KNOWING YOUR LIMITS

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For more serious problems, seek help from the professionals. The experienced and dedicated team at CaravanMart Townsville can answer all your maintenance questions and work with you to find an affordable solution. You can trust them to keep you informed every step of the way and be confident they will treat your caravan like it was their own.

RUST & MOULD

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Rust is usually caused by exposure to moisture and can be expensive to restore if not caught early. Following some simple maintenance tips will help:

  • Keep the exterior of your caravan clean – don’t let mud or dirt accumulate.

  • Store your caravan or RV somewhere dry when not in use.

  • Invest in a caravan cover, remembering to take it off after rain to dry out and prevent humidity.

  • Touch up any chipped or peeling paintwork.

  • Surface rust should be removed from metal surfaces.

Mould can grow in any damp or wet spaces without adequate airflow. If left unchecked, it can also lead to serious health issues. There are steps you can take to help prevent mould proliferating in your van:

  • Wiping surfaces with disinfectant to remove bacteria.

  • Cleaning and airing out the van regularly, especially when in storage.

  • Checking regularly for leaks and maintaining all seals and corner moulds.

  • Cleaning up spills immediately and remove any wet material.

If you do find mould or mildew it can be removed using natural products such as diluted white vinegar.

GAS, POWER & WATER

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Regularly inspect the gas, electrics and water storage. Test all the appliances including the fridge, cooker and heating system to ensure they are all working correctly with no leaks.

Make sure all lights - including running lights - are working correctly and be sure to replace any broken bulbs. Check batteries are fully charged and in good condition. With the water tanks, make sure to empty the stale water and frequently flush system – nothing worse than stale water!

TOWING WEIGHT

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Try not to tow with full water tanks unless you’re heading into the bush and won’t have the opportunity to fill up. If you’re stopping at caravan parks, you can always top up when needed. It not only increases wear and tear on your vehicles but costs more to run. Check safety chains and shackles for cracks or rust, and ensure they’re rated correctly.

WHEELS, BRAKES & JOCKEY WHEELS

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Check tyres for signs of perishing, cracks in sidewalls or unusual bulges. Check rims for buckles and cracks, tighten all wheel nuts and always check tyre pressure.

Make sure the handbrake engages and releases properly. Look for rust or corrosion where the base plate fixes to the drawbar and check the condition of any cables.

Check that the handle and wheel of the Jockey Wheel turns freely. Check clamp/bolt for easy operation and look for rust or stress fractures.

A general service should be performed every 10,000 km or every 12 months, whichever comes first.

DIY checks

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There are steps you can take between major services to maintain your pride and joy, ensuring great performance and a positive experience. By identifying potential issues early on, you can also avoid bigger repair bills down the track. Many issues can be picked up through simple visual checks, such as inspecting cables, hoses, clips, plugs and sockets for signs of wear or looseness. Make a point of running through the checklist below on a regular basis, even if your caravan or camper trailer has simply been sitting in the garage.

Some simple checks include:

Tyres – Check the pressure and look for signs of damage, especially cracks and uneven wear. Don’t forget to check the spare!

Wheels – Tighten the wheel nuts before, during and after any trip.

Lights – Perform a test run to check the lights are working and the battery is holding its charge.

Vents – Make sure none of the vents are blocked or obscured and if you smell any musky dampness or gas, call on the experts as soon as possible.

Seals – The door, windows and roof all have seals to prevent moisture and dirt entering. As they age they can crack and may need replacing.

Awning – Inspect the function regularly, making sure the extending and contracting motion is smooth. Keep the fabric clean and check it for signs of damage. To ensure the longevity of your awning, take care when rolling it in by holding and moving the awning strap along the roller so it doesn’t roll up in one spot.

How often should I service my caravan or RV?

CaravanMart Townsville recommend two types of service – the first service and the annual service. The first service is carried out in the first 12 months or when the caravan or trailer reaches 1000-2000 kilometres. This may be a basic service, but it is an important one. Once that milestone is reached it’s essential to schedule annual services for your caravan or RV. As the name suggest, the annual service should be carried out yearly, or every 10,000 kilometres, whichever comes first. These services are thorough and help prevent more significant damage or delays while you’re on holiday. Don’t be tempted to skip the annual service if you haven’t taken your caravan or RV out for a while, even an idle van needs attention!

CARAVAN SERVICE TIPS

Your caravan or RV is more than just a vehicle. It’s a home away from home; an investment in the wanderer lifestyle. And, like any investment, you want to look after it. Regular services are essential to maintaining the safety and longevity of your caravan or camper trailer. It’s important to find a service and repairs centre you trust to provide quality work and sound advice at a reasonable price. CaravanMart Townsville has years of industry experience with origins in caravan; poptop motorhome and camper trailers. We are a professional team with expert knowledge and our customer service is second to none!

Guarding against water

Water Ingress is a major problem causing a lot of caravan damage. There are numerous causes of leaks and include, seals not being maintained therefore causing a hatch, window or roof to leak; poorly fitted aftermarket accessories; or faulty plumbing i.e. leaking pipe in shower. Sometimes it is a very slow leak that is undetected so by the time you become aware of it, substantial damage has already occurred and the repairs can be costly. Sometime this isn’t covered by insurance if your insurer decides it was caused by a lack of maintenance.

Seals need to be checked and replaced regularly. Our team can advise you on how to maintain your seals and avoid water damage. When caravan damage occurs, the first thing to do is try to prevent any more significant damage occurring. A good example of this is hail or storm damage. A broken vent, AC or window may cause water ingress that can lead to further damage if not attended to straight away. A temporary fix is better than doing nothing, and it will help protect your caravan while you arrange the proper repairs with CaravanMart Townsville.

Adequate insurance also helps lessen the blow of caravan damage. You can purchase cover to protect you against loss, theft, accidental damage and natural disasters.

CaravanMart Townsville has carried out repairs for all the major insurance companies including CIL, Suncorp, AAMI, APIA, NRMA, RACQ, QBE, YOUI, CGU, Elders, GIO, Allianz, National Seniors, WFI, Ken Tame.

How to protect your caravan

Accidents are often unavoidable, but there’s a lot you can do to protect your caravan and yourself from damage, especially when you’re off-road. For caravaners, the term “off-road” often means a road/track that doesn’t have a seal or concrete surface but doesn’t usually require driving in low range. You need to keep in mind there are very few caravans that are built to handle the increase in dust and road debris thrown up by your tow vehicle. Some additional underbody protection may be useful to prevent this damage to water tanks, plumbing and gas lines and electrical wiring which are normally not protected for “on-road” caravans. The surface condition of a road with potholes, ruts, rocks, corrugations and wash-aways can also cause caravan damage so care needs to be taken.

Reduced tyre pressures on your tow vehicle and caravan may help increase available traction, softens the ride and may also reduce the likelihood of punctures. Keep in mind that speed also should be reduced. This may help reduce vibration inside your caravan as well. Just don’t forget to reinflate your tyres once you are back on a sealed road.

Protection devices to stop abrasion from gravel and rocks can also be installed to try to prevent further caravan damage to paintwork. The choices include stone guards to protect the front of the caravan but watch out as stones can then reflect to the tow vehicle causing damage to rear windows. Often simple cardboard held on with tape can assist. Call the team at CaravanMart Townsville to discuss what you may need.