Preparations for your caravan/motorhome 2014
While winter hasn't yet imposed it's full potential on us all, you may well already be starting to consider the spring and summer season ahead?
Caravans and motorhomes typically remain dormant and static for five or six months from October through to March. It's during this period that potential issues will start to arise and cause you problems at time of next use.
It is vitally important to have you vehicle properly checked over before recommissioning. After all, you don't really want to spend the first six hours of your long awaited holiday camped up on a hard shoulder - or worse! Early preparation is the key!
1. Even after taking time and care to prevent ingress of damp into your vehicle, this can still occur. It's always best that soft furnishings are removed during prolonged storage but if that isn't possible, check all items thoroughly for signs of mould or mildew - this could lead to a source of a leak or run off area for condensation. A good wash and proper drying out of the vehicle should get it all fresh!
2. Check window seals for a build up of moss or mould. These often retain moisture and will quickly bloom when left unattended. Clean back all the seals on both faces and use a mould/mildew remover to get stubborn marks off. This will also help create a better seal for the colder evenings out and about!
3. You should really call upon the services of a reputable mobile caravan/motorhome service mechanic. These guys know what to look for and what to pay particular attention to to maximise your safety. If you use gas - which most do - a Corghi approved technician would be preferable to cover all the bases. Water pipes, gas pipes and heater units can all be covered at the same time as well as ensuring the vehicle is properly ventilated!
Braking systems and wheel bearings should both be in perfect working order - as should the towing mechanism. While a good DIY mechanic can check these items, it's always best to use a professional!
4. Ensure your tyres are up to the job! Good tread is not an indication as to the tyres suitability or condition. Rubber is a natural product and ages from the moment it was manufactured.
Ideally, a tyre should be replaced at six years of age - regardless of use or mileage. Prolonged periods remaining static - especially outdoors - can have a dramatic effect on a tyre. Bleaching from the sun can cause extensive perishing of the sidewalls and tread area and the tyre can literally change shape from round to a 'D' shape having sat in one position for months on end.
Did you know a tyre has a date of manufacture stamped onto the sidewall? Read here for more info.
5. Consider adding TYRON bands to the safety features of your caravan/motorhome. They offer real peace of mind and many insurers will also offer premium discounts with proof of fitment too! Find out more here or call us for more information on 01743 861183
6. Don't forget to check your towing vehicle too (for caravanners). No point going through all the necessary precautions and preparations if the vehicle you are towing with is unprepared. Towing a caravan adds considerable strain on engiine/suspension/brakes/drivetrain and tyres. Any fault or failure on any of these components could have very serious consequences. Ideally try and tie in a full annual service on your towing vehicle just before the holiday season begins - this will avoid further costs!
Ensure your tyres are also in good condition - not too old - and that the best ones are fitted to the rear too! Inflate them to the correct setting and don't forget to lower them back down again when your towing is completed for a duration of time.
Many of the incidents and accidents involving leisure vehicles are a direct result of poor maintenance and preparation. It really is worth your time and safety to get it right before you turn a wheel!
Written by Hometyre Group 16/01/14 All Rights Reserved
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