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Caravan Repair FAQ’s

Q: How often should caravans be serviced?

A. It's the brakes, bearings & suspension that need the monitoring & maintenance. Yearly is our recommendation by professionals who know what to look for.  

Q: Why doesn't my handbrake work? 

A. Not great is it! The mechanism within the wheels isn't like a car handbrake & cannot exert a great deal of force (even if you pull it super hard). We often say it's best to use wheel chocks. Also, remember especially with leaf spring suspensions you should have plenty of slack in the handbrake cable when the brake is of to allow for on-road movement without applying the brakes.  

Q: When I release my level rides why isn't there as much pressure on the bars like previously ? 

A. There's a lot of pressure on these bars & what can happen over time is the trunnions where these bars meet the head may have worn & need resetting. Remember they are like wheel barrow handles leveraging the ball weight back onto the front car wheels. (Note; these bars should have good pressure to lift up, however always be very careful with their release).  

Q: Why is my caravan very low? I'm always damaging the rear stabiliser jacks?

A. This can be resolved by installing raiser rails on the chassis. This will raise the caravan & make it much easier for all those steep driveways.  

Q: Why is my roll-out awning so stiff when putting up?

A. Keep it well lubed. Silicone spray works well as it doesn't leave oil stains, but will need constant applications as it washes away easily.  

Q: Can I put a jerry can holder, bike rack or generator on the bumper bar?

A. We wouldn't recommend it. If the caravan hasn't been built with this on the bumper, then it's best to avoid it. Bike racks tend to fatigue or damage the bikes due to excessive vibration, plus jerry cans or heavy objects will often make the van very susceptible to swaying. Low ball weights can lead to swaying, which is very dangerous.  

Q: When should the 12V pump be turned off in my caravan?

A. Whenever you leave the caravan. If a hose burst on the outlet side of the pump, the pump would empty the water tank onto the caravan floor until the tanks were empty!  

Q: How often should I charge my caravan battery?

A. The only way to maintain a battery & have it last many years is to keep it on charge constantly. We change so many batteries that have experienced irregular charging & this always leads to Sulphation, & then the battery gets very hot & cannot be charged. However the only charger we have learned to trust is the C-Tek Unit which have almost been faultless in our experience & can be left on all the time.  

Q: Should I use weight distribution with my new tow vehicle with air bags?

A. Some vehicle manufacturers state that weight distribution 'must not' be used. Others 'recommend not to be used'. We always refer customers to the manufacturers instructions, & if it states 'must not', it is very clearly not recommended. The air bags do visually make the car appear like its level & supporting the load well, however with large vans with heavy ball weights some customers (with air-bag tow vehicles) complain of poor stability. Weight Distribution leverages the ball weight through the complete car & this locks the front wheels down to the road which in some cases makes the complete towing rig more comfortable to tow with.  

Q: Why does my caravan fridge struggle in the hot and humid climates?

A. The '3 Way Type' caravan fridges tend to struggle when you most need them, in the heat! You can improve their efficiency by fitting small fans to help create constant air low. Essentially these fridges need coolish air drawn in through the lower vent and pushed out the top vent. The following additions make these fridges more efficient; fans, improved baling around the top vent so air is directed straight out the vent, & shade- cloths so the top vent is protected from the beating sun.  

Q: Why does my tandem rocker suspension need constant maintenance?

A. Unfortunately the system has so many moving parts that it will always wear these. The system works fine if maintained regularly, but it's worth the investment in a better system if you're purchasing a new van.  

Q: Why are my brakes grabbing?

A Prodigy Brake Controller usually resolves 80% of grabby brakes. The other 20% of problems usually relates to linings (within the wheels) that have become very hot (i.e. you may have accidentally left the handbrake on) & since then the brakes have been extremely aggressive. Simple fix, we change the linings!  

Q: Why does my caravan sway so easily at highway speed?

A. If it's swaying easily it often means there could be too much weight behind the wheels. A caravan with a ball weight over 10% will not sway as easily. Make sure the caravan is loaded correctly, & a sway control is always a good investment for any caravan over 16' in length.  

 Can I change my own gas regulator?

A. No, any gas work carried out on a caravan needs to be done by a licensed Gas Plumber.
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