Tips to Maintain Your Caravan or Camper Trailer
Now is the time to dust off the RV and get it ready for a WA road trip, however it is important to give your caravan or camper trailer a once over and a little love to ensure it is ready to hit the road when you are.
Here are our tips for maintenance to extend the life of your RV and even some little improvements you can do with a bit of extra time on your hands.
That way, you can hit the road with confidence.
Yes, this one is simple and seemingly obvious, but it helps prevent the build-up of dirt and grime that can lead to significant surface damage.
It is important to use the correct cleaning equipment and products for your RV and your caravan dealer should be able to assist you with choosing the appropriate cleaning equipment.
Parking / Cover
When storing your caravan at home, if you have the option of parking your caravan or camper trailer undercover (garage, carport, large shed) then this is a great option to minimise unnecessary environmental wear and tear (and bonus, it cuts down on cleaning).
If you don’t have the option of parking undercover, then we highly recommend investing a good cover for your RV. There are lots of lightweight, heavy-duty fabrics on the market that still ‘breathe’ and allow moisture to escape.
Check if the cover properly shields your tyres and if not, consider doing this to protect against damage from sun and UV rays.
A bit of a no-brainer but service your RV regularly. As a general rule, new vans should be serviced within three months or 1000km from purchase and every 12 months or 10,000km after that – And we all want to keep our home on wheels in tip-top shape!
For reference, these services usually cover the following components:
- Remove hubs; clean and inspect wheel bearings, hub backing plate assemblies, and pads.
- Re-pack wheel bearings and replace bearing seals.
- Reassemble and paint hub assemblies.
- Check electric brake and brake safe operation and adjust only if required.
- Inspect and grease suspension components as required.
- Inspect tyre condition and wear.
- Inspect jockey wheel, tow hitch, and park brake. Adjust as required.
If your camper trailer or caravan has been idle for a while it is worth checking all the seals before hitting the road (especially now we are coming into winter).
It can be common to see some deterioration in seals over time from hot, dry and dusty conditions and even just regular opening and closing.
Keep an eye on these spots as part of your caravan maintenance checklist:
- Caravan door seals
- Window seals
- Pop-top seals
- Boot/tailgate seals
- Any other moisture-protective seals
Check leads and connections
Check that all connections are clean of debris, are not rusted and haven’t suffered significant wear and tear on the road – especially if you’ve recently been off-roading.
You can help to stop corrosion and protect against moisture by applying an inhibitor like WD40 on the trailer plug and battery terminals.
A few more storage tips for maintenance in between adventures:
Put your BMS in storage mode
Vehicle electronics specialists, Redarc, say “It is important to put your battery management system into storage mode as it is designed to charge the house battery to its optimal level and maintain that level while your caravan is in storage.”
It’s also important that all loads are disconnected from the house battery in this mode. Failure to do so may result in the battery being undercharged, leading to false readings on the Charge indicator and possibly cause damage to loads when they are reconnected.
If your caravan or camper trailer is sitting idle then make sure the gas and water pumps are turned off as well as any electrical appliances.
In between adventures be sure to remove all food, including non-perishables such as biscuits, tea/coffee, and sugar, from you caravan or camper trailer. You don’t want to attract anything else to make themselves at home in your RV while you can’t.
Also make sure you open the fridge while it’s not running so air can get in and you prevent that musty smell.