Jimbo’s RV Repair – Oil Changes

Oil Filter

Welcome to the first Installment of All the World’s a Home, your home for RV maintenance, repair, tips, tricks and best practices!  Something that might not necessarily be on a lot of people’s minds is that when you get down to it, an RV is still just an automobile, meaning that it still requires all of the maintenance your typical car would (I.E. Oil changes, fluids, etc;) in addition to other maintenance tasks that are more exclusive to RVs.  While RVs are hardy and durable, they’re still vulnerable to the same problems that other vehicles are susceptible to.  While it’s easy to check for things like interior and exterior defects, you should treat your RV with the attention that it deserves.


So What Should you do?

Always make sure to change your oil and oil filters regularly.  Most RV’s will be fine with oil changes roughly every 3,000 – 5,000 miles.  You should still check your manufacturer’s manual for further details for your specific RV, but 3,000 – 5,000 is a “ballpark” recommendation that you can’t  go terribly wrong with.  Of course, this depends on what kind of oil you use, whether you use natural or synthetic oil, how often your RV is driven, and for how long.  Synthetic oils are the best fit for your typical RVer, as RV’s will generally sit for most of the year. Synthetic oils will generally hold up better over long periods without use.

Natural oils are typically more vulnerable to heat as smaller molecules are burned away.  This causes it to become much “sludgier” and significantly less lubricating.  While a synthetic oil will be less susceptible to this heat degradation, you still have to watch out for contamination.  Contamination is best combatted with a stronger, aftermarket filtration system.  A good filtration system used in combination with synthetic oil can go well above the 3,000-5,000 limit. Despite that, you should still avoid chancing it but so much and still plan to replace your oil on occasion.  Failing to change your oil can cause your engine to seize up entirely, which could cost you thousands later on!