8 easy caravan repairs & maintenance tips so that you travel better
While getting regular servicing is important to keep your caravan healthy and ready for travels, having a little knowledge about basic caravan repairs is always handy. Also, you don’t have to be a caravan repair wizard to be able to do some basic maintenance that can help you out on the open road or give you that extra peace of mind, when you're out seeing the beauty of our great land, Australia.
Caring for your caravan is easy, so here are 8 ideas that will help you travel better and keep your home in tip-top condition. Happy caravanning. 🙂
8 easy tips you can do to care for your caravan.
- Check tyre pressures on the caravan including the spares
- Clean and lubricate the caravan's hinges internal and external
- Clean the awning
- Check and clean out the water tanks
- Inspect all wiring for damage or fraying
- Charge up the batteries before departure and check the operation of the gas system
- Clean out the fridge and freezer to prevent mould build-up
- Check the brakes, including hand brake adjustment, cables, bearings, and suspension
1. Check tyre pressure on the caravan including the spares
Your caravan tyres are the only connection between your van and the road. If they have been sitting in storage for some time it is possible that they may have deteriorated due to weathering. It is important to not only check tyre pressures but also inspect for cracks or bulges in the tyre walls and tread. If in doubt get a tyre specialist to have a look for you and replace if necessary, even if you have plenty of tread left. Top-notch tyres ensure a pleasant travelling experience especially if you are a long way from a town. Also, don’t forget the spares.
2. Clean and lubricate the caravan's hinges internally and externally
Whether in transit or in storage, your van’s fittings and hinges may seize or become stiff over time. A little bit of cleaning and a touch of lube sparingly applied can make some of these frustrating little annoyances go away, most important for your sanity when you are travelling. Also, check your window and door seals to ensure they are intact with no water ingress.
3. Clean the awning
The awning of your van remains rolled up for most of its life which invariably leads to moisture buildup and so consequently mould growth. Roll it out and give it a good clean with a mild detergent. This also allows you to inspect it for damage. If in need of repair see your accredited caravan repairs shop in Bundaberg which will be able to rectify the problem. Once done your first stop is made so much more pleasant as you roll out the nice clean awning and settle in with a drink, cheese and bickies.
4. Check and clean out the water tanks
Your van’s water tanks need a good flush and clean out before filling, particularly if they’ve been sitting for some time. While you’re there, check the operation of the pump to ensure it’s ready to go too. It’s also wise to drain the tanks on your last leg before home so that all of the stored water exits the tanks before it sits at home thus preventing contamination from stagnating water. Your Bundaberg caravan repairs shop stocks a number of quality products to sterilise your tanks in readiness for refilling for your travels. While you’re there check your in-line system by pressurising with tap water so that on arrival at a caravan park you know that your system is ready to go.
5. Inspect all wiring for damage or fraying
The electrical wiring that connects your tow vehicle and van is vital to the efficient and safe operation of your rig. It operates the van brakes when you apply your tow mule’s brakes so that the rig acts as one in pulling up. It also carries the van’s turn signals, stop lights and parking lights wiring too. Most vans also have a breakable link that applies the van brakes in the event of your van and tow mule separating by failure of the towing equipment. Additionally, your Anderson plug provides a small amount of current from the car to the van’s batteries so that things like fridges can still hold their cold. After all, who doesn’t want a chilled beer or wine at the journey’s end? All of these connections and wires should be inspected for wear, damage or fraying. If in doubt contact Takalvans, your caravan repairs shop, they are only too happy to oblige.
6. Charge up the batteries before departure and check the operation of the gas system
If storing your van, it is a good idea to remove the batteries and keep them regularly charged at home. This avoids overcharging them and possibly overheating them if you keep your van permanently plugged in at home. Prior to departure check the function of your electrical equipment, both 12 and 240 volts while you’re at it so that your batteries are fully charged, and ready to start your caravan journey. It is a worthwhile exercise to check your gas bottles for volume and tightness of fittings. While you’re there ensure your gas appliances are functioning correctly including water heaters and fridge if applicable. If there appears to be a problem your local caravan service shop is the best one to consult as they have the credentials and expertise to ensure all your powered items or electrics are working 100%.
Quick Tip: Having your caravan serviced every 12 months or 10,00kms will ensure your home on wheels stays in tip-top condition, providing you years of trouble-free holidays. So if your caravan is up for a caravan service and/or you’re about to go on a trip, be sure to schedule this well ahead of time.
7. Clean out the fridge and freezer to prevent mould build-up
Before storing your van it is a good idea to thoroughly clean the fridge and freezer, leaving a tray of bi-carbonate of soda in both the fridge and freezer so that any odours can be absorbed. Leave the doors slightly ajar too to prevent mould growth. This means that in readiness to travel again the fridge only needs to be turned on and packed ready to go. Don’t forget the wine.
8. Check the brakes including the handbrake adjustment, cables, bearings, and suspension
Have a thorough look underneath your caravan for:
- evidence of cracks in chassis or welds breaking down
- operation of springs and spring hangers
- operation and soundness of shock absorbers or airbags if fitted
- hand brake cable integrity and unhindered function
- wheel bearing lubrication and adjustment
- wheel nuts tightness
- mud build-up on underneath side of flooring or on floor support struts
- pipe, tanks, and water system integrity
- check and tighten all main bolts/nuts and screws as necessary
A careful inspection of the operation of your van brakes, meaning hitching up and doing a careful lap of the block before leaving on your trip, is also a good idea particularly before setting off down the highway.
In conclusion - Hitch up and happy travelling
So, there you have it – a caravan maintenance checklist to help keep your holiday home in good condition. By following the above simple DIY steps, you can ensure that your caravan is ready for the next adventure. We hope you find this information helpful and that it gives you the peace of mind to relax and enjoy your next exciting holiday. Happy caravanning!