Simple DIY Camper Checks
Easy tips to keeping your home away from home ready for the road
Whether you’re a seasoned traveller or a newbie to the camping world, ensuring your camper trailer is in tip-top shape is vital for a hassle-free journey. So, it kind of makes sense to take charge of your camper trailer’s maintenance regime, eh? By performing regular checks and maintenance tasks, you’ll be ready to hit the road with confidence and peace of mind. So, let’s dive in and discover how to keep your home away from home in tip top shape and ready for action.
The first step in our maintenance program is to inspect the seals around the doors, windows, and other openings. Over time, seals can deteriorate and let moisture and dust seep into your trailer. Carefully examine the seals for any cracks or gaps. If you spot any issues, replace or repair them promptly to prevent water damage and maintain a cozy, dry interior.
In the case of entry or compartment doors, you can visually inspect the seal to look for signs of dust getting through. In this case, the locking latches can often be adjusted to ensure equal pressure is applied when latching it closed.
Regularly inspect the tyres for signs of uneven wear, bulges, or cuts. Uneven tyre wear could indicate alignment issues. If you notice the tyre is wearing more in the centre of the tread, it usually indicates overinflation. If both the inner and outer edge of the tyre is worn out while the centre of the tyre isn’t, it indicates the tyre has been underinflated. The other thing to check is the tyre’s age. This is usually indicated by a four-digit number within a border on the tyre side wall. The first two digits represent the week the tyre was manufactured, and the last two digits show the year. It is recommended that the tyres are replaced every 5-6 years as a general rule.
Grease It Up
To ensure smooth and effortless towing, don’t forget to lubricate your camper trailer’s hitch regularly. Apply a suitable lubricant to the hitch ball and coupler to reduce friction. This simple step will make hitching and unhitching a breeze, while also preventing unnecessary wear and tear on the components. If you’ve got an offroad style hitch, these need to be able to rotate and move freely, and thus lubricating, usually via the built-in grease nipples, is also required.
Clean and well-functioning electrical connections are vital for proper trailer lighting and electrical systems. Over time, corrosion can build up on the terminals, especially in the auxiliary plug, hampering their effectiveness. Periodically inspect and clean the electrical terminals using a wire brush (an old toothbrush also works) and contact cleaner. This will help maintain reliable lighting and electrical performance.
Your camper trailer’s battery powers various onboard systems, so it’s crucial to keep it charged and well-maintained. If you’ve got a main isolator switch, ensure it’s isolating the batteries when not in use to prevent any devices pulling power and draining the battery. Regularly check the battery’s charge level, and ensure the terminals are clean and securely fastened. If you store your camper trailer for extended periods, consider using a battery tender (maintenance charger) to maintain the battery’s health.
For trailers equipped with LPG systems, safety should be a top priority. Inspect the propane tanks, lines, and connections for any signs of damage or leaks. Spraying soapy water over any fittings, connections or suspect areas, and watching for bubbles to appear can help identify a gas leak. Ensure the tank valves are closed tightly when not in use. If you suspect a leak or need assistance, consult a professional gas technician to address the issue promptly.
Maintaining a clean water system ensures fresh and safe drinking water during your camping adventures. Regularly sanitize the water tanks and flush the system to remove any contaminants or build-up. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines to ensure proper cleaning and maintenance procedures.
Qualified Mechanic Inspections
Safety is paramount when towing your camper trailer. Enlisting a qualified mechanic to inspect the brake system and wheel bearings regularly is a good way to ensure your van is mechanically ready for the road.
Keep It Clean
Last but not least, give your camper trailer’s exterior some TLC. Regularly wash the exterior with mild soap and water, paying extra attention to remove dirt, grime, and road debris which can deteriorate to the point of permanent damage to the construction materials. Dust and exposure to sunlight dries out rubber seals, too. So, make sure you keep it well covered whenever possible.
Remember, taking proactive measures to maintain your trailer not only helps you avoid unexpected issues on the road but also prolongs its lifespan. So, invest a little time and effort into your camper trailer’s care, and you’ll be rewarded with countless memorable adventures on the open road. Happy camping!