How To Service A Touring Caravan – DIY Or Professional Services?
Servicing your touring caravan is crucial to a safe trip. Not only can it avoid unpleasant, last-minute repair expenses, but it can also significantly prolong the lifespan of your caravan.
Owners should schedule a touring caravan service at least once a year. But you might wonder whether it is worth paying for a professional service or doing it yourself.
Here we explain how to service a touring caravan and the pros and cons of DIY vs professional servicing. We can also help you decide which is the best option for you.
Can I service my touring caravan myself?
The caravan care section on your owner’s manual can help you answer this question. We suggest referring to the manual to find out more about the maintenance steps for all fixtures, fittings, features, and system elements.
The manual will also indicate precisely which areas should be serviced by a professional engineer, including:
- Gas system
- Boiler checks
- Electrical system
- Braking system
These areas require professional training and qualifications. Anything that does not involve checking gas, electrical units, and braking systems can safely be part of your DIY touring caravan servicing.
How to service a touring caravan – DIY you can do
Here are all the areas you can safely service yourself. You may need to get professionals involved for repair works if those are required.
Stabiliser hitch head servicing
Refer to the manufacturer’s documentation for your stabiliser, as different models are available. Servicing includes checking the friction pads and cleaning grease and grime off. You can use a 200-400 grain sandpaper to clean the surface and aerosol brake cleaner. However, if they are worn out or can’t be cleaned, you will need to get replacements.
We recommend replacing tyres that are older than 5 years. The DOT code on the tyre will indicate the age. The last 4 digits show the year and the week of manufacture.
For example, 2619 refers to the 26th week of 2019.
If your tyres are under 5 years, check wear and damage to see if they need replacing:
- tyre depth under 3mm
Keeping your caravan clean and washed will ensure you can spot early signs of corrosion: discolouration, pinprick holes, and white powder deposits. These should be addressed by a professional to prevent further issues.
Check your bulbs and make sure to replace lights that aren’t working anymore.
If you wish to proceed with DIY touring caravan servicing, you need to invest in a quality damp metre to monitor the moisture present within all parts of the unit.
- 0-15% dampness: Nothing to worry about
- 15-20%: Keep the area in check and test regularly for updates
- 25%+: There may be minor seals damage
- 30%+: You need professional servicing
You can easily fix a damaged or cracking seal with an all-purpose adhesive suitable for caravans.
After taking your caravan on a trip, you should disconnect your water system. This disconnects the pipes, drains the system, and prevents cracking around the taps. During servicing, make sure to connect everything and refill the tank. Test the system for water pressure, leaks, and filter replacement.
Follow the manufacturer’s guidance for battery maintenance and checks, such as top-up charging and battery removal when the caravan is unused. This will extend the battery’s lifespan.
Pros and cons of doing a DIY touring caravan service
Servicing your caravan yourself can help:
- Spot issues early
- Do small repairs yourself
- Save money on maintenance
- Increase your knowledge of the unit, so you know how to handle minor problems on the go
- Make your trips safer
Unfortunately, caravan owners require professional support as part of the servicing. You can’t service electrical units, the gas system, boiler systems, and brake system. These elements must be covered by a professional.
Additionally, professionals are equipped to proceed with full touring caravan servicing as they have the tools and qualifications to handle all parts of your units and all repair works.
Pros and cons of professional touring caravan service
Professional servicing ensures the whole unit is functional before a trip and can address faults and damage easily.
When you reach out to a qualified service engineer, you can benefit from their experience. As a result, professional servicing can spot and fix issues rapidly, avoiding expensive repair works in the long term. It will also protect your warranty and ensure you comply with the insurance conditions.
Contrary to common belief, having professionals service your caravan doesn’t need to break the bank. A full professional service at an approved workshop costs around £200 plus VAT.
Servicing your touring caravan plays a significant role in preserving your investment and keeping your warranty valid. You can combine DIY servicing and pro maintenance to keep your costs low and your caravan safe.
To learn more about financing your caravan purchase when it is time to replace the old unit, contact our dedicated team of experts today.
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