Americans love caravans. They can boast nearly 65% of global sales belong to the people of North America. If you are a proud owner of one of these caravans you will most likely want to keep it for many years.
One caravan in Wales, UK claims to be the oldest at a 100 years old. What is the secret to longevity? Check out these 5 tips on caravan maintenance that will help your caravan go the distance.
1. Change the Tires
Caravans and cars use similar tires. It is easy to assume that the wheels of a caravan and car are also the same.
That is a mistake. Caravan wheels are specially made for caravan use.
The load on a caravan wheel is greater than that of a car. The tire needs to be appropriate to the wheel and the load of the caravan. The condition of the tire must be good. If the tires do not look good, ignoring it is not worth the risk.
On a single axle trailer, if a tire blows out, you will lose control of the caravan. This can be disastrous. Even if your caravan usage is light, the tires will need replacing every few years. You should definitely replace tires that are 5 or more years old.
Have you ever thought about using winter tires on your caravan? Check out this article here to help you decide.
2. Check the Couplings
The coupling is a high-stress mechanism. Just by its nature, it is subject to more wear and tear than other areas of the caravan.
Make sure you always keep it well greased. The head and shaft should be free to move.
The adjusting screw and nut should be adjusted to tighten up the coupling so the stop ball doesn’t rattle.
3. Check the Brakes
Any uneven wear on the brakes is an excellent indication that the wheels are misaligned. If left unattended this will add to the wear and tear of the tires and even the wheels.
If you spot this make sure you get the wheels re-balanced.
In fact, it is a good idea to do this every 5,000-10,000 miles. To make sure the tires wear evenly, it is beneficial to rotate the wheels.
The brakes, of course, include the handbrake. Check for corrosion where the base plate fixes to the caravan frame. If the handbrake travels to far, then this will need adjusting.
4. Check the Corners
If everything looks OK on the outside of the caravan it is easy to think all is well. Don’t be satisfied with that.
Make sure you get a good look at the lower corners of the caravan. These can be vulnerable to corrosion from moisture that has made its way past the external or internal sealing rubbers.
Check the corner molds are not cracked. Any break in the surface will allow moisture into the lining sheets and lead to corrosion and rot. It is a good idea to reseal the corner molds every 5-7 years.
5. Check the Cupboards
This may sound strange but the idea is to get a good look at the shell of the caravan itself and stop any moisture from working its way in. Check the cupboards for movement.
If there are black markings where the cupboards attach it may indicate problems with the chassis.
If you are thinking about changing your caravan for a newer one, you will want to make sure you buy from a dealer you can trust. Modern luxury caravans are better designed than ever before and built to last.
Caravan Maintenance – Last Check
Caravans are not so different from humans. They need lots of love and attention if they are to survive and thrive.
Apart from caravan maintenance, you can learn about other essential maintenance projects for your car here.