South Africans are huge fans of camping and caravanning – and it’s no surprise why. South Africa has some of the best camping spots on the planet!
From Fiddlers Creek Campsite in Orange River, to Tsendze Rustic Campsites in Northern Kruger National Park, you could travel all over the country and never run out of beautiful places to camp.
While caravanning is an affordable way to have a family holiday, caravans are an expensive upfront initial purchase. It is important to take care of it properly, and to store it properly when not in use.
Here are some tips to keep your caravan in top condition throughout the year and stored safely.
1. Annual Services Once a year, book your caravan in for an annual service. Make sure all the electronics and mechanical elements are checked, as well as the gas and water systems.
2. Insurance Insure your caravan, and make sure you provide all the relevant information to the insurance company. If your caravan stays outside in the driveway, the insurance company needs to know this. Insurance for a caravan that is in storage will often be lower than a caravan kept outside on your property.
3. Regular tyre checks Check the tyres regularly, even (and especially) if you haven’t used the caravan in a while. Tyres that become exposed to the elements too long can become damaged. Also, the tyres of caravans that have been sitting for long can end up having bald spots on the section that is resting on the ground, due to the weight of the caravan.
4. Proper Storage Caravans, while they are designed to be used outdoors, will not are well if kept outside for long periods of time. It doesn’t matter if it is in the hot summer, or the cold wet winter, exposure to the elements will cause the caravan to get dirty, weather-beaten, and possibly even cause rust. Even parking under a tree for shade can be risky – leaves, branches, and bird droppings could all potentially cause damage.
Rather choose to store your caravan indoors between trips. This can be in your garage, but if you don’t have the space then indoor caravan storage will be your best option.
When looking for the best storage for your caravan, consider if the facility has indoor units, or if the caravan will be stored outside. Also check to see if the facility allows you to drive up close to the unit. Another important consideration to keep in mind is security. Does the facility have fencing, securities cameras, security guards, and secure access?
5. Prepare for storage Remove all the batteries and the gas cylinders from the caravan first. Clean the caravan thoroughly inside and out, and add protective wax to the outside right at the end. Keep the fridge slightly open to avoid musty smells when you are ready to take the caravan out again. And finally, cover the caravan with a breathable cover before putting it in the storage unit.