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To escape to the great outdoors and drive away from routine is one of life’s great joys. For some, the chance to get away has become increasingly irregular
Words and Images by: KEA

After a holiday drought, there is nothing quite like dusting off the old suitcase, backing out the motorhome and preparing for your next big adventure. The excitement of surveying the boundless destination possibilities, the joys of packing the itinerary full with new and challenging experiences, even strategically planning your wardrobe for the trip are on top of travel preparation lists. However, it never ceases to amaze the team at KEA how few take into account the state of their van and its need for maintenance.

Whether it’s been a while since your last break, or you want to get the most out of your brand new RV, below is KEA’s guide to keeping your vehicle in top condition. Aside from booking your RV in for a service at your local dealership once a year, checking off these top DIY maintenance tips will ensure your vehicle is primed and ready to go for spontaneous or long awaited getaways.

1. Give the interior a spotless clean

There is nothing worse than trying to enjoy a family holiday while ignoring a suspiciously pungent smell. Avoid nasty surprises by vacuuming the interior regularly and wiping down all surfaces. Don’t forget the out of sight, out of mind places like cupboards and hard to reach places.

Be sure to remove all contents from the fridge after each trip, giving it a good clean with bicarbonate of soda. This will keep your RV fresh. Also, leave all doors and cupboards open for a short period prior to travelling again, to allow for aeration.

Take down curtains and upholstery for a good clean and brush down fly screens. This is often a forgotten part of the process but necessary as they can harbor a lot of dust.

It’s a good idea to run through this list before and after your holiday so your RV is spick and span when put back into storage.

2. Pay attention to the exterior

Protect the exterior of your vehicle from the harsh outside elements by using a specialised RV cleaner and wax polish. Avoid stiffness and rust by oiling window and door hinges; be sure to patch up any window seals showing signs of deterioration.

Do not neglect the roof as it bears a lot of the wear and tear; weathering the elements and catching moisture and leaves. KEA recommends using special hose attachments, such as an extending pole to ensure safe and efficient cleaning.

It is better to find out if something needs fixing before you hit the road, so check your awning for damage or missing parts.

3. Check tyres and brakes

For RVs that haven’t been used in a while it is a good idea to look over the tyres for any signs of perishing, cracks or suspicious bulges. If there is any damage the tyre should be changed immediately to minimise the risk of a blow-out or an inconvenient flat.

Test the handbrake to ensure it is in good condition and holds tight. If it feels stiff add a lubricant to the mechanism.

The last thing you want is a crash due to a tail light being out so check the electronics are working correctly (brake lights and indicators) replacing any broken bulbs.

Doing a small amount of maintenance, often on the tyres and brakes, will keep your van running smoothly and most importantly, safely.

4. Charge the battery

If you are after maximum freedom on your RV trip it is important to be prepared for the road less travelled. If your vehicle has been in storage for a while, remember to charge the battery in advance.

Maintaining your RV not only keeps it in top condition but can also help you avoid accidents and unwanted holiday interruptions. Make sure your adventure is hassle free and place these DIY maintenance tips on the top of your trip preparation list.

Remember a little maintenance a day keeps the doctor away. And while DIY maintenance is important, if you notice any suspicious damage to your RV, get it seen by a professional.

Tags: KEA Tracks Campervan Motorhome Caravan RV Travel Clean Battery DIY Tyre Brakes Cleaning Clean Roof Dust Dusting
Category: Features
Written: Fri 01 Feb 2013
Printed: February, 2013
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