Getting on the road with a caravan can be one of the best experiences of one’s life, but at the same time, if one were to break down in the middle of nowhere, it could also turn out to be one of the worst. So it’s important to get ahead of this bleak scenario and make sure you maintain your caravan properly and to consistently check to see if all the essential parts are working properly – it really doesn’t take that much time and money, especially if the check-ups are performed often and all potential dangers are detected early. So here are a few of the most important aspects that you have to address in order to keep your caravan in great condition:
One of the most common, if not the most common problems with the body of a caravan is that, sooner or later, it tends to start leaking water, which of course can do a lot of damage to the interior. That’s why it’s crucial to do annual mastic check-ups to make sure that it’s not drying up, which is one of the main signs that leakage might be happening. Especially in older models, these kinds of problems are pretty common, so in order to avoid much bigger complications, any sign of leakage should be treated immediately – check around all the grab handles, roof, vents, windows and any other potential places for leaks. It might be a good idea to do damp checks regularly as well, since they also are pretty good indicators of leakages.
Another part of the caravan that gets a lot of wear from traveling is the windows – they are constantly exposed to tree branches, dirt, sand, small rocks and all kinds of other things and thus might start showing wear pretty quickly. Luckily, you can easily repair most of the damage with simple cleaning – you can use polish to remove the stains without damaging the windows, but remember to use a specialized polish for the type of window that your caravan has.
Tyres, Wheels and Brakes
It’s essential for the sake of safe caravan travel that the brakes are working properly and the tyres are in good condition – a caravan is a relatively big vehicle and thus you need to take all the necessary safety measures. This includes regular checks by an expert who can make sure that everything is working properly – in fact, because of certain wear the brake will likely need adjustments. It’s also natural that because of the weight, wheels will inevitably develop fatigue cracks which need to be addressed. As far as tyres are concerned, they do not usually wear down quickly, but if a caravan is not used for prolonged periods, signs of erosion might become visible.
You will most likely not be using your caravan all the time, so on the periods when your caravan is stored away without being used, you have to take certain steps to ensure that it does not suffer critical damage while unattended. Firstly, the water systems should be thoroughly drained – remove all the available drain plugs and tap out all the water supplies. You should leave all the plugs off to avoid stagnation. Also, it’s a good idea to take all the pillows and beddings to your home, if that’s possible, because they can also become stale and wear down when unused for a long time.
Finally, leave everything that you can open, including all drawers, cupboards, the fridge and anything else you can think of in order to allow air to flow freely.
This article is written & submitted by Craig, who works with Explorex Caravans, a caravan manufacturing company based in Western Australia.