The summer soon comes around! Now the weather’s getting a bit warmer many of us are planning to take our caravan or motorhome out of storage, and hit the road for our first getaway of the year.
If your holiday home hasn’t been used for a while it’s important that you follow our handy checklist to make sure that everything is ok and ready for you to have a safe, enjoyable and stress-free trip.
This webpage is intended as a guide only. Yuasa cannot be held responsible for any damage to person or property caused by following the information provided. Please consult your caravan’s or motorhome’s owner’s manual for manufacturer’s information. If you are not confident seek advice from an accredited industry professional
A few days before you set off.
Give your caravan or motorhome a good clean inside and out. Not only will this remove any dirt and have your holiday home in tip top shape, but it will also force you to look at it from every possible angle. Keep an eye out for any loose bolts, loose trim, rust or anything else that may need attention.
2. Weather Damage
Look closely for weather damage that may have occurred.
3. Oil, Coolant & Wipers
For motorhomes only, check engine oil, coolant and windscreen wash levels and top up if required. Also check your wiper blades are in good working order and replace if necessary.
Our favourite part. Check your battery is in good condition, most modern caravans and motorhomes will have a built-in battery monitor.
If your vehicle isn’t being used for extended periods make sure you charge the battery regularly. Click here for more info.
5. Lights and signals
Check all lights, indicators and road signals are working as they should be. For motorhomes also check the headlights and horn are functioning.
Check all LPG appliances for insects or dirt that may have got into them over the winter and could cause you problems. Check the LPG cylinder is switched off and that it’s strapped securely in an upright position.
7. Wheel Nuts
Check that your wheel nuts are tightened correctly. This needs to be done using a torque wrench not a wheel brace. The correct torque can be found in the owner’s manual.
8. Leak Check
Check your windows, doors and any other seals for signs of damage. A top tip is to ask someone to spray the vehicle with a garden hose whilst you sit inside looking for leaks
9. Damp Check
Look carefully for any damp, watermarks or mould… a musty smell can be a giveaway of a damp issue.
Flush the water system out thoroughly before using it. Give all internal tanks a complete clean with a sanitiser.
11. Start up the water system
Check your owner’s manual because water system start up can vary by manufacturer. A common procedure is to close the drain taps for the boiler and fresh water, waste water and toilet flush tanks. Then refill the fresh water and toilet flush tanks.
The boiler should now refill automatically when the pump’s turned on. Make sure you leave the taps on when refilling so that trapped air is pushed out of the pipes. Turn the water pump on and wait until the water flows steadily.
It’s not a good idea to travel with water in the tanks so drain them prior to setting off.
Over the winter your tyre pressure is likely to have decreased so top up the air in your tyres to the manufacturers recommended psi. Check each tyre carefully for bulging, cracking, low tread depth, UV degradation, punctures or foreign objects. If you spot anything you don’t like the look of get the tyre replaced.
Check, and double check that smoke alarms, carbon monoxide and intruder alarms are working correctly. If there is any doubt replace them immediately.
14. Fire extinguisher
Make sure your fire extinguisher and / or fire blanket is onboard, looks in good shape, in date and that you know how to use it in an emergency.
Check all of your electrical appliances are working as they should. Don’t forget to also check the lights, heating and any other onboard systems. Simply turn them on and leave them running until you are satisfied they are working correctly.
16. TV aerial or dish
Make sure your antennae or satellite dish is secure, then place it in the correct travel position
Once you’ve finished checking everything over give your caravan or camper a good airing by opening all the doors and windows.
Check you have a valid MOT, driving licence and insurance for your trip. If you’re going abroad check your passport is in date and you have your tickets to hand
Just like any vehicle it is important that your holiday home is serviced, maintained and checked regularly. It is worth considering a habitation service where trained professionals inspect the gas and electrical systems as well as check for damp. The Camping and Caravan Club have more details at www.approvedworkshops.co.uk
Just before you set off on your adventure…
19. Put away
Fold up or put away any steps ready for travel. Disconnect and put away any cords, hoses and electrical cables
20. Control Panel
Check your 12V control panel is switched to Car or Off – Do the same for your fridge
21. Lock and load
Make sure all exterior doors, windows, interior doors, fridges and cupboards are closed and latched
Then for caravans only
22. Motor mover
Make sure your electric maneuvering device has been disengaged.
23. Hitch mechanism
Check the hitch mechanism is fully engaged – see it’s instructions for more details.
Wind up, unclamp and raise the jockey wheel to its highest point when hitching – be sure to re-clamp securely and ensure stabiliser if correctly fitted.
24. Breakaway Cable
Attach the breakaway cable, preferably to a designated attachment point on the towing bracket.
Connect and double check 12V cables. Make sure there’s enough slack to turn corners – but not too much so it drags on the road.
Make sure all normal or extending mirrors are adjusted to give you the best view to the rear of the caravan.
27. Double Check
Check you’ve packed everything and set off to begin your adventure.
Just before setting off make sure the caravan’s handbrake is released fully.
Enjoy your trip!
Download the full guide here Your Caravan & Motorhome Pre Journey Checklist with Yuasa