Hiring an RV to explore a foreign country can be a very enjoyable way to spend a summer holiday but if you want to make sure that everything goes smoothly, it is a good idea to do a little research before you depart for your vacation and make sure you are capable of performing basic maintenance tasks along the way. Reputable camper rental companies will of course service and inspect their vehicles in between hires but this does not mean that you can simply forget about the engine and other moving parts once you set off on your adventure. The 10 tips below should help to ensure that you are able to avoid any unfortunate breakdowns that could spoil your trip.
- Check the pressure of each tyre on days that you are planning to cover a fair distance without any stops. Underinflated tyres will result in higher fuel consumption; something that you will be keen to avoid, especially if you have a limited amount of spending money for your break. It is also more likely that you will have a blowout or slow puncture when travelling on soft tyres.
- Check the electrolyte level in the battery at regular intervals. Whilst this may be something that you only do occasionally when at home, you do not want your electrics to fail when driving in a foreign country.
- Make sure that all appliances are safely stowed away every time you break camp and head for a new location. Portable TVs, radios, kettles and toasters are all susceptible to damage if they are not stored in a safe place.
- Inspect the wheel bearings once you are ready to start your adventure and apply more grease if necessary. This is a task that the company from which you hire your vehicle will more than likely have attended to already but it is better to be safe than sorry, especially when travelling over long distances.
- Check the brakes once every few days. Whilst it is unlikely that they will deteriorate in such a short space of times, you should be sure that you will have no problems performing an emergency stop if the need arises so it is a good idea to be extra careful as far as the brakes on your hire vehicle are concerned.
- Check that all the nuts and bolts in the suspension system are tightened to the correct tension before tackling rough terrain. Again, this is something that the rental firm should do before handing over the vehicle but if you are planning to use any unsurfaced roads, it is a good idea to double check.
- Check underneath your camper after driving over roads with loose stones to make sure that nothing vital has been damaged. A quick visual inspection should suffice, just to make sure that everything is still intact.
- Make sure that your drinking water tank is full. This is especially important if you will be driving across remote regions where service stations are few and far between. In an emergency, you can sterilise water from a nearby natural source by boiling it for several minutes. However, make sure that the water you use is not contaminated with any toxic chemicals if you have to resort to such measures.
- Check all wiring for any damage after a long drive. Faulty wiring can cause major problems in modern vehicles so it is a good idea to check it quickly when you stop for the night.
- Assuming that your vehicle is equipped with air conditioning units, check the filters every couple of weeks if you are on an extended vacation. If they are dirty, they should be removed, cleaned and replaced to ensure the units continue to function efficiently.
If you hire a vehicle from a reputable firm, you may well be able to complete your holiday without following any of the above suggestions but if you want to make sure that you and your family enjoy a hassle-free holiday, it is worth spending a little time attending to these basic maintenance tasks. Once you are familiar with the layout of your vehicle, you should be able to complete them quickly and painlessly.