Looking after your camper trailer will keep it in good, safe condition and increase its resale value when it comes time to sell. You don’t have to be handy with the tools to learn a few new DIY skills to give your camper some simple maintenance after a few trips away.
Rust (iron oxide) can weaken your camper’s structural integrity and is time-consuming to fix.
A camper’s drawbar and chassis are susceptible to rust, but you can halt the threat by washing it down after a beachside holiday. Pay attention to the underbody and any areas prone to a build-up of sand and water.
Any stone chips and scrapes that damage the camper’s paintwork will encourage rust and should be promptly repaired. You can also protect against rust by applying surface agents such as fish oil, lanolin and wax-based treatments.
Water damage at the rear of a camper can be due to the rear tailgate not sealing correctly. Sometimes you can follow the leaked water stains right up to the seal.
Primary reasons for the leak are usually that the seal is damaged or incorrectly positioned, or the seal is not compressed enough to seal up properly.
Adjust the latches position up or down the thread. Going down the thread will generally pull the door closer (tighter) to the seal and going up should loosen it up a bit. Ideally, you want the door to compress the seal down fairly tight in order to close and lock into place, but still allow a slight amount of give.
Flushing Water Tanks
Sterilising the tank can be achieved by mixing a quarter of a cup of bleach with a few litres of water in a bucket, then adding it to the camper’s water tank when empty before filling it up with fresh water.
Run the outlet taps for a minute or two so the mixture gets flushed through the lines and then leave it sitting for a few hours before flushing the system with fresh water. You can rid the strong smell of bleach by mixing about half a cup of baking soda with a few litres of water and adding it to the freshwater tank.
Vinegar and baking soda is not as effective as bleach in terms of sterilisation, but it’s a good way to keep it maintained. Add about a cup of baking soda to a few litres of fresh water in a bucket and pour it into the water tank, which should be only half full to allow for the chemical reaction when you add the vinegar. Make sure you also leave the taps and the filler tube open for the air to escape. Then tow the camper over a few bumps and flush it out with fresh water when you get home.
A bad battery can be diagnosed by using a multimeter to check the voltage. If a battery reads zero volts it indicates that a short circuit has occurred and you’ll require a replacement.
If you detect the top of the battery is bulging, it’s more than likely been overcharged at some stage. A cracked battery should be discarded for safety purposes.
If you suspect a battery is faulty, get it load-tested to ensure it’s doing its job.
Regularly check all the gas connections and fittings for leaks, especially when you’re using the cylinder for the first time.
When checking for leaks, spray soapy water over the fittings, turn the gas on, and if any bubbles appear, tighten the fitting. You may also need to apply some plumber’s thread tape to the fitting’s thread. Check the hose for any damage too.
Replacing Wheel Bearings
Wheel bearing maintenance is imperative. A busted wheel bearing will guarantee a camper trailer comes to a grinding halt.
You can also upgrade from standard hub seals to marine seals, and fit Bearing Buddies to ensure the bearings and air adjustment is spot on.
Hose down your canvas at least twice a year. It will stop irreversible damage from dirt and debris and will keep the canvas odour free and waterproof.
It will also ensure the tent is watertight. Water and humidity can swell up the fibres and seal any gaps in the weave of the canvas.
Do not use detergents, soap or solvents on the fabric – a clean microfibre cloth or medium brush combined with cold or lukewarm water should be sufficient to remove any grime.
There are plenty of simple and cost-effective tricks to keep your canvas mould free.
Open the tent up and air it in direct sunlight. Let the mould dry out, then brush it off with a hard bristle brush or vacuum cleaner.
Some supermarket products will remove mould but will damage the waterproofing and/or sun protection of your canvas. A far less invasive method is to mix 20-50ml of white vinegar per litre of water, then spray it on and scrub it with cloth or a hard bristle brush.
The Next Steps
A Hybrid camper 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.