Summer seems to be here! After a wet and unpredictable spring, the sun has finally made its way back to the UK again. For those who haven’t already, that will mean it’s time to dust off the cobwebs and get the motorhome revved up and ready to roll.
So here at Comfort we felt we should share some knowledge, tips and advice to keep your motorhome at its best, both physically and mechanically. Some may be new, some may be old, and some may be plain old common sense! Nonetheless it never hurts to refresh your knowledge and get the most out of your caravan.
One part of a motorhome which is especially susceptible to damage is the roof. Despite being exposed to all types of weather people rarely bother to properly inspect their roof, perhaps it is something that does not occur to them until it is too late. The cost of repairing or in the worst case replacing the roof of your motorhome can easily run up into the thousands. During periods of inactivity, it is well worth investing in a cover to protect your motorhome from the elements. Whilst they may not be cheap, neither is a new roof!
If your motorhome has been in hibernation through winter do not underestimate the might of mildew and mould. Not only can it wreak havoc with your motorhome, but breathing in those spores will do you no favours either, and in extreme cases can trigger the symptoms of an allergic reaction, respiratory problems and even affect your nervous system.
The first giveaway that mould has taken hold will be a stale, musty smell inside your motorhome. Have a good look for any traces around areas where condensation takes place such as ventilation ducts, sinks, the shower, the kitchen, any windows and a skylight if you have one. It will commonly appear as black spots. Also thoroughly check any soft furnishings, blankets and clothes. Mould loves humidity whilst mildew is more through excess moisture.
If you do find traces of mould or mildew, a thorough scrub with some diluted bleach will often do the trick. Before you start check if the affected surface will be damaged or discoloured by the bleach. For a more sensitive surface, you can also try washing up liquid or a water and vinegar mix. If the mould is widespread, you are best to consult a professional.
Often it’s a result of poor seals on the windows, doors or roof. This is an area where some companies cut costs which can have a serious impact on the welfare of your motorhome. Once the seals start to degrade, which they do so naturally over time, water can enter causing surface damage as well as encouraging the mould to flourish!
There are steps you can take to minimize the chances of mould setting in, including:
- Keeping your motorhome well ventilated, particularly when using the bathroom or kitchen
- Checking regularly for leaks
- When not in use, switch off the fridge, dry it out and leave the door open
- Drying any spillages quickly
Leaving your motorhome dormant for months can also result in damage to your generator, with potentially fatal results. Generators tend to be either petrol, diesel, or LP-gas powered. Fuel generally has a shelf life or around 30 days after which it begins to break down, which can damage the inside components.
We recommend running your generator with a 50% load at least once a month for at least a solid 2 hours. Doing this extends the life of your engine and makes for a more reliable generator; as it heats the generator windings it also removes build-up of moisture. This will clear out any stale fuel, helps prevent carbon build up and re lubricates the engine seals. Check the generator exhaust system for any leaks or damage before starting it. You should perform regular maintenance and check oil and lubrication levels.
If you don’t own one already, a carbon monoxide (CO) gas detector is essential. Undetectable to humans, this odourless and invisible gas is responsible hundreds of deaths every year. Ensure your CO detector is designed specifically for use in a motorhome or campervan, and follow the instructions carefully. Before you set off on any trip test that the CO detector is working. Leave windows closed and do not park near buildings or other vehicles while running the generator to test the CO detector. Most importantly, never fall asleep with the generator running.
Familiarize yourself with the symptoms of CO poisoning, as spotting it early can make all the difference
- Vomiting and nausea
- Piercing headache
- Incoherent thoughts
By following these few tips, you can add years to the life of your motorhome and save yourself thousands of pounds in the process!