5 Essential Campervan Maintenance Checks to Carry Out Before Travelling

5 Essential Campervan Maintenance Checks to Carry Out Before Travelling

Whilst summer may officially be coming to a close, September’s sunny weather means there’s still plenty of opportunity to make the most of your campervan, with festivals, camping and road trips popular among those with a recreational vehicle.

However, before packing your bags and making the journey, it’s important to check your campervan or motorhome is in a suitable condition to drive, especially if it’s been stored away for the majority of the year.

To help you avoid accidents and expensive repairs, we’ve put together some road safety tips and a maintenance checklist for you to follow before heading out on the road again.

1. Visual Inspection:

First of all, have a thorough check of the exterior of the vehicle; look for any rust, dents or blemishes – it’s better to book these in for a bodywork repair to fix these as soon as possible, before they turn into an expensive problem. If you are towing, ensure the hitch is properly hooked and locked.

Remember to check the interior of the vehicle too. We recommend giving your campervan a thorough clean to remove any residual dirt or grime which, if left over time, can cause further damage and deterioration.

A common problem with campervans which have been left out all winter is mould and damp. Check your vehicle for any signs of water damage, such as watermarks or a musty smell and ensure your vehicle is regularly aired by opening all doors and windows when possible.

Not only is mould and damp unsightly but it can also negatively impact your health. Here’s our top tips to prevent mould in your campervan:

  • Visually inspect for mould on a regular basis, a small amount can be easy to deal with, but becomes more difficult if left to spread.
  • Regularly clean your vehicle and don’t leave things like laundry or damp shoes lying around.
  • Reduce humidity in the vehicle when in use by opening windows after cooking or showering.
  • Inspect for leaks on a regular basis, especially around doors, windows, and seals. You can even sit inside your vehicle and have someone else spray water over it with a hose so you can easily identify and patch up any leaks. 

2. Basic Vehicle Safety Checks

 To ensure your vehicle is road worthy, you should carry out the following basic road safety checks before you begin your journey. These checks can also come in useful if you’re taking your vehicle in for its MOT, as the majority of them will result in failure if not found to be in working order:

  • Ensure your tyre tread is road worthy.
  • Test your horn.
  • Make sure your tyre pressure is optimised at your vehicle’s optimum level.
  • Top up your brake fluid, windscreen wiper fluid and oil.
  • Ensure all your lights, including brake lights, hazards and indicators and functioning correctly.
  • Make sure there are no scratches on the windscreen blocking the driver’s view.
  • Test your brakes!
  • Check the safety of any child car seats and make sure these are secured correctly to the vehicle.

For a more extensive list of vehicle safety checks, including those you can carry out at home, read our dedicated blog post.

3. Tyre Inspection

With campervans often carrying heavy loads off road, it’s important to ensure your tyres are kept in their best condition. Here are some easy ways to take care of your tyres and minimise the risk of puncture or tear.

  • Check tyre pressure – Driving with both underinflated and overinflated tyres can lead to unnecessary repair costs and in some cases, cause a breakdown or a collision. Low tyre pressure means a greater surface area of the tyre is in contact with the ground, this increases friction, speeds up wear and tear and reduces the handling abilities of the vehicle. You can find the recommended tyre pressure for your vehicle in the handbook, or an information sticker which is usually located on the driver’s side, where the door and pillar meet.
  • Check your tyre tread depth – By law, tyres on all vehicles must have a minimum tread depth of 6mm, however, we recommend replacing your tyres before they reach this limit. An easy way to check the 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.

Don’t forget to check for external tyre damage such as cracks, punctures and uneven tyre wear and schedule a tyre replacement / repair if you spot any issues.

4. Battery Check

This might seem obvious, but it is an issue which often gets overlooked. It is crucial to ensure your battery is functioning properly, especially if your campervan has been unused for a while. Consider charging your battery once every six weeks as best practise to avoid the risk of a dead battery on the road.

5. Paperwork

It is important, when travelling, that all documentation is up to date. Before setting off, ensure you have the correct insurance papers which are in date, a valid MOT on the vehicle, and check the vehicle is properly taxed if applicable.

If travelling abroad, be sure to also bring your MOT certificate, Driving license, V5C registration document and proof of appropriate international motor insurance.

Campervan Pre-departure Checklist:

Double check everything on this list is completed before setting off:

   

Check your campervan for leaks, mould, damp, rust

   

Basic safety checks including tyres and brakes

   

Ensure all electrical appliances are in good working order

   

Check the fixture and fittings for drawers, furniture, doors, and windows

   

Flush and refill your water system

   

Ensure the RCD is functioning correctly

   

Check carbon monoxide and smoke detectors work correctly

   

Check gas appliances burn with a clean, blue flame – a yellow flame or flaring could lead to harmful carbon monoxide poisoning

 

   

If you are towing, ensure towing hitch is secure

   

Check the steps are folded up, ready for travel

Full Campervan and Motorhome Servicing at Autocare Chepstow

If you’re planning a final trip this summer and need help ensuring your campervan or motorhome is in a suitable 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 for repairs, servicing, or an MOT, get in touch with a member of our team, or call us on 01291 627 137.

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  • bellaphilips1
    May 23, 2019, 6:14 am REPLY

    Wonderful blog. really appreciate the writer. Thanks for sharing with us. Very helpful blog.

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