Check and be safe
Your caravan is your home away from home. That is to say that things won’t go perfectly – and these tips might help to make your life on the road easier.
Extended travelling (caravanning) usually means extended preventative maintenance before you leave, thus ensuring a trouble-free journey. Many of these tasks are merely check points and can be done by you, but if in doubt your local caravan service man should become involved.
Check – repair – replace – relax
…sums up the situation that awaits the thinking traveller.
- Check tyres on car and caravan by looking for uneven wear pattern or flat spots. Check for normal wear.
- Brakes, seals and total braking ability. Don’t forget spares.
- Check and adjust if needed – springs, shackles, and U bolts.
- 12 volt wiring – inspect loom or cable condition, also plug and socket.
- 240 volt power cables – inspect for damage to plugs and cable.
- Gas bottles – Are they still within the expiry date stamped on bottle?
- If you get a puncture on your van, can you jack it up sufficient to change a wheel? Does the spare fit? Where is the wheel brace?
- Is your tow vehicle up to the task of a long haul? Hills often mean over heating, particularly in hot weather. Check radiators and transmission and engine oil coolers.
- Look underneath at your water tank/s, connections and mountings.
- Check insect screens for holes or damage.
- Of course you have a smoke alarm, but does it need new batteries?
Buy and store in the van:
- A full set of wheel bearings and seals and wheel bearing grease.
- Spare 12 volt light globes (a copy of the van wiring diagram is handy to have).
- Spare 240 volt globe.
- 100 ft/31m, 3 core extension lead (15 amp) – 20m for local conditions.
- Ant repellent.
- Mosquito repellent.
- A sheet of “contact” – self adhesive sheet, the size of the biggest window.
- Fire blanket & fire extinguisher (fully charged) – stored close to the door.
- Chemicals for chemical toilet.
- Break down triangles. (2)
- Personal items: whistle, torch, spare caravan key, umbrella, mobile phone charger, note book: to record last minute “things to be done”.
- Caravan and tow vehicle insurance cover until you return?
- Caravan tow vehicle registration – cover until you return?
- Drivers’ licence(s) – current for the duration of your trip?
- House and contents insurance – be aware of the sixty day absentee clause – cover for peace of mind whilst away.
- Leave contact details with either family, neighbour, friend or police.