Caravan and motorhomes – Pre-journey checklist

It’s likely that throughout winter and the lockdown period that your caravan or motorhome has been sat idle. Now that we are allowed out and campsites are opening back up, it is time to get it back out to play. Read our checklist below to help you to give it a thorough once-over so you can get back to the fun part.

Clean inside and out
Likelihood is, you’ve left your caravan/motorhome standing without paying much attention to it. Now it’s time to give it some TLC.

Give it a good, thorough clean both inside and out. Be sure to clean all areas outside of the vehicle including alloys and your wing mirrors. Not only will this remove any dirt and grime, but it will also force you to have a good look at it from every possible angle, enabling you to spot anything that’s not quite right – keep an eye out for loose bolts, rust or anything else that may need your attention before you set off.

Air it out
Once you’ve given it a good clean, you’ll need to open all windows and doors to air it out. After being sat for months at a time, bad smells can be created and leave the place smelling worse for wear. Nice fresh air will allow your caravan/motorhome to breathe again and create a healthier indoor space for your break.

A thorough inspection of any vehicle is vital before making any long journey, but it couldn’t be more important for your caravan or motorhome.

You’ll need to check for any weather damage or leaks that may have occurred, then check all of the windows and doors to see if there’s any damage to the sealant. You could ask someone to sit inside whilst you spray the vehicle/windows and doors with a garden hose, they can then let you know if they see any leaks. Also check for signs of any damp, mould or bad musky smells which could be an indicator of damp.

The target here is to make sure there are no issues both inside or outside of your caravan.

Oil, coolant and wipers
This step only applies to motorhomes – ensure you check your oil, coolant and windscreen wash levels are high enough and top up if required. Low levels of any of these could cause issues if you’re travelling a lot of miles.

Water system
You’ll now need to pay close attention to your water system. Without a fully functioning water system, you will miss out on some of the luxuries you get when you choose to buy a caravan or motorhome over a tent.

Be sure to flush out the water system thoroughly before use and then give any internal tanks a deep clean with a cleaner or steriliser. It’s best to refer to your manufacturers’ handbook as to how to clean it because each water system can vary.

It’s important you don’t become complacent with you water system just because you haven’t encountered any issues previously. Keeping on top of it will minimise the risk of failure.

Gas system
The same as above applies to your gas system. Check LPG appliances for any insects, bugs or dirt that could be trapped and cause you problems. Then check your LPG cylinder is switched off and secured in an upright position to avoid any damage whilst on the road.

Check your battery is in good condition; some batteries that have been left for long periods of time will need to be charged, but most modern caravans and motorhomes will have a built-in battery monitor that will let you know if you need to charge or replace it.

Our favourite part. You’ll need to thoroughly check your tyres for any cracks or bulges and ensure your tread is within the legal limits. Also check there are no stones or twigs lodged between the grooves of your tyres, and remove them if you find any.

Once you’ve inspected your tyres, check you have the correct air pressure relative to your load. By ensuring you have the correct tyre pressures all round, you ensure the tyres are performing at their optimal pressure, delivering the safest and most efficient driving experience for your journey.

If you need any further advice about how to check your caravan or motorhome tyres, see our guide here.

Appliances and TV aerial
Check that all the appliances inside your caravan or motorhome is in full working order and give them a quick clean to spruce them up.

You’ll also need to check your TV aerial/satellite dish is in the correct position for travelling.

It’s a good idea to check you have all of the correct documents for your trip, including MOT, driving licence and passport for if you’re travelling abroad.

If you want to give your vehicle a more professional check/service, you could take it to a Maxxis dealer who will be happy to have a look over the condition of your motorhome.

For more information on caravan and motorhome safety, visit our Know Your Tyres page.