Servicing a vehicle is often viewed as a nuisance expense at the worst possible time. But, servicing your caravan is incredibly important to the health and longevity of your vehicle.
Servicing a caravan is particularly important if you are about to set out on a long journey of, say, more than a couple of weeks. You don’t want to find out about any potential problems on the road, far from home, and help.
This handy little guide will tell you when, how, and why you should make sure that your caravan runs problem-free when before you go on your next vacation.
When do you service your caravan?
Your caravan is your workhorse. It'll give you endless hours of smooth operation seemingly endlessly, but there will always be that one time when it doesn't work.
Servicing your caravan should be a semi-regular thing. If you get a lot of use out of your caravan, then you should serve it at least once a year, maybe once every six months.
If you're just about to head out on a long-haul trip and don't plan on servicing it during the trip, then you must service it beforehand.
Caravan servicing will likely cover everything from the frame strength to the brakes, wheels, and hitch to ensure that all will work smoothly on the road.
Do I need to service a new caravan?
If you have just bought a brand new caravan, the chances are that you probably won’t need to get it serviced, mainly if the purchase was from a dealership.
However, suppose you have bought a used caravan from some random person off Craigslist. In that case, you most certainly should get it serviced.
You don’t want to think everything is okay, only to find out that it most certainly is not after a month or so. Take it into your local mechanic and get it serviced, if only for your peace of mind.
Things to check often
While it is generally not advised that you DIY too much of your caravan repairs, one thing that you can do is to check and repair any leaking seals.
Your caravan’s moisture integrity essentially depends upon tight seals around every potential moisture entry point.
Periodically check all doors and windows for signs of wear and tear, and if there are leaks, then be sure to remedy these quickly. If you don’t check your van repeatedly, you could be in for a very hefty repair bill. Especially if water begins to leak in and mold grows.
Replacing the anode
If your caravan has running hot water, then you’ll want to check often and replace the anode every time you get your vehicle serviced.
The anode deteriorates gradually as more and more water passes over it and needs to be checked every six months (right in line with your routine check-up, as it happens).
If it appears to be at around 50% of its starting diameter, it is time to replace it. Not doing so can lead to catastrophic failure, as rust sets into the water system itself, which can rupture.
Service electric brakes
Suppose you have a newer model of camper or are upgrading the brake system in your older model. You may want to consider either servicing or installing and then servicing your electric brake system. This electric brake system leaves less room for error when braking.
If you suspect issues with your brakes, make sure you get your electric brake serviced and incorporate it into your regular maintenance. Servicing your caravan is an annoyance that could save your life, or at the very least, save you money down the road.
Make sure that you get it done every six months, without fail, and check your caravan over regularly for signs of wear and tear that the mechanic may have missed. With the traveling season around the corner, you wouldn't want to be left stranded on the road during the Christmas season.
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