Jump to content
JGX

Maintenance of an older caravan

Recommended Posts

Hello all.  I’m new to caravanning, and last year acquired a late ‘80s Avondale 5 berth touring caravan.  We intend to use it for a few nights in April.

 

There’s evidentially plenty of historic damp, we know.  But it’s dry and solid now.

 

We don’t intend using any of the gas appliances.

 

The electrics are quite basic, but fully functioning.

 

The wheel drums where stripped down, de-dusted, pads checked and lubricated where required  late last summer.  The emergency braking mechanism works fine.

 

The tyres are fine.

 

Is there any point in shelling out >£300 on a service, thereby paying for lots of checks I don’t need?  If so, why?

 

Thanks in anticipation of your advice.

 

Regards.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tyres how old and how long stood on them might be a concern.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

you say that you don't intend using gas, but what if it's mid-winter  ( or a cold April )and the site eletrics go off, would you then be tempted to use gas?  You say that you are new to caravanning but you seem to have experience  as by your post you have checked things out.   I would get it checked by a qualified engineer and you should find that the mobile ones are cheaper, just in case you have overlooked something

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wouldn't bother with a service in a van that old, it's an unnecessary expense I would just enjoy your trip in April and sort any problems as they crop up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would say it depends how handy you are.

Vans are basically fairly simple.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From what you say about the brakes it has had what amounts to a running gear service and that is all you really need, IMHO once every three years or 3,000 miles whichever comes sooner.

The rest of  a standard service is just a damp check and ensuring that things work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On the face of it your caravan should be ok in my opinion. But! 1/ Do you know for sure the brakes were serviced?

2/ Check on the age of the tyres - look for the oval circle on the side wall of the tyre (sods law = probably on the inside) with a date code in it. The date code is week number - year. If they're over 5 yrs old I would take the van to a tyre service depot and get a free inspection.   3/ You say you will not use gas and that's  OK. The caravan probably has a Carver/Truma room heater with a gas heat exchanger which may possibly also have a fan for ducted air, and also possibly an electric heating element. The electric element will be adequate with the air blower for Spring through to Autumn. The water heater will be a Carver gas device but may also have an electric element. At the time your caravan was made, most of the Carver stuff was simple gas powered but options and after sales accessories were sold then and in the years soon after.

Enjoy your caravan and first trip.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would fit a carbon monoxide alarm just in case you do use the gas heating and cooking if you do not bother having it serviced/checked. This is recommended anyway whether the heating is or not serviced. You could also do a pressure test of the gas system by connecting a pump (bike) and putting a slight pressure in it and then leaving it for some time to check the pressure is still there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As said the most important issues are to make sure the caravan is roadworthy and safe for you and other road users . As said check the tyres including the spare and if they are over 7 years old max best renew as caravan tyres will stay stationary for long periods and visually might look fine but a blow out can cause a accident .

 

 

 

Dave

Edited by CommanderDave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, CommanderDave said:

As said the most important issues are to make sure the caravan is roadworthy and safe for you and other road users

Insurances state that a caravan must be maintained from that aspect as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do my own servicing on a ongoing basis, but every few years I'll get a second opinion by getting a mobile chap in, they charge from £130 to £150.  However chose by their reputation and not by cost.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think you have been given good advice by others but I do think your statement on not going to use gas a bit strange.

Are you sure you will always be on mains hook up and will never want gas?

What about cooking without the gas hob being used for a minimum?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Get a mobile guy in to service the caravan.   As said cost is about £130-£150.   Remember that if there is damp there may be mould and mould spores can affect your respiratory system.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×