Having a regular maintenance schedule for your caravan is the best way to make sure it’s always ready to go when you are. Here are 10 tips for looking after your caravan.
1. Keep the interior and exterior clean
Many people are really good at keeping the inside of their caravan clean. After all, it’s a small living space, and keeping it free of clutter definitely has its benefits. But be sure you pay just as much attention to the outside, too.
Clean your caravan from top to bottom regularly, and don’t forget the roof! For best results, use a soap that’s meant for caravans and a soft cloth or sponge. Stay away from pressure washers as they can damage seals, which can cause a lot of problems down the line.
Proper care and maintenance of your caravan helps it last as long as possible, not to mention it will increase the resale value if you ever want to upgrade.
See more in our Caravan Cleaning Products Checklist.
2. Make sure there’s proper ventilation
Ventilation is so important with a caravan. Preventing condensation from water vapour will stop any mould and mildew growth, and in the run, prevent or slow down wear and corrosion. Ventilation is essential for keeping the odour of the caravan under control, too. If you cook a lot inside your caravan and it doesn’t have proper ventilation, you could be smelling yesterday’s dinner for days to come.
3. Check the water, power, and gas systems regularly
The water, power, and gas systems are what keep your caravan running. All of these are susceptible to wear and tear, so check them regularly to ensure they’re working properly. By giving everything a close inspection every so often, you can avoid parts breaking on you while you’re out on the road. If you notice something is worn or your battery is dead, take care of it before you head out. You’ll save yourself a lot of aggravation if you’re always one step ahead.
4. Check your tyres
Your tyres are one of the most important parts of your caravan. Without them, you wouldn’t be able to go anywhere.
To maintain your caravan tyres, start by keeping an eye on the tire pressure. Just as with the tyres on your car, keeping the right tire pressure makes for a safer drive and helps extend the life of your tyres.
You should also regularly check the rims for cracks and other damage and look for any signs of wear and tear.
5. Watch the weight
Every caravan has a weight limit. Check your owner’s manual and ensure you don’t overload the camper. Doing so can lead to serious accidents.
6. Take care of the windows
Cleaning the windows is an essential part of maintenance, but they require different care than the rest of the caravan’s exterior. Use a cleaner that’s made specifically for caravan windows or marked as safe for acrylics. Using the wrong kind of cleaner can ruin the window, eventually leading it to crack.
Another thing to keep in mind is that you should always spray down the windows with a hose before scrubbing them to make sure you get any dirt and debris off the surface first. Any small pieces of dirt on the window can scratch the surface, so you must make sure to get everything off beforehand.
7. Read your insurance policy carefully
If you have caravan insurance, reading your policy thoroughly is essential. Many insurance policies have exclusions for various types of damage, many of which result from poor care and maintenance.
For example, many policies do not cover damage from vermin, rot, or mildew. So, if you don’t keep your caravan clean and well ventilated, you’re asking for trouble.
8. Cover it when not in use
To protect your caravan when you’re not using it, make sure you keep it covered. There are a lot of great covers out there. Look for a breathable one, so condensation doesn’t build up underneath it. The inside of the cover should be soft enough that it won’t cause any damage to the surface of the caravan, while the outside should be tough enough to stand up to the elements.
9. Store it properly in the offseason
In addition to covering the caravan, you should always store it properly during the winter. While caravans are designed to be used outside, they shouldn’t sit in one place for a long period. Don’t store them right under a tree because bird dropping, leaves, and branches can easily fall on the roof and cause damage.
If you don’t have room to store the caravan on your property, many facilities will store it for you. Some have a lot of great services available, too, like cleaning facilities and battery charging.
10. Prepare the inside for long-term storage
In addition to covering the outside of your caravan for long-term storage, you have to prepare the inside, too. This includes vacuuming and washing down the interior thoroughly. Turn off the power, and leave the refrigerator door open slightly. Set the cushions upright so air can circulate around them or store them elsewhere.
One of the main things to concentrate on is improving ventilation. The more air that can flow around the caravan, the better. Leave the closet and cupboard doors ajar. If you have any foldaway beds, leave them open. All windows and skylights should be tightly closed.
Finally, go around the caravan and lightly coat the hinges with a thin layer of WD-40 to prevent any rust from forming while the caravan is in storage.
Caravan care is time-consuming, but it’s generally pretty simple. By putting in the time to make sure it’s properly clean and protected, you can keep your caravan on the road for years to come.