Caravans are an excellent way to travel with family and friends while enjoying the comfort of your second home. Although they may be an expensive purchase, the luxury of setting off on a relaxing adventure is well worth the price. To ensure that your caravan remains in excellent condition, it is essential to maintain your caravan regularly. To help you manage your caravan’s maintenance, we have come up with eight helpful caravan maintenance tips.
Caravan Maintenance Tips For An Immaculate Vehicle
After training to drive a caravan through one of our B+E courses Bicester, it is easy to get carried away and neglect basic vehicle maintenance. The extent to which you care for your new or old purchase will decipher the longevity of your caravan. Small self-services such as regularly checking the brake fluid and oil levels can significantly impact your vehicle and only take a few seconds to examine.
1. Interior Safety
A caravan acts as your second home with wheels, so it is important that you treat it with the same care. As the vehicle is fitted with ovens, hobs and other fire risks, fire precautions are essential to reduce the risk of a fire as well as protect you. Check your fire alarm before any journey to guarantee that it works correctly. The fire alarm is the first step to ensure the safety of yourself and other passengers.
In the event of a fire, a fire extinguisher can save a life. It is extremely important that your fire extinguisher is regularly serviced and that it meets legal requirements. Before any trip, double-check whether your extinguisher is due for servicing by locating the date, if it is over five years then contact your local fire service for advice.
For health and safety measures, make sure that you have a first aid kit in a visible location. This first aid kit should include a variety of bandages, scissors, tape, gloves and safety pins. For a full list of appliances that should be included in your first aid kit and descriptions of why they are essential, take a look at Galaxy Caravans blog.
The tyres on your caravan are a significant part of the safety of your journey; therefore, it is important to check the conditions of your tyres regularly. The legal minimum tread depth of tyres should be 1.6mm, however, due to the size and weight of the caravan, we would recommend replacing the tyres before they reach the minimum tread depth.
A quick maintenance tip to carry out regularly and particularly before any long journey is to check for any cracks in the tyre. If the tyre has cracks or looks worn out and misshaped, replace them before you set off; this will ensure that you have a safe journey.
Like any other vehicle, the exterior lights of your caravan must be kept in good condition and work properly. It is illegal to drive with broken headlights, brake lights and indicator lights. Having a broken light on your caravan can cause danger to yourself and other drivers around you, so it is important to make sure that before any journey, all your exterior lights are working.
Although interior lights may not cause a health and safety problem, making sure that all broken light bulbs are replaced before a journey will maximise your comfort. Make sure that you take spare light bulbs so that you are prepared for any breaks during your adventure.
4. Check Appliances And Accessories
Accessories within your caravan are a significant part of your enjoyment. Having an important appliance such as your oven not work can reduce your enjoyment and make living in your second home a hassle. So, before you start your journey, check that any gas appliances such as the oven and hob rings work. To maximise your comfort, ensure that the fridge is functioning, and the heating is operational.
Foul smells lingering across your caravan can make for an unpleasant journey. If the seals on your windows and doors are damaged, water can leak through and dampen the inside of your caravan. To lower the risk of this happening, check that the seals on your doors and windows have not perished. Another precuation that can reduce the risk of dampness is to make sure that your shower drain can run free.
5. Doors And Windows
Although checking the seals and your caravan can guide you as to whether you need to take action on replacing the seals, there are measures that you can take to reduce the likelihood of a broken seal. Regularly clean the window and door seals by using warm soapy water and ensuring that all water has dried before closing the door or window. Try to avoid using products that contain alcohol; the reason for this is because caravan windows frames are made from methacrylate, meaning that they are more sensitive than car windows.
A broken window can be economically damaging as it causes drag, which will inevitably use more fuel. To avoid this, check that your windows are in good condition and that they open and close correctly.
6. Cover When Not In Use
The majority of caravan owners travel during the summer and hide their vehicle during the colder months. Although your caravan will not be in use during the colder seasons, it is still important to maintain your vehicle and protect it from any damage. The longer your eave the caravan exposed the higher chance that it will be damaged when you bring it out next summer.
Dirt left to fester on a caravan or any vehicle, can cause long term damage and become expensive to repair. There are many negative effects that dirt can have on paint; not only does it make it look older and uncared for, but it can also cause scratches. To avoid damage to your caravan, make sure that it has a tight cover as loose ends will result in scraping off paint and damage to the surface from dust and dirt entering the gaps.
7. Give It A Thorough Clean
Dampness can cause damage to an expensive investment as well as your health. The result of moisture on your caravan will not only look unpleasant but can also cause long term damage. The toxic particles that are released through dampness are also detrimental to your health. This is why it is extremely important to reduce the risk of dampness, which is extremely easy through a regular clean.
Thoroughly clean the exterior of your caravan at least twice a year, particularly just before storing it away for winter. Cleaning can protect your caravan, however, it is essential to understand the method to use to ensure that you protect your caravan even while washing it. Never use a pressure washer on your vehicle! Although this is a method used at most hand car washes, a pressure washer can damage and break window and doors seals which will result in leaking. Instead, use a soft sponge and warm soapy water, making sure that you thoroughly clean all the gaps. Start from the top of the caravan and work your way down to avoid making clean areas dirty. You could also add a coat of wax to the final rinse, this will shield your caravan from adverse weather conditions.
Despite gutters being an essential part of cleaning to avoid damage to your caravan, it is often a part neglected. Cleaning the gutters is crucial for a long-lasting caravan in both warm and cold weather conditions. In the winter, rainfall will freeze and the build will start to lift the seems, meaning that when it melts, it will leak into the caravan. The autumn will also cause build-up in the gutters as leaves will absorb water, creating dampness in and around your caravan. For these reasons, it is important to make sure that you rinse out your gutters and remove anything that may have got stuck in them on the way.
8. Regularly Service
Unlike a car, caravans do not need a yearly MOT, and therefore, it is the responsibility of the owner to ensure that the caravan is safe to drive on the road. It is still required by law to ensure that your caravan is in good condition and will not cause any danger to yourself or other drivers. We recommend that you have a regular service on your caravan to ensure its reliability as well as secure a higher resale value.
Keep Up With Maintenance
For a long-lasting caravan, it is important to make sure that you are up to date with any key maintenance. There are plenty of small maintenance checks that you can carry out to ensure the safety of yourself and passengers. Keep a checklist of things to check before any journey and before placing your caravan in storage, to ensure that you complete all necessary tasks.