedom to travel Australia. Travel where you want, how you want, and on your own terms. But as Elenor Roosevelt said, ‘with freedom comes responsibility’. A motorhome requires a little care to keep it in its best condition.
There is a bit to consider when it comes to looking after your motorhome, such as knowing how to store it when you're not travelling, what parts need to be maintained, as well as what parts need to be cleaned regularly. These are just some of the things you will need to know.
We understand a motorhome is a big investment and the value of taking care of it. In this guide, you’ll learn everything there is to know about cleaning and caring for your motorhome, so your freedom machine will be ready for action for years to come.
There are so many benefits to caring for your motorhome properly, including:
Taking care of your motorhome's interior and knowing how to clean it properly will make your motorhome feel like a home-away-from-home
There are many working components to a motorhome. Looking after and maintaining everything correctly means equipment and facilities will last longer
Regularly servicing your motorhome can help prevent breakdowns that could leave you stranded while travelling
Once you have finished your adventures or are ready to upgrade, taking the proper steps to care for your motorhome will help you get a good price when you eventually list your motorhome for sale.
These are just some of the reasons why caring for your motorhome is vital.
The two main things to consider when taking care of your motorhome are cleaning and servicing. You will be able to do most of the cleaning of a motorhome yourself, but servicing the engine and RV maintenance is something that you should outsource to an RV maintenance and servicing professional.
Regular maintenance and servicing are important to help extend the life of your motorhome as well as to prevent any unnecessary breakdowns during your travels. It is recommended to service your motorhome at least every 30,000km.
If you take your motorhome to a specialised service centre like the RV Sales Centre in Melbourne, you have the choice of two service packages:
This happens every 10,000km or 6 months (whichever comes first) and includes changing oil, filter, wiper blades, 20-point check as well as a complimentary house and safety check
This happens every 30,000km or every 12 months and includes oil, filter, wiper blade change, brake check, fluid change, 30-point check and a complimentary house, safety and exterior check
Other things you can check between your regular services include:
It's also a good idea to occasionally check your LPG bottle for any damage. If you swap your bottle every time at a ‘swap and go’, it will most likely be ok.
Travelling around Australia, your motorhome is bound to build up some dirt and grime. Over time this can cause damage and deteriorate your motorhome. Taking the time to clean the interior and exterior of your motorhome regularly can prevent the build-up of any troublesome build-up.
Regularly cleaning the interior of your motorhome can help keep it feeling fresh and homely as well as extend its life. While cleaning your motorhome interior, you are also likely to notice things that may need replacing, which can be helpful before heading out on a trip.
Maintaining upholstery in a motorhome can include cleaning anything from seats, curtains and other furniture. Some upholstery will have marine vinyl which will only need a wipe to maintain it, while others will have fabric that is removable and will need to be washed.
Motorhome facilities can last a long time and will smell great for your adventures with the proper care and cleaning. During your travels, it's advised to clean and empty the toilet every few days and place a PortaPak inside to help break down waste. Check out our guides on disposing of RV waste and how to operate the toilet in your motorhome for more details. On top of emptying the tank regularly, it’s good to do a thorough clean of the bowl as well as the cassette every month or so.
While travelling, your motorhome water and storage tanks are your best friend, especially in areas when it is required to be self-contained. Draining the fresh, grey, and black water tank lines, and regularly cleaning the tanks are the best ways to avoid bacteria build-up. Cleaning your tanks with a commercial grade cleaner is one of the best ways to maintain a fresh-smelling motorhome, but be mindful when handling these chemicals. To keep the tanks in good condition it's advised to do this at the end of each trip or every month or two.
Just like a regular home, it's important to stay on top of cleaning motorhome appliances like the fridge and oven. Other rituals like emptying out and cleaning cupboards and your fridge from time to time will help these appliances run smoothly. This will also give you a chance to check their functionality before hitting the road.
Travelling around Australia, your motorhome is bound to get a little dirty. This makes it essential to wash your motorhome regularly. If you’re travelling near the coast, it's especially important to keep on top of this. Regular cleaning can prevent the salt from rusting the exterior.
Before getting out the sponge, make sure to hose down your motorhome first to avoid rubbing any grit and scratching the surface. Given the size, cleaning the outside of your motorhome is a bit harder than a regular car. You may want to consider using a ladder if required.
Cleaning your roof is often the hardest job when cleaning your motorhome’s exterior. Try finding a local car wash that has a lifted platform that will allow you to clean the motorhome roof. Alternatively, you can use a ladder but be extra careful navigating the slippery surfaces.
Start with a general hose down before any scrubbing and polishing to avoid scratching any windows or panels. While cleaning, keep an eye out for potential chips and cracks that may need fixing or buffering. It’s good to give your wheels and tyres a clean at the same time and keep an eye out for issues, including:
If you find any of these problems, it’s time to consider whether to replace or repair the tyre.
There is a range of tools and products that make cleaning the interior and exterior of your motorhome easy. As a motorhome owner, there are plenty of useful cleaning items that are worthwhile investing in, including:
Some you may need to buy, whereas items like a vacuum you will most likely already have at home.
Generally, it’s good to clean the exterior once a month if you’re on the road regularly. If your motorhome spends a lot of time parked up, it can be good to clean every few months. Regardless of how often you travel, it’s worth cleaning and washing your motorhome after every trip to ensure it’s in the best shape for your next trip.
Having a motorhome is a big investment, so you want it to last as long as possible. Regularly cleaning and caring for your motorhome is the best way to prolong its lifespan and keep it looking great and operating optimally.
If you’re still searching or looking to upgrade to the perfect motorhome for your adventures, check out the KEA website to see the range of new and used motorhomes for sale, including KEA ex-rental campervans.
Have more questions? Feel free to stop by a KEA certified dealership to chat with one of our RV campervan sales teams. They have a wealth of knowledge when it comes to campervans, and will happily answer any questions you may have regarding RV repair, RV maintenance, and the price of campervans. The KEA team can also give you a walkthrough of the motorhomes for sale and the different campervan conversions on-site.