The year’s first sunshine often inspires us to head outdoors. But those of us lucky enough to be able to drive where the journey takes us with our own caravan or camper van should take care of a few things first. Whether a camper van based on the Citan or Vito, a Sprinter chassis or a converted Unimog: these ten tips explain how to prepare your camper van for spring in the blink of an eye. Then you will be ready for a trip outdoors.
A small tip in advance: The specialist dealers are often very busy at the start of the season. Booking the spring inspection during the winter season is a good idea.
The essentials of owning a house or apartment must not be neglected with a caravan or camper van either. The vehicle needs to be cleaned thoroughly, outside and inside. The roof should also be cleaned, especially when the van has spent the winter outside. Then you can determine ahead of time whether there is any water damage inside the body.
This applies to the engine, in particular. The engine oil and the antifreeze in the radiator and windscreen wiper system also need to be checked.
No one wants to discover that the battery is empty, out in the middle of nowhere. That is why you always need to disconnect the battery (and also the spare battery, if the vehicle has one), check the voltage and recharge if necessary.
No one wants to have to deal with last year’s leftovers. Sewage which is not disposed of stinks and old “freshwater” may contain unhealthy bacteria. That is why the water system needs to be emptied. Empties still in the vehicle also need to be disposed of.
Once the old water has been removed, the water pipes also need to be checked. We recommend filling them, rinsing them and testing their function and checking for leaks. If necessary, treat the pipes with cleaning agents from a camping specialist.
Functioning indicators, brakes and parking lights are essential. That is why it is important to test the electrical system.
The tires on a caravan, in particular, have to handle heavy loads. That is why it is very important to check the tire pressure and adjust it if necessary. The tires also have to be replaced every six years. The age of the tires is contained in the DOT number. This is on the side of the tire and consists of the last four digits (calendar week, year).
Reconnect the gas system to the gas bottle and check all of the equipment that uses gas (cooker, heating, water boiler, etc.) before you depart.
Certain inspection appointments need to be kept. That is why it is important to check whether any vehicle inspections, gas or moisture checks are due.
Now the caravan is ready for the first trip of the year! If you want to be on the safe side then you should check that everything is working perfectly throughout the season.