A huge benefit of owning a static caravan to take your holidays in is that caravans are quite simple to maintain but it is a fact that some maintenance is required to keep your caravan in optimum condition. Here are some useful tips to make sure you get the best from your holiday home.
Exterior panels – using the same shampoo you’d use on your car was the panels down twice annually and if you want to give the panels extra protection, you can add a small amount of car wax to the soapy water.
Gutters – Clean all the debris out. Gutters are likely to become blocked with leaves in the autumn and if left may cause damp in the caravan as the water builds up. If left over winter frozen water can lift the seams and when it melts may get into the caravan. This is a really important job so if you can’t do it yourself for some reason, try to arrange for someone local to do it for you.
Inspect the chassis – You should do this regularly and use wax oil to stop rust. Painting the chassis is fine but if you are anywhere near the coast you’ll find it will flake rapidly.
Damp prevention – If you are not using the static caravan in the winter months, leave the curtains open. Air can circulate more freely when the curtains are open and if you leave some big bowls of salt in the rooms they will absorb the moisture not just from the air but also from the furnishings too.
Air Vents – You should leave the floor and wall vents open to assist air circulation but close the roof vents when the caravan is not in use. Air vents are essential for a number of reasons, not least Gas Safety so make sure they are not obstructed especially when you are using the van.
Gas – if you are not using your static caravan holiday home, turn all your gas bottles off and remember to replace the orange gas pipes regularly. These pipes are dated and should not be replaced on or before the 5 year expiry date. You should have a Gas Safety check every year which is mandatory if you are letting your caravan out, but also ensures your own safety and that of your family and friends
Electricity – PAT tests are recommend every 3 years for your domestic appliances including such items as refrigerators, washing machines, ovens, toaster and kettles etc. If you are not using the caravan switch the mains off.
Mains water – When you leave your caravan empty for long periods of time make sure the water is turned off, particularly in the winter. Frozen pipes do more damage to a caravan if they burst than they might do in your home. The last thing you want to happen is a flood due to stop tap or seal bursting.
Hot water and heating – Boilers in caravans can be equally as expensive as the one you have at home so if you are not using the caravan turn it off. Regular servicing carried out by a Gas Safe engineer will save you money in the long run because a well serviced boiler works more efficiently. If you are not renting the caravan out, and use it infrequently yourself once every 3 years should be sufficient.
Fire safety – Check the batteries in your gas and smoke alarms each year and make sure the fire extinguishers don’t run out of date.
Hinges – clean and oil the hinges on the windows and doors because if they seize up they can twist and break.
Roof –Clear any debris off the roof and if you notice any holes, (which is rare) you can repair it with a product like ISOFLEX or get a professional to flash band the damage or seams
Under the caravan – Make sure nothing is blocking the air vents underneath the caravan since this can cause damp which in turn will lead to mould. And don’t store anything flammable under the van to prevent fire breaking out.
This may seem a long list of tasks but actually they don’t take much time and they are well worth doing because prevention as most people know is a lot less expensive than cure!