The essential guide to servicing your caravan
It may seem routine to have your vehicle serviced, but you also must make sure you are servicing your caravan. Do you do it yourself or book your van in for a regular check up?
Despite not having an engine, a caravan or camper still requires regular maintenance. After all, it is expected to perform just as much as your tow vehicle. The dust and debris from the track can infiltrate the bearings and joints. The vibrations can wreak havoc to plumbing for water and gas. Electrical and waterproofing issues may occur during the life of your caravan. By keeping up regular maintenance you have less chance of having to deal with issues while on the road.
Some of the things to look for when servicing your caravan:
Running gear (brakes, bearings, suspension, coupling, handbrake and chassis). Have them checked regularly for wear and tear, making sure they are clear of dust and debris.
Check all your external seals around windows and hatches regularly to prevent leaks. The best way to check them is by washing your van and looking for signs of staining, cuts or dimpling to the internal wall and ceiling ply.
When washing your van, have a look on the roof and all over for any signs of hail damage. As the cracks could mean further issues later on. Along with a possible insurance claim.
Tyre pressures should be maintained at the manufacturer’s recommended pressure found on the VIN, or compliance, plate. Check for inconsistent signs of wear, as this may mean your pressures need correcting, or you have an alignment issue. If you have your van professionally serviced, don’t rotate tyres yourself. It does not help your mechanic to identify potential suspension/wheel alignment issues when tyres have been rotated.
Make sure you check your breakaway system for broken brake switches on the A-frame, severed cables and flat batteries. No one wants to be in a situation where this vital safety equipment fails to do its job. Get in the habit of pulling the breakaway cord out of the switch when you hitch up, and before you take off. Move the van forward about a metre, you will soon know if your breakaway unit is operating or not
If you have a hot water service that has an anode rod, it should be checked at each service interval. If you are using bore water or have been travelling where water quality is not the best, the anode may need checking more often. Failure to replace an anode in time could lead to the tank rusting, splitting and ultimately rupturing.
Gas and 240v work should always be left to a licenced technician. You may think you are saving some money doing a DIY repair, but it could be dangerous to yourself or any user of the van.
You normally service your vehicle every 12 months or when you meet set kilometres. Whichever comes first. The same is for your caravan. Even if you only use it once a year make sure you organise a service.
If you have any questions about servicing your caravan don’t hesitate to contact the Camec team.