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In this section we advise you, and provide assistance to others on various industry topics.

Servicing my own caravan

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18 Nov 2014 @ 21:24:24 pm
Fugly
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I left it a bit late to have my caravan serviced at a dealer before December.

Does anybody have advice on how I could undertake a self-service on the most important elements of my caravan? I am not very technical minded so would appreciate some simple advice on what to check and do.

I have a Jurgens Penta.

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19 Nov 2014 @ 06:47:28 am
It'l dodat
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Good morning Fugly

Welcome here, hang your hat, sit back & enjoy.

Relax, unless something major happened reciently or your van is really not in good condition, It's not likely that something's going to go wrong, but it's obviously good to cast your rheumy right eye over things

1) Won't you post all the number's  on the side of your tyres, so that the age of your tyres can be determined.

2) Jack (with a jack not your steadies) the wheel free from the ground on each side. check the play on the bearings, by pushing & pulling (not rotating) at the top of the wheel. There should be a little play but not a knock-knock.

Then Rotate it and listen for grinding noises)  let us know what you find, before you get in too deep.

While the tyre is off the ground, sit on your bum facing the tyre and examine each tyre carefully (while rotating slowly by hand) especially in-between the treads for things that have got stuck into them, even if the tyre has not deflated. Keep your eyes open for micro cracks running parallal in the bottom of tread grooves. HUGE indication that your tyres are perishing. Do this especially on the spare as it gets left out of the natural replacement cycles... Tyres last +- 4 years Feel for "flat spots" around the diameter... Any defects I would replace.

3) Grease If you know how, remove the grease caps feel the grease. It must be greasy & not gritty. Not to worry if it's black & not greenish. If it is hard & lumpy or gritty it must be replaced. If not just put the grease cap back and leave it alone. Don't add, the grease cap must not be full... Again let us know what you find and you will open encyplopedia Britinnica... Check both grease caps.

5) Run a wheel spanner over all the wheel-nuts, especially the kerb-side wheel (Long story why, but never mind) must be tight but it's not neccessary to go over-board. Apply a dollop of common sense)

5) while your hands are dirty, run a little LM grease on the threads of your steadies, run them down & up again. 

6) Coupling. Hitch up, (While hitched see point 8). Put a klip / half brick behind the wheels and get the missus to slowly reverse while you watch the coupling it must move freely but not too easily If it does not move you got an issue if it can be pushed in easily by hand you got an issue... Let us know what you find.

8) Spray a squizzzzzz of sillicon spray into both sides of the electrical plug and check the lights.

9) Crawl under and look at everything. Let us know if anything that does not look right.

10) All thing's being equal, a sensable towing speed (80 - 100Km), correctly loaded, not overloaded (the old GVM - TARE thing) and you should be good-to-go... Just watch the kerb side wheel, It tends to take a hell of a lot more punnishment than the other side due to debree that lands up on the edge of the tarmac, as well as edge-breakouts on narrow roads...

And that's about it... A quick not-to-technical once over to put your mind at ease...

Oh, the battery... Don't forget to charge it, and to test your trip switch.. (mains connect & push the test switch)

My 2c worth... Everybody else gonna add to this... Watch... Great bunch of fundies here...

Slightly quicker downhill....
These days a teeny-tiny bit more slightly quicker....
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19 Nov 2014 @ 07:08:57 am
Leon
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Chech that your fridge works of gas aswell. We never know when ESKOM is doing what they must or not.

I would replace the grease on the corner steadies with silicone spray or Q20. The silicone does not attract that much dust and sand same with Q20 after awhile most of the sprayed oil has also evaporated leaving just enough for lubrication.

On the tow hitch there are two grease nipples. You can grease these until new grease starts to come out.

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19 Nov 2014 @ 07:36:36 am
Somer Kamper
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All good advice. There was a recent thread about bearings running hot. It is more technical than one might think. My advice would be that if you know what you are doing, go ahead. If you are not sure, you can do less damage by just leaving the bearings alone. This is not a boat trailer going into the water regularly. The grease will not have evaporated and this is something you can leave for a service after the December holiday.

On holiday you won't have all your tools available. Basic camp repairs: If it is stuck and shouldn't be, Q20 it. If it is loose and shouldn't be, duct tape it!

Don't stress too much. A caravan does not travel nearly as far as the average car per year and actually has few moving and complicated parts. Mainly focus on tyre condition and pressures and enjoy the camp.

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19 Nov 2014 @ 07:46:10 am
Chuck Norris
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Riaan, welkom op die forum.

Sterkte met die takies.

As jy wil he jou drome moet waar word, moet jy eers wakker word.

Die jonge Fransies. (Parys - Frankryk)
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19 Nov 2014 @ 08:05:53 am
Karoo Klong
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Riaan,welkom,hierdie vooraf werkies is deel van die kopswaai wat jy moet maak om die vakansiegees in jou lyf te kry,lekker man.
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19 Nov 2014 @ 08:06:46 am
Fugly
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Hi Guys,

Thanks for replying to my post. I already learned a lot from this and will undertake this task on Saturday. Will keep you guys posted.

And if there are any more ideas, please feel free to advice.

Groetnis!

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19 Nov 2014 @ 08:36:56 am
chameleon
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Riaan welkom op die forum.Kyk ook na die seelwerk dat daar nerens water kan in kom nie

Camping is a collection of memories .... make each one count
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19 Nov 2014 @ 09:09:26 am
POTYSTER
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Hallo Riaan--ek is ook nie 'n fundi nie maar werk al 'n volle maand aan my karavaan--alles goeie raad hierbo--ek het ook sommer iets lekker geleer---ek doen dit self en so maak ek seker dat alles is soos ek dit wil h--kry pure plesier daaruit--sit sommer so in die aand met my koffie in die karavaan en "kamp" sommer lekker.
POTYSTER
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19 Nov 2014 @ 09:19:05 am
Karoo Klong
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Riaan,wyse raad wat Potyster gee,geniet die werkies aan die wa ,die"koffie in die karavaan" met so n ietsie ekstra,doen nogal iets aan n man om die werk baas te raak,sterkte.
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19 Nov 2014 @ 09:57:46 am
Bak oor
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Hi Fugly.
I have serviced my sprite last weekend myself. You received some good advice.
Some points I need to address when you working on wheel bearing. Once you remove the axle nut and brake drum assembly you need to do the following. Remove all the grease inside. remove the front small bearing. Take a 2 pound hammer and insert the handle in the front side and carefully knock the oil seal fitted at the back end outwards, Remove bearing as well.Note once a seal is removed fit a new one (cost per seal approximate R18.00) Wash the bearing thoroughly with petrol and remove all grease. Allow to dry completely and keep absolutely clean form dust. Inspect the bearings as follow, check and turn each little rollers on the bearing for tiny little scratches or normally blueish marks. If you see them replace the bearings. Then you move and spin the inner section and outer section of the bearing. If there is to much play, replace the bearing. Remember a bearings does not have to be replaced on every service. Before refitting the bearing you have to repack the grease. This mean not only covering the bearing with grease but repack the grease. Take the bearing in one hand and slap the grease in between the roller and casing until the grease exit on the other end keep on turning the bearing to eliminate dry spots inside. This take some time. Check the drum. The bearing cones is pressed into the drum and normally forgotten. feel with you finger for any sharp edges and burn marks on the section where the bearing spin on. If so, replace. Remove the oil seal collar with a press carefully and do not damage or crack the drum. Check your brake linings. slide the drum over the linings and feel for play. adjust your brakes shoes at a little gear underneath the shoe until the play is to an minimum. Fit every thing back into place. Remember the washer in between the nut and bearing with split pin to secure. ( My van was serviced by a very reputable caravan service center before my attempt and washers was non existing) Tighten the axle nut and keep on rotating the wheel. Tighten the wheel to a lock. Carefully turn anti clockwise until wheel releases. The wheel should not be able to spin but free to move when turn.Fit split pin, grease in cap, refit cap. this should do it, not so complicated doing it your self. Feel the wheel for play by moving forward and back ward. there should be no play only free circular Rolling movement. When towing stop after approximate 50 kilometer check again and feel for excessive heat on the rim. excessive heat on the rim is caused by brake shoes to tight in the drum.
Its lekke to work on your van yourself. When on the road you need to know your van, what tools is required to bring along and you can save yourself a lot of aggravation and money.

Good luck and happy camping
🌪️ Worry ends where faith begins 🌪️
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19 Nov 2014 @ 10:52:05 am
W J
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It is part of the holiday starting all the preperations and service injoy itYell

How great is our GOD
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19 Nov 2014 @ 11:01:36 am
AndrewPhilip (sadly leaving SA)
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HAd mine service at Leisureland in Bellville a week ago. I did book it  a few weeks before, but if you call today you may still get a spot before you leave.

I am not that technically skilled so I leave it to the pro's. I jsut did the basic service (outside of the van only), cost me R1000.

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19 Nov 2014 @ 13:45:50 pm
Bostoe
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Sien jy het reeds goeie raad gekry sterkte en kamp lekke
Haak daai wa kamp bly koning
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19 Nov 2014 @ 13:50:24 pm
Allie Damon
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Welcome Riaan....and enjoy
Hie gan os alwee
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19 Nov 2014 @ 15:18:12 pm
Chops
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Welkom Riaan.

Deur hierdeur te lees het ek selfs baie goeie raad gekry.

Geniet
Tough times never last. Tough men do.
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19 Nov 2014 @ 17:42:24 pm
Tjola
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) Coupling. Hitch up, (While hitched see point 8). Put a klip / half brick behind the wheels and get the missus to slowly reverse while you watch the coupling it must move freely but not too easily If it does not move you got an issue if it can be pushed in easily by hand you got an issue... Let us know what you find.

Hi Warren
Can you also check if your brakes are working with this move ?
If not how can you check the brakes on the van .?


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19 Nov 2014 @ 17:59:55 pm
Somer Kamper
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Hi Tjola.

If you have it hitched up, just take it for a short test drive. If you brake, you will immediately feel if the van is braking properly and evenly. It is much better than picking up problems on holiday, fully loaded with the family in the car.

You don't want to start your holiday in the early hours of the morning driving back home to adjust your van's brakes.

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19 Nov 2014 @ 18:30:26 pm
It'l dodat
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Hi Tjola.

If you have it hitched up, just take it for a short test drive. If you brake, you will immediately feel if the van is braking properly and evenly. It is much better than picking up problems on holiday, fully loaded with the family in the car.

You don't want to start your holiday in the early hours of the morning driving back home to adjust your van's brakes.

+ What he said..

Trying to keep things simple for non tech heads, the "rotate the jacked up wheel and listen for grinding noises" test will be a basic brake binding and "running a bearing" check, but obviously not test if the brakes are engaging.

If you have towed before then you will know if the brakes are engaging, so a short trial tow is a good quick test.

The bigger concern is that the brakes are not disengaging from the drum after standing for a couple of months, especially if the mistake of pulling up the handbrake when parked is made.

For non techies, if you go to a dealer, get down on hands and knees and shed crockodile tears out of your third eye and ask them "just to check the brakes p-l-e-a-s-e" You will probibly come right, as that a heck of a lot less than a service.

Slightly quicker downhill....
These days a teeny-tiny bit more slightly quicker....
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19 Nov 2014 @ 20:02:27 pm
Hurricane
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All good advice here....but also make sure the tyres are inflated properly, I keep my Fleetline L's tyres at nothing less than 3 Bar, also make sure you have commercial tyres on the van and NOT normal car tyres which CANNOT carry the weight of a fully loaded van. Once leaving on holiday stop at an Ultracity or something and run your hand along both tyres and rims, they should be luke-warm NOT so hot that you cannot touch it. Keep on doing this at every pit stop for fuel just to make sure the wheels and bearings are OK (if a wheel runs very hot the bearing is probably on its way out). And don't forget to ENJOY!
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19 Nov 2014 @ 20:14:04 pm
Leon
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All good advice here....but also make sure the tyres are inflated properly, I keep my Fleetline L's tyres at nothing less than 3 Bar, also make sure you have commercial tyres on the van and NOT normal car tyres which CANNOT carry the weight of a fully loaded van. Once leaving on holiday stop at an Ultracity or something and run your hand along both tyres and rims, they should be luke-warm NOT so hot that you cannot touch it. Keep on doing this at every pit stop for fuel just to make sure the wheels and bearings are OK (if a wheel runs very hot the bearing is probably on its way out). And don't forget to ENJOY!
Amen Jorg, goes for towing and solo, good advise!!

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20 Nov 2014 @ 08:00:39 am
Andre Steyn
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Baie dankie almal. Ek het nou baie geleer.

 

Wat die hoek stutte betref, hou ek ook nie van grease nie. Ek gebruik chainlube wat vir motorfiets kettings gebruik word.

 

Groete

Vriendelike Groete
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21 Nov 2014 @ 16:55:36 pm
It'l dodat
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Baie dankie almal. Ek het nou baie geleer.

 

Wat die hoek stutte betref, hou ek ook nie van grease nie. Ek gebruik chainlube wat vir motorfiets kettings gebruik word.

 

Groete

Just my opinion.... But then I'm daft... And old....

Silicon spray....

I'm not a fan of applying it where there is the likleyhood of water. It get's washed off easily...

I would prefer to use "tool-in-a-can" and spray where the threaded rod enters the nut...

Chain lube..... 

The only advantage of chain lube would be it's adherence properties (won't get thrown off) seems a bit expensive to use for this application, and not many non-biker's / cyclers carry this in their gararge

Grease...

Looking at the options here, and remember the OP is not a tech-head I would still stick with LM grease, but perhaps explain that only a small amount on the threaded rod up against the nut on both sides of the nut, to minimise dirt & dust is needed....

Now copper-slip........ Ohhhh boy....That be another kettle of fish....

Super duper stuff that but expensive..... 

Just my 2c worth...

 

Slightly quicker downhill....
These days a teeny-tiny bit more slightly quicker....
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24 Nov 2014 @ 11:45:01 am
HarryOpieTremspoor
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I have a habit that whenever I stop (usually between 200 to 300 km distances, when my better halve takes driving duties) to walk around the van, stop and feel every wheel hub near the center/bearing for heat generation.
Bearings can change from working good to dead in a flash.
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24 Nov 2014 @ 11:58:45 am
neef Herman
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Jurgie het nie n "rubber boot" by die haak waar dit beweeg vir inloop rem nie. Dit was maar n morsige ghries en sand deurmekaarspul wat ek skoongemaak het. Nou spuit ek net bietjie Q 20, maar dit lyk bietjie te droog na my sin.
Dalk Warren se Copper-slip ????
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24 Nov 2014 @ 12:08:26 pm
It'l dodat
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Hi Herman

Na my sin, is Q20 nie die regte ding dit word te gou afgewas... Dis goed waar water ENS nie maklik bykom.

Copper slip, of gries... maak n plan vir a cover uit a stuk binne band en cable ties om die stof en sand uit te hou todat jy die regtr boot kry....

So te praat, n ou CV boot????

Slightly quicker downhill....
These days a teeny-tiny bit more slightly quicker....
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24 Nov 2014 @ 12:33:43 pm
neef Herman
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Ek het al die boot storie beloer, maar daar is wragties na my mening nie plek om dit vas te maak nie.
Miskien was daar n soort van seel op n stadium gewees.
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24 Nov 2014 @ 12:44:32 pm
WilSur
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Herman

Gebruik eerder daai spuitgoed wat die ouens met die motorfietse gebruik op hulle se kettings, dit trek nie so stof soos gries en olie nie.  Ek gebruik dit op die hoekstukke se skroef draad met groot sukses.

Oppad na die volgende kamp.
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24 Nov 2014 @ 12:55:39 pm
neef Herman
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Goeie plan,laat my dink aan die bergfiets ryers het n doepa het vir hulle kettings, wat ek dink gladnie stof optel nie.
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24 Nov 2014 @ 17:04:44 pm
It'l dodat
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Sorry H

I was thinking of my "casper-se-kop" Jurgens, a Avion LT, hy het n boot gehad, weet nie van Jurgie, maar glo nie....

Ja, Chain lube does not attract like grease and you can spuit diep tussen die twee...

Slightly quicker downhill....
These days a teeny-tiny bit more slightly quicker....
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25 Nov 2014 @ 07:44:06 am
Andre Steyn
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How???? I thought that was what I said.......

LaughingLaughingLaughingLaughing

Vriendelike Groete
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