How long does a travel trailer last? (a complete guide)

In this article, we will discuss: How long does a travel trailer last? We will explain what affects the lifespan of a travel trailer and how to extend the life of your trailer.

How long does a travel trailer last?

A travel trailer can last up to 10 years, on average. However, the lifespan of a vehicle can vary considerably taking into account some essential aspects such as: how often you drive it if you live full-time in the trailer or not, if you do regular annual maintenance, if you take precautions when parking it long-term and in time what are you on the road.

Here are some factors that can significantly extend the lifespan of your travel trailer, or on the contrary, can shorten it if you don’t take any precautions:

  • Maintaining the exterior of your trailer (always cleaning from bottom to top, cleaning the roof as well, using non-abrasive cleaning products)
  • Protecting the trailer for direct sunlight (using a caravan cover especially for long-term parking, protecting the opening systems and ensuring the waterproofness of your trailer)
  • Checking the towing system before any trip (difficulty closing or opening it indicates a more or less advanced degradation of the part)
  • Checking the trailer connectors (the connectors allow the electronic system to ensure the operation of the signal lights and flashing lights)
  • Checking the tire wear (this will have a significant impact on the vehicle’s operating quality and on its lifespan)
  • Protecting the trailer during winter (it is advisable to disconnect the batteries, to completely clean the internal equipment, to purge the elements containing water, or to disinfect the sanitary equipment and the ventilation grids.)
  • Checking the quality of your trailer’s equipment (regular checks will prevent unpleasant surprises that could spoil your next family trips.)

These checks apply to kitchen units as well as to sanitary facilities, the roof, or doors and windows. You can request a leak detection test for further evaluation of the travel trailer. The intervention of a professional will also guarantee the reliability of the various supply systems, including that of gas and electricity.

Essential tips for the maintenance of a travel trailer

After several months of standing in the garage or on a trailer park, your travel trailer needs servicing before you can get back on the road. In fact, it’s a routine you need to put in place at the end of each winter to keep your vehicle performing. 

Check the condition of your caravan tires, which wear out quickly. The tires on a caravan tend to wear out very quickly, as they carry a fair amount of weight. You should therefore regularly check the condition of the tires on your caravan. 

In addition, they should be replaced every 6 months. In which case, in the event of an accident, your insurer will not reimburse you. Quick tip, to check the age of your tires, refer to the DOT code on their sidewall. 

Getting back to checking the tires, check for any cracks and pressure to avoid possible punctures. However, be aware that it is not so much their use that wears the tires of caravans (they are used very little when you drive), but their long immobilization.

To protect them from wear, we recommend that you put your caravan on hold. This will prevent the tires from supporting the full weight of the vehicle. Next, check the tire pressure, brakes and lights. Also, check your spare wheels at the same time.

Regularly clean and check the trailer. During the wintering of your vehicle, the bodywork is exposed to bad weather: rain, frost, snow, wind … It can therefore wear out quickly. To check its condition, clean it. You will then see all the small faults appear. 

Be aware that a trace of rust can compromise the waterproofness of your caravan. If so, have it repaired right away to limit the damage. However, prevention remains the best of interviews. So, cover your caravan with a tarp when it is wintering, in a pinch, put it under a caravan shelter. It is a little expensive investment, but it will pay off very quickly.

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Likewise, the tightness of door seals, windows and roofs should be checked to prevent moisture. Without forgetting the roof. No one is ever safe from a downpour. If necessary, oil the door locks, interior and exterior hinges, windows, bicycle racks, etc. In short, all the structures that open.

For your information, note that the waterproofing warranty lasts at least 12 years. Of course, this requires regular maintenance and a yearly humidity test. For this purpose, 30 points will be checked. To do a humidity test, all you need to do is visit a caravan dealer nearest to you.

When checking the body, take the opportunity to take a look at the chassis and detect any damage. This check must be carried out at least every 2 years.

Review the equipment of the caravan. Imagine a blocked toilet or a sink leak during your superb vacation in Isère. You don’t always think about it, but tires and electronics aren’t the only items that need to be serviced after the trailer is wintered. 

Thus, sanitary facilities and kitchen equipment such as the stove and the refrigerator must also be carefully scrutinized to avoid unpleasant surprises.

That’s not all. Also, check the gas lines. You can do this by having a professional do a leak detection test to ensure that your system is in good condition. At the same time, ask him to check the entire supply system. However, you can also check it yourself with soapy water.

Good to know: replace the gas pipes every 4 to 5 years. If they are bent, replace them right away.

Inspect the level of oil and fluid (brake fluid and coolant) in the trailer before setting off. Also, check all electrical equipment. Remember that your trailer has not been driven for several months. 

Also, some equipment may no longer work. For motorhomes, pay special attention to the timing belt, clutch and EGR valve. As soon as you hear an abnormal noise, contact a mechanic. This will prevent you from accidents or breakdowns on the road.

Be aware, however, that the timing belt must be replaced every 5 years or after 100,000 kilometres. Also, lubricate the clutch if necessary.

Prevention is the key to prolong the lifespan of your travel trailer

As they say, “prevention is better than the cure”. This adage makes perfect sense in the maintenance of a caravan. During wintering, clean all internal equipment, disconnect the battery and put it in a dry and warm place. 

In addition, purge the elements that contain water (water heater, faucet, septic tank) by emptying them and cleaning them with fresh water, and disinfect the ventilation grids as well as the sanitary equipment. In addition, also remember to release the handbrake every now and then so that it does not get stuck. Above all, remember to open the refrigerator door (slightly) and the drawers to avoid traces of mould and musty odours.

Finally, check everything before the end of the vacation. These actions will prevent you from having full maintenance at the end of wintering and will allow you to find your caravan in good condition. In addition, by doing it early enough, you will have time to make the necessary repairs before the big departure.

Maintaining a travel trailer is not easy and time-consuming, of course. But, this vehicle allows you to live pleasant moments in the company of those who are dear to you, whether in your hometown or abroad. It is reasonable for you to take care of it!

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FAQ on How long does a travel trailer last?

What are the worst travel trailers to buy?

The following are considered the worst travel trailers to buy:

  • Hurricane.
  • Coachmen.
  • Jayco.
  • Coleman.
  • Keystone.
  • Winnebago.
  • Fleetwood.

What is the most reliable travel trailer brand?

The most reliable travel trailer brands are:

  • Airstream.
  • Winnebago.
  • Forest River.
  • Jayco.
  • Keystone.
  • Oliver.
  • Happier Camper.

Do travel trailers hold their value?

Travel trailers do hold their value longer than RVs or caravans. A travel trailer can hold its value between five and 15 years, more or less regularly. 

References

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