Motorhome, Caravan and Vehicle Checklist Before Towing –
This could save you time and trouble just before you go on holiday – Preparation and planning ensures a smooth caravan and motorhome trip
1. Ensure all items are stored safely stowed. This includes ensuring there are no loos articles on tops of drawers, shelves and in the microwave.
2. Sometimes we see on the roads that caravanners and to a lesser extent motorhomers with there TV aerial or satellite dish upright. Always check that the aerial is down and tightened to prevent it moving and causing costly damage.
3. Check all of your windows and roof vents and ensure that they are closed and off vent mode.
4. Insecure fridges and freezers can lead to yes you guessed it cold beers and defrosted food… Never a good thing when you are going on holiday. Always check how secure your the contents of your fridge are and lock the door.
5. Your internal cargo ie. seats, tables, bikes, awning poles etc etc need to be laid flat on the floor over the axle and towards the front… (But be carefully not to overload your caravan as this can lead to instability and will cause your caravan to weave.
6. Your probably charging your van up the night before to make sure the fridge is cold and the on board battery is topped off before towing. Please ensure to unplug and pack your hook up cable and stow securely.
7. Always check to ensure that your gas cylinders are turned off and secured safely in the approved way normally with a strap round them. Never be tempted to set off with the gas connected and free flowing as this is dangerous and could cause a fire.
8. Another obvious point on the check list for towing your caravan is making sure the jockey wheel is raised and secured in place as high as it will go. Also check to ensure that you have wound up all the corner steadies and stowed the winder or electric drill.
9. When you reverse your car onto the coupling head make sure there is sufficient room between the towbar on the vehicle and the head on the caravan. When you have wound down the jockey wheel ensure that you fully engaged on the towball (green indicator visible)
10. Always check that the stabiliser is engaged for maximum safety when towing your trailer, caravan or other vehicle.
11. Easy to forget I know and ignore but forgetting or omitting to put the breakaway cable on or correctly attach it your vehicle can lead to accidents. The breakaway cable put the brakes on the caravan and ensure that the caravan is brought to a stop.
12. Your tyres are one of the most important things on your motor home or caravan and the guidance is normally that they should be changed every 5 years. Always check your manufacturers guidance in relation to this. All tyres should be checked for the following before embarking on your holiday. Check that the tyres are all undamaged with no sign of significant wear and that they conform to the legal tread depth limit, also check the inflation on the tyres matches your van weight and loading weight as this can significantly alter the stability of your van.
13. Always check that your caravan motor mover is disengaged (where appropriate)
14. Ensure that you always release your handbrake fully and check it is in the down ward position before moving off.
15. Always check road lights are working the day before you are setting off on your trip to make sure they are all working fully. Ensure you carry replacement bulbs and fuses.
16. Your entrance door to your van or motor home or caravan is commonly left unlocked but needs to be secured prior to you setting off.
17. Make sure that before you put your caravan or motor home away for the winter you ensure the sockets plugs (7 pin, twin or 13 pin electrics) are engaged and in position and that they are fully covered to prevent water ingress. Water ingress and dirt is the most common reason why electrics fail and cause problems with the indicators or vehicle on board systems.
18. Ensure that your tow ball is free from dirt and grime as this dirt and grime if not removed will interact with the stabiliser which fits over the towball and will cause unnecessary wear and tear and in the most serious cases cause the stabiliser to fail to operate correctly. Only ever wipe clean and never be tempted to grease the towball as this will render your stabilser inoperable.
19. If you have a detachable towbar ensure that your detachable towbar is put away correctly in the bag and the plastic cap replaced under the vehicle where the detachable housing is fitted i.e. in the hole, Failure to do this will cause road dirt and grime to enter the housing and over the course of the year will when you try to get the detachable towbar back into the socket to tow you will find it won’t engage until it is thoroughly cleaned out. this is a common problem with people not replacing there plastic cap.