After the peak summer travel season, it’s important to give your campervan, caravan or motorhome some much needed TLC ahead of the winter months
Ed Bassett, Head of Wanderlust at Camptoo, says: “After a summer spent enjoying your campervan, it’s time to partake in some essential cleaning and maintenance. When you’re busy enjoying your vehicle small issues can be forgotten or ignored. These can easily become more serious if left unattended.
You should mechanically service your vehicle as per it’s warranty requirements and afterwards as recommended by the manufacturer and/or at regular mileage milestones. It’s good practise to make sure the vehicle is safe to rent. Don’t just rely on the MOT.
Further, it is strongly advised you have an annual ‘habitation’ service which is needed for your warranty and again good safety practise, but like a mechanical service is not a legal requirement. Legally you must have an MOT, like a car. If you are renting out you, legally you must have a certified gas inspection certificate.
What is a Habitation Check?
Your annual ‘Habitation Check’ entails a thorough inspection of the habitation area of your motorhome or caravan. This is usually carried out by a specialist engineer and follows a set procedure. The check covers dangers such as fire risk, ventilation and gas systems, as well as problem areas such as water systems, damp, electrical systems and bodywork. Read more details about the habitation check here.
Check if your local garage offers this service and ensure you receive a full report afterwards and getting appliances serviced, as it’s well worth being aware of and fixing any issues before you use your vehicle again. You can also find over 500 approved workshops here https://www.approvedworkshops.co.uk/ . This scheme is run by the Camping and Caravanning Club, the Caravan and Motorhome Club and the National Caravan Council (NCC). Approved Workshops are required to have certain standards of facilities and appropriately trained technicians.
Keep in mind that autumn is the best time to plan an annual service or maintenance checks at your garage or campervan dealership. During Springs and Summer, mechanics tend to be fully booked with many last-minute repairs. Now that the summer season is ending, waiting times for services tend to be significantly less so it’s worth booking in.
Your Autumn vehicle checks ✔❤
Check for leaks and signs of damp
Start by checking for leaks – ask a family member to sit inside the vehicle whilst you soak the exterior with water. If there are any leaks, you should be able to spot them immediately. Watermarks, mould or a strange musty smell are all indicators of damp. Make sure to give your vehicle a good airing by opening all windows, doors and skylights, to get rid of any condensation or stale air that can lead to mould developing.
It’s important to check for leaks and signs of damp, even if you haven’t noticed any or had any reported to you by renters – it’s always better to be safe than sorry and we would recommend the habitation check to do this with absolute certainty as checking equipment can differ.
Clean your motorhome
Any build-up of dirt and grime can cause damage and deterioration if not attended to, so a thorough clean, both inside and out, is vital. Regular exterior cleaning is crucial to stop the build-up of mud and sediment in the seams, seals and joints of a campervan however it’s also the perfect time for a post-summer deep clean.
A garden hose, sponge, body shampoo, window cleaner and extendable or long handled brush should do the trick. And don’t forget a toothbrush combined with some old-fashioned elbow grease will help you to remove any stubborn dirt caught in seals.
But whatever you do, don’t make the mistake of using washing up liquid to clean the exterior as it can be corrosive. If you do happen to make this mistake, immediately wash off with plenty of water and apply a layer of polish to preserve the campervans protective coating.
And don’t forget about the interior either – hoover and mop all floors, dust and wash walls and surfaces, as well as giving all appliances a thorough clean. Use a paint polish and protective wax externally and protect internal wooden and metal surfaces and joints with appropriate protective sprays/WD 40.
Update or replace your motorhome appliances?
If you’re considering replacing appliances or updating the interior décor, now is the time to do so.
Firstly, check all electrical appliances are in good working order. If you decide to replace anything, keep in mind that the new appliance should be easy to use (you don’t want a day ruined by searching for an instruction manual you left at home) and ideally not take up too much room.
Don’t be tempted to indulge in the latest style trend when it comes to the interior of your motorhome – think about what’s practical and, most importantly, durable. If you’re planning to rent out your vehicle over autumn/winter adding extra blankets and hot water bottles wouldn’t go amiss.
Also make sure to check out the latest WI FI mobile services, as they are improving all the time in terms of connectivity, range and cost so you may find yourself a better deal.
Even if you’re not planning on travelling until the spring….
- Flush out the water system thoroughly and clean internal tanks with steriliser.
- Check the tyre pressure and top up as needed.
- Review oil and coolant pressure – top up as needed.
- Charge or replace the vehicle battery.
- Check wiper blades are in good working order – replace if needs be.
- Close and latch exterior and interior doors.
To preserve any warranty and ensure that your van is in a safe condition, an annual motorhome habitation check is essential. A basic habitation service includes assessing electrical, gas and water systems, bodywork, ventilation, fire and safety as well as a damp report. Also, as with any vehicle, your motorhome should be serviced on manufacturer recommendations and mileage, the MOT kept up to date and insurance in place. In the Autumn perform checks, cleaning and maintenance yourself to keep the vehicle in good shape and ready to use. You can find over 500 approved workshops here https://www.approvedworkshops.co.uk/
Safety should come first always for you, your family and people using your vehicle on Camptoo
To find out more about renting out your vehicle visit our website