Van Maintenance (Habitation Service)


(See our tips page HERE)

Something many motorhomers do not consider, is that all campervans require maintenance.  If you consider the shaking, twisting and bending that they get – its like your house is undergoing an earthquake every day!  Not only that, many leisure items are really designed for a few weeks’ use per year, not the 1,000 or so days we’ve been giving ours over the last 3-4 years!  (Thus one year of our usage is 10+ years of designed use)

On forums it does surprise us when people complain an item stops working or breaks, but unfortunately parts do wear out and its part of routine maintenance and DIY to keep vans in pristine condition.

So whilst back at base, we’re doing some proactive and reactive maintenance, and have undertaken the following:

Reactive fixes:

  • Hot water heater wasn’t working on gas:  Replaced ignitor module on hot water boiler see HERE (and we now carry a spare and spare burner as the burner was in a bad way).  (Done a few months ago)
  • Fridge wasn’t cooling on gas:  Cleaned flue, cleaned sahara sand from burner.  Replaced jet proactively, adjusted ignitor and sensor.
  • Kitchen tap was just starting to drip from handle suggesting internal problem.  Replaced with new and upgraded unit and replaced some pipework.  (First replacement tap sent was faulty!  Doh!).  Would be okay for some time, but opted to replace before it went wrong and leaked water everywhere.
  • Shower tap was just starting to drip from handle suggesting internal problem.  Replaced with identical unit. Would be okay for some time, but opted to replace before it went wrong and leaked water everywhere.
  • Replaced all toilet seals
  • Replaced entire toilet blade mechanism after we broke the blade pin 🙁

Proactive fixes:

  • Resealed roof windows (a few months ago) – removed, removed sealant, and resealed with Caraflex non setting bedding mastic.
  • Installed non return valve on cold water shower feed to stop “scalding” when using trigger shower head
  • Replaced dump taps on fresh and waste tanks – they were starting to get stiff and one was suggesting it was dripping
  • Installed waste smell trap on kitchen sink pipework
  • Installed non return valve on bathroom waste (to prevent waste smells)
  • Cleaned water filter
  • Cleaned water tanks (see HERE)
  • Checked gas pipework for leaks (none – using Gaslow pressure gauge)
  • Checked water pipework for leaks (none – using pressure pump test and manual check of known joins for sign of water marks)
  • Checked roof lights and windows for water ingress (none)
  • Vehicle service and MOT

And apart from that given it a good clean.  And after over 1,000 days away in the last few years, with loads of wild camping and exteme use, everything continues to work perfectly and it still looks pristine condition.

Thing is – this sort of maintenance is required on all vans – even those with 2 weeks usage a year.  So the moral of the story is – you may as well use your van more – the level of maintenance is the same 😉

For parts, we tend to use:  eBay,  LeisureShopDirect (who have some very good technical people who can offer advice), and CakTanks (who are a pain to order from, slow to deliver, but sometimes are the only providers…)

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