Long journeys can be hazardous in comparison to short ones because there are more opportunities for things to go wrong with your vehicle, which is why it’s so important to carry out a few safety checks before you set off. Performing these checks can prevent you from ending up in a sticky situation out on the road.
Performing regular checks on your vehicle should be part of your weekly routine. However, when you are about to embark on a long journey, it becomes more vital. When you hire an RV or caravan for your road trip, making checks for roadworthiness could mean the difference between your next great adventure and an epic fail.
Checks to Make Before You Hit the Road (Trip)
Whether you are glamping in the British countryside or trekking across Australia, check your vehicle before you set out. Here are essential vehicle maintenance checks to make before you leave.
The Spare Tire*
(*Tyre if you are in Europe or the Commonwealth)
Since RVs are usually only taken out on long journeys, it becomes even more essential to take care of vehicle maintenance before you travel. Paying attention to things that might have perished or worn down while the RV has been stationary in its usual parking place is especially important.
You can and should protect your spare wheel sometimes called the fifth wheel) so checking the spare tire before you leave is essential. Imagine you spend an afternoon in the rain changing the RV’s tire only to find that the spare one is damaged. Yes, it’s a horrible thought.
To avoid this you can buy fifth wheel trailer accessories that cover it while it’s not in use. Covering the tire protects it from sun erosion and other wear and tear. When the time comes to use it, you will know that it’s good.
The Oil Level
Running out of oil means the engine gets clogged up and won’t run smoothly. You also run the risk of damaging the engine if the oil level is really low. If you think about the oil in the RV as the lubricant that stops all the metal parts from grinding together, then you start to see how important it is.
When you check the oil in your RV or motorhome, you will need to open the bonnet to look at the engine. There is a ring-shaped pull which has a picture of an oil can on it. Pull the ring out of the engine and wipe it clean on an old rag or tissue. Dunk the dobber all the way back in and then pull it out again. Cleaning it lets you see the minimum and maximum marks. The oil should be between these points and as clean as possible. Black oil could cause problems as this shows it has lots of tiny particles in it, which should not be there.
The Tire Pressure
If you drive with over-inflated tires, you risk popping one like an over-inflated balloon. Similarly, if you drive on under-inflated tires, you risk damaging your wheels, which could result in the tire tread cracking and lots of other issues. You also waste fuel this way, since it takes more energy to power the wheel to turn when it has that resistance pressing against it.
It is very easy to check the tire pressure. We have included a video below to help you.
Your local garage should have a machine, but you can also buy an air compressor and inflator for your home. The correct pressure for each tire is written on the outer edge. Set the desired pressure on the machine and allow it to inflate or deflate as needed.
You should check the tire pressure, the oil, and the state of the spare tire on both a caravan and the RV before you leave to make sure your camping trip goes without a hitch.