The start of a new year is always a happy time for motorhome and touring caravan owners. With our leisure vehicles still parked up for the winter, the turning of the calendar page means the countdown to another season of adventures is on. Wrapper offers some tips on how to make sure you’re ready to hit the road again as soon as the season begins…
Checks for bringing your motorhome or touring caravan out of storage
If you did a thorough job of getting your motorhome or caravan ready for the winter (check out our guidance for doing that here), getting it back on the road should be a fairly straightforward and drama-free undertaking.
There are still a few checks you’ll need to carry out to make sure your motorhome or caravan is in tip-top condition for your first adventure of 2023, though. Because even if you drained your water system and disconnected the battery, a vehicle or caravan that has sat for months in the cold and damp can develop some issues. The last thing you want, after being cooped up all winter, is to rock up on-site for your first adventure of the year and discover your water pipes are cracked and the rodents have set up home in the kitchen cupboards.
With that in mind, here’s Wrapper’s checklist of all the things you’ll need to give the once-over before you book your first pitch of the season…
- Check for cracks on the bodywork of your motorhome or touring caravan (including the roof), and make any necessary repairs.
- Check the sealant. If it looks like any has started to peel away or erode, remove it and reseal.
- Check all the windows for cracks, and look out for signs of calcification. If you’ve got any hard water spots on your windows, clean them off using a towel soaked in a mixture of half water, half vinegar.
- Check all vents, doors and air conditioners for cracks, and make any repairs.
- Check for signs of damp. A long, wet winter can cause havoc in a motorhome or caravan. The tell-tale signs of damp include visible watermarks or mould, or a strange, musty smell. Any damp will need to be addressed sooner rather than later.
- On that note: open all doors, windows and sky lights to give your motorhome or touring caravan a good airing.
- Check all tyres Blowouts are a common cause of accidents, so check for signs of bulging, cracking and low tread depth. Check the sidewalls for signs of UV degradation, too. And finally, check your tyre pressure and top up as necessary.
- Check the inside of your motorhome or touring caravan for signs of insect or rodent activity. Be aware that they like small, cosy spaces, so be sure to check all cupboards carefully, as well as all those places where cables and pipes provide an entry point to hidden corners. Also check all soft furnishings, bedding and mattresses for holes and signs of nibbling – this could be a sign that rats or mice gained entry and possibly even set up home in there.
- Carry out a good spring clean, including washing all cushions, curtains and bedding.
- Check the battery (as well as any spares) for signs of degradation and/or leaking. You’ll want to make sure they are all fully juiced, too.
- Reconnect the water supply and check the plumbing is working as it should. Look out for signs of cracked pipes anywhere in the system, and check all pumps and valves are working properly. Look out for degradation of rubber seals and washers, too, and replace any that look compromised.
- Once you know the plumbing is good, check the water pipes, water heaters and water tank, then rinse everything out and refill.
- Check your gas cylinders and test all the equipment that runs off them. Just be sure to check for leaks from the cylinder before you connect the supply and test the equipment (e.g. fridge and cooker). Refill any cylinders that need a top-up.
- Check the generator. If you have any trouble starting it, try topping up the fuel and checking the oil level.
- If your motorhome or touring caravan has an awning, check it thoroughly for tears, holes, and signs of mould. Make any necessary fixes or repairs, and give everything a good wipe down and airing.
- For motorhome owners, make sure you carry out some pre-road-trip vehicle checks: check the oil and coolant pressure, and make sure your wiper blades are in good working order.
- And finally, make sure you’re legal. Check your road tax is up-to-date and that you’ve got appropriate insurance in place. Bear in mind you’ll need to update your insurance if you’ve moved house, changed where your motorhome or caravan is parked up, made any modifications to the vehicle, added any new drivers, or even bought any new, high-ticket gadgets to take on the road with you.
Book your site early
One other thing to bear in mind before you prepare to hit the road for your first adventure of 2023 is the massive increase in motorhome and touring caravan ownership in recent years. While it’s brilliant to see so many more people enjoying the lifestyle we already know and love, it does mean there are more and more people competing for the same number of pitches. If you’ve got your heart set on one particular site for one particular weekend, it’s a good idea to book it early so you can avoid any last-minute disappointment.
Your 2023 adventures, all Wrapped up
And there you have it: everything you need to know (and check) before you hit the road for another season of open-road adventures. Looking for fast, flexible insurance for your motorhome or touring caravan? Our quick and easy self-service system lets you design, build and manage your policy around the lifestyle you love – 100% online, 100% of the time. Start building your quote here.
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