Taking care of and maintaining your camper is a normal part of the game – from preventing rust, to making sure you unpack it properly to avoid mould or damaging your batteries – the small steps you keep up with are what ensures your camper is ready to go the next time you need it.
What many often forget is that regular servicing will help prevent the risk of accidents and consequently, save you time and money for possible repair jobs.
Day-to-day maintenance is one thing – those small tasks we all do to ensure our camper or caravan is in ship-shape condition – but regular servicing plays a big role in helping prevent the risk of accidents and in turn saves you time and money for the possible repair jobs that accidents – big or small – can cost you. And with regular servicing, the lifespan of your camper or caravan is noticeably extended, which goes to show that the benefit speaks for itself.
It’s important to note that, depending on your warranty, undertaking regular servicing is mandatory to maintain the warranty agreement.
Australia’s environment can be harsh, to say the least. Everything from dust to rough corrugated or unsealed roads, to the coastal environments can work their way through your camper or caravan to cause concerning damage – and without a professional taking a proper look, can go unnoticed.
When you take your home-away-from-home into a service centre, it is always important to speak with the servicing experts to confirm the kind of service they will offer. While a standard service might focus on the big-ticket items that see the most wear and tear, such as your brakes and bearings, a comprehensive level of service is optimum for preventative maintenance that considers both the inside and outside of your camper.
Stick to a regular service routine
Your regular service schedule is measured by date or kilometres – whichever you hit first. The time rule applies no matter how often you take your camper or caravan out for a spin since the last service. While you might think your camper is nice and safe tucked away in storage, there are still a number of components that should be serviced regularly, such as your axles, bearings and suspension. Because remember, if none of the internal parts are moving, neither is the grease to lubricate it all. Your seals are also vulnerable to weather and should be checked regularly.
For those who know they’ll hit the kilometre mark before the 12-month period is over, you’ll need to keep track of your tow vehicle’s odometer to calculate your camper or caravan’s mileage travelled. Once recorded, keep them with your camper records to ensure you don’t lose them and to help keep you on a regular servicing schedule.
Things to watch out for yourself
Some servicing can be done yourself – although it all comes down to your mechanical and technical capabilities.
Things to keep an eye on are:
- Tyres: Check that the pressure is kept at the manufacturer’s recommended levels (this information can be found on the VIN or compliance plate). Check for signs of wear, and the date and age of the tyres – old rubber is more vulnerable to blowouts.
- Vital safety equipment: These can fail, so before you drive off, it’s recommended to unplug the breakaway cord from the switch before hitching up and driving. Once done, move the camper or caravan a metre or so forward to test whether your breakaway unit is functioning correctly. Be careful to not tangle the cables with the chain – the cable should run independently between the tow vehicle and attachment point.
- Camper seals and water damage: Inspect your camper for any changes. Have an eye for detail when it comes to seals – hairline cracks or pinhole openings are easy to miss. Water damage can present as stains, cuts or dimpling in the internal walls or ceiling. Remember to check inside all cupboards and behind or below appliances such as fridges. Water damage means a seal has opened.
Some issues or damage is tempting to repair on your own, but remember, some things should be left to the experts. Electrical and gas components, for example, should always be left to the care of qualified technicians.
But the most important thing with servicing is to maintain a regular routine – from performing inspections and day-to-day maintenance to keeping up with your service schedule. Regular maintenance helps avoid issues or damage occurring when you’re least prepared for it. The last thing anyone wants is to be stranded on a holiday and spending big bucks for something that could have been an easy fix before the damage was done.
THE NEXT STEPS
A Hybrid Caravan or camper trailer could be what you need to add more adventure to your weekends, contact the Swag Camper Trailers team today. We’d be happy to help and answer any enquiries you have about our Campers, Hybrids and Caravans.