Looking after your caravan…
blog / advice / new caravans / pre-owned caravans / safety
Taking that leap and purchasing a caravan is a significant investment so it’s important to do all you can to look after your vehicle in order to maintain its value.
There’s plenty we can do as owners to keep our vans in tip top condition so go on - give yours a little tlc!
Caravan maintenance checklist
Look after the interior
It’s important to look after all the interior elements to avoid things getting damaged and to maintain the overall condition. No one wants to buy a pre-owned caravan that is too well worn or uncared for! Don’t bang doors and be careful not to scuff things. Invest in doormats to protect the carpets and flooring and wash these regularly to stop dirt being trodden into carpets. Having an awning in which to store things and remove shoes and boots would be a huge advantage and will prevent the caravan from becoming cluttered. Always take a dustpan and brush and/or handheld hoover with you to keep your interior (and awning) clean and tidy - this is especially important if you are caravanning with dogs or kids!
Give it a wash
It’s advisable to wash the outside of your caravan regularly to keep it clean and in good condition. Wash it regularly throughout the year or after every trip as it’s sure to pick up dirt and grime each time it’s towed! We stock a range of specialist cleaning products in our shop that are ideal for the job…
Treat it to a coat of wax
Pamper your caravan with a full polish once or twice a year to give it some protection from UV damage and to repel dirt and salts from the road. It’s a good idea to do this at the end of the season before the winter and again before embarking on your first spring trip.
Remember to keep your battery well charged all the time you’re using it and don’t let it get completely depleted if you can avoid it. If you do not use your caravan during the winter months, be sure to fully charge your battery and then remove it from your van. It should be stored in a dry place and ideally not on concrete which can aid deterioration. Be sure to recharge your battery every 1-2 months whilst in storage to maintain the condition.
Consider buying a caravan cover for the winter season or when it’s not being used for longer periods as a cover will protect it from the elements as well as things like debris, sap and bird mess. There are many caravan covers on the market so check out our blog to discover which may be best suited for your caravan…
If you can’t or don’t wish to store your caravan at home, this is the perfect opportunity to consider indoor storage for your caravan. Although it will cost you more than outdoor storage, it will mean that your van is protected from the elements so it's worth weighing up the pros and cons.
Care for your upholstery
It’s important to care for your upholstery all year round to keep your caravan comfortable and looking good. Tired and damaged upholstery could really affect the value of your caravan so be sure to look after it by keeping it clean and in good condition - deal with any spills immediately to avoid staining and get any tears fixed by an upholster. Ensure there is some ventilation through the caravan when it’s not in use to stop mould and mildew from gathering. Consider taking your cushions and curtains etc indoors if you’re not using your caravan during the winter and you have space to store these.
Check the handbrake
Check the caravan’s handbrake several times a year, particularly if it hasn’t been used in a while. Check it before your first trip of the season and lubricate it if needed. When you check the handbrake is also a good time to check the bulbs on your caravan’s lights to ensure the side, brake and indicator lights are all working.
Caravan safety is of utmost importance so check your caravan’s fire extinguisher, smoke alarm, fire blanket and first aid kit regularly to ensure they’re in full working order should an emergency occur. If you use one of these items, be sure to replace it immediately so that you’re never caught short.
Check your caravan wheels regularly, replacing the tyres as and when needed. It is recommended that tyres are changed every 5-7 years depending on the condition and always keep your eye out for any damage from nails etc. It’s also a good idea to use wheel chocks when your caravan is not in use to preserve the tyres.
Services and appliances
Regularly check that all your appliances and services are working, especially before embarking on a trip. Check all your kitchen appliances, taps, shower, gas supply, heating system and water system. It is advisable to drain your water system after every trip to keep it in the best possible condition.
If something goes on your caravan or it gets damaged in any way, be sure to get the repairs done as soon as you can - don’t delay as this may lead to deterioration of the van’s condition. Our workshop team are qualified gas, electrical and mechanical technicians with a variety of industry accreditations, including the Gas Safe/ACops certificate and the IEE 17th Edition Wiring Regulations qualification. We guarantee the quality of our work with a full one-year warranty, giving you extra peace of mind on all repairs undertaken.
Book your caravan in for its yearly service in good time. Workshops can get pretty booked up so know which month of the year your service is due and get your caravan booked in with your workshop of choice several months in advance to secure your slot. Not keeping up with your yearly services may affect the validity of your warranty so don’t let this happen.
What does a service include?
Our caravan service incorporates work on all functioning parts of your caravan. Here are some of the components we inspect, test and lubricate during an annual service:
- 240v/12v electrical systems and appliances
- Water systems and appliances
- Gas systems and appliances
- Full carbon monoxide test
- Tyre and wheel checks
- Brakes, bearings, linkages, hitch-head and overrun device
- Corner steadies
- Moisture test
The cost of a single axle caravan service is £275 and a twin axle caravan service is £325.
Our workshop is NCC-approved and run by fully-qualified caravan servicing professionals. Using an approved workshop like us gives you peace of mind that the technician working on your caravan is qualified to the required standards. The scheme is so sure of its standards, that they guarantee all repairs for a minimum of six months.
As an NCC-approved workshop, we also meet high standards of competency and comply with an industry Code of Practice.
Warranty information - what’s covered?
- Bailey caravans have a three-year parts and labour warranty and a six-year body shell warranty.
- Swift caravans have a three-year parts and labour warranty with a 10-year body shell warranty.
Check out our warranty page for more information on what’s included in Bailey and Swift warranties…
For more information on caravan maintenance or to book your caravan in for repairs or its annual service, please contact our workshop team.
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