How often should you service a motorhome?

In this blog post, we will answer the following question: How often should you service a motorhome? We will discuss the basics of maintaining and servicing a motorhome interior, exterior and engine.

How often should you service a motorhome?

As a general rule, you should service a motorhome at least once a year or every 10,000 kilometres (whichever comes first). Even if your motorhome has been idle for months, you should still give it the attention it needs. Annual maintenance will help ensure that your next family camping trip is damage-free and stress-free.

During the annual technical inspection of motorhomes, 133 control points are checked in order to determine their general and mechanical condition. Here is the list of the nine functions that are checked in approved centres:

  • vehicle identification (vehicle documents, license plate, etc.)
  • braking devices (pads, discs, etc.)
  • the steering components (steering wheel, box, etc.)
  • visibility elements (windshield, mirrors, etc.)
  • lights, reflective devices and electrical equipment (including specific equipment for electric and hybrid engines)
  • axles, wheels, tires, suspensions,
  • the chassis and its various accessories,
  • other safety equipment (seat belts, horn, etc.)
  • the level of nuisance (pollution, noise emission, etc.).

At the end of the motorhome technical inspection, the points of failure are divided into three levels:

  1. minor failures that do not lead to a follow-up obligation 
  2. major failures where the vehicle must be presented for a second inspection within 2 months
  3. critical failures leading to a driving ban for the vehicle the day after the check.

In the event of an unfavourable result for critical failures, the holder of the registration certificate has a period of two months to submit his vehicle to a second inspection. If all the repairs are made, a report with a favourable result will be given to him.

Servicing the exterior of a motorhome 

Like any vehicle, the motorhome requires regular maintenance of its bodywork. The journeys made during your various stays lead to the appearance of various black marks, scratches, stuck insects, etc.

To keep its original shine, it is, therefore, necessary to go through the cleaning box! Be careful, however, not to damage the bodywork, for example, forget the Karcher which could take off the paint.

A sponge, bucket of soapy water and elbow grease will suffice. A telescopic boom will be particularly appreciated for an effortless cleaning without the risk of scratching the bodywork. We offer you some products below that will make your job much easier.

Humidity control: We already talked about the importance of humidity control in various articles, so make sure you check them out. This annual check is crucial to guarantee the longevity of your vehicle and prevent infiltration.

To maintain a good seal, check gaskets regularly, especially around windows and doors. We advise you to apply, before winter, a lubricant that will protect the joints from any cracking.

Tire maintenance: Good tire maintenance is essential! The pressure of your tires should be checked regularly: over-inflation accelerates their wear while under-inflation increases the risk of bursting. Remember to carry out at least one check before each departure.

In summer, the tires suffer from the sun’s rays. In the event of a prolonged stoppage, it is advisable to protect them in order to avoid premature ageing. During winter, prefer a slight over-inflation of your tires, which will prevent them from deformation. This is because the tire flattens during a prolonged period of immobilization. Regular movement or installation of the vehicle on chocks is also strongly recommended.

Another solution, which requires the intervention of a professional, is the installation of hydraulic cylinders. Our technicians are authorized to perform this installation. Ask us for more information.

Servicing the motorhome engine

First of all, it is important to read the maintenance booklet for your vehicle, provided by the manufacturer. You will find all the checkpoints and revisions to be made as well as their frequency. Generally speaking, engine maintenance is performed every 50,000 km.

Like any vehicle, small, simple steps can help preserve your motorhome engine:

  • Check the oil level and the coolant level
  • Check for any leaks or abnormal seeps
  • Visually inspect the belts, spark plugs, etc.
  • Regarding the batteries, when you are not using your motorhome, remember to unplug them. This will prevent them from discharging by unnecessary use of your electricity. In general, it is necessary to recharge your batteries monthly, on a 200V outlet.
  • Take your vehicle for maintenance every 50,000 km or every 2 years (whichever comes first)
  • Change the engine oil and brake fluid every two years
  • Replace the belt approximately every 4 years (see maintenance book).

Servicing the interior of the motorhome

Over time, drawers and other items tend to squeak. Although this problem is not dramatic, it can quickly become annoying especially when you know that simple lubrication is enough to stem the problem.

The sanitary facilities also require regular maintenance. There are many products on the market for descaling, cleaning, disinfecting, etc. Do not forget to empty the cassette as soon as necessary in the areas specially provided for this purpose.

Final advice

When you service your motorhome, always check the tires. Poor tire maintenance is one of the most common causes of trailer accidents. Age, too much sun and, of course, road wear will affect the condition of your tires. Therefore, it is very important to keep an eye on these, especially if you have not used your utility for a while. If you notice any unusual cracks or sagging on your tires, now is the time to replace them. 

A general rule of thumb in the RV industry is to avoid using tires older than 5 years, even if they do not appear to show any signs of wear or deterioration. Your local trailer maintenance specialist will be able to determine this for you. Yes, new tires always seem to cost more than you might think, but why take the risk? In addition, better tires will contribute to better fuel economy and better stability.

Please feel free to get in contact if you have any tips, comments or questions about the content.

FAQ on How often should you service a motorhome?

How much is a caravan service?

A caravan service is between $235 and $300 depending on whether you have a single axle or twin axle, whether it is a full service or the maintenance of certain parts and, of course, the market price of the parts. 

How much does motorhome insurance cost?

Without taking into account the cost of owning a motorhome, you may need between 1,500 and 3,000 dollars each year for insurance. A cost that you may see very high if you go out once or twice during that period. Make accounts and decide if you are interested or it is better to resort to renting.

What do you have to pay for a caravan?

You do not have to pay any taxes for a caravan. Caravans, being trailers, and not having an engine, are included among low-emission vehicles and are exempt from registration tax, you only have to pay the registration fee, which varies according to the state you live in.

How much does it cost to maintain a caravan per year?

Maintaining a caravan per year can cost between $100 to $300 per year. Expenses for a caravan include insurance, parking, maintenance. A caravan must have at least insurance against third party damage. 

When do you have to pass the Technical Inspection of Vehicles of a caravan?

If your caravan weighs more than 750 kg, you have to pass the Vehicle Technical Inspection every 2 years, from the sixth year of registration. That is, the first six years are exempt, you will have to make the first visit before the six years of enrollment are completed.

References

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