This is the eighteenth page of 23 with related information about making the most of your caravan holiday. At the bottom of this page I have links to the other pages and I suggest you check these out as well.
Daily checks and chores, regular maintenance, careful packing and ensuring you are aware of what conditions you are going to encounter next can help prevent nasty incidents that can delay or even force you to cut short your holiday.
Try to restrict the items you carry in the passenger compartment of your vehicle to a minimum. If you are traveling in a sedan, pack the heavier items in the boot of your car. In a station wagon, make sure you have a safety barrier or net fitted to protect passengers from flying luggage in the event of an accident or sudden stoppage. If you are traveling a fair distance one of your daily checks would be to make sure you dispose of litter like soft drink bottles food wrappings etc as soon as possible, particularly glass bottles and cans.
Here is a checklist you can use for your daily checks or however long you are moving on when packing up and taking off. These are the things that must be done every time you take off, regardless of whether you have been staying a only a day or a week or even a month. Get into a routine and share the tasks – even go around and double check if this will give you more peace of mind. Keep the list in the same place all the time where it is easily assessable.The daily checks list should include the following:
Take down and stow television antenna.
Secure jockey wheels on caravans.
Secure corner stabilisers.
Stow step away.
Clip fridge door.
Secure cupboard doors.
Collect chocks or leveling wedges.
Roll up power lead.
Stow waste-water hoses.
Check all lights and indicators.
Check and adjust rear-vision mirrors.
Check electric brakes.
Release caravan handbrake.
Secure safety chain.
Fasten caravan door/s.
The tyre pressure in your towing vehicle will need to be adjusted when you are towing a caravan. Tyre pressure is one area that causes confusion. In fact some tyre fitters do not fully understand correct inflation. You will find a tyre placard on your vehicle, quite probably on the driver’s side door, which indicates the correct tyre pressure. This is fine for normal loading. For abnormal loading like towing a caravan, the amount of pressure should be calculated according to the amount of weight being borne by that tyre. The manufacturer of your tyres should be able to provide you with a chart that shows your tyre size, the weight it will bear and the correct pressure for those specifications. (Check on the internet). The general rule of thumb is: the greater the load on a tyre, the greater the tyre pressure required.
If you have a 4-wheel drive and take your vehicle on sand or somewhere else for the day where you have to reduce the tyre pressure make sure your daily checks includes inflating your tyres back to the required pressure.
Your caravan’s tyres are again separate to your vehicles tyres. They will not necessarily have the same pressure as your vehicle. Again, the recommended tyre pressure will be stamped on your caravan’s Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) plate. You will have to take into account the laden weight of your van and calculate accordingly.
The checking of your tyre pressures may not be a daily check, but make sure you check them regularly.
If you take your vehicle and caravan to a mechanic for a full service on a regular basis, with a little bit of knowledge, you will probably be able to carry out daily checks and chores vehicle yourself. A little bit of commonsense and a very basic knowledge should suffice in most instances.
Carry out these daily checks to keep things in order:
Check that the oil level is close to the full mark and above the low mark.
Fill the washer bottle.
Check the coolant level.
Clean the windscreen.
In diesel vehicles, look for sediment or water in glass-bowl-like filters.
Ensure the lights are working after the van is hitched.
Ensure the safety chains are secure.
Examine the tow hitch after the first 200m.
Once a week you will need to check:
The electrolyte level of your battery (add distilled water if it is low).
For damp spots, leaks or loose fittings beneath the vehicle.
Tyre pressures when cold. (Carry a tyre pressure gauge with you).
Brakes and brake operation on both your van and your vehicle.
Brake and clutch fluids to make sure both sit between the high and low lines.
8 Planning Your Trip (when to travel, weather, school and public holidays, local events, finding your way, GPS, maps and guides, visitor information centres, permits, Aboriginal land, National Parks, private land)
Hopefully, after digesting all this information you will have a fantastic caravan holiday. (With many more extended trips in the future). If you find it all too hard have a look at where Our Tours go and you may wish to consider one of these.