***WARNING: CARAVANS FEATURE 12V SYSTEMS, GAS SYSTEMS AND MAINS ELECTRIC SYSTEMS; THESE SHOULD BE APPROACHED WITH CAUTION AND IF IN DOUBT OVER THE CONDITION OF THESE SYSTEMS THEN SEEK THE SERVICES OF A PROFESSIONAL***
Depending on the task, maintaining your caravan can be little trouble at all if dealt with appropriately. Whenever I specify a job or servicing procedure, I will rate the difficulty of the job before hand and you as an individual can decide whether to carry out the job or not. Ratings are roughly as follows:
1. Easy Little DIY skills required. Individual should be be able to use basic tools such as
screwdrivers, pliers and hammer and nails etc...
2. Moderate Some DIY skills required. Individual should be able to at least wire a plug.
3. Hard Greater experience desirable. Individual should be confident with their DIY skills and have an
elementary understanding of DIY.
It goes without saying that when completing any task, an individual should work as safely as possible and in accordance to safety regulations to reduce risk of injury. I cannot be held responsible for injury caused during work, it is up to the individual to complete work as safely as possible.
Now that's the disclaimer part out of the way, here are some pointers for carrying out maintenance to ensure best results and some general tips to ensure safe working:
- When working on the exterior of a caravan, the caravan is best located ideally indoors or in a sheltered location in clement weather. You will find it easier to work under these conditions.
- When working inside the caravan, keep the work area well ventilated; open windows, rooflights and doors where applicable.
- Tidy up as you go along: keep work area tidy to ensure that you have space to work and work safely.
- Do not work from ladders. When working on high areas such as the caravan roof, use relevant platforms instead.
- When jacking up the caravan, lower the corner steadies to support the jack and stop the risk of the jack collapsing. This is especially important when working underneath the caravan. Under no circumstances should the caravan be lifted on the corner steadies alone.
- When working on the caravan, ensure the handbrake is applied and the corner steadies lowered. This will make work easier and safer.
- When tightening parts up such as wheel bolts etc, follow manufacturer set guidelines for torque settings.
- Never leave work areas unattended without putting tools safely away.
- When working with the electrics, ensure that the caravan is disconnected from the mains supply and the battery is disconnected too and the caravan isolator switch implemented.
- When working with the gas system, turn off the gas bottle and disconnect from the system. For extra precaution, you can drain the system by turning the gas bottle off, and with the bottle still connected, light a burner on the kitchen stove and wait for it to go out. This uses the excess gas left in the system. You can then disconnect the bottle.
- Before towing your caravan, ensure that pre-journey checks are carried out and the tyres are inflated to the correct pressure and wheel bolts tightened to their recommended torque setting - see the Towing Code page