Covid-19 has brought pretty much everything to a halt, with many having to work from home now if possible. The new restrictions have meant a lot of ways of life have been put on hold for now, including trips many of us have had planned in our van conversions. It’s such a shame for people like us who love nothing more than exciting trips in our beloved vans, but the strict rules are certainly needed whilst we fight the virus.
The restrictions in place mean caravan and motorhome owners can’t go touring, making all campervans left stored at home during this pandemic period. If owners are found to have ventured out for non-essential trips with their camper, it’s likely the police will move them on and tell them to go home with fines sometimes issued.
Although this is the unfortunate but necessary reality now to keep everyone safe, there’s thankfully still time to work on your van, and plenty of different jobs to keep you busy. To help you understand just the sort of things you can be doing with your van transformation, we’ve compiled the following maintenance tasks to keep the work ticking over, ready for your next trip away when the time comes!
Like with your car, you need to check on the battery on your motorhome. There are two different batteries for a camper van in most instances, one being for leisure and the other found in the main engine area which is the vehicle battery. It’s vital to check both batteries at any time, not just in lockdown, however it’s even more important to inspect them now due to the vehicle’s downtime. With the leisure battery, it’s a good idea to observe the charge level. The power level reading may differ depending on which leisure battery you have fitted, but with a typical battery if you see the reading shows 12V or lower, this generally indicates it has no charge left.
Whenever carrying out checks on your battery, it’s important to switch off all electrical appliances that are connected otherwise you’ll get an inaccurate reading. Keeping this in mind, there are a number of things which can ultimately affect the performance of the battery. Some of the most common include:
- The age of the battery
- The size
- The outside temperature
- How often it’s used
Turn over your engine
To ensure your motorhome still runs during this stationary period, it’s wise to turn the engine over periodically. This is to make sure that the engine doesn’t seize, which can be detrimental to sort if you do find it doesn’t start! So, a simple check here is just to start the engine of your camper every so often to prevent it seizing, and to make sure the battery hasn’t gone flat.
As well as the potential for your engine to seize, the brakes too need to be checked to prevent them sticking. This is best done by simply driving the van back and forth if possible in your parking space or area. In the event that your brakes have become stuck, it might need some hard graft of dissembling and rebuilding the brake system. To best avoid this though, make sure to move your camper from time to time to keep the system lubricated!
There’s no better time than during lockdown to carry out all those vital habitation checks, especially if you need to get away for some alone time in your beloved camper! These checks involve:
- Damp tests
- Underbody work
- Electrical systems
- Gas systems
- Water systems
- Fire and safety
- And the bodywork
It’s crucial to carry out thorough examinations of these areas, as some of them could cause your van transformation to fail its MOT when the time comes for the next one. Even though a habitation check is only required once a year, it doesn’t harm to have a look at these areas yourself if you have the knowledge of doing so.
Clean & Polish
Lastly, what better feeling is there when you see your camper van all clean and shiny? We recommend cleaning your van with some of the following tools:
- A bucket
- A hose
- A step ladder if you’ve got one
- A sponge
- Vehicle shampoo
- An old toothbrush to get into those smaller spaces
- A suitable finishing wax
- A cloth for drying (we recommend a microfibre one!)
- And some hard work!
It can be a bit tiring cleaning down your van conversion and carrying out the above checks, but seriously, there’s no better feeling completing the above whilst you have some spare time!