Summer is here and it’s the perfect time to take to the road in your motorhome with the promise of days full of relaxation and exploration in New Zealand’s great outdoors. Don’t get caught out at the last minute – make sure your motorhome is road-ready. Our SmartRV Service Centre Manager, Patrick Frick, has outlined a few simple checks that you can do at home to ensure everything is in tip-top condition, along with a few extras that our professional service teams can help with to put your mind at ease.
(Tip: If you’re short on time or would simply prefer to leave your vehicle in the hands of the professionals, SmartRV offers comprehensive service packages for all European-built motorhomes. See our service centre details here).
WHEELS & TYRES
- Check tyre pressures are as per manufacturer's recommendations.
- Look at the sidewall of each tyre to check for cracks. If you see any damage, contact your nearest SmartRV service centre.
- Check for any punctures or flat spots. If you plan to park up for any length of time then it’s worth putting the vehicle on axle stands to avoid getting flat spots. These are available from auto or hardware stores.
- Check that your tyres aren’t more than seven years old. There is a DOT number on the sidewall of each tyre that corresponds with its date of manufacture. E.g. 2816 means the tyre was made in week 28 of 2016. If it is older than seven years then we would recommend replacing it.
- Inspect the wheels for any cracks or damage.
- Make sure the wheel nuts are tightened to the correct torque setting. If you’re unsure, you can check at our service centres.
At our SmartRV service centres we can…
- Replace, fit and balance tyres for you.
- Check the tread depth of each tyre. Recommended minimum for campervans is at least 3mm.
- Rotate the wheels (ideally this should be done every year or at every service).
- Check brake pad thickness and disc wear as per the manufacturer specifications.
WATER & PLUMBING
- Empty any fresh water from the system and flush it through before refilling with drinking water. Even then, we recommend using a fresh water treatment if you plan on drinking the water without boiling it first.
- Replace or clean your water filter, if you have one. We recommend fresh water filters and these can be easily retrofitted to almost any motorhome.
- Give your waste water tank a good clean by filling it completely with water, and adding a waste water tank treatment. Flush this out and then repeat.
- If you can access the waste trap in the shower drain, open it up and give it a good clean out.
- Check any breather hoses are clear and not clogged with dirt as this can lead to water draining too slowly.
- Visually inspect your waste pipes, hoses and caps for damage and to ensure the vehice is still compliant with self-containment regulations.
At the SmartRV service centre they can…
- Check any gas lines for damage, such as kinks or cracks.
- Make sure any gas bottles are secured and nothing is blocking the gas compartment vents.
- Check that your gas bottles are less than 10 years old.
- If any repairs to your gas system are required, SmartRV will contact a certified gasfitter to undertake this work for you. We also recommend having your vehicle’s gas components checked each year, including a leak test.
Note: You may wish to consider installing a gas detector in case of leaks.
- Test all your smoke detectors.
- Check the pressure gauges on your fire extinguishers are showing the needle in the green zone and that the pin is still in.
- Check that you have fully stocked first aid kits on board and that none of the items are past their expiry dates.
ENGINE & BATTERY
- If you haven’t charged the battery over winter, charge it for at least 24 hours on mains power.
- If you have any doubts about the battery, have it checked at a workshop.
At the SmartRV service centre we can…
- Check the battery’s fluid levels and top up with distilled water, if required.
- Make sure the batteries are secured, still have their breathers attached and are venting to the outside of the vehicle.
- Check the following levels and top up to manufacturer specifications if required: engine oil, gear oil (if your vehicle has a dipstick for transmission), power steering fluid, windscreen washer fluid, brake fluid and coolant.
- Check for any leaks underneath the vehicle.
NB: Low levels of coolant or power steering fluid could indicate a leak. Low brake fluid levels usually indicate brake wear.
- Wait for a sunny day and open the awning right up to air. You can give it a clean, but let it dry completely before closing it up again.
- Check the awning for any damage and ensure it is secure.
- Spray a lubricant onto any moving parts to make for easy operation.
SEAL AND LEAK CHECKS
- Spray water along all the seals and vents, around solar panels and satellite dishes, then check for any water entry around those areas.
At the SmartRV service centre we can…
- Carry out a full water tightness test as required by the manufacturer to maintain the warranty. We recommend having this done each year, as it can pick up any problems early on and help to avoid expensive repairs later.
Want some help?
If you’re short on time or would simply rather leave your vehicle in the hands of the professionals, SmartRV offers comprehensive service packages for all European-built motorhomes. Contact one of our service centres today to book.