22/03/2016
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Get your motorhome ready for spring

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The nights are getting lighter, the days are getting warmer, which can only mean one thing. Yes, spring is here and it’s time to get your motorhome ready to go out on the road. Before you jump into the drivers’ seat and get motoring though, you should make sure everything is ship shape and ready to sail.

Here are some handy hints and nifty accessories that will help get your motorhome ready for spring and summer adventures.

CLEANING

The inside of the motorhome has been left to its own devices for a couple of months so now you need to make sure that you get the water systems free of bacteria and get the inside and outside nice and clean.

OlPro Fresh and Clear

Hopefully you drained the water tanks over winter but even so, there’s still a chance that bacteria have been busy so rather than just fill the water tank up again, get it clean. Close the drain tap and ensure all water taps are off then put some of this compact cleaner into the water tank and fill up the tank with water. Start the boiler running to heat up the hot water, then run the cold taps in turn until you’ve had fresh, treated water coming through them. Repeat the same process with the hot taps. By this point you’ve probably gone through all your water so drain it out and then fill up again. Empty it all through the system again to clean everything out.

 

Power Maxed Engine Flush

Neutralise acid and carbon deposits in your engine. This treatment improves oil circulation by stripping and neutralising acids. Features include:

  • Neutralises acid build up
  • Clears carbon deposits
  • Improves oil circulation
  • Cleans engine in under 5 minutes
  • Extends engine life & prepares engine prior to oil and filter change
  • Dissolves varnish, sludge and other contaminants from vital engine parts
  • Solvent free, will not damage seals
  • Recommended for new or old petrol, diesel and LPG engines

 

Thetford Toilet and Bathroom Cleaner

Cure stale smells and lingering deposits by getting the washroom clean and smelling nice. The active foam removes calcium deposits, gives a lovely shine and guarantees perfect hygiene. 500ml Trigger spray.

 

Power Maxed Traffic Film Remover

Get the traffic stains and muck off your motorhome so it’s nice and clean for the new season.

  • Cleans & degreases
  • Fast action
  • Excellent bug remover
  • Available in 1-litre ready to use & 5-litre concentrate
  • Powerful formula for the toughest of dirt
  • Suitable for all vehicles
  • Safe to use on rubber, plastic, alloy, wiring and glass

Traffic Film Remover Concentrated Formulas, can be diluted up to 50-1 so the 5 litre will make 250 litres of ready to use product.

 

 

MAINTENANCE

The first job is to check that everything still works fine and to repair or replace those elements that need attention. Start with the tyres. Look for cuts, bulges from standing for too long and a tread depth of at least 2mm across the entire width. Bear in mind that 2mm is the legal minimum, you are advised to change them before that. Are they all fully inflated and the correct pressure. Check and pump up if necessary. Consider fitting a tyre pressure monitor that reports on the pressures to a handy gadget in your cab with something like the TyrePal TB99 which costs £132.05. While you are down at the wheels, are they alloys? If so get the alloy nut onto them and ensure they are nice and tight.

Your leisure battery won’t have got much use over the winter and unless it has been hooked up to a solar panel by now it will be flat. You’ll need to disconnect it – neutral connection first - and charge it up. Consider the CTEK MXS 7.0 Battery Charger for £102.59 which works with batteries up to a 225Ah capacity. Once the battery is fully charged and connected again, go check the voltage on your instrument panel and try out a few appliances. If the voltage drops far more rapidly than the use of appliances would normally suggest then the battery may be on the way out and need replacing.

Now, try out the lights inside. Have any of the bulbs or LEDs gone? Make a note and go get replacements.

The gas system in a motorhome is one of the most important, providing heat, hot water and cooking. Is your gas bottle full and ready to go, or are you down to the last gasps. If you have a spare bottle, how full is that. Go change the ones that need it, and if you use LPG tanks, now is the time to get them filled up. Also, check the hosing from the gas tanks. Look for splits or perished rubber – on older motorhomes, some of this may need replacing. Then, it’s time to test your gas hob, fridge and boiler. Use each device in turn, checking that they work. If the gas to air mixture on the gas hob is correct it will burn with a blue flame. If it runs and has yellow flaming ends then the mixture is wrong and it needs tweaking. You are advising to get a CORGI registered gas technician or your dealer to do it.

Before the start of a new season you may want to check all your fabrics for damp and general condition. See about replacing those which are looking worn or damaged. Damp itself is of course the greatest challenge over the winter months but there are different types. If you see any black spot mould it’s probably from condensation. You need to check ventilation in the area that it’s occurring and get the heating on. If it doesn’t normally happen through the summer, then it’s likely to be an isolated instance. Try using some anti-mould treatment or emulsion.

If there’s a tide line or damp stain around the floor area then it’s rising damp. There may be holes under the motorhome or you are parked over a very wet area. Consider treating with waterproofing on the outside.

If you get isolated patches with salt patches on the walls then there could be damage to the exterior somewhere as the damp is getting in and then drying out.

A general solution is something like the Dry Bag Moisture Trap for £8.45 that absorbs moisture in the air. There are a number of damp traps that can be used for areas that typically have lots of moisture, like the bathroom. The key is good ventilation. Persistent problems are signs of water ingress through the bodywork. If this is occurring you need to get a habitation check done – it’s recommended anyway – to find the problem.

 

 

GENERAL ACCESSORIES

One of the flimsiest elements in a motorhome are the cassette blind which can lose tension over the winter. Try them all out to see if they retract properly. Any that don’t may need adjusting or replacing. Also, now’s the time to have a look at your cab curtains, blinds or thermal screens. Do they pull across, does everything still fit? As well as these minor elements, if the windows have scratches then try Fenwicks Windowize - £4.49 – which removes light scratches and hazing from plastic and acrylic windows.

Now, is all your kitchen gear ready for another year or is it all starting to look a little old and worn? Time for some new, lightweight pots, pans and plates. How about cleaning inside? A portable vacuum cleaner will help tidy up.

For time on the road, do you need extra power while you are between campsites? Now could be the time to add a solar panel. The bigger the area that the panel covers, the more light it can convert into electricity. If you never leave the UK, this might not be cost effective, but for trips to sunnier climates it will keep you off the grid almost indefinitely. Also, if you like to be entertained in your motorhome then consider upgrading to a DAB radio system and getting a new or bigger 12v/230v TV. A more expensive option is to get a satellite dish fitted and use it with a TV that can decode satellite signals or have a set-top box connected to the TV.

Finally you should always be prepared for emergencies so ensure you have a fire extinguisher. If available payload is a problem, then try something like the FirePal FP-50, which is both small and lightweight.

 

 

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