Time to roam magazine
Check out the latest issue of “time to roam” featuring a visit to the Millard factory, home of this iconic brand that has been in production for nearly 70 years.
Come in and see us at Tweed Coast Caravan sales if this article inspires you to have one of these quality vans as your very own.
We have provided some helpful and important notes to remember when travelling with a caravan. There are notes on aspects that may void your warranty along with other tips to help avoid troubles.
Helpful information about travelling with your caravan
Overloading your van can void your warranty and insurance and can cause damage to your RV. Ensure the towbar and rear bumper bar are not used for fitting Generators, Trail bikes, Toolboxes etc. as this area of your van has not been designed to withstand additional loads not approved by the manufacturer.
During heavy rain or when you leave your RV unattended you should always lower your awning or annex to avoid water ponding on the awning top. Water ponding can cause damage to an awning or annex due to the weight of the water trapped on the roof. If it is windy or raining, it is a good idea to keep the awning in the closed position. If you choose to keep the awning closed when it is raining, always make sure that the roof has at least a 10 degree slope so the rain can run off and does not pool. DAMAGE AS A RESULT OF RAIN IS NOT COVERED BY WARRANTY.
Your awning is like a sail, and if it is very windy your awning may blow over the top of your van causing excessive damage. It is recommended that you wind the roll out awning up and lock the arms in strong wind or stormy conditions.
NEVER attempt to find a gas leak with a match. You should only detect gas leaks with soapy water and observe any bubbles that are caused by the liquid being applied to the gas joint. Gas leaks can occur due to vibration, particularly underneath the vehicle or where pipes can be damaged by stones or rocks. In the event of smelling any gas you should immediately extinguish all closed flames and pilot lights, shut off the gas supply at the cylinder valve and have the gas system checked and leakage source corrected by an authorised gas installer before using the system again.
You may need to bleed air from gas lines when you refill your gas bottle or if the gas bottle has not been used for a prolonged period of time. Ensure your gas bottle is full and the gas cock is switched on. Light the largest burner on your stove and continue to light it until the flame burns with a solid, continuous flame. After doing this all other appliances should start easily.
Gas cylinders generally have a life of ten years after which time they have to be re-stamped and certified by an authorised company to ensure that they are in a safe condition.
Front boots on caravans and camper trailers are NOT water and dust proof. Please ensure that items stored inside are not water and dust sensitive.
Wind out windows are to be secured before transit and are to be treated with light hands as the gear boxes have hardened plastic cogs which may strip with ill-use. The rubber seals on the windows when not used often tend to stick to the window frames. If you were to forcefully wind out the windows it may strip the cogs and break the seals. Before winding out the windows unclip the securing latches and wind the handle. The window should wind out easily. If it does not, go to the outside of the window and pull out the window gently with your fingers to relieve the rubber seal from the van. A slight smear of Vaseline on the seals will help to prevent sticking. Nearly all windows are wind out and have lock catches to secure when closed. The window winders have plastic gears and will last indefinitely if used correctly. These gears may strip if you try to wind the windows out while the catches are in the lock position. This type of damage IS NOT COVERED UNDER WARRANTY brake shoes and damage to your brakes and bearings. Brake cable adjustment should be carried out via the turnbuckle and ensure that the lock nut is tightened after adjusting the turnbuckle.
When the RV is not in use, it should be stored preferably under cover, but if not undercover then a suitable amount of air should be allowed to circulate inside the RV to avoid dampness and mildew from starting inside the vehicle. The refrigerator door should be left ajar so that air can circulate inside the refrigerator. The gas cylinders should be turned off. The electrical lead should be disconnected. In the case of the vinyl on pop tops or the canvas on campervans and tent trailers these should be occasionally aired to maintain these items in perfect condition.
Park your RV on level ground as your fridge won’t work if it is not level. Use chocks and the jockey wheel to help get the caravan level. Don’t use the comer stands to level it, they are to stabilize only and won’t hold the excessive weight. Remember the manufacturer will not warrant corner stands that are bent or damaged.
In the case of campervans and tent trailers where they are packed up in a wet condition, they should be thoroughly dried out at home before storing them away permanently. Where a RV is left for a long period of time it should be jacked up so that the weight is not permanently on the tyres. Tyres can maintain a flat spot if they are left with full weight of the RV and particularly if the tyres lose some air this would tend to make the tyres unbalanced and unsatisfactory for future use.
The aluminium sheeting on the outside of your RV should only be cleaned with warm soapy water. NEVER use abrasive materials or cutting compounds as this could seriously deteriorate the baked paint finish on the aluminium. Build up of road tar or bird droppings can be removed with a dilated solution of mineral turps. This should be applied only to the surface that needs cleaning and it should be immediately rinsed off with warm soapy water.
The cleaning of vinyl material on roll out awnings should only be done with warm soapy water. Never use any strong detergent or mineral based cleaners to clean the vinyl on your awning as it could lead to discolouring. The aluminium supporting arms to the awning should not need greasing or oiling and when storing your awning away for any period of time the awning should be completely and thoroughly dry to avoid mildew build up on the vinyl surfaces. Awning or rope tracks fitted will greatly benefit from the occasional application of sprayable silicone to aid the sliding in and out of your awning or annex.
Batteries installed in Recreational Vehicles should be kept charged even while stored away. General maintenance on the batteries should be carried out in a similar way to car batteries. Water levels should be maintained and any corrosion around the terminals should be removed.
It is advisable to annually have a thorough check of the chassis on your Recreational Vehicle. This includes the running gear, suspension, tyres, wheels and brakes and coupling. The chassis is such an important part of your RV you cannot afford to overlook the general maintenance and serviceability of the chassis for the long term viability of your holidays. If in any doubt you should take the RV to an authorized repairer to ask for a chassis inspection.
Corner stabilisers are designed so that they stop the RV from tipping towards one end as you walk inside the vehicle. They should be lowered to the point where they touch the ground in a firm manner without taking any weight of the vehicle. Remember THEY ARE, NOT JACKS and should never be used to take even partial weight of the vehicle.
It is important that the water tank of your RV be drained when the RV is stored for any long period of time and the system is flushed out with clean water approximately once per year.