Monday, 30 April 2012 9:11 AM
Your motorhome might be your pride and joy, so it's little wonder you'll want to keep it in great condition for many years to come. There are various factors to bear in mind when taking care of the vehicle, from safety checks to legal requirements, so read on to made sure your motorhome is up to scratch.
Some basic things to consider when looking after you vehicle is to ensure it is road legal. This means having paid the right amount of tax and keeping your disc on display in an appropriate place. Legally, you are also required to insure your vehicle to offer protection to you, other parties and the motorhome itself. Unlike tax, insurance offers some flexibility in that you can compare quotes and find the best deal.
Browse motorhome insurance policies online and you can decide which provider offers the best value for money. Some firms will give you a discount if you have a low mileage, no claims or have a security system fitted. You can sometimes even tailor-make your policy so that it includes useful extras or removes those that would be redundant. For example, if you head abroad a lot with your vehicle, you could add European breakdown and recovery services to your policy.
Another factor to consider is safety. You should regularly check that your motorhome is in good working order, especially if you're planning to embark on a long journey or take the vehicle out after a long period of disuse. Check your windscreen is free of debris and clean, and make sure all the lights aren't dirty or broken. You can pull up to a reflective surface to check the lights work, or ask someone to have a look for you.
Water, oil and fuel levels might all require a top-up and you'll need to be aware of in-vehicle safety, such as making sure everyone is wearing a seatbelt and any youngsters are suitably secured in car seats.
In the same vein, make certain your tyres are in a decent road-going condition. As the only contact between the vehicle and road, it is vital they are not going to be a liability, so regularly look out for cuts or bulges and make sure the tyre pressure is at the recommended level set out in your vehicle's handbook. Wear is also an important consideration; tyre tread must not reach below the legal minimum of 1.6 mm, although it's a good idea to change them way before this point. When the motorhome is not in use, try and preserve the rubber by covering the tyres to protect them from direct sunlight. If possible, jack the weight off them too.
There are some checks you can make yourself, but others will need to be carried out by a professional, so make sure your motorhome is taken for a service at the mileage points/times recommended by the manufacturer. If possible, take your vehicle to a workshop specialising in motorhomes. As well as the usual checks, your motorhome will require an annual habitation once-over, which will see the water, heating, gas and electrical systems examined, in addition to a check for damp and to make sure the fridge is working properly.