It must be stressed that if you’re hiring a campervan for your campervan trip you shouldn’t attempt to perform any maintenance on the vehicle yourself but rather leave such activities in the capable hands of qualified mechanics, with a few exceptions, most notably checking the tyre pressure and wheel lugs.
However, everything else discussed here is intended for campervan owners, because not only are hired campervans maintained and serviced regularly to ensure high standards of safety, but if you lack maintenance experience you could inadvertently jeopardise the safety of yourself and your family.
- Check the tyre pressure and wheel lugs
Before departing on a road trip check your wheels, including the tyre pressure and wheel lugs, which is also something to check every few days whilst travelling, and also check the tread on its tyres when preparing for a long trip because the less tread on your tyres, the less they’ll grip the road and the less control you’ll have behind the wheel.
Check the pressure when the tyres are cold, i.e. before departing, rather than when they’re warm, i.e. when you arrive at your destination, because warm tyres won’t give accurate readings.
Lugs are remarkably easy to check and a simple way to check they’re snug is to put the wrench on the bolt and put your bodyweight on the wrench – that’s it!
- Inspect the roof (seals and seams)
You should inspect the seals and seams at least twice a year depending on where you live and the rainfall there and you should have also invested in a heavy duty tarpaulin to keep the rain off your campervan’s roof and mitigate water damage.
If you find damaged seals or seams you’ll need to repair them before they worsen. For this you’ll need silicone sealant and aluminium tape, though be sure to wash and dry the area before applying either.
- Change oil and filters
Like all motor vehicles you should change the oil and filters – hydraulic, fuel, coolant, air, etc. – on your campervan regularly. The frequency in which you need to change the oil and filters will depend upon how often you use your campervan and the instructions in the owner’s manual.
- Check and flush life-support systems
Your campervan’s gas, waste and water systems are commonly referred to as life-support systems and these should also be checked regularly when your campervan isn’t in use and throughout your trip.
Holidaymakers travelling in the ‘Land of the Long White Cloud’ who’ve made arrangements for campervan hire in NZ might like to ask the rental agency whether they will need to check these over the course of their journey themselves if they are planning on a lengthy journey – you won’t want to find the toilet out of order halfway through your journey around New Zealand.
- Check for mildew and mould
Although seemingly minor problems, mildew and mould often prove to be just the opposite and they can also be very expensive problems to rectify.
Whilst there’s a greater chance of mildew and mould affecting your campervan when it isn’t being used – this is why you need to air out your campervan regularly when in storage – there’s always a chance that it can be affected by mildew and mould when you’re on holiday, so keep an eye (and a nostril or two) out for signs of mildew and mould.
In addition to being an expensive problem to rectify, mildew and mould can also negatively affect your family’s health in the form of, for example, allergic reactions, nervous system disorders and respiratory problems.
With these considerations in mind – Happy travels!
About the Author:
A company whose management is financially and personally invested in the business, Apollo is one of the leading providers of campervan hire in NZ. Their fleet has more than 3000 quality vehicles for clients to choose from.