You’ve checked the weather forecast and you’ve packed your wellies (just in case!) and now it’s time, before you hit the open road, to give your caravan or motorhome some TLC and check for any signs of damage that may have occurred over the winter period.
Give your caravan a spring clean!
There’s something exciting and very satisfying about giving your caravan or motorhome its spring clean. Keeping it in tip top condition will not only prolong its life but also means you should get a better price when you choose to upgrade or change it.
Checking your water system is essential as you will most likely have drained down your water tanks and appliances for the winter so they may now have a musty taste and smell. Make sure you sterilise them properly, flush and refill to ensure they are usable again.
The fridge may also welcome an airing and a thorough clean. To eradicate any musty smells that can linger in fridges, try cleaning your fridge with a combination of bicarbonate of soda and clean water.
Check your cooker, try lighting each of the jets to make sure you have no blockages and replace your gas cylinders (also check rubber hoses aren’t split, perished or chaffed.)
Damp – How to spot the signs and deal with it?
Damp is a major enemy of any caravan or motorhome owner as whilst it is locked up over the winter, condensation and damp may set in, and if left alone, can quickly cause unpleasant smells and unsightly marks. If you spot the signs early, you can deal with the problem quickly.
If there is damp or mildew in your van, you will smell it! Check around windows, doors and skylights for any signs of leaks, and check your upholstery to see if it feels or smells damp. Give your caravan a good, thorough airing then remove cushions and mattresses and put them outside, remembering to give them a good vacuum when you put them back in place. If your caravan feels very damp you may wish to try a dehumidifier.
Check your tyres
Turning your caravan or motorhome wheels over the winter so the weight isn’t concentrated on one area of the tyres for long periods will help to stop your tyres from perishing. However, you must also check for signs of warping, cracking or bulging. Also make sure your tyres are topped up so the air pressure is at the manufacturer’s recommended level. Whilst you are doing that, check that your wheel nuts are they properly tightened. Are there signs of rust or heavy wear? Also check your handbrake works and that it is capable of holding the caravan when on a slope. Then ensure your lights (running lights, brakes, reverse lights, fog light and indicators) are all working too.
Security and Safety checks.
Security - It is important after a cold and wet winter to check your security is in good working order. Include door and window contacts, ensure your alarm system is working and make sure your external security devices such as wheel locks and hitch locks are also serviceable.
Safety – Taking proper precautions is essential as fires can spread rapidly in caravans and motorhomes. Is your extinguisher holding the correct pressure? Is your fire blanket in good condition? Have you checked your smoke alarm and replaced the batteries? Ask yourself these questions and then act! Finally, check all medicines are within their expiry date in your First Aid Kit and that nothing has gone missing or needs replacing.
Having done all this, you're pretty much set to enjoy a stress free season of caravanning. We can't guarantee the weather but we can help you find the perfect park for your peaceful countryside stay. And at the end of the season, read our guide on how to prepare your caravan or motorhome for winter.