Getting ready for summer adventures

From 4 July, many of us will now be able to stay away from our homes, so whether you’re looking to get out in your campervan, touring caravan, back to your static caravan or holiday …

From 4 July, many of us will now be able to stay away from our homes, so whether you’re looking to get out in your campervan, touring caravan, back to your static caravan or holiday home, or perhaps staying overnight on your boat, we’ve got some tips to help you get ready

Getting your campervan ready

Whether you’ve been camping out on the driveway with the kids during lockdown, or have already taken a day trip to get your campervan back out on the road, there’s still some maintenance jobs to do before you have a night over. Things to check:

  • If your camper is fully converted and you’ve got a sink, make sure you give the water tank a thorough clean and top it up with fresh water. If there’s been some stale water left in there, you could use some Milton Tablets mixed with water to disinfect the tank before refilling
  • Carbon Monoxide detectors and smoke alarms – check the batteries on your detectors before your first night out and be sure to give them a test
  • General top ups: For those of you with a campervan, even if you’ve not been anywhere lately, it’s always good to top up the water tank that serves the engine, windscreen fluid, break fluid and oil.
  • Check all the lights are working and give the horn a beep too to make sure that’s fully functional
  • And of course, now is a great time to check for any rust, dents or scraps on your campervan, so you can keep on top of the maintenance and avoid any rust issues getting worse. Particularly for older campervans, check then under side of the van and the wheel arches
  • Check tyre pressures and tread to make sure they don’t need replacing. It’s been really hot weather lately which can affect the tyre pressure.
  • If you’ve got Air Conditioning, check if this is working properly and whether you need to get that re-gassed.
  • Check you’ve got the essentials – from toilet roll, electric hook-up, plates and cutlery

Our colleague Claire Gardner has her own campervan and comments “We can’t wait for our first trip out in our campervan in July and will spend the weekend before doing our checks to make sure we’re ready. We’ve just had our annual service and MOT done, but noticed some rust patches that needed sorting. We’ll give it a thorough clean, inside and out and get packed up ready for our trip away”

Getting your touring caravan back on the road

Apart from checking the engine components, the checks for your touring caravan largely similar to that of a campervan. But key things to look over before you head out on the road are:

  • Wheel alignment and tyre pressure
  • Check the towbar and tow bracket to ensure it’s securely fitted and there aren’t any cracks or rust. Ensure the caravan coupling head is fully engaged on the tow bar. 
  • Check the breaks and ensure all the electrics and indicators are working
  • Adjust and check the mirrors properly
  • Check gas cylinders are closed, the mains electric is isolated and the fridge is switched to 12V mode. Check your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors are in working order
  • Stow items safely ready for transit

Heading back to your static caravan?

If you didn’t manage to get to your static caravan when the parks opens and just before lockdown happened, there will no doubt be some things you need to do to get your home away from home ready for the summer season.

  • Checking for signs of damp – before you start hanging curtains back up or getting the beds ready, give your static caravan or holiday lodge a good once over. In particular, check bathrooms and the kitchen area. If you spot any, this can usually be addressed with some decent bathroom mould or mildew remover. You may need to check that there’s no issues that causes a regular build up – so check the ventilation.
  • Putting the boiler back and water back on and run your taps for a minute or so and flush the toilet. And of course, the electrics and gas will need to go back on
  • Check carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms
  • A spring clean; don’t forget to wipe around window frames and doors and check the seals.

Getting out on your boat

Most marinas have already opened in England, and for families from the same household, they’ve been able to get back to spending time on their boats.

If you’re a seasoned boater, you’ll already know the tips and tricks to get your boat de-winterised and ready for the summer season. But if you’ve recently purchased a boat (#lockdownlife) and are new to the boating lifestyle, we hope you find the checklist below useful.

  • Although it’s been hot lately, check your boat hasn’t had any damp or mildew set in over the winter months.
  • Cleaning your boat – marine specific cleaning products will help you get your boat back to its gleaming best. Make sure any salt residue is removed from any internal furniture will help prevent future damp issues
  • Getting your engine serviced before you head out on the water will help prevent any breakdowns. A full service will include maintenance of the oil filters, gear box checks, air filters to name a few
  • If your boat has been out of the water, it’s a great time to check the seacocks fittings and there aren’t any leaks. Flush with fresh water, remove any salt residue and ensure they are well greased.

Quinton Hall, A-Plan’s expert boater and regular racer comments “We’ve been down to the boat to ensure everything was as it should be and to carry out our summer checks. We’re also keen racers and unfortunately haven’t been able to get back to racing due to the current government guidelines. We very much look forward to when we are able to do that, and able to race with crew members that aren’t part of the same household. A lot of the events have been cancelled, but we’re hoping that the Round the Island 2020 race takes place later in the year – The A-Plan boat will hopefully be back out on the water!”

A-Plan Insurance offer a range of insurance products including, home, car, van, commercial and specialist cover for boats, caravans, campervans and leisure homes. A-Plan will do the searching so you don’t have to.

This is a marketing article from A-Plan Insurance