If you own a recreational vehicle, summer is probably your favourite time of year, with camping, festivals, picnics and road trips all being great ways to get the most out of the warmer months.
However, being stored away all year your campervan may not be in a suitable condition to drive. To help you avoid accidents and expensive repairs, follow our summer maintenance checklist before getting out on the road again.
First of all, have a good look round the exterior of the vehicle, check for any rust, dents or blemishes – it’s better to book in for a bodywork repair to fix these as soon as possible before they turn into an expensive problem. Remember to check the interior of your vehicle as well, we recommend a good spring clean to remove any dirt or grime that can cause further deterioration to your interior.
Another problem we regularly encounter with campervans that have been left out all winter is mould, not only is this unsightly and costly to remove, but it can also have an impact on your health. Here’s our top tips for preventing mould in your vehicle:
Visually inspect for mould on a regular basis, a small amount is easy to deal with.
Regularly clean your vehicle
Reduce humidity in the vehicle when in use by opening windows after cooking or showering.
Inspect for leaks on a regular basis, sit inside your vehicle and have a friend to spray water over it so you can patch up and leaks.
Basic Safety Checks
To ensure your vehicle is road worthy, you should carry out the following basic checks before you get going. These checks are also essential if you are taking your vehicle in for an MOT as the majority of them will result in a fail:
Ensure all your lights including brake lights, hazards and indicators are functioning correctly.
Test your horn – make sure it keeps a continuous note.
Make sure there are no scratches on the windscreen blocking the driver’s view.
Test your brakes!
Top up your brake fluid, windscreen wiper fluid and oil.
With campervans and motorhomes often carrying heavy loads off road and being stored for long periods of time between use, it's important to ensure that your tyres are in their best condition. Here are a few easy ways you can take care of your tyres and reduce the risk of a puncture or tear:
Check tyre pressure – Low tyre pressure means a greater surface area of the tyre is in contact with the ground, this increases friction, which speeds up wear and reduces the handling abilities of the vehicle. You can find the recommended tyre pressure of your vehicle in the handbook or on an information sticker usually located in the driver's cab.
Check your tyre tread depth – By law, tyres of all vehicles must have a minimum tread depth of 1.6mm, however, we recommend replacing tyres before they reach this limit. An easy way to check your tyre tread depth is by using the ‘20p method’.
Ensure wheels are aligned correctly – Incorrectly aligned wheels are dangerous and can be expensive – having your wheels aligned is a straightforward and cost effective service that lowers your fuel consumption, improves handling and ensures your vehicle absorbs road shock more efficiently.
It’s also important to ensure you have a spare tyre that is in adequate condition. For more tips on keeping your tyres in good shape, check out our guide to caring for your tyres.
If you haven’t been out in your campervan for a long time, there’s a chance some of your documentation may have expired! Before setting off, ensure that you have correct and in date insurance papers, a valid MOT on the vehicle and the vehicle is properly taxed if applicable.
Other Travel Tips To Remember
As well as these essential checks, here are a couple of other tips to remember before taking your vehicle out again:
Flush and refill your water system if you have one (toilets, sinks, showers etc).
Ensure that electrical sockets and lights are working.
Check the fixtures and fittings for drawers, furniture, doors and windows.
Ensure your RCD is functioning correctly.
Ensure your battery is functioning, if you are going to leave your vehicle unused for a while – consider charging the battery once every six weeks.
Check that your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors are working correctly.
Full Campervan and Motorhome Servicing At Autocare Chepstow
If you’ve got your campervan out the garage this summer only to find it’s not in good condition, we can help. As well as motorhome MOT’s, we are able to provide full servicing and repairs for campervans and motorhomes. For more information and advice, or to book your vehicle in today – give us a call on 01291 627 137.