It is important that your tourer or motorhome is roadworthy and that it is regularly serviced. After all, as a road vehicle, it has moving parts - like a car - and gas and electrical appliances. The manufacturer's warranty of a new caravan also requires regular servicing.
The Caravan and Motorhome and Camping and Caravanning Clubs and the NCC recommend using an Approved Workshop. Click here to find out more about approved servicing.
It is imperative that the tyres on your vehicles are safe. It is recommended that you check the pressures on your tow car and caravan's or motohome's tyres monthly and before setting off on a long journey, and when you change tyres, make sure that your replacements are to the same specification as the originals.
Another important safety aspect for consideration before travelling is seat belts and child restraints. Seat belts save lives, so an easy rule of thumb is to sit where you find a seat belt.
The lights on a caravan must be clearly visible and in working order, the towing vehicle must have a warning device linked to the wiring leading to the caravan indicators.
Fires in caravans and motorhomes can spread extremely quickly. Therefore if you own or use one, it is essential to follow the basic caravan fire safety precautions:
Ensure you have at least one smoke detector and audible carbon monoxide alarm fitted in your caravan/motorhome and test them every week to ensure the batteries are working. Note: CO alarms will be required in all 'Approved' touring caravans and motorhomes for the 2012 model year onwards.
It is also recommended that you carry an easily accessible multi-purpose fire extinguisher and a fire blanket. When you leave your vehicle, and last thing at night, ensure all appliances are turned off, especially heaters not supplied as part of the vehicle's original specification.
When you are at a site:
- Make sure caravans are kept at least six metres apart
- Find out about the park's fire drill or safety routine and the location of fire extinguishers and fire buckets
- Keep a mobile phone handy or find out where the nearest public telephone is located
If you suspect a gas leak:
- Turn off all appliances and the main cylinder valve
- Open all doors and windows
- Do not smoke or operate electrical equipment
- Evacuate the caravan/motorhome