Have you recently treated yourself to a caravan or are considering investing in one? If so, you will understand the importance of maintaining and taking care of your caravan to ensure it remains comfortable for you to enjoy and maintain its value.
While most caravans are designed to withstand a lot of pressure from wind and rain due to the nature of their use, proper maintenance is needed to ensure that they last longer and continue to look their best. A caravan is a home away from home and needs to be treated with care and consideration to keep it in the best condition year after year.
Here at Sell The Caravan, we have put together this handy guide of maintenance tips for your caravan to help you keep your caravan in the best condition.
Why Caravan Maintenance Is Important
If you don’t take care of your caravan then you are going to create more trouble for yourself down the line. Your caravan should be a place for relaxation, not something that needs extra work and upkeep. In addition, you should be able to feel like you can bring friends and family over or allow them to borrow your caravan without the risk of being embarrassed.
If you keep putting your maintenance off, you might find your caravan has become unusable, which will leave you paying for something you can’t use or re-sell. Either way, keeping your caravan well maintained is in your best interest.
How Expensive Is Caravan Maintenance
If you regularly take care of your caravan you will find the cost of maintenance is relatively small, especially compared to the cost of repairing a bigger problem that you have ignored. A great example of this is the comparison of clearing leaves off the roof of your caravan compared to the cost of repairing or replacing the roof due to rust and damage from the leaves.
In addition to the exterior of your caravan, you will need to maintain the interior of your caravan as well. This will stop your interior from needing a deep clean or a complete overhaul to handle mould and vermin. If you perform regular maintenance on your caravan you will not only be able to enjoy it fully, but it will also keep the cost down.
Just like your home, your caravan will require regular maintenance to keep it looking its best. Regardless of the age of your caravan, a regular maintenance schedule will keep your caravan in a great condition for you to enjoy it. Regular maintenance can also help with resale value and help you get the best possible price.
Keeping your caravan clean, removing fallen leaves and debris and regularly opening the windows and doors can all be part of regular caravan maintenance.
Whether you use a power washer, or just a bucket of water and sponge, keeping the outside of your caravan clean will not only help with keeping it looking its best but will also prevent mould and rust damage from forming. The outside panels of your caravan can quickly accumulate dirt if not cleaned regularly. Be sure to use the right products to protect the colour and quality of your caravan. Waxing the outside of your caravan can give it extra protection and prevent any peeling or rusting due to water.
Steps, Awnings & Accessories
All the accessories, awnings and steps that you buy for your caravan are often expensive, which will make you want to take good care of them. So make sure that you keep them safely stored in a secure and dry place to stop them from getting damaged by the elements or stolen by envious passersby.
Windows & Frames
Regularly clean both the inside and outside of your caravan’s windows with a window cleaner spray that will keep them clean and prevent any rust damage from forming. In addition, regularly opening your window can help improve airflow which can stop your caravan from getting stuffy and damp. Take care of your air vents too and ensure they aren’t blocked by leaves and debris.
Cleaning The Gutters
The gutters of your caravan will accumulate leaves, mud and other debris over time, especially if they aren’t regularly cleaned and emptied. Regularly emptying the gutters is essential to preventing damage from occurring to your roof or leaks from forming, especially in winter and autumn. Leaking gutters can be a big inconvenience and costly to repair, so it is best to avoid them.
Your caravan will often be locked away for a long duration which can lead to dampness and condensation which will not only leave the inside of your caravan feeling damp with a bad odour but can also cause mould to grow. It is important that you keep a constant lookout for rust, mould and condensation rust in all areas of your caravan, including any accessories and fittings attached to the caravan.
What Causes Condensation?
Whenever warm, moist air encounters a cold surface, condensation occurs. This is why it tends to be worse during winter when the indoors of your holiday home are warmer than the outside walls. Moisture is always present in the air, and when it cools, this water vapour is transformed into water droplets.
How To Check For Condensation?
Condensation is most easily identified on surfaces like glass, so checking your windows and mirrors regularly can help you identify condensation. In addition, the outside walls and roof of your caravan can be affected by moisture accumulating so keep an eye out for condensation on the walls of your caravan.
What Happens If Condensation Is Not Adressed?
If you don’t take care of the condensation in your caravan it can lead to mould forming in the corners and window frames of your caravan. This is not only unpleasant but the spores can also be dangerous to your health. Condensation can also cause damp patches or small pools if it is allowed to build up over days and weeks. Eventually, these will lead to rot, stains, and other problems.
How To Prevent Condensation In Static Caravans
One of the most effective things that you can do to prevent condensation is to make sure there is enough air going through. Keeping the windows open during winter, spring and autumn can help air out the caravan and prevent moisture from building up and help any damp areas dry out quicker.
If you cannot leave the windows open, then leaving large bowls of salt inside your caravan can help draw any moisture from the air and furnishings and prevent mould. In addition, this will also keep your caravan smelling fresh.
All static caravans have a chassis which will be either galvanised or painted to prevent rust and damage. However, you should regularly check and maintain your caravan’s chassis regularly for any rust and damage before it gets worse. Regular static caravan maintenance should involve paint spraying and regular oiling and greasing of your chassis to maintain the stability of the caravan. You should be checking for any signs of loosening, corrosion or rust. Chassis can also damage easily, which means you should always be vigilant.
Static Caravan Winter Maintenance
Whether a static caravan is left for the winter or staying on-site, some static caravan maintenance is needed for winter.
Draining down involves switching off and releasing any excess water you may have left in your systems before you vacate for the winter months. This will help prevent any damage caused by burst water pipes or freezing when you are away.
It pays to be prepared for snow during the winter and how it can affect your caravan. If snow or ice settles at your pitch or around your caravan, it is your responsibility to handle it. Cleaning snow from the roof of your caravan can prevent water damage and rust once the snow melts.
Other Winter Tips For Static Caravan Maintenance
Check everything on the outside of your property thoroughly. Is it all safe to leave for months at a time? In addition, cleaning and checking your exterior property is essential as it means that you’ll prevent debris build-up or any chance of water letting in.
Gas & Electric Maintenance
Boiler maintenance and gas and electric safety checks should be done annually by a fully qualified heating engineer. This is required for insurance and is vital for your safety. In addition, the boiler is likely among the most expensive features of your caravan and should be looked after well. Be sure to switch it off when you are away. In addition, it is suggested that you change the gas pipe after five years of use to prevent any potential gas leaks.
Static caravan maintenance takes time and effort. However, it is worth protecting against risks to safety and any potential costs that may arise along the way. If you doubt what you need to do, ask your park operators for advice.