General Checking

There are always things ready to go wrong so it is best to finish off with a general check throughout your unit.

External cleaning

External cleaning can be a chore especially after a winter lay-up unless you have fitted a breathable cover or used a waxy coating.

Remove any cover carefully and inspect for any chafing damage on the bodywork and noting any deterioration in the cover or padding that protects vulnerable parts of the caravan or motorhome. Take care to pack the cover away carefully so the interior fabric is not soiled and completely dry – that way it will then be ready for the next use.

If your motorhome has been exposed to the elements give it a good wash down with a garden hose (not a pressure washer) to remove as much dust and loose detritus from the bodywork as possible and then wash with a shampoo that is designed for caravans and motorhomes. Remember many domestic cleaning products have the potential to cause degradation of some of the sensitive plastic materials on caravans and motorhomes and even caravan shampoos need to be well rinsed off sensitive areas such as acrylic windows.

Where there is heavy soiling or accumulation of mould, wash to remove the bulk of dirt and then gently but firmly make efforts to shift stubborn deposits and growths along joints and awning rails. An old toothbrush is ideal for removing the accumulation of mould or moss from edges around locker boxes and similar.

Cleaning provides a good opportunity to inspect the exterior of your unit for any signs of damage or deterioration such as GRP cracking or loose grab handles.

Internal cleaning

Check that everything is clean and in good working order. When reloading ground-level lockers remember to keep the drop out vents in the floor clear.

Inspect all cupboards and lockers to ensure you have had no unwelcome visitors such as mice or squirrels. If they have established themselves it is usually noticeable by droppings and destructive efforts. Where there are signs of vermin activity in your unit check carefully for damage, particularly to electric wiring that could result in short circuits and be a fire hazard. Remember your insurance cover will almost certainly exclude vermin damage.

If any locker catches and hinges show signs of rusting or stiffness a squirt of water dispersant usually helps, but keep the spray off non-metallic surfaces. Upholstery may have a coating of dust so give it a good brush and vacuum. Check all windows open correctly without sticking to the rubbers. If necessary clean the rubber seals and when dry apply a little talcum powder to prevent further sticking. Check blinds for operation – as long as they have been left in the open position they should work satisfactorily.

The kitchens should have a good wash down with a mild antiseptic solution. The fridge is best cleaned with a soft cloth and a mild detergent – do not use soap or aggressive detergents that are abrasive or soda-based. Remember to leave the door on an open setting until you have the fridge in operating condition to prevent mould growth.

Cassette toilet

This should have been left in an empty condition with the blade valve open. It is a good idea to spray the blade valve seal with silicone seal lubricant to prolong its life and prevent sticking.