We’re closed from Friday 19 April, and re-open Tue 23 April.
We’re closed from Friday 19 April, and re-open Tue 23 April.
Buying a caravan is a tough decision with enough models and options to make your head spin. As experienced caravan repairers we have had the opportunity to work on just about every make of caravan so whether you are buying a new van or second hand, our guide to buying a caravan might help you with your decision.
Upgraded model variations and added accessories can significantly increase the weight of the van. This can put you over your towing capacities which can be ball weight, towing capacity, GVM and GCM. The last thing you want to do is purchase a caravan that your tow vehicle is unable to tow. We recently had a customer with a Landcruiser that was overheating while towing because the caravan was just too heavy. If you are buying a new caravan then it is worth getting confirmation of the final weight of the caravan with all the accessories added before you finalise your order. Should you really be buying a van that you don’t know what the weight is if you’re close to your vehicle’s tow limits?
The warranty at its most basic covers the structure of the caravan and that it shouldn’t leak. The appliances like the fridge, air-con, hot water system etc will all be covered by their manufacturer’s warranties. When it comes to warranties there is some peace of mind that a well established caravan manufacturer will be around to cover the warranty of the van. Newer, smaller caravan manufacturers might not last the duration of the warranty period (as we have seen recently) and the dealer that sold the caravan may not be willing to honour a warranty when the manufacturer is no longer around.
Every second hand caravan that is advertised for sale should have a Safety Certificate and Gas Certificate before it is advertised. A Safety Certificate and Gas Certificate is a check that the caravan is roadworthy and safe. The other things that you would want to check are:
Our experienced team at the RV Service Centre can assist with caravan servicing and repairs, warranty work and fitting accessories for your caravan. We hope that our guide to buying a caravan will help in your decision and see you enjoying your travels.
Keep the toilet from getting smelly by using the right chemicals at the recommended frequency. Using products designed for waste holding caravan toilets is key. Household cleaners are not a suitable substitute as they can damage the seals and other parts of the toilet.
Grey water tanks can leach smell through the plumbing. Ideally you have an s-trap that will prevent smells or one-way valve although these are not always fitted. Grey water tanks need to be emptied, flushed clean and deodorised in order to stay fresh. Tank cleaning products and deodorizers for grey water tanks help eliminate unwanted smells.
This type of smell needs investigating due to the health risks of exposure to mould.
Three way fridges operate with an ammonia/hydrogen mixture and if the pipes crack or break you will get a rotten egg smell in the van. If the smell is from the fridge then it can be repaired or you may decide that it’s time for a new fridge. Our experienced service team can inspect and service the fridge and arrange a replacement if necessary.
LP gas has a distinct smell and if you can smell gas inside the van then you should take safety precautions to allow the gas to escape the van and turn off the gas at the bottles. Gas leaks are a serious safety risk and need immediate attention. Gas bottles should always be stored outside the van and gas vents always kept clear. A gas smell could be due to a faulty stove or fridge. Pipes carrying gas are sometimes located inside cupboards where things can get thrown on top of them and the pipes can get damaged. Gas leak detection sprays are available to test for leaks yourself or you can have our professional service team identify and repair the source of the gas leak in your van.
If your caravan smells bad then it is sign that you need to take action to remedy the problem. Often, an issue caught early can save you on costly repairs down the track. A regular caravan service will assist with preventing potential smelly problems and our experienced service team can repair any issues and have your caravan smelling fresh again. Give us a call at the RV Service Centre to book in your service or to have our team inspect and repair any problems.
There’s never enough space. The bigger the van, the more stuff you take, and it seems like you are always looking for a bit more room to deal with that extra thing.
The great news is that we have a huge range of caravan storage solutions, that solve all of your caravan storage woes. Let’s have a look at a few of them.
Carrying anti-flap bars, tent poles, fishing rods etc is easy with a tube storage solution. We have a couple of options:
These are great simple solutions. Basically your common plumbing PVC tube in either 100 or 150mm with caps on the end. We have kits available that include the caps, the locking pins and the brackets that allow for quick and easy installation onto your A frame or rear bumper. Too easy!
For those who are looking for something a bit neater, a bit easier to use, check out our aluminium pole carrier. Made from a square profile extruded aluminium section, with removable end caps (single or double ended), and available in mill or black finish, these increase your storage space and look great!
So you want to run your caravan air conditioner, and need to take your generator – look no further than our bumper mounted caravan generator storage boxes. These boxes allow you to store and run your generator from the box. With a fully integrated lift up lid that allows easy mounting and removal of your generator, and weatherproof gasket, you’ll no longer have to man-handle your generator in and out of your vehicle or van. Simply run your normal caravan power cord from the generator to the power inlet, and you’re set.
If you’ve got to have it exactly your way, we can build it! Full custom bumper build for this Bellagio caravan which included:
If you want more storage on your draw bar, our range of caravan draw bar storage boxes can sort you you. Available in a huge range of sizes and configurations to suit caravans, pop-tops, hybrids, and camper trailers. They can incorporate top lids, side doors, slides and more. You can opt to move your gas bottles to inside the box, or retain on the outside. These boxes are great for BBQs, generators, annexes, levelling blocks, chocks, hoses and pipes.
Carry a generator, or spare wheel on your tow bar receiver point, with our great TyreTrek storage products. These are designed for motorhomes and slide-ons.
This ingenious adaptor slots straight into your standard 50mm tow bar receiver (that square thing your tow ball and shank slide in to). Sounds simple right? The cool bit is that bolt head you can see on the front of the device – tension that up with a standard socket and the internal locking mechanism takes out ALL the slack, looseness and noise from the fitting – making it an extremely solid connection – great for the bigger weights of spares, generators etc. There is even a jerry can adaptor that will hold 2x jerry cans on the side of the spare tyre. Adaptor plates are available for the spare wheel carrier that will suit motorhomes that have either single or dual wheels.
We have a select range of pre-made storage boxes similar the ones below available with a $180 discount for members of our VIP newsletter for April 2019. Black powdercoated checkerplate with quality hinges, hardware, slides and gaskets.
Slide outs are increasingly popular on caravans, fifth wheelers and motor homes. Here are our top slide out maintenance tips from our professional team to keep your slide out working smoothly.
An annual service will keep all the moving parts including the rollers, tracks, connection joints and seals lubricated and aligned so your slide out stays working smoothly. Seals on a slide out need to be inspected and maintained annually and replaced every five years or so.
Sticks, leaves and dirt can damage the slide out seals and be brought inside your van when you slide back in. Sticks and leaves interfering with the seals are a common source of slide out leaks. If you notice a leak, then this is a good first place to check. A slide out awning is a great choice if you have a slide out. The awning will work to keep leaves, dirt and sticks off the slide out roof. Slide out awnings retract automatically with the slide out and automatically tension when extended.
Use a rag to wipe away dirt and dust from both sides of the seals. Seals will sometimes require lubricating with a slide out lubricant. This is done as part of a slide out service at the RV Service Centre but may need to be done in between services.
Keep the tracks clean of dust, sand and grit and lubricate with a dry lube like silicone spray or Inox. Keeping the tracks clean is important to avoid dirt getting into the motor. This can save you on costly repairs of the motor.
This can collect much like the fluff and dust that accumulates underneath a fridge.
A small amount of slide out maintenance and a regular service will keep your slide out working smoothly. For your slide out service, repairs or installation of a slide out awning, give our professional team at the RV Service Centre a call.
An annex is a terrific way to add weatherproof space to your campervan or caravan but there is no escaping the fact that a canvas annex with poles is a heavy bit of kit which takes a bit of time to set up. For the time involved in setting one up and the amount of space it takes to store, many customers say a canvas annex is only worthwhile setting up and packing away if you are going to stay in one spot for more than a few days.
The Orbit Air Annex range has no poles but is made rigid by inflating the frame with air. It is a quick, one person set-up (Orbit say 3 minutes) and there is an optional Air Capsule extension which would be ideal for sleeping extra guests or pets or storing toys like bikes. The Orbit Annex range has a three layer system – waterproof canvas, clear screens and fly screens with a wind skirt to seal around the van.
Now, our team were skeptical about the rigidity of a pole-less air inflated annex but on servicing an Air Opus camper trailer, which has the same air-inflating technology from the same manufacturer, we were impressed with just how solid a pole-less system could be.
The Orbit Annexes are Australian designed for campervans and caravans and being pole-less are lighter and faster to set up than a traditional canvas annex. They come in a range of sizes to suit. Give us a call or come in and see us at the RV Service Centre for more information and sizing for your van. If you are not needing the full weatherproof option of an annex then an awning with a privacy screen or two is the way to go. We stock a full range in store and can install your awning on your caravan or camper while you wait.
Selling your caravan? To sell your caravan, campervan or any trailer with an ATM over 750kg privately in Queensland, you will need a Caravan Safety Certificate (roadworthy) and Caravan Gas Certificate if the van has gas appliances.
The Caravan Safety Certificate is valid for 60 days from the date of issue and the Gas Certificate is valid for 90 days. It is required by law to obtain the Safety and Gas Certificates before you advertise the van for sale. Having the Safety and Gas Certificates before you find a buyer avoids delays and, if there are items to be rectified, lets you know your costs before you sell the van.
Look for signs of wear, perishing or cracking. Tyres often wear unevenly on caravans so you need to check both the inside and outside surfaces. A minimum of 1.5mm tread depth is needed to pass. The spare tyre is also included as part of the safety check so must meet the same requirements.
Replace bulbs as needed. Often older vans have incandescent bulb lights which are dull either due to the wiring, bulb or the covers. These often require replacement with full led versions.
Look to see that it is not worn and complies with the specification of the van.
Couplings are often missing the safety lever – spares are available in store.
If your van has gas appliances then gas bottles are required to pass the inspection. They have a life of 10 years from the marked date. If your bottles are out of date you can still swap them at a ‘swap and go’ place with no extra charge normally.
A quick check of these 7 key parts of your van will help to pass the Caravan Safety Certificate and Caravan Gas Certificate inspections. At the RV Service Centre we provide Caravan Safety Certificates and Caravan Gas Certificates. We can assist with rectifying any items that would fail your certificate and keep the necessary replacement parts in stock in our showroom. Give our friendly team a call to book in your inspection.
One customer recently had the misfortune of a wheel coming off his fairly new camper, shattering the brake drum and causing a lot of damage to one side of the van. The cause of the wheel falling off was due to only two of the six wheel nuts being tight. The two that were taking the load popped and the other four loose nuts failed. Holiday over and a major repair job. Correctly tightened wheel nuts on your caravan or camper are critical but something that can easily be overlooked.
Ideally caravan wheel nuts need to be firm but still able to be taken off manually if you need to change a tyre on the side of the road. If the wheel nuts are too tight, as can happen when they are tightened with a pneumatic rattle gun at the tyre shop, then it will be near impossible to loosen them by hand if you need to change a tyre. When our team carry out a service at the RV Service Centre, we tighten the wheel nuts with a torque wrench to a particular setting. This is a secure setting and firmer than hand tightening but will still allow the wheel nuts to be taken off manually to change a tyre. The exact torque depends on
Torques can vary from 100 to over 230Nm – so there is a very big variation, and needs to be set correctly.
When fitting the rim/tyre back to the van, follow these tips:
Servicing your caravan, pop-top, camper-trailer or motorhome ensures that your rig is ready for the next 10,000 kms of trouble-free touring and reduces your risk of any nasty surprises, like a wheel falling off. Our comprehensive RV service program checks everything in your van from wheels to cupboards, to ensure safe, relaxing travel. If you are due for your 10,000 km or annual caravan service, give our team a call to book in. At the RV Service Centre we offer servicing at our Toowoomba workshop or our Mobile Service team can service your van on-site at your home, work or at the caravan park.
It’s not much fun when you arrive on site ready to set up and the camper roof won’t wind up. Inside a wind-up camper is a cable and winch system that lifts, supports and lowers the roof. Without the correct care, cables can become damaged or break leaving you with a van that is unusable for your holiday.
If you experience trouble with your wind-up camper cables or winch or your camper is making unusual noises while winding, give us a call at the RV Service Centre. Our professional service team can diagnose and repair the problem so you can enjoy your camper again.
At the RV Service Centre we stock caravan covers, pop-top covers and camper trailer covers that are lightweight, easy to fit, manageable by one person and most importantly, will protect your van from the weather this summer. The ADCO All Climate Caravan Covers are an easy way to prevent UV rays from fading, damaging and cracking your van and will prevent the ingress of water in rain and storms. While we can’t guarantee that a caravan cover will offer full protection from hail – the four layer roof panel offers padded protection and will help to protect vulnerable parts of your van like your air conditioner, hatches and windows. They also look great so they give a smart and attractive appearance in your yard.
The ADCO range of all climate caravan covers feature zippered door openings so that you can easily access the van while it is covered. The unique 4 layer Dupont Tyvek material beads water on contact making it waterproof yet breathable and the incorporated air vents prevent mould and mildew. Designed to withstand the Australian weather and an indication of their quality, the Adco covers have a 3 year warranty.
Getting the right fit for your caravan or camper is key to the cover lasting and protecting your van. In getting the right size caravan cover for your van, we recommend measuring your van length including the bumpers and spare tyre. You can exclude the hitch and ground clearance. Do not rely on manufacturer’s specifications to determine actual caravan length. The covers are made to accommodate rooftop accessories.
We stock a full range of covers for all sizes of caravans, pop-tops and camper trailers so don’t wait for the next storm. Call in to the RV Service Centre today to get your caravan cover, pop-top caravan cover or camper trailer cover.
RV Service Centre Queensland
506 Boundary Rd (Cnr Gardner Ct)
TOOWOOMBA QLD 4350
Ph: 07 4633 0845