Breaking down in your car, truck, or SUV is no fun; a break down in an RV or motorhome can be a nightmare. At Autoworks in Ithaca, we understand the importance of keeping your RV reliable and road-ready at all times. Gas or diesel, big or small, we repair and maintain brake systems, engines, transmissions, tires, suspensions, pumps, and electronics on all RVs. We also provide engine diagnostics and inspections. The only way to deter a breakdown on the road is to keep your RV maintained, with quality replacement parts and professional mechanics. Don’t risk a detour on your next vacation; bring your motorhome to Autoworks for any and all of your repair and maintenance needs. Our team of professionals will do everything in our power to keep your RV reliably on the road, and your mind at ease en route to your next destination. Call or come by anytime.
Complete service includes:
Maintenance: Oil Changes, Tire Rotations, Radiator Flush, Belts & Hoses, Batteries, and standard pre-trip checks
Service Repairs: Computer Diagnostics, Brakes, & Full Repair
Heavy Duty RV Service Repairs: Clutch Repair & Replacement, Suspension Adjustment, Pump Replacement, Valve & Piston Maintenence, Diesel Engine Repair & Replacements
Emergency Repairs: Have an issue while traveling? Count on our team to get you back on the road quickly and safely.
We like to know of any issues you may experience while driving your RV or motorhome. As long as standard maintenance and repairs are taken care of, there should be little to no issues at all. To increase awareness, we decided to add a list of standard maintenance and upkeep tips for your RV/trailer here! If you have any questions, simply stop by the shop or give us a call here at Autoworks in Ithaca, NY!
Standard Maintenance Should Include:
Brakes: Your RV or trailer brakes should be inspected and serviced annually or more often if you make substantial use of the trailer.
Ramp door: You should lubricate ramp door hinges with Lithium grease. Also, periodically lubricate the ramp door extension.
Huck bolts: Check the huck bolts periodically. If you detect a loose huck bolt fastener, do not tow the trailer. Call your dealer for instructions. Huck bolts are not end-user serviceable.
Pre-Departure Maintenance Going out RVing is a vacation and an adventure rolled into one so before going out, make an appointment to have your RV serviced. This usually includes tire rotation, an oil change if necessary and an overall inspection of the vehicle for potential problems.
Lights, Fluids & Wipers: Your lights and wipers are not the first thing you think of before taking that RV trip, have our team make sure the engine is running smoothly by checking oil, brake fluid and transmission fluid to make sure they are filled. Once all fluid levels are fine, we check your lights and windshield wipers.
Tire Safety All tires should be the same type, size, and construction—do not mix bias-belted and radial tires. In selecting tires, buy the size, type. Our team will check to ensure you have the proper tire pressure and replace worn tires. Also, replace your tires at the same time so you are aware when they need to be replaced again.
Tires Periodic inspection and maintenance of your RV and trailer tires and wheels are essential to towing safety, including spare tires. Proper tire pressure affects vehicle handling and the safety of your tires. You can find the correct tire pressure for your RV or motorhome in the owner’s manual or on the tire information placard.
• Under-inflation reduces the load-carrying capacity of your RV, motorhome or trailer, may cause sway and control problems and may result in overheating, causing blowouts or other tire failures.
• Over-inflation causes premature tire wear and affects the handling characteristics of the tow vehicle or trailer.
Wiring Make sure connector-plug prongs and receptacles, light bulb sockets, wire splices, and ground connections are clean and shielded from moisture. Lightly coat all electrical terminal connections with non-conducting (dielectric), light waterproof grease. Clean the prongs with very fine sandpaper, being careful not to damage the contact area. Clean the surface deposits in the connector holes. (Make sure the lights are off to prevent blowing a fuse) Try to clean off only the deposits and lubricate lightly with dielectric, light waterproof grease.
Your pre-trip planning should include the following:
Inspect the emergency equipment on your RV to make sure you have a fully-stocked first aid kit, a functioning fire extinguisher and an emergency kit that should at least include a tire pump, spare fuses, flashlight, multipurpose tool, pocket knife, road flares, and some canvas work gloves. Be sure to inspect your spare tire and vehicle jack as well.
Check your trailer hitch: the nuts, bolts, and other fasteners to ensure that the hitch remains secured to your RV or motorhome and the coupler remains secured to the trailer. The connection point may require periodic lubrication to permit free movement of the coupler to the hitch ball.
Some RV Ownership Tips
Our job at Autoworks in Ithaca is to help you travel safely and these RV tips we feel are a good way to help you with your RV ownership.
Driving Your RV - Motorhome Use an empty parking lot and practice your turns. Remember that your RV will need a wider turn radius than a car, so when making a turn pull out further into the intersection before beginning your turn. RVs also need more room to slow down, so when driving on the highways always follow the speed limit and keep a good distance between yourself and the vehicles in front of you. When coming to an off-ramp, slow down well before reaching it to avoid having to decelerate suddenly.
Going slowly will also help when you run into bad weather. High winds will affect your motorhome or RV more than it will a car. Keep a strong grip on your steering wheel and you should be okay. For rain or snow, you should decrease your speed. A vehicle like a motorhome is less prone to skidding than a car because of its lower center of gravity, but at the same time, it is much harder to control if it goes into a skid. The same holds true of a 5th wheel camper or horse trailer with living quarters so any large camper or RV needs special consideration.
Low bridges are another hazard of which you should be aware. Most bridges have their heights displayed to the drivers passing underneath them, so know the height of your motorhome or RV camper before you get on the road.
Getting To Know Your LP System The LP system on your motorhome is one of the most important systems on-board. While race season is primarily in the warm months and the furnace may not get much use, the LP system may also fuel the refrigerator, the range, the oven, and the water heater. In fact, some of these appliances operate on both electricity and LP gas, allowing you to switch back and forth. Be sure you have an LP monitor-warning system in your camper to warn you if you have a gas leak.
LP stands for liquefied petroleum gas and is also known as propane. The gas is sold in liquid form and kept in a storage tank beneath the coach is a special compartment. A panel, usually beneath the slide out, gives you full access to the tank. You coach may be equipped with a 60-lb./14-gallon tank. One pound of propane produces 36 cubic feet of gas. You can expect to use a couple of gallons of LP a week in warm weather and more if it’s cold and the furnace is operating. Keep track of the gauge to know when you are running low.
Winterizing Your Motorhome - RV When wintertime comes around and camping season is over, what do you do with the RV? Just park it, right? Not so fast. You have some chores to do if you want to use your RV again in the spring. Exposing your camper to freezing weather without preparation can damage a number of systems, such as water lines, tanks, and water heaters. And even if you live where cold temperatures are rare, your motorhome still needs attention. We recommend you follow these procedures for maintaining your RV or that you bring it to Autoworks in Ithaca for winterizing. If you choose to do it yourself, these are some helpful tips.
• Begin by removing all food and beverages. This includes everything in the cabinets and the refrigerator — even that small jar of mustard in the back corner of the refrigerator. Anything you leave is subject to freezing or spoiling. Cleaning up an exploded can of Pepsi first thing in spring is not fun.
• Drain thoroughly all water tanks, holding tanks, lines and pumps to prevent damage to the RV’s water system. Don’t drain the tanks onto your front lawn. It’s messy and unhealthy. Most campgrounds have dump stations you can use for a small fee. Also, remember to drain the water heater and the toilet.
• Use a non-toxic RV anti-freeze to keep any remaining water from freezing in the system. You can find the anti-freeze at your RV supply store. Also, put some RV anti-freeze in each drain.
• Tape up all vents and openings, including vents for the furnace, and range hood. This will keep mice and other little critters from gaining access to the unit.
• Cover the regulator on the propane cylinder and extinguish all pilot lights.
• You should keep your coach road-ready by running the engine for about 30 minutes each month and if possible drive your RV monthly at least 10 miles.
• Prepare your generator for winter storage by performing regular maintenance, check the anti-freeze and run it for 30 minutes to an hour monthly.
These are some basic tips to help ensure a safe experience with your RV - Motorhome - Camper. If you have any maintenance or repairs concerns our RV Service Advisors at Autoworks in Ithaca, NY are here to help you as well simply give us a call or schedule a routine service visit to ensure your RV - Motorcoach is ready to hit the road when you are!
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