Spring provides the perfect climate for a good clean
As we write this, the first hint of spring is in the air and, for some people, thoughts turn to a spring clean of the house. After six months of being shut up it’s now time to open all the windows, blow in some fresh air and give the curtains, windows and paintwork (inside and out) a good clean.
Now, we understand it’s not quite the same for a motorhome but we reckon an annual inspection, inside and out, is a good idea – if for no other reason than to give everything a good once over. The warmer months are often better for this purpose as it’s a good time for washing and drying.
It might sound like an arduous task but, particularly for long-term travellers, it’s not a bad idea to turn out the cupboards and check everything over to make sure you aren’t carrying any supernumerary travellers (living or dead!) or excess weight. From a health point of view, this is also a good opportunity to dig out any food that is well past its use-by date.
Just as important are all those extra items you have stashed in your external bins throughout the year. Tools are often heavy and there are plenty of much-loved items that we’ve carefully accumulated over the years but have no use for in the motorhome – time to shed some weight! It’s a bit hard for us old-hands but there are plenty of multi-functional tools available these days which will do the job in an emergency.
Cleaning out the storage areas also makes it easier to inspect for water leaks. Murphy’s Law being what it is means water leaks often start in the places that are hardest to see and the earlier they are found, the less long-term damage that is caused. A good torch is handy for this and checking for leaks is something done easily both visually and by having a good sniff in dark places. It’s not only water leaks that can cause problems either – condensation and high humidity will often cause mildew and mould.
It’s also worth checking that all the doors and windows open and close properly, and devices like the cooktop, fridge and hot water heater are functioning as they should, especially if your motorhome has not been used for a while. While there’s often not much maintenance required with these appliances, the hot water heater can benefit from the occasional flush and a regular (annual) check on the sacrificial anode. Of course, while we’re in spring cleaning mode, give everything a good clean – from the fridge and microwave to the cooktop and shower cubicle.
Outside your motorhome there are plenty of items that deserve your attention. Apart from all the standard mechanical checks on the cab chassis, it’s always a good idea to have a slow walk around and make sure that everything is where it should be. This can easily be done while you’re giving it a thorough wash. And don’t forget the roof and under-body, including the external bins. The roof requires a ladder, while the under-body either means getting down on your hands and knees or, if you’re really sophisticated, one of those handy mechanic’s creepers.
Checking regularly for mould and mildew can prevent long-term problems
Depending on how sophisticated your electrical system is, there are a few simple checks that can be done. For instance, 12V/24V batteries are mostly sealed these days but it’s still a good idea to keep them clean and make sure any loose connections are tightened up. Solar panels don’t require much attention either, but keeping them clean will help them to perform at top efficiency.
Often, tyres aren’t considered until it’s too late. Unfortunately, tyres have a finite shelf life and can degrade just as quickly whether they are being used or not. So, if nothing else, make sure you give them a good visual inspection and monitor air pressures regularly – both are simple but very important checks.
While the above list is by no means exhaustive (nor does it have to be done in spring), the change of season can be a good time to get out there and give your motorhome a thorough going over. Regardless what time of year you do it, the point is that a few simple steps may well ensure many years of happy and trouble-free motorhoming.
Tags: KEA Tracks Spring Cleaning Motorhome Campervan Caravan RV Batteries Solar Climate Mildew Winter Summer Autumn Tyres Fridge Microwave
Written: Tue 01 Nov 2016
Printed: November, 2016