Summer is well and truly on the way. As the temperature increases and the days get longer, it’s time to start thinking about your next camping trip. We've already provided a guide to buying your first caravan or motorhome so now it's time to get out there and make the most of it.
Whether you’re heading to the coast, or enjoying the scenery in the Peak District, ensuring your caravan or motorhome is in full health is absolutely essential in order to prevent any unexpected issues while you’re on the road.
At Snooper Ventura, we know just how frustrating it can be to fall into trouble while out and about, not to mention if you’re miles from home! What’s more, travelling with children can put even more pressure on parents hoping to avoid problems other than the constant calls of “are we there yet?” from the backseat.
Carrying out a few simple safety checks before setting off on your journey can help you avoid tricky situations, meaning you have more time to focus on the fun you’ll be having when you arrive at your destination. For your convenience, we have listed those all-important maintenance checks for you.
It should go without saying that your caravan needs a full service every 12 months, but there are things you can do to ensure everything keeps ticking over in the interim. Take a look at our list of tips below.
Are you fully charged?
Work commitments and bad weather often stand in the way of us spending as much time camping as we’d like, and you may find your motorhome spends a lot of time on the driveway. If your motorhome has been stood around doing nothing for a long time, remember to ensure the battery is fully charged well ahead of the next time you take it out.
Check for small issues
Perform some essential checks by opening and closing all of the windows in your caravan or motorhome, including cupboards and storage spaces, and identify which ones need some oil. Similarly, check any window seals for signs of weather damage or wear and tear in the form of cracks and condensation. Highlighting these early can help you avoid any larger issues further down the line, which could end up being more costly.
Look for tyre damage
Again, if your camper hasn’t been used for some time, carry out a check on the tyres before you hit the road. As with any vehicle, the weather can have a significant impact on a caravan’s tyres. So, to minimise the risk of a puncture, it is important to look over them for signs of wear and tear, or cracks on the side walls. If the tyres are showing signs of damage, they should be changed immediately.
Purchasing a tyre pressure monitoring system may also aid in safer trips by constantly monitoring any changes in your tyre situation. By keeping your tyres correctly inflated, you will increase the life of them, gives you better fuel economy and reduces stopping distances, which is key in a larger vehicle. Tyre Pilot from Snooper is a tyre pressure monitoring system and starts at £179.99, including wheel sensors.
Inspect electrical fixtures
Ensure all of your caravan’s electrical fixtures and fittings are in working order before setting off, including lights. This will give you adequate time to replace any broken bulbs ahead of your journey.
When a motorhome is stationary for a long period, the chance of the handbrake seizing up increases. Therefore, check your handbrake is in working order before you pile your belongings and family inside ready to go away. If the handbrake is stiff, apply a lubricant to the mechanism to prevent any further problems.
Check all systems
Before hitting the open road, couple up a gas cylinder to check all appliances are running safely. Usually, this will include the fridge, cooker and heating system. On top of this, clean out the water system, particularly if your motorhome has not been used for some time. Utilise a sterilising fluid to flush through the system for the best results.
Towing your caravan for the first time can be a daunting proposition, but to alleviate any worries, book in some lessons with a reputable towing training organisation. If you’re a member of a club including The Camping and Caravanning Club or The Caravan Club, they will recommend local centres that are experts in this field.
Caravan or motorhome satellite navigation
If you’re a new caravan or motorhome owner, chances are that you will already have a car sat nav. Although these sat navs are perfect for cars, they will not be suitable for your larger vehicle, and may send you down narrow lanes, over weight-restricted bridges and use difficult turns across traffic. A sat nav dedicated to caravans and motorhomes will provide routes specific to your vehicle, avoiding these hazards. Plus with a Ventura sat nav, you will have access to over 24,000 campsites in 31 countries across Europe.
Seek professional help
OK, so we know you’re desperate to get on the road after a seemingly endless winter, but if you discover any major issues with your caravan, you should always take it to a professional to get it fixed. At this time of year, all camping enthusiasts are looking forward to the months ahead, so be aware that waiting times may be longer than usual.
Performing simple checks on your caravan ahead of your trip is vital, not only to ensure you are not left in the lurch if something happens while you’re far from home, but also to prevent serious accidents from taking place. Being sensible with time to spare could also help you save money on caravan insurance. Therefore, it’s always better to be prepared.