Before you set off and enjoy a UK ‘staycation’ or European adventure it’s important to check that everything inside and outside your motorhome is safe, secure and just as it should be.
To help you remember everything we’ve delved into our claims archives to see where potential risks lie and created this simple – but comprehensive – motorhome pre journey checklist.
Don’t forget to check oil, windscreen and water levels pre journey
Let’s start with the more important checks from the outside and work our way in; tyres can literally make or break a motorhome journey so before setting off check the pressure on all tyres, including the spare. If you’re carrying an abnormal load adjust tyre pressure accordingly. Incorrectly inflated tyres can affect fuel economy, affect steering and breaking and at worst could lead to a blow out. Also a quick check of the tyre’s condition for damage to sidewalls and even checking the age of the tyre makes sense.
Checking tyres regularly could help to avoid blow outs and reduce potential claims
Even though claims for blow outs are relatively uncommon amongst Caravan Guard customers, when they do happen the claim cost is usually quite hefty with repairs averaging £2976. Blown out tyres can cause damage to the bodywork around the wheel; and in a more severe case one customer was forced to swerve into a motorway crash barrier after suffering a rear tyre blow out.
Whilst assessing your tyres it’s also important to check wheel torques. Well-tightened torques help to avoid wheel detachments.
Check out our guide on maintaining motorhome tyres for more interesting stats and handy tips.
As you work your way around the motorhome you’ll begin to spot certain things that need looking at. If you have corner steadies fitted for example, make sure they’re raised. And always remember to remove chocks or you could find yourself going nowhere fast.
Remember if you have a proactive tracking device, make sure you deactivate the motion sensor or geofence, or if applicable make sure you have your driver recognition card before you set off to avoid any false alerts for your tracking device’s monitoring centre.
Always check signal lights and make sure that everything under the bonnet is as it should be
Checking brake lights and signal lights is easy enough to do if there are two of you. And don’t forget to turn off the gas and make sure the cylinder is nice and secure in the side compartment.
Waste and water tanks should be drained properly before any journey; this will help to reduce unnecessary weight when travelling.
You’re now ready to check inside the motorhome where loose objects and open windows can cause all sorts of problems. Close each window and rooflight to prevent things flying off, in or even through the motorhome.
Another common problem on motorhome journeys is internal doors and cupboards suddenly flying open. To avoid having to make a claim (and potentially being struck in the face) ensure all contents are stowed away securely and cupboard doors firmly closed. Damage claims resulting from loose objects falling out of cupboards or overhead storage compartments cost £1212 on average and in some cases caused bodily injury. One common claim is something falling in the washroom and cracking the shower tray.
One handy tip, as suggested by Caravan Guard Director and motorhome owner Nora Wilby, is to cover exposed worktops and hobs with a tea towel to protect surfaces from falling objects and also prevent any unnecessary rattling.
If your motorhome has a smoke alarm or carbon monoxide detector make sure they’re working properly and always keep a fire extinguisher and fire blanket near to the driver’s cab.
Last week we asked our fans and followers on Facebook and Twitter what they would like to see on the checklist. Wine, beer and a parasol were high on the list (we’ll blame the heatwave) along with cheese, bacon, bread, BBQ equipment and The Best of The Eagles CD suggested by one follower on Twitter. Although we haven’t added these to the checklist we do stress that these are essential pre-journey checks, as is remembering the wife or hubby!
Your downloadable motorhome pre journey checklist has all these checks and more; there’s even a few lines to add your own pre departure checks if we’ve missed anything.
If you have any more handy checks that could help your fellow motorhome owners don’t forget to tell us using the comment box below.