Many caravan owners overlook the importance of regular servicing and maintenance of their RV. This can cause myriad safety concerns and in many cases cost you more in the long run where a major repair is needed due to the irregular servicing of your caravan. What’s more is that these needed repairs are likely to become apparent or come to a head during your trip, adding further expenses and potentially ruining your holiday.
Additionally, RV product is subject to stringent Australian Design Rules (ADR) under federal vehicle safety standards to be considered compliant. Although ADRs are primarily focused on the manufacturing of vehicles before entering the market, in many cases they apply to in-service vehicle rules. This is on top of the many Australian Standards which apply to a range of features in your RV including but not restricted to gas, plumbing and electrical work down to the likes of bunk beds. Therefore, Caravan Industry Association of Australia strongly recommends for servicing and repairs to be carried out by a professional to ensure the safety of you and your loved ones, and to protect your investment.
All RV products are considered vehicles by Australian regulating bodies, even if it is a towed product. Yet, many who opt to have their towing vehicle serviced before a trip will forego servicing their caravan. This is ill-advised as caravans are largely stored and stationary for long periods between use. Caravan owners can be under the misconception that if their caravan was ‘road ready’ before going into storage it remains in the same condition until it’s next use. Unfortunately, this is not the case — over long periods of storage it is likely (that at a minimum) the coupling, brakes, suspension, tyres and seals require assessment before setting out on the open road. This is especially true of caravans stored in the sun, regardless of whether a caravan cover is used.
With the swathes of ADRs that caravans are subject to and the broad and countless features you can find included in RV product, we highly recommend repairs and servicing to be carried out by specifically qualified tradespeople from a reputable service repairer. It goes without saying that any electrical or gas work must be completed by a certified tradesperson. However, these tradespeople should also be experienced in caravan specific repair and servicing as there are many nuances to RV installation of electrical and gas features. An example of a common incorrect installation seen in the sector are hardwired hot water systems.
“Caravans are no small investment, and manufacturers can knock back warranty claims if no service history can be produced. Regular servicing will definitely save you money in the long run, add value if you wanted to sell and extend the road life of your RV,” said Simon Kerr, Group Marketing Manager at Caravan Fix.
Even the installation of substantial aftermarket accessories is best left to the professionals in most cases. Some things you might not consider or have knowledge in can greatly affect the safety of your vehicle. The weight distribution of your caravan is incredibly important and if it becomes unbalanced you are then exposed to the risk of swaying and roll over. Also, drilling into your cladding may not seem particularly risky to install an external accessory. However, if these drill points are unproperly sealed it can lead to internal ply water-damage which comes with a hefty repair cost. There are also instances where you would in effect void your warranties (if any) or your insurance may not cover the repairs if the installation was done by unqualified persons.
As the peak national body for the caravanning and camping industry, Caravan Industry Association of Australia wants you to enjoy your caravanning experience and make sure you get home safely to your loved ones. For more useful tips on looking after your RV, towing, sensible loading and weights go to caravantowingguide.com.au.