Caravans give owners and families fantastic opportunities to travel to different places in the comfort of their second home, so of course, you want your vehicle to last as long as possible problem free. Whether you are new to owning a caravan or have been a keen enthusiast for many years, our seven key caravan maintenance tips are guaranteed to give you some useful advice.
Caravan Maintenance Tips For A Long-Lasting Vehicle
Although you would have been taught how to drive, manoeuvre and key safety skills during your caravan training, one aspect you wouldn’t have been walked through is basic maintenance. Caravans are a worthwhile investment and come at a huge cost, so it is essential that it is cared for well with these maintenance tips.
Similar to any other vehicle, it is essential to make time for a regular checkup of your tyre condition. The minimum tyre tread is 1.6mm, but we recommend that to avoid any serious damage to your vehicle, consider changing tyres when the tread reaches 3mm.
In a car, you can often get away with driving with your tyre pressure a little under the recommended amount. However, it is vital never to allow this to occur on your caravan as it puts both you and other drivers in danger as your control over the vehicle is greatly reduced.
Another quick maintenance tip for your tyres is before setting off on a long journey, take a look for any wear and tear or cracks around the tyres. This is a common occurrence after the winter months when your caravan has been sitting stationary for a long period of time.
A caravan should be treated the same as your home meaning fire precautions need to be put in place to reduce the risk of any issues including a fully functioning fire alarm. Always ensure that you have a fire extinguisher in the vehicle that is both in good condition and within the expiry date, at all times. It is recommended to replace fire extinguishers every five years, even if the expiry date is longer.
Before fitting any electrical items, take time to get appliances PAT tested by a professional and make it part of your routine to turn all electrical off by the mains when your caravan is not in use.
We are all familiar with the tell-tale signs that there is a spot of damp within a home or caravan, the distinctive musky smell and staining on fabrics or walls being the most prominent. To avoid the risk of damp, when cleaning ensure that all surfaces are completely dry before locking up and closing all windows or doors. Similarly to this, if any pieces of furniture get wet or liquid is split, ensure the fabric is bone dry before closing.
It is common for caravan owners to store their vehicle away for a number of months. If this is the case, try to fit in a couple of minutes every couple of weeks to open up your caravan and allow the fresh air to flow through. Of course, you cannot do this every day, so for extra measures, it is recommended to place a few bowls filled with salt around the caravan to absorb all dampness.
Although cleaning guttering is a lengthy and boring job, unfortunately, is crucial for a long-lasting caravan in both the warmer and colder months. During the Winter, any rainfall will freeze, which if built up, will start to lift the seams meaning that when it eventually melts, will leak through to the inside of your caravan. Particularly in the Autumn, there will be a significant build-up of leaves which will absorb water and create dampness.
The best way to check whether your gas supply is fully functioning and safe is through your gas cooker. If you light the flame and it is a blue colour, then all is well. However, if the colour seems to have a yellow tinge, then it is a huge indication that your supply is blocked, which causes a danger of a carbon monoxide leak.
If you are planning to leave your caravan not in use for a long period of time, all turn off all appliances and remove gas canisters. Always ensure that there is a carbon monoxide detector fitted somewhere within your caravan.
Appearance is key, a caravan is a considerable investment, and many do not come at a low price, so it is important to make your investment worthwhile and keep it clean. Mould grows wherever moisture is present. Not only is it unattractive to look at, but if mould gets inside, it can seriously damage your health as it creates toxic particles in the air.
It is recommended to give you caravan exterior a thorough clean at least twice a year to avoid a build-up of grime. Never use a pressure washer to clean your caravan as the high pressure can easily break the seals and cause leaks. Instead, try the old-fashioned way of a bucket and sponge with plenty of car shampoo. Start from the top of the roof and work your way down the vehicle, this stops freshly cleaned areas from being covered in dirty water. For extra protection, you could add a little wax into your final rinse for a shield in adverse weather conditions.
Water systems are one of the biggest culprits for a build-up of bacteria meaning unless you source your own fresh water, you should only ever drink water that has been passed through a filter hose. To lower the risk of contaminated water, always drain water systems when not in use and clean regularly. Both bicarbonates of soda and white vinegar are great for disinfecting water pipes.
Once you get used to scheduling in some time or the spare moment to keep up regular maintenance of your caravan, you will find that it takes next to no time and will make the world of difference. Not only do you want to keep your caravan in full working condition but also clean and mess-free appearance wise!