A camping trailer is a great option for people who love camping and the outdoors. Not only is it more affordable than a full-size RV, it also provides greater flexibility than a motorhome, making it easier to bring with you to a campsite.
However, a trailer is only useful as long as it is well-maintained. While maintenance of a trailer is significantly easier than that of an RV, you will still need to be aware of what steps you need to take to ensure that you get the most out of your investment and your camping trailer lasts for as long as possible.
Here are some easy ways to maintain your camping trailer.
Conduct Routine Exterior Inspections
This is a relative no-brainer – all you need to do is walk around your trailer, keeping an eye out for any visible damage or missing parts. Some elements to keep an eye out for include:
- Leaks – Fluid loss can indicate that certain parts of the vehicle are damaged or failing.
- Slide-Out – Check the perimeter to see if there is any damage or obstruction, and confirm that the slide-out is operating smoothly.
- Lug Nuts – Driving with loose or missing lug nuts puts uneven pressure on the wheels and can cause your trailer to wobble.
- Tires – Make sure they are properly inflated and that there is no fabric visible through the tread. Double-check the air pressure to ensure that it isn’t too low or too high.
- Fiberglass – If your trailer is made with fiberglass, double-check and confirm that there are no cracks or rust.
- Seals and Seams – Make sure that there is dirt buildup around the seals and use lubricants around the window seals. Ensure that there are no holes or cracks. If water penetrates through the wheel, you risk significant damage, including mold and rot.
Check the Roof
The roof of any trailer is one of the most critical parts of the vehicle. For this reason, it is highly recommended that when buying a pop up camper, you check to ensure that the roof is in proper working order. Ensuring that the roof is still suitable to use is especially important if you’re buying second-hand, as you’ll need to confirm it hasn’t suffered damage of any kind during prior use.
You also need to check the condition of the roof before you take your trailer with you on a camping trip. An undetected leak in your roof will not only ruin your camping plans, but it can also result in damage to its interiors.
If you’ve parked your trailer outside while not in use, you will also need to confirm that the roof is free of any debris. If debris has fallen onto the roof, you will need to clear it and then check to ensure that there is no damage. Minor issues, including small rips, will only need some roof tape or sealant to fix. However, if you notice more pressing issues, it’s essential to get it to a garage to get it repaired as soon as possible.
Make Sure the Trailer is Clean
Once you’re sure that there are no issues on the exterior of your trailer, it’s time to get it cleaned up.
Washing a camping trailer can often seem counterintuitive. After all, if you’re taking it with you to the great outdoors, you expect it to get dirty. So why waste time washing it? The reasons cleaning it frequently is important are actually similar to the reasons you should wash your car regularly, including:
- Ensuring your trailer looks attractive when you travel with it
- Protecting your vehicle against salt and deicing chemicals used on the streets during the winter
- Protecting the finish on your trailer from damage from dirt, pollen, and air pollution
You should also give the inside of your trailer a wash frequently, especially if you haven’t used it in some time. This not only makes it much more comfortable to spend time in, it also helps protect you from bugs and bacteria that may have accumulated while the vehicle was closed up.
When cleaning the interior, using a small portable vacuum can make the cleaning process easier and quicker. You should also dust and wipe down all the surfaces, vacuum the soft furnishings, and mop the floors. Don’t forget to clean the bathrooms! You should also consider wiping it down with an antibacterial disinfectant, especially in the part that you use for food preparation.
You will also need to make sure that the awning is clean. Cleaning the awning will depend on what it is made out of – vinyl awning should not be cleaned with harsh chemicals and bleach, while fabric awning will need to have the finish reapplied. While cleaning the awning, you can kill two birds with one stone and also conduct maintenance on its moving parts, including using lubricant to ensure that these parts move smoothly and slide-out noise-free.
Change the Oil, Oil Filters, and Coolants Regularly
The coolant will have to be changed seasonally, and at which point, you should also consider changing the air in your tires and any leftover fuel that may still be in your trailer’s tank. Ensuring that you recycle out old oil and coolants will ensure that your engine stays in top shape for as long a possible.
These are, of course, only some of the steps you will need to take when maintaining your trailer. Other things to keep in mind include checking to see if the batteries are in proper working order, the tire pressure is at the right level, and the brake is in top shape.
Remember, proper maintenance can help prolong the life of your vehicle significantly. While performing maintenance can often feel tiring and time-consuming, it’s definitely preferable to maintain your camping trailer properly than having to invest in a new one!