Make the most of your time at home and get the van ready.
If you’re chasing a part, just give us a call. Our parts team will organise the right part for you, and you can drop in to collect quickly, or have it posted out same day.
Keen to stay at home, but still need to get ready for the next trip? Take advantage of our caravan collect and drop-off service. Available for all workshop jobs like servicing, repairs, upgrades and maintenance. Just give us a call to organise.
We’re still open and operating both our showroom and workshops. For your health and ours we have put a range of precautions in place, but apart from that, it’s still business as usual for the team at RV Service Centre. So if you have your van or vehicle booked with us, we are still working as scheduled.
We had a great time on Saturday presenting our webinar. In case you missed it, you can still get (most) of the info through our YouTube channel:
We’re moving this Saturday’s seminar online.
We take your health and our staff’s health seriously. Due to ongoing concerns around the spread of Corona virus, we have decided to move our seminar from the workshop, to online.
Its the same great content, you can ask questions, and there’s no software or apps to download. Just register and follow the instructions, then join us from your phone, tablet or computer.
(Even if you have already RSVPed to us – you will need to register at this link to get access).
Make Your Van Better! Join us for our next exciting edition of our caravanner’s workshop series. This month we are sharing a few insider tips on how to make your caravan better. Better tasting, better on site, better cleanliness and better safety.
Kicks off at 9am, Saturday 21st March – NOW ONLINE! We have changed this from being hosted in our workshop – to a LIVE online webinar. You can join us on your phone, tablet or computer. Just register at the link below and follow the instructions. As this is live, you need to join us at the right time, and you can still ask questions, participate in discussions and more. (Just no sausage sizzle sorry!)
Its super easy. Just fill out your email, then at 9am Saturday, click the link in your email and you’ll see me!
See you online!
Talk to RV Service Centre Toowoomba, your local Hayman Reese authorised fitter for heavy duty 5th wheel and gooseneck towing products.
ClearView mirrors have been the go-to option for towing mirrors once you’ve had enough of the clip-ons. We’ve been fitting them to all our work vehicles for years. But there’s a new kid on the block. MSA 4×4 Towing Mirrors.
So what’s the deal? First, MSA 4×4 is an incredible brand for their quality and ingenuity. Originators of the drop down fridge slide which solved access issues for tray back vehicles, along with a range of impressive canvas products like seat covers and storage solutions, their products are extremely high quality and worth the premium price. So when they released their towing mirrors, we were excited!
(Interestingly, ClearView released their own fridge slides a while ago, so maybe this is just tit-for-tat?)
The key difference, is that the head (bit with the mirror on it) rotates, in addition to sliding in/out. This allows the mirrors to be a LOT narrower when folded in than the ClearViews. This means its a lot easier to park your vehicle in the garage at home, shopping centres etc.
We’re in the process of fitting some over the next few weeks – so we’ll report back soon!
Currently they are available for
With other popular tow vehicles coming soon.
Braking while towing should be a seamless, comfortable, confident and safe experience, no matter whether that’s general driving, or emergency situations.
First, do you have a proportional controller, and if so – is it set to proportional mode?
Proportional controllers brake your van harder when the vehicle brakes harder. Non-proportional controllers just have a constant output irrespective of the situation. There is little point having a non-proportional controller these days and they can be quite unsafe. However, we see it in customer vehicles all the time – usually because the owner is not aware of what they have installed, and haven’t experienced the huge benefits of a modern high-quality controller
Older brake controllers are non-proportional, newer ones can be either, and some modern ones can be switched between the two. Different brands normally offer multiple versions. E.g. a “RedArc” brake controller could be either, same with a “Tekonsha”. Non-proportional controllers are cheaper, and are often fitted in “package deals” or as a budget option if you don’t specify anything else. So, it can be difficult to know. Get out the manual to find the model and specs.
What other features?
Once you know the model and specs, you should be able to work out what features your controller has. And they vary! All controllers have a “Gain” adjustment. (Higher = More Braking), and also a “Manual Activation” – which allows you to activate the van brakes independent of the vehicle. This is good for testing your van brakes, and also for emergency situations.
Some controllers also have a “Pendulum” adjustment. This adjusts how aggressive the brakes come on.
If your controllers can be switched between proportional and non-proportional, check to ensure it is on proportional mode.
What features does your have? Do you know where the adjustments/buttons are? Can you adjust them without looking at the unit – ie keeping your eyes on the road?
When to Adjust?
You have to be confident adjusting the settings on your brake controller. If you’ve left your controller on just one setting for the last few years, its likely set wrong. Things like weight, speed, and the condition of both your van and vehicle brakes affect what you should have your controller set to. Even things like whether your tanks are empty or full should trigger a slight adjustment in the brake controller.
If you have had your van serviced, the brakes are adjusted and cleaned as part of that service, and will have a serious impact on your brake controller. If any brake components have been replaced this has a big impact too. You will need to find new settings on your brake controller for both these situations.
Often I see owners setup their brake controller so the van brakes early, before the vehicle. The idea is that this is safer, because it stretches the rig out keeping it straight. The principle is sound, but its not required. All that you’ll do is burn through van brakes quickly and cause yourself extra service costs. And potentially you’ll lock up your van brakes in emergency situations, which is exactly what you don’t want.
The safest recommendation is to have the vehicle brake the vehicle, and the van brake the van. And you get achieve this with the right controller, and the right settings.
To prevent dangerous jack knifing situations, it is recommended you have an electronic stability control system fitted like the Dexter DSC, or ALKO ESC units.
Brake controllers need to be installed in the right orientation – so they know which way is forward. Some are also sensitive to being mounted horizontally. Having an incorrect installation can lead to incorrect braking outputs.
Some brake controllers have “remote heads” where just a dial is mounted on the dashboard. Others have the entire unit mounted in one location. Sometimes these combined units end up in the way of your legs/knees – especially in manual vehicles.
Time to Upgrade?
Upgrading to a modern proportional brake controller is relatively easy, and will give you a big step up in safety and braking performance. All brake controllers tend to have the same wires, so upgrading is normally just a matter of changing the actual unit over – which requires cutting and joining the wires. If you are not 100% confident with your van brakes in ALL situations, it is something worth considering.
How much are you paying to insure your caravan? If you’ve got a new van, the annual premium might be up to, or even over $1,000 per year. And when you make a claim there is an excess you have to pay. It can be a painful bill each year when it comes around as you mentally tally the amount you’ve paid on insurance over the last years/decade/lifetime. But is it worth it?
At RV Service Centre Toowoomba – we are your local RACQ Selected repairer and authorised repairer for most other major brands like Suncorp, CIL, AAMI and more. So, we have a lot of information about what is actually covered in different policies, repair costs, times, accidents etc. Often customers will ask us whether its worthwhile making a claim.
Many people are concerned that making an insurance claim will affect their premium or “rating” – meaning it might cost more next year if they claim now. So, how do you work it out?
Every insurer is different. Each brand is tailored towards a particular market – e.g. RACQ for Queenslanders, CIL for caravans, APIA for pensioners, Ken Tame for Motorhomes. Each of their policies vary with inclusions, exclusions, cost of premium, cost of excess. This information is available in their “PDS” – Product Disclosure Statement. These days, they are relatively easy to read and detail all the important things you need to know.
On the whole, we find insurers really do look after their customers. We have lots of regular experience where insurers go above and beyond to support their customers that have experienced an issue.
It is really important to read the PDS, and understand what you are covered for. The main areas you should look at are:
Its important to note that insurance generally covers you for accidents, weather events and situations beyond your control. It does not generally cover you for maintenance and service related issues. This is really important. Insurers often reject a claim because the issue was determined to be caused by poor maintenance/service.
So to ensure you are fully covered, you want to be able to prove to your insurer that you have done all required maintenance regularly. This is annual mechanical servicing, regular sealant checks, regular appliance checks. Keeping copies of your service invoices helps. Of course, if you have all your servicing & maintenance done with us, we can provide this on your behalf to support your claim.
It’s very important that your entire rig is legal in order to be covered in the event of an accident. This covers everything from weight, to gas appliances, dimensions, electrical and safety. Having your caravan (or vehicle) overweight is an easy thing to do, and may void a claim. Talk to us about getting your van weighed and checked.
There are 2 main reasons why its worthwhile making a claim.
While its easy to make trade offs about small accidents, insurance is really there to protect your investment in major situations. In major accidents, your van may not be repairable and be written off – where you get paid out and can buy another van. Other times, large repairs may be more than $10,000 which is a big cost if you are not insured.
Just because you make a claim, does not mean that your premium will increase. This depends on the insurer, your policy and your history. And because there is so much competition between insurers, its too easy for you as a customer to just take your policy to a new insurer if they try to increase the premium. The one thing that does increase premiums is large scale weather events. In such cases, premiums will go up for the whole region across all insurers. So when you go to renew your policy next year after being in a weather event, you might find the premium goes up. But when you compare against other insurers, their price is similar. This is why. Its not because you made a claim, its just that the insurers average costs have increased.
RV Service Centre Queensland
506 Boundary Rd (Cnr Gardner Ct)
TOOWOOMBA QLD 4350
Ph: 07 4633 0845