Essential checks for your caravan

Essential checks for your caravan 22nd July 2014

It's summer, the kids are off school and you will be planning some time off from work. For some, it's a good excuse to take their caravan out on the road and enjoy a nice staycation in it.

However, if this is the first time you have taken your caravan out since last year then you want to check to make sure it is in good condition. Leaving it stored up and not moving can still leave your caravan subject to natural wear and tear.

In the days and weeks leading up to your trip away in your caravans, make sure you take a look at such aspects as the condition of its tyres and whether or not the battery is working.

Before going on a long journey, it is important to take a few minutes to check the state of the tyres on your car and the same goes for the ones on your caravan.

Look over the tyres for bumps, bulges and tears as any of these means that the structural integrity of yours have been compromised. Also check the tread by doing the 20p test, where you put the coin in the tread across the central three quarters of the tyre; if you see the outer band then that means your tread is below the legal limit.

Checking tyre pressure is also important. If the air inside is not correct then this can put a lot more strain on them. Refilling the air in your tyres is a simple process but make sure you keep an eye on the pressure for a few days after. If you find it decreases considerably then this suggests that you may have a puncture.

Should you find these problems with your caravan then you need to buy a new set of caravan tyres and have them fitted before you set out on your travels. Experiencing a blowout on your caravan can have catastrophic results.

Of course, you won't be able to make much use of your caravan unless you have the supply to power it. You don't want to park up to find that you can't switch on the lights or turn on the hobs of your on board cooker.

Therefore, make sure you check the charge on your battery before you set off so that you know it will work throughout the trip. It may also be worth taking a spare with you just in case you need to switch over.

Unlike in cars, batteries do not get recharged while they are being used in a caravan. For that reason, it isn't wise to use a standard car battery but instead caravan owners should invest in a leisure battery, which is designed specifically to last for longer.

As you are about to set off, you must do those all important checks on your lights. Get one of your travelling companions to help you check that they are working by having them stand at the back of the caravan and take a look as you step on the brake pedal, switch on your hazards and make sure your back lights are working in case you drive at night.

Posted by Danielle Barge