Maintaining your caravan is an important part of owning a caravan, especially if you intend on storing it at a caravan storage site over winter. After your caravan has come out of storage or if it is at home and you get the urge to start to have a look around and do the repairs and maintenance before you use it on a holiday again, there are a few things to look out for. Here is a list of the routine maintainance that should take place before the caravan season commences.
- Check the tyre pressures and tread depth and inspect the tyres for signs of cracking or premature failure. Check the wheel nuts are on tight.
- Check the handbrake operates freely by pulling and releasing the lever several times. Lubricate and adjust it as necessary.
- Hook up a gas cylinder and check all the appliances are working.
Check the condition of any butane threaded regulator couplings - they have a sealing washer that should be replaced periodically. From 2004 onwards the connection from the cylinder to the caravan's gas system is via a reinforced high pressure hose. This has a short life and needs to be replaced at regular intervals. Industry experts put this at around 3-5 years.
- Put the battery back in. It should have been removed and charged up over the winter.
Check the level of the electrolyte and top up with distilled or de-ionised water if necessary.
- Check & Flush your water system, this will flush through any bits left in the system including any particles from a new filter. Use a cleansing agent such as Milton. This will sterilise the system and remove any deposits. Don't forget to Replace water filter after the sterilising process has been done. Also clean and de-scale shower heads and any spray type tap heads. When finished leave the water system drained until all danger of frost has passed.
- Connect the 12N and 12S plugs to your tow car and check that the external and internal caravan lights and 12-volt appliances are working, including the brake and indicator lights. Replace bulbs if needed.
Also check the smoke alarms are working.
- Clean your caravan inside and out regularly and apply a coat of polish to help protect the exterior.
- If you have an awning, check that there are no parts missing and that it is not damaged.
- Lubricate window and door hinges and check that curtains and window blinds operate smoothly.
- Check all the vents as it is vital that they are free from obstructions, if they are blocked you could suffocate.
- Finally, arrange for the gas system and appliances, the mains electricity supply and the refrigerator to be serviced annually by an expert - who should provide an inspection certificate.
- Your caravan's brakes should also be serviced regularly as well.
With all the above points covered you are now ready to enjoy a trouble free touring holiday.