Top RV Maintenance Tips from Cummins for Travel Season

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Spring’s longer daylight hours and warmer weather call RV owners out to the open road. But before you succumb to the urge to start up the diesel engine and roll out on the highway, proper spring RV maintenance will ensure a smoother ride all season long.

“Walk around the coach just like you would your house in the spring,” Chris Crowel, Cummins RV Market Leader, says. “The best way to see if your home needs maintenance is to get out and look at it. Do the same type of inspection of your coach to see how it faired through the winter weather.”

Here are 5 tips to prepare your RV for travel season:

1. Get out and inspect everything.

Look for any broken seals or cracks on the exterior of the coach that need to be repaired. Lift the engine cover, open up the basement and inspect every compartment. Keep an eye out for:

  • Insect and bug nests that may disrupt air flow
  • Plugged crankcase breather tube from ice or debris
  • Cracks or bent blades on cooling fan
  • Check the condition of your belts and hoses

2. Top off coolant.

At a cool temperature, top off with coolant that meets Cummins Engineering Standard: CES14603 for optimal performance. Note: never open a hot coolant reservoir – since the main role of coolant is to absorb heat from the engine, it can get very hot.  Periodically check coolant levels and concentration to ensure your RV engine is appropriately protected by the coolant – preventing corrosion, aeration, scaling, and other issues that can cause harm to your engine.  Consult your Owner’s Manual for additional details.

For maintenance performed by a Cummins professional, stop by one of 45 Cummins Coach Care service center before you hit the road this spring

3 – Proper oil level on dipstick.

If you did not change your oil before the winter, we recommend draining and changing your oil fluid before you hit the road for a long trip. For a Cummins engine, we recommend a CJ-4 (CES20081) oil such as Valvoline Premium Blue.  Oil is used to lubricate, cool components,  cleans the system, inhibit corrosion, and improve sealing.  When in storage, oil can pick up moisture from condensation and additive packages in the oil can drop out.  Both miles and time cause oil to deteriorate over time.

4 – Drain water out of the fuel water separator.

Most coaches have a Water in Fuel (WIF) sensor and lamp indicator to detect the presence of water in the fuel. Water can result in inadequate lubrication of fuel system components like pumps and injectors which could result in expensive repairs.  With the engine off, drain the fuel-water separator to ensure the diesel fuel is free of water.

5 – Follow engine maintenance recommendations.

Ideally, diesel engine maintenance and oil changes occurs prior to long-term winter storage. However, if that did not take place in the fall, spring marks the time to ensure proper engine maintenance. Even if your coach has not traveled hit the mileage noted in the operating manual, we still recommend the following maintenance intervals for engine:

  • Engines 450 HP and below (ISB6.7 and ISL9) – once per year
  • Engines 500 HP and above (ISX12 and ISX15) – every 6 months.

Additional Resources

For more maintenance information before you hit the road this spring, refer to your Cummins Owner’s Manual or go to

For customers that prefer expert maintenance done by Cummins professionals, stop by one of our 45 Coach Care facilities or 150 other distributor locations.  Be sure to ask about the Cummins Power Club which offers valuable information and discounts on parts and service for motorhome customers (

Also, stay connected on our social channels and for more motor home travel tips.


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  • juan diego mendez morales says:
    July 12, 2015 at 11:07 pm Reply

    información sobre motor y operación de cummins isx x 500hp semi automatico

  • Larry Linssen says:
    April 15, 2016 at 9:52 am Reply

    I have a Fleetwood RV with Cummins 360 engine. What Oil is recommended?

    • Michael Nagel says:
      April 18, 2016 at 4:24 pm Reply

      Hi, Larry! Our Cummins Customer Care team will be happy to answer any questions that you have about the Cummins engine in your Fleetwood RV. You can reach them by calling 1-800-DIESELS. Thanks!

  • Bill Birdyshaw says:
    May 2, 2016 at 8:15 am Reply


  • John Gostomski says:
    June 17, 2016 at 10:12 pm Reply

    I have a 459 HP ISL-9 Cummings in my 2016 DutchStar MH. What is the normal temperature operating range of the engine coolant?


  • Zequek Estrada says:
    August 4, 2016 at 7:46 pm Reply

    Having an RV repair service inspect your RV might be a good thing to do before these five tips. They might notice other problems that are easy to overlook. The more preventative measures taken would possibly lead to a more enjoyable travel season.

  • Jacob Q says:
    March 10, 2017 at 10:51 pm Reply

    Thanks so much for these maintenance tips, they are saving me a lot of time and money.

  • jresquival says:
    March 13, 2017 at 8:33 pm Reply

    That’s a good tip to top off your coolant before you travel. You don’t want to overheat in the middle of your trip. My grandparents used to take me and my siblings up and down the coast over the summer.

  • Bradford Snelson says:
    September 29, 2017 at 8:55 pm Reply

    I really appreciated your advice for how to prepare your RV for travel season – especially the bit about changing your oil and doing engine maintenance prior to long-term winter storage. It would make sense to me to work with a qualified diesel mechanic to ensure that your RV was always well taken care of. I’ve been thinking of buying an RV of my own, so these tips are very helpful.


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