Tips to Maintain Your Caravan Trailer
As one of the safest post-pandemic Accom for many travellers across Australia, caravans are still at the top of summer camp favourite. Thousands of Aussies are getting out of the lockdown hiatus and getting their vehicles ready for days of adventure.
But has your caravan trailer been well taken care of all these days? Just in 2021, 50% of caravan collisions have been reported, where the records suggest the majority of the caravan accidents are caused by faulty brakes or towing malfunction.
So in this article, we will get into complete caravan trailer maintenance practices, so you can be rest assured about the safest and smoothest caravan ride any time of the year.
Check Tire Pressure and Tread
Tires play the most significant role in the suspension systems of a caravan, as it has direct contact with different road surfaces and conditions. Therefore, it is essential to check tire pressure before you go camping. Even when stationary, it must support the trailer's weight, passengers, and other equipment.
In addition, tire pressure affects how your trailer travels on the road. If the pressure is too low, there is a risk of damage to the wheels and axles from the trailer's weight, and the tires may overheat and burst. On the other hand, too much pressure and the tires' tread wear down faster, reducing your grip on the road, which is crucial when towing heavy loads.
Therefore, trailer tires are more durable than car tires, but they are more prone to damage and require frequent maintenance and repairs. Some small vans can run at lower pressures, so tire pressure should be around 42 psi depending on the load of the van and specific caravan or RV. The recommended minimum pressure is 35 psi. To find the best air pressure for your van, check your tire plate or caravan book for the correct tire pressure for your weight. And be sure to get your caravan tires professionally inspected, repaired, or replaced, whenever needed.
Keep the Batteries Well-Maintained
The last thing you want to happen on a camping trip is your caravan battery running out and spoiling the whole trip. So on a monthly basis, check if your battery is charged by taking a voltmeter reading. But don't check on your battery immediately after use; instead, leave it to settle for a few hours before you check the battery percentage. Permanently remove the negative terminal first when disconnecting a battery. You should fully charge your caravan battery if you are away for the winter. If you keep your caravan at home, you can connect it to the network and charge it.
You can purchase a maintenance charger to keep the battery fully charged while storing the caravan. Mains-powered maintenance chargers provide a low floating charge to charge the battery fully. But the new technology uses circuitry that responds to the battery and provides a custom charging pattern. When the battery reaches its maximum capacity, the charger turns off.
Some caravan or RV batteries are water level, and some are maintenance-free. The purpose of these batteries is to do its best to keep them fully charged at all times.
When in storage, consider removing your leisure battery from the caravan so that you can attend to it more easily at home. However, removing the battery may disable the tracker or alarm, invalidating your caravan insurance and leaving your vehicle vulnerable. So recharge your caravan batteries for maintenance as soon as they fall short of 50% charged.
Keep a Keen Eye on the Brakes
Your caravan trailer's brakes need to work correctly for your safety and the safety of others on the road. Therefore, brake maintenance should be at the top of your camper's spring to-do list. In addition, take care of your wheel bearings and keep them in good condition and lubricated throughout the summer.
Also, make sure the brakes are working properly to ensure that there is enough material left on the brakes and that they can function properly on the trailer. Regular maintenance of your caravan and brakes should be sufficient to avoid sudden breakdowns. However, even if you follow a regular maintenance schedule, the safest journey cannot always be guaranteed, so you still need to watch out for wear or signs of all possible problems. Before braking, make sure the caravan's handbrake is applied, and the hitch is fully extended. First, loosen the caravan's wheel nuts in much the same way you replace the car's spare wheel. Next, continue turning the wheel forward and use a screwdriver to adjust the teeth in the opposite direction of the arrow until resistance is felt.
You can repeat this process on the opposite wheel and handbrake action to check if both feel and sound are the same. A word of warning, even if you do this routine maintenance yourself, you should have your motorhome serviced by a professional regularly, especially before going out on the road.
Take Care of your Caravan Tow Hitch
One of the essential features of our van is the tow hitch. However, we keep the tool just sitting idly in the front of a truck or trailer, unattended in most cases. This results in rusting, cracking, and affecting trailer traction. In most cases, this type of failure can be prevented by regular inspection and maintenance. These are maintenance tips for traditional hitches.
An easy way to check for rusting is to look for some rust inside and around the weld. The absence of rust is not proof that there are no cracks. The hitch connection itself must be tight and running smoothly, and the mechanism must provide a reliable connection when connected to the car. If there is movement, the hitch mechanism must be adjusted to re-tighten. Consider changing the tow hitch receiver for your ball-towing hitch. When properly adjusted, it should catch the ball and hold it in place with a solid connection.
The hitch ball and trailer coupler need high-temperature grease to avoid grinding. Make sure to check with a trailer technical expert if you are not sure what kind of grease to get or how to re-lubricate it.
Those who have towed any unit behind their vehicle are familiar with the necessity of sway control. Your travel trailer or camper trailer can run smoothly alongside the tractor by installing the anti-roll bar. Remove and clean the anti-roll bar once or twice a year and check that it is fully tightened when reinstalling. To check the ball mount and receiver, check for signs of rust or kinks. If there is any, remove the mount and lubricate the side panel sockets. If a towed unit falls, the last line of defence is worth considering the safety chain. So make sure to check for bent or cracked links that could cause failure.
We cannot stretch the importance of caravan trailer maintenance enough for safe and stress-free roadside camping. But with the right, properly maintained trailer tow hitch and towing technology between your towing vehicle and your caravan, you are already off to a great start! As a result, you can reduce your fuel usage and ensure a smoother-safer road throughout. But to keep your caravan in the best condition for the long run, make sure to follow all the caravan maintenance steps before you plan your next trip and discover the beauty of mother nature right outside your doorstep!