Preparing your caravan for your first outing
Despite the amount of hard work that needs putting in, there’s a real air of excitement as you start to prepare your caravan for the new season.
Vacuuming and cleaning out the cupboards may not be the most glamorous of jobs but your thoughts will no doubt turn to sunnier climes and the fun you will be having while out touring during the current year.
Much of the work to prepare the caravan for spring is cosmetic but there are a number of safety measures that need to be followed too.
Check the condition of your caravan’s towbar
Checking the condition of the towbar is of paramount importance. Ensure that it works properly but be cautious before applying lubricant as it may affect any stabilising device that you have fitted – consult the manufacturer’s instructions for advice.
Checking the condition of your caravan’s tyres is time well spent too as worn or cracked tyres which can be found on older models are extremely dangerous to you and other motorists. Ensure any defected tyres are replaced and if you don’t fancy manoeuvring into a tyre depot give a mobile tyre fitter a call.
Check your caravan tyres for signs of wear
Check tyre pressures too as if under inflated they can cause instability which is not only potentially dangerous but can increase your fuel bill too.
Make sure all your caravan lights are properly working and replace any bulbs or cracked or broken glass if required. The number plate should also be intact and properly secured to the caravan.
Check the condition of window seals both and inside and out of the ‘van and replace any that are worn or perished.
Give the inside of the caravan a good vacuum (not forgetting the curtains and upholstery) and use an anti-bacterial solution to wipe down the walls, ceilings and worktops.
Attach the gas bottle to check that the fridge, cooker and heating all work and test other internal electrics too.
Give the pipes a good clean out – using a sterilising fluid is a good idea and after you’ve done this turn the hot weather heater on to check it’s working properly.
Once you’ve completed all the tasks inside, give the caravan’s exterior a good clean and a polish and wax. It’ll not only make your caravan look great while pitched on site but it will also better protect it from the elements. And after all the scrubbing and cleaning, open all the doors and windows to give the caravan a good airing.
For peace of mind it’s worth booking your caravan in for a service before the new season starts. As well as the safety aspect, a well-maintained caravan will be worth more when you come to sell it than one that’s been neglected.
After all this hard work it’s time to put your feet up with a cup of tea and plan the many adventures you hope to enjoy through the 2009 caravanning season.
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