If you have just bought yourself a static caravan, there are a few things you need to know about maintenance. While one of the major advantages of owning a static caravan is its ease of use and simplicity, there are particular areas you need to ensure are up to scratch. In this guide, we’re going to reveal some Static Caravan Maintenance tips that you must carry out on a regular basis, covering the basics and moving onto some more intricate work with chassis areas. Let’s get started right away.
First of all, your exterior panels need to be cleaned fairly regularly, with the same kind of shampoo you might use on your car. Ideally, you should be doing this twice a year, not only to give your static caravan a fresh look but also to protect the panels from the elements.
Don’t forget to clean your gutters out, either. Static caravan gutters tend to get very clogged up, especially during the autumn months when trees shed their leaves. Failure to take care of gutters can lead to all kinds of issues, including water build up and damp, frozen gutter seams, and splits and breakages.
On the subject of dampness, be very careful. It’s a good idea to leave your curtains open during the winter months, as condensation can build up by a significant amount. You need to get that ai circulating as much as possible, which is much easier to do when the curtains are pulled back. Similarly, keep your air vents open – not the roof ones, but the ground and wall vents. Doing this is much better for air circulation purposes and are also critical for gas safety.
You also need to ensure your gas, electric, and water are working properly. We recommend getting a PAT test done at least once every three years to ensure your electrical circuits are in good condition. You should keep an eye on your orange gas pipes, too, which should be replaced after the five-year expiry period, and all hot water servicing needs to be completed by a Gas Safe engineer. And with the water, make sure it is completely turned off in the winter, or any period where you aren’t using the caravan to avoid burst pipes. Finally, it should go without saying, but always keep up to date with your gas batteries and smoke alarms, to reduce your risk of fires.
Finally, be careful when dealing with the external areas of your static caravan. All the hinges on your windows and doors need to be cleaned regularly to prevent them seizing up and breaking, while roof debris needs to be cleared every so often to prevent damage. Underneath the caravan is important, too. Make sure there is nothing blocking your vents or you might end up having a damp issue. And be wary of storing flammable liquids or gases under the van, or there could be a fire.
OK, so there are certain jobs that you need to be doing once a year, and the perfect time of year to get it done in spring. Why? Well, as the weather improves, it gives you the opportunity of clearing up your caravan after the poor weather of winter. There are a few things you need to focus on.
As we discussed above, the roof and gutters need to be thoroughly cleaned. But also put some focus on the door and window frames, as any dirt could end up weathering and causing your rubber seals to break down and cause problems with gaps. Check your entrance steps and any decking you might have on your static caravan, too. Keep a close eye on the quality, as wood and metal can easily rot without the right levels of attention and cleaning. You will need to treat each of them with high-quality wood stain or paint, as well as an annual treatment for weather protection.
Now, let’s move on to some of the most important parts of your caravan’s safety – the wheels, brackets, and anchors. While it’s not an issue if you have no intention of moving your static caravan, most people will need to ensure they are all in good condition. Keep your wheels and towing brackets well greased, and also consider checking your anchoring to make sure they are in perfect order. If your caravan anchors move at all, they can sometimes cause movement in other areas, including your pipes – which could result in a very expensive repair job. As a final point – always make sure your insurance cover is up to date! Doing so will reduce much of the cost of any repairs you have to pay for should anything go wrong.
Finally, some maintenance tips for your chassis – one of the most important areas of your static caravan. There are a few different types of chassis – galvanized, part galvanized and painted steel. As a rule, fully galvanized chassis give you 100 percent protection, while the part galvanized chassis can sometimes have exposed areas on the edges. Painted chassis are the most susceptible to damage, and corrode easily without regular maintenance.
Now, if your caravan is brand new, the chances are that you will have a warranty for your chassis, but this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep a close eye on it. Damage can occur when the caravan is being moved, so regular checks every time you switch sites are essential – and you should always run checks on an annual basis. Don’t forget, the chassis is a highly sensitive piece of kit, and is often the first sign that your caravan is starting to fail!
So, as a final word – make sure you are protecting your investment by completing all these checks on a regular basis. When you are checking any static caravan, the closer you look, the more likely it will be that you spot a problem, so please take your time. Minor damage can be cheap to fix and sort out, but if you leave it to get worse it could cause serious issues at great expense.
Let us know if you have any Static Caravan Maintenance tips to add to this list.