Your pre-trip checklist; preparing for the first break

Soon many people will be enjoying a trip away in their caravans; in some cases hitting the road for the first time this year. However in order to ensure that your trip is a successful one, it is advisable that a few last minute checks are carried out. Therefore, we have created the following checklist; outlining the main points to consider before heading out on your well earned break:

1. Spring clean

Following a long winter in storage your caravan may require a little TLC before its first outing.  Taking the time to remove any dirt or grime found on either the exterior or interior of your caravan will prevent future damage or deterioration that could be caused by this. Make sure you don’t forget to carry out a good spring clean of the inside too, giving the caravan a dust down, hoover and polish all mirrors and glass surfaces.

2. Making sure your caravan is watertight

With the Great British weather to contend with, checks should always be carried out on all windows, doors and seals of your caravan, making sure that each element remains watertight. An easy way to check this is to simply hose your caravan down from all angles before checking inside for any leaks.

3. Checking for winter damage

Having endured a particularly harsh winter, your caravan may have suffered at the hands of a range of adverse weather conditions experienced here in the UK. Therefore it is important to carry out a detailed check of the exterior of your caravan, looking for any damage that may have occurred. Pay particular attention to areas such as aerials, satellite dishes and skylights.

4. Evaluate your tyres

Essential to the success of your trip, the condition of your caravan tyres should be checked prior to each use; checking for any signs of warping, cracking, bulging, worn treads or impaled objects. This will help to avoid any costly or dangerous blow outs while on the road.

The pressure of your tyres should also be maintained at the level advised by the manufacturer.

5. Think about security

With the prospect of leaving your caravan unattended at your chosen campsite, it is vital that your caravan’s security is functioning correctly. Begin by checking that your alarm still activates when triggered and that when set off, the siren can be heard clearly by those nearby. 

If your caravan also benefits from a tracking device, it is advisable to test this regularly. This can be done by towing your caravan a few miles away from where it is usually kept before contacting your monitoring centre to confirm that they are registering the correct location for it.

6. Checking for damp

As something that can cause lasting damage to your caravan, damp should be checked for and treated regularly. If any signs such as watermarks, mould or a musty smell should appear, open all windows and doors within your caravan and leave it to air. In more severe cases you may also wish to consider the use of a dehumidifier in order to ensure that the interior is dried out completely ahead of use. Always contact us if you have any worries and we will be delighted to take a professional look at it.

7. Preparing your water system

Remember frost is the enemy! Following long periods where your water system has not been in use it is always advisable to take the time to flush it out and check for leaks. Connecting to a water supply and leaving your taps and shower to run for a few minutes before leaving the system primed and under pressure will easily help identify problems. If water has been left to freeze within the system during the colder periods you may find that damage has been caused to elements such as the pipes or joints - this can usually be seen by water appearing on the exteriors of these elements when in use.  Don’t forget to check under the caravan for any signs of frost damage too.

8. Ensuring your gas supply is safe

Imperative to the safe use of your caravan, your gas bottles, hoses and other associated parts should always be checked over for any signs of damage or general wear or tear. The smell of gas will help identify leaks. It is also important to ensure that your gas supply has been turned off at the bottle before travelling. 

9. Interior checks

Before setting off on your getaway, take the time to close all windows, doors, cupboards and roof lights within your caravan and check that items have been correctly stowed away ready for the journey.

10. Hitching up

Once everything is packed up and ready to go it is vital that you check your caravan is correctly linked to your car before hitting the road; with the hitch properly hooked and locked. As a simple test, use your jockey wheel to raise the back of your car up by a few inches before lowering it back down.

11. Checking your documents

Remember, before using your caravan you must always check that your insurance is up to date and that you have both a valid MOT certificate and driving license with you for the journey.

12. Is your service up to date?

With spring proving to be one of the busiest times of year when it comes to caravan servicing, you may find that you need to leave plenty of time to book your caravan in for its annual checks. Making sure that your caravan is in top condition ahead of the summer season is crucial; therefore if you have any concerns about the safety or reliability of your caravan it is always advisable to have it checked over ahead of use. 

Please feel free to contact us regarding our comprehensive servicing packages on the numbers below:

Alcester branch: 01789 763432
Kenilworth branch: 01926 858880

Have a fantastic time with your family and friends!

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