While the UK is still in the chilly grip of winter, many of us will be daydreaming about Spring. We know that a bit of rain and, in some cases, snow won’t put you off touring, but it’s no secret that caravan owners across the country are looking forward to longer days and warmer weather!
With only a few few weeks till Easter, it’s not too early to start planning for your first holiday of the season. And what better way to prepare than by getting your caravan spick and span? Remember, cleaning doesn’t only keep your caravan looking good, but it also helps to keep it in top condition and protect its value.
Before you start the cosmetic cleaning, it’s a good idea to get ready for the season ahead by running some checks on your tourer, both inside and out. We’d advise doing these at least a fortnight before your first trip of the year, just in case any problems arise that need time to fix.
First, hitch up the car and caravan to check the lights and hitch are both working properly. You should also ensure the tyres have plenty of tread - cracking tyres are not a good sign. Then pump them to the correct pressure. It’s common for them lose air after sitting still all winter.
While not being used, your caravan battery should have been removed and left on a trickle charge. If it was not, now is the time to check it is still working and recharge it if necessary. If the battery is old or has discharged completely, you might want to replace it. Salop Leisure can help with that, naturally! The same goes for any appliances inside the caravan, including your oven, fridge and heating system. It’s better to find out if they’ve broken now, rather when you’re out on the road!
Use specialist products
Before you start your spring cleaning, new caravan owners especially should bear in mind that a caravan may require different cleaning products than a car. Regular car shampoos, for example, can be mildly abrasive to the unique paint and bodywork of a caravan and end up leaving scratches.
Salop Leisure always recommends using a high quality cleaning product suited to your particular make of vehicle. After all, you’ve paid a lot of money for your caravan and only the best should do!
Say no to jet washing, yes to elbow grease
For a similar reason, while you may use a high pressure washer on your car or indeed motorhome, it isn’t a good idea to try it on your caravan. Although a pressure washer does make a fast job of cleaning, it may damage the sensitive window seals on a caravan. The longer you use one, the more likely you could find yourself with a leak or two!
Some people will use a pressure washer only on the wheels, or from a greater distance so as to lessen the force of the water, but it is often safer to simply use a hose or bucket of water and clean manually.
Work from top to bottom
It’s common sense to start cleaning at the top and work your way down. Despite this, most people start on the main body of their caravan as this is the most accessible part. The trouble with this is that once you get up to clean the roof, any dirt you wash away will simply run down the sides and undo all your hard work.
But before you go climbing up on the roof of your caravan, be certain that yours is designed to support a person’s weight – some are not! Always check with the manufacturer first. If it’s not safe to climb on the roof, the best way to clean it is to use a step ladder, moving it after you’ve finished each accessible section, and rinsing with a hose for better reach.
Extra care should be taken with caravan windows so as not to scratch them. Remove debris and grit by rinsing carefully first, then use an appropriate product for acrylic windows.
To avoid water marks and streaks when drying, don’t let your caravan windows dry off naturally but instead remove excess water with a microfibre or Chamois cloth. As well as being thoroughly absorbent and leaving a perfectly clean window, they will also reduce static.
Once your caravan is dry, a coat of wax will help it look cleaner for longer and ensure you won’t have to do all that work again… for a little while, anyway! You can also find great space-saving caravan tips in a previous Salop Leisure blog here to keep the clutter at bay.
Here’s to a sunny Spring and Summer packed with great touring adventures! We can’t wait for the new season. Have you already decided where your first trip will take you? Let us know in the comments below! As our motto says, GO EXPLORE!