Just as you regularly check your vehicle to ensure safety and optimum performance, regular maintenance should be done on your caravan. Regularly maintaining your pop-top caravan makes sure that it will run better, look better, last longer, and hold value if you decide to sell. Most importantly, it ensures your family are safe while caravanning.
Consider the following maintenance checks for your pop-top caravan before heading off on your next trip:
- Wheels, rims, and tyres – check for any buckles, cracks, or damage before and after each trip, and for excessive wear to the tread due to under/over inflations or alignment issues.
- Brake lights – ensure indicator, brake, tail and running lights are functional and aren’t faded.
- Safety chains – check for signs of rust or cracks at fixing point, and that chains are long enough to reach the tow bar chain hook and allows for cornering.
- Corner moulds – any seals around windows and doors should be checked for cracks or holes that could allow water to enter and rot the lining.
- Gas and water lines fittings – check all gas and water connections for leaks or bubbles, any loose hoses, and for fraying and kinks in piping. Check the clamps for tension and any straps for sign of cracking or rust.
- Smoke detector – change the battery in your smoke detector each season.
- Cleaning – after each expedition clean the interior and exterior of your caravan thoroughly. Be sure to check your mattresses regularly for sign of moisture retention at this point.
- Take care of the fabric – the fabric components of your pop-top caravan are extremely susceptible to mould and mildew, so be sure to clean this material regularly to avoid build-ups and stains. Clean the fabric before a trip and after a holiday with a good quality cleaner, and ensure the caravan is being stored in a dry, well ventilated area to prevent the build-up of mould and mildew. If you have canvas, try clean the mildew with warm water first as detergents can affect the water-resistant treatment on the canvas.
- Struts/moving componentry – clean and check that the struts of the pop-top are opening easily and are free of rust and corrosion. Regular cleaning of all moving parts will remove dust and grime to ensure the struts work. A silicone spray can be applied after cleaning to the springs or scissor arms to prevent corrosion, taking care not to spray any on the material. If you have gas struts and they are becoming difficult to open, you may need them re-gassed or replaced. It’s preferable to replace all struts at the same time if necessary.
Your caravan manufacturer’s handbook has specific guidelines you should include in your maintenance routine, with man
Whether you are looking to purchase a second-hand caravan or have left your caravan dormant for a long period of time, an RACQ caravan inspection can help you to identify any major defects in your caravan.