It’s a fact that wear and tear on your caravan is inevitable, so regular maintenance is essential. Caravan maintenance needs to be looked at as preventative maintenance that gets done regularly to keep your van in tip top condition. These preventative measures will help avoid any unnecessary breakdowns, expensive repairs, extend the life of your investment and most importantly keep you safer on the roads.
In between your regular caravan service, follow this easy guide to caravan maintenance for simple checks and tasks you can complete yourself.
1. Clean Your Van Regularly
Give your van a thorough clean a few times a year, even when not in use and most importantly at the end of each trip. It’s essential to keep the exterior clean and free from dirt that can lead to surface damage and rust. Cleaning your van correctly and ventilating it regularly will also help prevent mould growing in the interior. While working around the van this is the perfect time to check for any loose or damaged items on your van’s exterior. A word of caution, be sure to use the right chemicals and equipment when cleaning to avoid any damage. Always check the cleaning advice from your manufacturer first.
2. Wheels & Tyres Check
To start with, inspect your tyres and rims for any damage. Tyres older than 6 years should be replaced to prevent any blow-outs. Check the wheel nuts and tighten with a torque wrench to the manufacturer’s specifications. Next move to your tyre’s and check their pressure. Maintaining the correct tyre pressure is a must to keep you safe on the road and prevent damage to your van. Not only that but correct tyre pressures will extend the life of your tyres and improve your fuel efficiency. Tyres need to be tested when they are cold and we recommend sticking to your manufacturer’s suggested specifications for the correct tyre pressures.
3. Take a Look Under The Van
Checking the drawbar and chassis is part of your regular service, but we recommend regularly having a look underneath the van for any signs of fatigue. In between your service and especially when travelling for lengthy periods, check the chassis and drawbar for any signs of damage or rust. Plus this gives you the chance to find any loose hoses or wiring. If you’re not sure what to look for, ask your service centre to show you when you’re booked in next.
4. Brakes, Wheel Bearings and Jockey Wheel
Brakes and wheel bearings should be checked and serviced yearly by an authorised service centre. Your at home maintenance simply involves checking the handbrake engages and releases properly and looking for any rust or damage. The same goes for your jockey wheel, simply check that the handle and wheel can manoeuvre easily and once again look for any signs of rust or damage.
5. Lights, Power, Gas & Water
It’s important to inspect your battery, lights, gas and water storage regularly.
- Check all batteries are working and holding charge. If your van is not in use for extended periods, keep the batteries plugged into a charger or management system. This will avoid draining the house batteries and causing permanent damage.
- Gas leaks are dangerous! If you suspect you have a gas leak, call a licensed professional to take a look. Test all gas appliances, such as fridges, cooktops, hot water service, making sure they are in working order with no leaks. If the flame colour from these gas appliances is yellow, once again call a licensed professional. Make sure the gas hoses and regulators are in good working condition as well.
- Check that all lights on the van are working and replace any broken bulbs. It’s best to keep spare bulbs while traveling too. Any other electrical checks and repairs need to be completed by a licensed repairer.
- To keep your water safe and fresh, empty any stale water and flush the tanks frequently. After being stored for extended periods or if you’ve faced water contamination, it may be time to give your tanks a clean. Chat with your favourite service centre for the best advice on this.
6. Avoid Water Leaks And Check All Seals
Many ignore this preventative check, but you’ll be thankful that you don’t! Water leaks can cause extensive damage, so it’s best to regularly look for any signs of leaks and check all the seals on the van. Seals can deteriorate over time, to preserve them for longer, keep your van clean and try to store your caravan undercover.
You’ve invested a lot of money, so it’s essential to protect your van by looking after it and complete regular maintenance. These simple tips should help extend the life of your van and avoid any unnecessary damage and cost. Happy Towing!
Are you due for a caravan service in Adelaide? Our expert tradesman can get the job done right and help with any caravan maintenance advice. Book today on 08 8281 6696.