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Top 5 tips for maintaining your Caravan & Motorhome

Workshop at Bristol Caravans

You have just bought a new Caravan / Motorhome and want to make the most of it. Do not worry, we are here to make sure you are maintaining and making the most, during the ownership of your pride and joy.

Here are the Top 5 Tips for you to maintain your Caravan / Motorhome:

1. Make sure you book into a trusted workshop for your annual services!

For you caravan owners it is important to book a service every year, ensuring all the water, gas, electrics, brakes, chassis, and A frame hitch assembly are checked thoroughly. Not only does this guarantee safety within your caravan but confirms it is all-in working order. You would not want to arrive on site to learn you have no hot water!

On the other hand, if you are a Motorhome owner not only will your Habitation Services (electrics, water, and gas) need servicing but the engine as well! Here at Bristol Caravans, we are a “one stop shop” offering an engine chassis service, habitation service, and MOTs. Just like your car, your Motorhome will need its oil and oil filter changed every year (or every 6000 miles). And a Full Service inc. Fuel and Air filters every other year.

Carrying out your annual services will not only preserve your Caravan or Motorhome, but it will also ensure safety, working appliances, and a successful holiday!

2. What is the Caravan / Motorhomes nightmare? Damp

Caused by either Water Ingress or internal Condensation

Nobody wants to learn their vehicle has damp, especially if it new to you. Having an annual damp check alongside your service can prevent, or will flag up, any water ingress before it gets out of hand. Further ideas to avoid damp are:

If it is not being used for a long period of time, it is important in to increase ventilation. Leave the internal cupboard doors open and unblock any airways or vents to prevent condensation build up. Stand seat cushions up to increase air flow.

In the rainy months, try and keep your vehicle as dry as possible. This can be achieved easily with indoor storage or a breathable cover.

Although there is no guarantee your Caravan/ Motorhome will not get damp, arranging an annual damp check and these small measures can assist in prevention. It is important to also take note of your body warranty, and make sure you stay on top of it and book your yearly service within the T&Cs!

3. When was the last time your tyres were changed?

The NCC recommends the tyres on your Caravan / Motorhome need changing every seven years. It is also important to know that you should not use regular car wheels on your caravan / motorhome. This is due to the overall weight of the vehicles being heavier, therefore the wheels & tyres need to be strong to withhold the weight.

Although it is recommended you change the tyres every seven years, it is good to check for any signs of perishing, cracks in the side walls or suspicious bulges. If your tyres are showing any signs of damage they should be changed immediately, even if the tread is not worn!

4. Look after your Water System

If you want to prevent damage to your water system it is important to keep it in good, working condition. What can go wrong?

  • Burst pipes: In the winter you MUST drain the whole water system. This is because as temperatures get colder, water begins to freeze in the taps. As water freezes, it expands! If the tiniest droplet of water were to expand in your pipework, the taps could begin to split. Split taps = a repair in the workshop.
  • Unwanted Bacteria: After a long period in storage, you MUST clean and flush the system. Being left alone for a long period of time allows unwanted bacteria to grow, therefore you must use a sterilizing fluid to prevent infection or illness.

5. Check your battery

The last thing you want before going on holiday is a flat / dead leisure battery. If your battery is left to go completely flat, it can deteriorate to a point where it will not be able to be recharged / recover to its full capacity.

Solutions for keeping your battery in top condition are:

  • If stored outside, fitting a solar panel will charge your battery. Here at Bristol Caravans, we fit a range of solar panels to fit every budget and vehicle size, ask for advice on the best fit for you so we can give you a great price.
  • Take your battery home! To maintain the life of your battery we recommend the use of a Smart Charger if your vehicle is not going to be used for a long period of time.  When storing for a long period, remove your battery, store in a frost free, dry place, follow the Smart Chargers instructions. Check every couple of months, this will help prolong the life of your leisure battery!