July 4, 2009

Beginners Guide to Caravanning - Maintaining Your Caravan

Regular maintenance of your caravan can save you money in the long run, by making sure everything remains in full working order, and avoiding costly repair bills.

The annual service is best carried out at your local dealer or approved workshop. This will involve checking all the mechanical and electrical elements such as the brakes and lights. It should also provide an overhaul of the habitation area with a thorough check of the gas, electric and water systems.

You can, however, carry out some routine maintenance yourself. Follow our top 10 tips for maintaining your caravan:

1. Just like your car, your caravan needs cleaning on a regular basis. So give it a good clean on the outside to remove any dirt and apply a suitable polish to protect it from the elements. Clean the inside surfaces with an anti-bacterial cleaning solution and vacuum the carpets. If you plan to clean the upholstery and curtains, choose a warm day so you can leave the door and windows open (not leaving the caravan unattended of course!).

2. If your caravan hasn't been used for a while, give the battery a charge the night before you plan to travel.

3. Open and close all windows and doors and oil the hinges.

4. Check the handbrake is working correctly. If it has seized, make sure you apply lubricating oil and make any adjustments before setting off on your journey.

5. Check all the gas appliances work by coupling up a gas cylinder and checking the cooker, fridge and heating etc.

6. If your caravan has been in storage, clean out the water system with sterilising fluid.

7. Check the caravan's tyres. Tyres can become worn and damaged if the caravan is stood for long periods, so check the side walls for any cracks or bulges. Replace any tyres that look worn. Ensure the tyres are inflated to the manufacturer's recommendations and check there is sufficient tread across the full width of the tyre.

8. If you have an awning, check there are no signs of damage or any integral parts missing. You don't want to arrive on site and discover you've left something behind!

9. Connect the electrics up to your car and make sure all the caravan's lights, indicators and brake lights work correctly.

10. If you suspect any faults or damage to your caravan, book it in to your local dealer and let the professionals take care of it. Don't leave it until the last minute as the caravan dealerships will be busy over the summer months.

Buying a caravan is a big investment for your future holidays, so don't forget to look after it! Any damage caused by storm or flood should be covered on your caravan insurance policy, but check this with the individual insurer.

Caravan Guard offer specialist caravan insurance cover for touring caravans in the UK. For more helpful tips, sign up to our free email newsletter at http://www.caravanguard.co.uk

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=H_Robinson

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