It doesn’t matter what size motorhome you buy – it will have been a huge investment on your part. So like any other major investment, it is important that you protect it, allowing you to enjoy the freedom of the road even more. Just like your car, you need to be willing to spend time carrying out motorhome maintenance and servicing in order to ensure it runs as smoothly as possible.
When it comes to maintenance of your motorhome, there are three types you need to be aware of:
Understanding what each one means will help you with ensuring that you keep your motorhome in the best condition. So, let us take a brief look at the three kinds of maintenance you need to be aware of when you own a motorhome…
This is what you perform to prevent any problems from arising. Carrying out checks will not only help to prevent problems but also help you in identifying any potential ones. Preventive maintenance is made up of cleaning, inspecting, adjusting, lubricating and servicing your motorhome.
This tends to be carried out on a mileage or time basis. Most people will tend to schedule maintenance for when they take their motorhome out of storage. But in most cases, when you buy a new motorhome, the company who sold it to you will schedule maintenance checks in for when you’ve completed a certain amount of mileage.
Scheduled maintenance must be carried out to check for any problems that could get worse over time such as damaged shock absorbers or exhaust issues. It keeps your motorhome operating at the highest levels. If you fail to get scheduled maintenance carried out on a new vehicle, it could lead to the warranty provided becoming void.
This happens when you least expect it and is a result of a mechanical, component or system failure. But of course, by carrying out the other two mentioned above, emergency maintenance is less likely to be required.
So how do you go about maintaining and servicing a motorhome? Below you’ll find some really useful information to help you keep your vehicle in the best condition possible.
Motorhome Maintenance And Servicing
When it comes to owning a motorhome, it is important to remember two things: it’s much larger than your car and it’s also much heavier. As a result, it requires a great deal more time to be spent on maintaining it compared to a car. The great thing is that there are plenty of things you can do that will help to keep any risk of your vehicle breaking down to a minimum, in turn, keeping servicing and any emergency repair costs down as well.
Before taking a trip in your motorhome, you need to make sure you put time aside to carry out some maintenance. By carrying out maintenance, you will ensure that you and your family enjoy the next trip in your motorhome without having to worry about it breaking down. In order to help you with maintaining yours, we offer a checklist below.
Motorhome Maintenance Check List
Throughout the course of the year, there are plenty of jobs to be carried out on your motorhome to keep it in tip-top condition. What work you do yourself really depends on your own skill sets and what tools you have, but you should be able to carry out the following without any issues:
- Check that the lights are all working
- Check the pressure in your tyres before each trip, and regularly inspect them
- Make sure that you check the spare tyre as well – you may not realise it but the less you use the tyres the faster they age
- Check the rims of the wheels look for any corrosion or kerbing damage as this can lead to the tyres becoming deflated
- Check that the wheel nuts are tight 50 miles after the motorhome has been serviced, when wheels have been removed and before each trip
- Take a careful look at the gas hoses, regulator connections and colour of the gas flame in your motorhome
- Make sure that you check all electrical points within the motorhome to ensure that they are working correctly – look carefully for any signs of wear or looseness
- Make sure that all water hoses are connected properly and tighten any loose ones
Should you notice any items stop working then try to get these sorted out as soon as you can. At the same time, you should be checking to make sure that no further problems arise.
Although we’ve provided you with a checklist that will help with motorhome maintenance, we recommend that you only carry out work that you are qualified to complete. It is far better to take it to a reputable business that employs qualified staff to carry out such work. For example:
- Don’t carry out any work to appliances and connections in your vehicle that are supplied with gas
- If you discover a problem with the mains electrical supply, visit a qualified professional
- Any work that may need to be carried out to the chassis or brakes should also be done by a mechanic, however, you can carry out any minor adjustments that don’t require them to be dismantled
- Don’t check for damp because it requires specialist equipment and an expert analysis to get a correct reading
- Any Warranty Work needs to be carried out by a professional because the warranty may become void if it isn’t
- Any repairs that need to be carried out to the exterior of your motorhome should be completed by a professional
- Normally, motorhomes are fitted with just a one-shot nut that you won’t be able to reuse, which means, the removal and then refitting of brake drums should be done by a mechanic
If you do decide to carry out some of these jobs then only do those that you feel you have the ability to do properly. Also, make sure that you have a good set of instructions that you can follow.
When it comes to working underneath your motorhome, make sure that you don’t ever do so when it’s only supported by a jack, but instead use some proper axle stands. These are relatively inexpensive to buy but should be of a size that can take the weight of your motorhome. Plus, you should always make sure that when working on your own motorhome, you have someone else with you close by at all times.
You may not realise it but also you need to continue to maintain your motorhome throughout the winter months, especially if you aren’t using it. The following steps will help make maintaining your motorhome throughout the winter months a lot easier…
Motorhome Maintenance For Winter – Checklist
- You should start by giving your motorhome a thorough clean inside and out, making sure that you remove all food from cupboards and refrigerators and give them a good clean to prevent mice infestations
- Clean carefully around the wheel wells along with the seals around the doors and windows and don’t leave any moisture behind
- It is a good idea to leave taps open so any excess water or air in the pipes can be released
- Make sure that you take out all bedding and blankets to avoid them from becoming mouldy, and close the blinds and curtains to prevent damage to the interior from the sun
- If you have any appliances in your motorhome such as kettles and toasters, make sure they are unplugged and turn off the main breaker in your vehicle
- It is a good idea to leave cupboard doors open and fridge doors open and, if you have a freezer in your motorhome, defrost it
- You should drain any water out of the pipes in your motorhome because, if water remains in the pipes and freezes, it can cause the pipes to expand and burst
- Covering your motorhome with a tarpaulin is a good idea in order to prevent corrosion caused by bad weather and the stop the exterior becoming damaged
- To avoid a build-up of moisture in your motorhome over the winter, invest in a dehumidifier that you can run once in a while or place a large tub of silica gel inside your motorhome
- Make sure that all vents are covered as this will prevent insects from being able to gain access to your motorhome
Hopefully all the above will help when it comes to maintaining your motorhome and keep it in tip-top condition for the coming years. When it comes to the servicing of your vehicle it is far better to employ the services of a qualified mechanic or technician to do such work.
Getting Your Motorhome Serviced
Having your motorhome serviced regularly won’t just save you a great deal of money, but also heartache in the future.
We recommend that you get servicing carried out by qualified experts and preferably someone who is a member of AWS (Approved Workshop Scheme). This is a scheme that has been set up by The Caravan Club, The Camping and Caravanning Club and the NCC (National Caravan Council). They set it up to ensure that good practice and consistent standards are maintained when it comes to the repair of motorhomes and caravans.
Through using the services of an approved workshop you are able to gain access to specialist equipment that you wouldn’t normally have access to. Most will carry out checks that you would have done yourself such as looking at tyre pressure and condition; but they have access to equipment to carry out more detailed inspections – especially relating to damp.
We would also recommend that you carry out motorhome maintenance and servicing a minimum of once per year. However, if you are intending to use yours on a very regular basis then you may find two services a year is a better option. If you don’t then this could make the warranty you got when you bought your motorhome invalid.
The great thing is, most manufacturers will be happy for a member of the AWS to carry out motorhome maintenance. However, it’s still a good idea to check with the manufacturer that the workshop you are using is on their approved list.
You may also want to think about getting your vehicle serviced during the winter because the workshops tend to be less busy. Should any real issues arise, these can be rectified before you actually start using your motorhome again.
By following our advice about motorhome maintenance and servicing, you’ll help to keep the value of your vehicle high. This means that when the time comes to sell your vehicle, you’ll find you achieve a much better price.