While most caravan buyers purchase a van with a view to long-term ownership, there may come a time when you decide it's time to upgrade to a newer model. In those instances, you'll be looking to sell or trade in your current caravan for the best price possible. To ensure you do get the best sale price and to ensure safe travelling at all times, we've compiled a list of tips and hints on caravan care. What you should be doing to preserve and maintain your caravan and what you shouldn't be attempting yourself.
Experts advise that a new caravan should be serviced within 3 months from the time of purchase or use the 1,000 klms as a guide. Then it should be carried out every 10,000 klms or every 12 months. Some specialist repairers warn strongly against servicing your caravan yourself. While minor repairs and general upkeep include DIY tasks, major servicing and many specific tasks are better left to the professionals.
Professional caravan servicing may include but not be limited to:-
- Removing the hubs and inspecting and cleaning the bearings, backing plate assemblies and the pads.
- Repacking the wheel bearings and replacing the bearing seals.
- Checking the electric brake for safe operation and other aspects.
- Inspecting and greasing the suspension.
- Inspecting tyre wear and condition.
- Inspecting the jockey wheel, park brake and tow hitch.
If you are even vaguely considering doing major servicing yourself, you may like to research some of the horror stories of DIY jobs that have been reported by qualified repairers. Such reports note that amateurs do not have the experience to identify potential problems and other issues as a professional can. They see a lot of basic errors which have the potential for serious damage to the caravan and other disastrous consequences.
If you want to ensure your caravan retains optimum resale value, entrusting the servicing to a pro could be good advice.
Maintain a Regular Cleaning Routine
Keeping your caravan clean sounds like basic stuff but not everyone pays enough attention to the detail. Regular cleaning of the exterior not only removes the expected dirt that you would accumulate on a trip but prevents that dirt from building up and causing damage to the surface.
If you’re caravan has sat unused for a period, then a full-on clean and check is advised by the experts. Moisture left or building up can cause rust to develop and erode key components. Fatigue in key components can also occur even when a vehicle is idle.
Experts recommend taking caravans for a drive even when not being used to give the componentry use. Sitting idle for extended periods is not good for a caravan. So when you have an afternoon spare, hitch up and go for a drive.
Keep the Seals Well Maintained
Seals can deteriorate with exposure to the environment and with age. Checking the seals regularly and replacing when necessary will ensure better insulation, better protection from the elements and better overall operation of doors and windows.
Remember the door seals, window seals, skylights, tailgate and boot sales, pop top and slide-outs.
Regularly Check the Tyres
Not just for air pressure but for wear and tear. While you have your car tyres inspected for vehicle rego each year, not everyone remembers to check caravan tyres. They do have recommended lifespans and should be adhered to. Especially if you are an off-roader. Your tyres will be undergoing more wear and tear on tracks than on the black top and may wear faster.
Always have your vehicle tyres checked regularly including the wheel alignment to ensure safe towing.
Storage When not in Use
If you want to retain your caravan value, then storing it undercover and in a safe place when you’re not using it will be essential. Leaving a caravan on the street or in the outdoors for an extended time will definitely lead to natural wear and tear to say nothing for the potential for damage from drivers and theft.
Consider renting space at a storage facility or in a nearby garage. If you don’t have those options, invest in a purpose-made caravan cover. The modern fabrics in specific caravan covers can be very effective in protecting the van from general environmental issues.
These are just a few hacks we’ve picked up in our reading on keeping your caravan in good condition so it’s ready to deliver you a great resale value. Of course, one of the best ways to ensure the resale value delivers you a return is to buy well in the first place.
Ensuring you purchase your caravan with a cheap caravan loan can make that initial investment even more significant in the long term.
To discuss finance on a caravan speak with one of our Jade Caravan Finance consultants on 1300 000 003
DISCLAIMER: INFORMATION, CONTENT, DATA, REFERENCES AND HINTS CONTAINED IN THIS ARTICLE ARE INTENDED PURELY FOR GENERAL INFORMATION AND NO LIABILITY FOR ERRORS OR SIMILAR IS ACCEPTED. THE INFORMATION IS NOT INTENDED TO FORM THE SOLE BASIS FOR FINANCIAL DECISIONS. ANY READER CONSIDERS THAT MAY REQUIRE ADVICE ON THEIR PERSONAL OR BUSINESS FINANCIAL SITUATION, THEY ARE ADVISED TO SEEK THE PROFESSIONAL ASSISTANCE OF A FINANCIAL ADVISOR.